Sri Lanka Travelogue Part 2
Michael Taylor embarks on his first trip to Sri Lanka, which was formerly known as Ceylon. He is flown there on Singapore Airlines by the Dilmah School of Tea. He enrolls in a five module certificate course in the Appreciation of Tea.
Following a marathon trek from Hong Kong to Sri Lanka, which comprises roughly eight hours in the air and four hours on the ground, I arrive in Colombo, the country’s capital, at about 15 minutes past midnight local time.
But it is quarter past 4 am at my point of origin. It has been an exhausting trip. And I’ve got a 6.30 am breakfast call.
We are booked into the Hilton Colombo, which is located close to the beach (a decided plus) as well as the Colombo World Trade Center, the Bank of Ceylon Tower, and Pettah Market.
Other nearby points of interest include the Khan Clock Tower and the Jami Ul Alfar Mosque.
Owing to the tight schedule, however, I don’t get to check any of these tourist attractions out. We are here, after all, to learn as much as we can about tea – not to go sightseeing.
The hotel has nine restaurants, including a poolside bar. Spices serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffets with Sri Lankan, Indian, and international offerings. This is where we have breakfast both mornings.
There are also Chinese, Indian, Italian, Japanese and Sri Lankan eateries.
Perhaps the most unique food and beverage outlet is the lobby lounge, which – in addition to serving standard drinks and snacks – serves a wide selection of hot and iced Dilmah teas, including cocktails made with Dilmah tea as a key ingredient.
There is an outdoor pool, a children’s pool, a health club, a spa tub, and a sauna. Spa amenities include massage/treatment rooms and beauty services.
This hotel offers most of the facilities and services that you would expect of a four star property. Too bad we only get to spend one and one-half nights here. It seems like a very comfortabl place!
Room with a View
I stay in room 1513, which has a stunning view of what appears to be a stately old government building and a meandering river, which empties into the Indian Ocean. The beach appears to be s short walk from the hotel.
My room is a standard room with a king size bed. It is well appointed, with a two-seater sofa and a spacious work space. There is ample closet space and a large three-drawer chest of drawers.
The bathroom, however, is well past its sell-by date. It has 1960s written all over it.
This seems like a comfortable hotel with friendly staff and a great location. It would be nice to spend more time here.