|Sunday, 28 July 2002|
The Swiss Residence ; a charming blend of European and Kandyan culture
by BEVERLEY JANSZ
Built in the picturesque hill capital, Kandy, and surrounded by the scenic 'Bahirawakanda' mountains, The Swiss Residence is truly one of Sri Lanka's star class hotels with a Swiss touch.
Standing on a one-acre land at Bahirawakanda, The Swiss Residence has successfully captured a charming blend of European and Kandyan culture in its marvellous architecture. It offers 40 rooms, inclusive of one 'Royal Suite', 12 deluxe rooms, 18 air conditioned rooms and 9 standard rooms. All rooms are inclusive of private balconies with a panoramic view of Sri Lanka's hill capital, Kandy.
All rooms are equipped with modern facilities that a 5-star hotel offers. The luxuriously proportioned 'Royal Suite' has a sitting room, with a balcony and steps leading up to the bedroom. The sitting room windows which are right around, open on to the panoramic view of Kandy and the Anniewatte hills. The suites feature a novel 'Jacuzzi' bath tub with a massage and soothing effect.
Most of the interior decor at The Swiss Residence has a typical Kandyan aspect. The woodwork and woodcraft, a common sight in most Kandyan 'walauwas' seem to be the theme at the Swiss Residence. An attractive and unusual feature is the hotel's wooden ceiling.
The centure portion of the lobby as well as the hotel's porch rise to soaring dome shapes, all done in dark mahogany. The entire ceiling is held together by large wooden screws resembling a wooden chandelier which is fixed in the centre. This attractive design has been culled from an ancient temple in Kandy.
The hotel has a beautiful swimming pool from where guests get a picturesque view of the luscious hill country. The 'Blackout', the most elegant discotheque in town, has a sunken dance floow. The discotheque runs to packed houses on Fridays and Saturdays. It can hold upto 100-150 guests and is the most popular spot in Kandy with the latest system and effects in keeping with modern trends.
The hotel being in close proximity to the International Asgiriya Cricket Stadium, Udawatte Kelle forest reserve, the International 'Victoria Golf Course' Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, the 2nd World War Garrison cemetery and historic monuments etc. has made the Swiss Residence an idyllic tourist spot. The design and planning of this unique concept has been done by Sarath Bandara Wijesooriya, head of Zurikan Hotels and Travels (Pvt) Ltd. the owning company of Swiss Residence. Sarath is a Sri Lankan expatriate turned Swiss citizen. The hotel is owned by Sarath and his wife Ruth Wijesooriya.
Several Swiss and Sri Lankan architects have been involved in the marvellous architecture of the hotel. In keeping with the hotel's Swiss/Kandyan image, the General Manager of Swiss Residence, Asela Pethiyagoda is a Swiss qualified hotelier, a graduate of the Switzerland School of Hotel Management and Tourism.
The Swiss Residence is a Jetwing hotel.
Produced by Lake House