An Echelon Media Company
Sunday July 14th, 2024

Bawa-designed Cinnamon Bentota Beach in Sri Lanka re-opens

ECONOMYNEXT – Cinnamon Bentota Beach, a historically important 1967 hotel designed by Geoffrey Bawa who helped inspire an architectural style known as tropical modernism, has re-opened after restoration, the hotel group said.

“Bawa was able to create an experience that was completely rooted in place and time using the art skills and crafts available to deliver an experience that was unique to Sri Lanka,” Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts said.

“Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts decided to restore and conserve the building because of its importance in the architectural history of the world.”

Bawa himself designed and contributed to the spread buildings in the style of tropical modernism around South and South East Asia.

Originally Bentota Beach, the hotel is now branded Cinnamon Bentota Beach, under the brand of the John Keells group, which runs a network of 15 hotels in Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

“We started this project eighteen months ago, and set ourselves a tight timeline to complete it,” Krishan Balendra, Chairman John Keells Group said.

“I’m happy to say that what we have today is a hotel restored to the original feel of Geoffrey Bawa’s creation.

“Bentota Beach Hotel as it was known then, has been an icon in Sri Lanka as we all know, and we are eager to share with our guests the history and heritage value of this hotel.”

The hotel features creations by local artists as well as works by Bawa’s associates.

Paintings by Ismeth Raheem (artist, architect and author) decorate the walls of the lounge, while sixteen suites containing art and creations by local artists correspond to the name of each suite.

Eight artists were commissioned to depict a theme and record what they felt the name of the suite meant to them resulting in each suite telling a story of the local people and local languages.

The restoration involved reinstating a ceiling by Ena de Silva at the entrance, the handloom fabric design of Barbara Sansoni and Barefoot, the recreation of the ceiling of the lounge and bar with the aid of designer Marie Gnanaraj.

A gilded and painted panel by Ismeth Raheem on the south wall of the lounge that records memories of the hotel and its 50 year history was also restored.

The hotel is on a 11-acre property facing the Indian Ocean and Bentara River. It is a 159-room hotel with 16-suites and 144-suite sized rooms. (Colombo/Jan20/2020)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Ex-US President Trump shot at in campaign rally

ECONOMYNEXT- Republican nominee to the upcoming polls and former US President Donald Trump has been shot during a campaign rally, media reports said.

The bullet grazed the ear of Trump, who is reported to be doing well.

The gunman was shot and killed by secret service snipers within second of firing the shots at Trump.

At least one civilian was killed reports said.

Television footage showed blood in Trumps ear.

As he was hustled out of the venue by Secret Service officials Trump was seen shaking his fist in the air. (Colombo/July14/2024)

Continue Reading

UNESCO DG to discuss archaeological endeavours in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka: President

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s president has said that he will discuss initiatives for long-term archaeological endeavours in the Anuradhapura city with visiting UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay.

Azoulay will visit Sri Lanka from July 16-19 and take part at the celebration of the 75th Anniversary of Sri Lanka’s membership of UNESCO at the Nelum Pokuna Theatre in Colombo.

She will also travel to UNESCO World Heritage Sites around the island, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

“I have invited the Director General of UNESCO to visit Sri Lanka and discuss initiatives for long-term archaeological endeavours in the Anuradhapura city. Several universities overseas have shown interest in supporting us for these activities, and we are moving forward with their collaboration,” Ranil Wickremesinghe said.

“Anuradhapura boasts a rich history spanning over a millennium, once renowned as a hub of trade and economics. Preserving and exploring this ancient city’s archaeological treasures remains a significant endeavour.”

“New archaeological efforts in the Anuradhapura district are now imperative,” Wickremesinghe said during a ceremony to inaugurate a 150-kilowatt solar power system installed by the LTL Group at the Sri Maha Bodhiya premises in Anuradhapura on Saturday (13).

Wickremesinghe pointed out that UNESCO has undertaken extensive archaeological projects in Angkor Thom in Cambodia, and Luang Prabang in Laos.

“However, we have not taken the necessary steps to implement these activities in Anuradhapura city. Therefore, I have advised both the Department of Archaeology and the Cultural Triangle to undertake these initiatives.”

These efforts are part of a comprehensive program aimed at establishing Anuradhapura as a globally renowned city, Wickremesinghe said.

While Sigiriya has gained international fame, Sri Lanka has not adequately highlighted Anuradhapura’s historical significance as a major trade and economic center in the past, the president pointed out.

“Cities like Tanjore (Thanjavur), Madurai, and Sanchipuram are often discussed, yet Anuradhapura, the fourth city, has been overlooked. Therefore, it is crucial to develop Anuradhapura city.”

As part of these initiatives, preparations are underway to establish new hotels in Anuradhapura, which will contribute significantly to its development, Wickremesinghe said. (Colombo/Jul13/2024)

Continue Reading

Government committed to improving living conditions in Jaffna: Sri Lanka PM

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s prime minister, who is in Jaffna “to monitor the progress” and “get a little feedback” has said the government is committed to improving living conditions of the people in the northern peninsula.

“This government is dedicated to improving the living conditions of the Jaffna Peninsula,” Dinesh Gunawardena told a Jaffna District Coordinating Committee meeting on Friday, according to a statement by his media division.

“In order to increase the living conditions, we have embarked on an increase in most of the expenditure needed by the departments, and also special allocations for rural and urban development in the local government area.”

Nationalist Gunawardena met with Tamil politicians at the Jaffna Divisional Secretariat Office and participated in the distribution of rice and egg incubators for low income families.

“A special privilege to be with you all, in order to monitor the progress made by all of you, as well as to get a little feedback where we stand today in relation to the reports given.”

Gunawardena joins a string of leading political figures who have visited the north ahead of upcoming polls.

The government was, he said, “committed to improve the services and living conditions, therefore, to provide the necessary infrastructure for developments, which means much to your area.”

The prime minister said he appreciated the efforts of farmers because “farmers are all private sector, I would say. Let us not forget, farmers are all in the private sector, either in the ownership or in the tenancy. They are private contributors to the national development of the economy.”

The poverty numbers are “fairly managed” in the country. Gunawardena said, pointing out that poverty was a key problems in any economy. “Any country, you would agree with me, the richest country, in the United States even, food stamps have been given. So all economies the world are going through difficult situations in relation to the poor.

“We have to look after the poor especially in these remote villages of the Northern Province…”

Minister Douglas Devanada, MPs M A Sumanthiran, Angajan Ramanathan, C Vigneshwaran, Dharmalingam Siddharthan, and other officials participated in the meeting. (Colombo/Jul13/2024)

Continue Reading