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Sunday, 29 September 2002  
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Wedderburn Rest : the 'cottage' by the misty mountains

by Beverley Jansz

When Dr. Nalaka Gunaratne - retired Assistant Superintendent of Police, purchased a beautiful, but small bungalow at Wedderburn Street, Nuwara Eliya in 1997, not in his dreams did he think that within five years, his bungalow would turn out to be a luxury star hotel in these salubrious climes.

Front view of the hotel

'At the start I used to give out my bungalow free of charge to my friends to spend holidays', Dr. Gunaratne said. After a few years, he saw the potential of converting the bungalow into a luxury hotel in what is regarded as Sri Lanka's number one tourist destination.Within a short period, the small bungalow in which he lived at Wedderburn with his family, became a luxury hotel, offering tourists all modern facilities. Soon the name 'Wedderburn Rest' was a much sought after holiday resort in Nuwara-Eliya due to the many tourist attractions it offered, specially the friendly and ideally calm atmosphere prevalent within the hotel.

Wedderburn Rest is located only 50 metres away form the Nuwara Eliya town, on Wedderburn street. In close proximity to the hotel, lie a tourists fascination - the Nuwara-Eliya Race Course, Gregory's Lake, the world famous Hakgala Botanical Gardens, Hortan Plains, World's End and many more.

The main attraction of the hotel is that it overlooks two beautiful mountains, Pidurutalagala and Kikiligamuwa. Guests get a panoramic view of the misty mountains, from their rooms. All rooms are equipped with modern facilities, including telephone, mini bar, hot/cold water, IDD facilities, piped music etc.

The interior decor and furniture of the hotel and guest rooms have been tastefully designed to make it a luxury hotel. The garden at Wedeerburn, has been beautifully landscaped with a variety of cut flowers. Over 15 vehicles could be parked, in the premises says Dr. Gunaratne. The interior decor of the restaurant has been tastefully done. The restaurant could accommodate over 300 guests. It offers delicious Eastern, Western and Sri Lankan cuisine, including buffets and barbeques.

Wedderburn Rest has also become popular for weddings, seminars, conferences and symposia, and also for family holidays. 'I make it a point to see that every guest, be it a tourist or Sri Lankan especially honeymoon couples, are offered the best hospitality and food at Wedderburn.

Wedderburn Rest is owned and managed by Wedderburn Hotels (Pvt) Ltd. which also owns Hotel Giman Hala in Matara. Dr. M. Nalaka P. Gunaratne is the Chairman.

Sri Lanka soon an Eco-Tourism destination

by Beverley Jansz

Year 2002 has been designated as the "International Year of Eco Tourism by the United Nations". The World Tourism Day (WTD) was celebrated on September 27. The theme of the WTD is "Eco-Tourism" - the key to 'Sustainable Development'.To mark WTD, the Sri Lanka Tourist Board organised a one-day seminar on "Eco-Tourism" which provided valuable insights for all types of stakeholders to have a great understanding on this important subject.The seminar was held at the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management, Colombo 3.

Chairman, Sri Lanka Tourist Board, Paddy Withana, delivered the welcome address, which was followed by the keynote address by Tourism Minister, Gamini Lokuge.Secretay, Ministry of Tourism, Dr. P. Ramanajam spoke on "Eco-Tourism Worldwide-perspective and Sri Lanka".

Dr. Philippe Lemaitre, Consultant, World Tourism Organisation (WTO) delivered a lecture on "Eco-Tourism Worldwide perspective and results of the World Summit on Eco-Tourism".

"Eco-Tourism prospects in Sri Lanka" was the topic on which, President Eco-Tourism Society of Sri Lanka (ESSL) Chandra de Silva spoke on.Dr. Devaka Weerakoon, Senior Lecturer, Department of Zoology, University of Colombo, delivered a lecture on "Bio-Diversity of Sri Lanka".

Lectures were also delivered by, Advisor, Ministry of Environment and National Resources, Rohan Pethiyagoda, President, Sri Lanka Eco-Tourism Foundation (SLEF) Palitha Gurusinghe, Director, Wildlife Conservation, Daya Kariyawasam, Conservator of Forests, Forest Department, Sarath Fernando, Tourism Cluster Consultant, Ms. Pri Ratnayake, Chief Executive officer, Jetwing Eco-Holidays, Gehan de Silva Wijeyaratne, Professor of Botany, University of Peradeniya, Nimal Gunatilake, Vice President, Field Arnithology Society of Sri Lanka, Rahula Perera, Director-General, Sri Lanka Tourist Board, Tissa Warnasuriya, General Manger, Sri Lanka Convention Bureau, Ranjith de Silva and Director Planning and Development and Sri Lanka Tourist Board, S. Kalaiselvam.

HNB-Pathum Udanaya2002

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