|Sunday, 20 January 2002|
The Deer Park where nature meets luxuries
by BEVERLEY JANSZ
Built in the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka, and nestled on the bank of the blue scenic Giritale reservoir, amidst a bucolic environment is The Deer Park Hotel, a truly eco-friendly paradise in the vicinity of Polonnaruwa. The hotel is owned and managed by Jinasena Management Service (Pvt) Ltd.
The Deer Park consists of 88 beautiful cottages, the architecture and landscaping of which are truly marvellous.
All bungalows have been constructed amidst trees, providing a gorgeous eco-friendly atmosphere with the tweeting of bird songs, and rare tropical trees.
When I visited The Deer Park last week, I found myself in a jungle hideout, where nature meets luxuries, where all guests, be it a Sri Lankan or foreign tourist are welcomed with a truly warm 'Ayubowan' from Asst. Manager, The Deer Park, Nihal Gunaratne, Front Office Manager, Bandara Rathnayake and the staff, with the drum beats and the lighting of the oil lamp by every guest.
Standing majestically on a virgin forest, with trees unharmed (only brush cleared) The Deer Park was built preserving the natural habitat, explained the dynamic Director/General Manager of both Jinasena Hotels, The Deer Park and the Royal Lotus, Ravi Gooneratne, a versatile hotelier with vast international experience.
The eco-system has been preserved, making Deer Park a unique concept in eco-tourism where guests enjoy unspoilt natural surroundings of a virgin forest, still enjoying all modern luxuries of a 5-star property.The 88 deluxe cottages and the presidential suite are equipped with remote control AC and all modern facilities that a 5-star hotel offers. A unique feature at the hotel is that the presidential suite has its own private swimming pool, probably another first in Sri Lanka's hotel industry.
The essence of the Deer Park is based on four key elements, Tranquillity, Luxury, Adventure and Care, Ravi explained. Tranquillity is a mood and atmosphere that is omnipresent at the Deer Park. The jungle canopy, its habitants, the birds, the deer, monkey and squirrels, the crisp clean air and the sense of isolation and peace, all contribute to this tranquil aura that is unique at the Deer Park.
Luxury is abundant in every aspect of the hotel. From the beautifully appointed rooms to the attention taken in food presentation, creating an experience similar to that our ancient Kings experienced in this very same jungle land.
'We believe that The Deer Park is more than simply a beautiful location.
It is in fact surrounded by a wealth of natural resources, three national wild life parks in which the hotel carries out safaris by jeep or elephant back and camping where guests can enjoy our beautiful wildlife of elephant, leopard, deer and abundant bird-life, Ravi explained. In close proximity are three ancient Archaeological ruined cities, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, and Dambulla and an impressive rock fortress, Sigiriya, soon to be considered as the 8th wonder of the world.
Hotel facilities include a spectacular 3-tier waterfall swimming pool that resembles a jungle pond, three streams and four natural ponds, a gymnasium and fitness centre, basket ball court, volleyball court, squash court, sauna, business centre conference centre, coffee shop and lounge, four bars, doctor on call etc.
As a luxury jungle resort, The Deer Park attempts to create the feeling of living in a jungle village whilst providing all the luxuries of a hotel of its calibre.Chairman/Managing Director, Jinasena Management Services (Pvt) Ltd. Dr. Nihal Jinasena and Director/General Manager of Deer park and Royal Lotus, Ravi Gooneratne with their immense international exposure, have brought in a new dimension, and a new perspective in hoteliering and customer care at The Deer Park.
A special achievement of The Deer Park is that the hotel has been presented with the 'Green globe' award and cited as a unique eco-friendly hotel, by Green Globe,UK.
Produced by Lake House