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Avani Bentota Resort reopens its doors to the world



Avani Bentota promises a tranquil beach escape

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held marking the official reopening of Avani Bentota Resort to the public and beckoning a new age in post-pandemic travel. It was attended by Kapila Jayawardena, Group Manager Director/ CEO of LOLC Holdings PLC & Chairman of Serendib Hotels PLC; Eksath Wijeratne, Group General Manager of Browns Hotels & Resorts; Adrian Jansz, General Manager-Sales and Marketing at Browns Hotels and Resorts and Channa Ekanayake, General Manager, Avani Bentota Resort.

Set along Sri Lanka’s western coastline, originally designed by world renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa, the renovated Avani Bentota Resort is now fully geared to welcome travellers from around the world. Fronted by an investment of Rs.300 million by Browns Hotels & Resorts, a subsidiary of Browns Investments PLC; a full renovation was carried out to meet the present day traveller’s needs.

The revamped resort features 75 chic guest rooms and suites, 03 dining outlets, a gymnasium, spa, as well as 02 conferencing and event venues, in addition to the modernised facilities, guest support service area and kitchen, in the hopes of providing guests with a more superior and efficient service. While the recently renovated resort boasts of a contemporary and sophisticated design, it retains Bawa’s signature style and an inimitable Dutch-colonial charm.

Take a leisurely dip and enjoy tropical bliss

Guests are sure to be spoilt for choice with one of the most extravagant breakfast buffets in the west coast, which also includes Sri Lankan specialties. For a more intimate setting, guests can indulge in exquisite dining experiences right on the beach with carefully curated menus, simply sip sundowners by the pool, or order in. Culinary adventures enhanced with dreamy ocean views are assured at Avani Bentota Resort.

LOLC Group’s investments in the leisure sector are clustered under Browns Investments, which maintains controlling interest in a number of properties in iconic locations in the country. The portfolio currently consists of Avani Bentota Resort, Club Hotel Dolphin, Dickwella Resort & Spa, Hotel Sigiriya, The Calm Resort & Spa, 5 boutique properties under Reveal The Collection, Sheraton Kosgoda Turtle Beach Resort, Occidental Paradise Dambulla and Occidental Eden Beruwala. A further 2 projects; including a 5-star resort in Beruwala, and Port City Mega Leisure development comprising of a 5-star city hotel are scheduled to be unveiled in the near future. A series of offshore investments in the Maldives including 4 resorts and 1 city hotel/condominium, and a 5-star resort in Mauritius too has been added to the development pipeline.

Commenting on the recent acquisitions, Kapila Jayawardena said, “With a steadfast approach to innovation and bold strategies, Browns Investments will continue to invest in the leisure and hospitality sector both in Sri Lanka and overseas, as we believe that there will be an upsurge in travel globally.”

left to right; Channa Ekanayake, General Manager Avani Bentota; Kapila Jayawardena, Group Manager Director/ CEO of LOLC Holdings PLC & Chairman of Serendib Hotels PLC; Adrian Jansz, General Manager-Sales and Marketing at Browns Hotels and Resorts and Eksath Wijeratne, Group General Manager of Browns Hotels & Resorts.

Eksath Wijeratne added, “While the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the hospitality industry worldwide, the global vaccination drives have been instrumental in regenerating and boosting tourist arrivals in to the country. Most tourists currently gravitate towards the informal sector. Nevertheless, we are hopeful that a steady increase in the overall tourist arrivals to the country will result in positive occupancy levels across both formal and informal sectors by end 2022.”

The unwavering efforts of Browns Hotels & Resorts in uplifting tourism even during the toughest of times, make it one of the most sought-after hospitality brands in the region, and is a testament to the optimistic outlook the Company has on post-pandemic travel, as they prepare to welcome travellers from around the globe.

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Oil prices rise as Saudi Arabia pledges output cuts – Opec+




(picture BBC)

Oil-producing countries have agreed to continued cuts in production in a bid to shore up flagging prices.

Saudi Arabia said it would make cuts of a million barrels per day (bpd) in July and Opec+ said targets would drop by a further 1.4 million bpd from 2024.

Opec+ accounts for around 40% of the world’s crude oil and its decisions can have a major impact on oil prices.

In Asia trade on Monday, Brent crude oil rose by as much as 2.4% before settling at around $77 a barrel.

The seven hour-long meeting on Sunday of the oil-rich nations, led by Russia, came against a backdrop of falling energy prices.

Total production cuts, which Opec+ has undertaken since October 2022, reached 3.66 million bpd, according to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak.

Opec+, a formulation which refers to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, had already agreed to cut production by two million bpd, about 2% of global demand.


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Manpower services agency wins accolades for its contribution to foreign employment sector



Siraj Cafoor, Managing Director of Siraj Manpower Services receives the award

Its MD says. ‘go abroad only if you can work hard’

Siraj Manpower Services, one of Sri Lanka’s leading foreign employment agencies, was honoured with the Three-Star Award at the ‘Golden Awards’ 2023, organised by the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE). This award ceremony was organised to honour foreign employment agencies that have made a significant contribution to the development of the foreign employment sector, which is a major source of foreign exchange for Sri Lanka. Siraj Cafoor, Managing Director of Siraj Manpower Services, was presented with the award at the award ceremony which was held at the BMICH in Colombo under the patronage of Minister of Foreign Employment and Labour Manusha Nanayakkara.

Having been established in 2002, Siraj Manpower Services ( has earned a reputation in the field of foreign employment by winning the trust of customers for more than 20 years. It has been offering job opportunities in the Middle East countries such as Kuwait, Qatar, Dubai and Saudi Arabia, and Malaysia as housekeepers, drivers, sanitation workers, labourers and also jobs related to the apparel industry. All these workers are entitled to approved salary scales certified by the SLBFE.

“We always stand for the safety of workers who go abroad through our organisation. We work to solve the problems that arise in relation to the contracts that the workers have entered into. I must mention something special to those who go abroad for employment. That is, you should keep in mind that you go abroad only to work. Go abroad only if you can work hard. You have to remember that you are going abroad to earn some more money and achieve the advancement of your family.” said Siraj Cafoor.

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Direct flights between Istanbul and Katunayake to commence from August



A special discussion between Turkish Ambassador – Demet Sekercioglu and Minister of Ports, Shipping and Aviation – Nimal Siripala de Silva took place last week at the ministry office. The aim of the discussion was to seek authorization to commence direct flights from the Turkish Capital Istanbul to Katunayake, Sri Lanka. The Chief of Turkish Airlines’ South Asia Office Fathi Bozkurt was also present during the discussion.

Currently, Turkish Airlines connects with Sri Lanka through a route that includes a stopover in the Maldives, resulting in an additional travel time of one and a half hours. The delay caused by this routing is not favored by travelers, as emphasized by the Ambassador.

The Chief of Turkish Airlines requested for time and space to be allocated in order to initiate direct flights between Istanbul and Katunaike, thus providing convenience for Turkish tourists and travelers who prefer visit Sri Lanka.

The Minister announced that the request would be forwarded to the Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka and the Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) (Private) Limited. The aim is to establish direct flights between Istanbul and Katunayake starting from August this year.

Turkish Airlines, a renowned airline with a fleet of over 100 aircraft, offers flights connecting Europe’s Vancouver and New York. The Chief of Turkish Airlines said that the new service would not only benefit European travelers but also encourage them to travel to Sri Lanka.

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