Courtyard by Marriott Colombo Sri Lanka is expected to feature 164 rooms and open in late 2021
COLOMBO, SRI LANKA, June 8, 2021:
Marriott International, Inc. today signed an agreement with Colombo City Centre (Private) Limited, a member of the Abans International Group, one of Sri Lanka’s largest privately held conglomerates with diversified interests, to debut the Courtyard by Marriott brand in Sri Lanka.
“We are delighted to strengthen our Marriott Bonvoy portfolio of hotels in Sri Lanka with today’s signing,” said Rajeev Menon, President, Asia Pacific (excluding China), Marriott International.
“This signing underscores our long-term commitment to Sri Lanka as a strategically important market, offering the potential to grow our brands and provide customers with more choices”, he said.
Set in the heart of Colombo city adjacent to the Beira Lake, the Courtyard by Marriott Colombo will provide convenient business connectivity and excellent views of the city skyline. Slated to feature 164 modern-styled guest rooms and suites, the hotel will offer an inviting hospitality experience through its intuitive service and uplifting spaces, allowing business and leisure guests to shift gears smoothly from work to relaxation.
Design plans call for thoughtfully designed rooms, featuring a functional work area, smart amenities, and high-speed internet access, empowering guests to stay both connected and productive while on the road, no matter the purpose of their trip.
“We are very pleased to collaborate with Abans Group, who share our vision to offer smart, intuitive service and high-quality accommodation in Sri Lanka,” commented Kiran Andicot, Regional Vice President – Development, South Asia, Marriott International.
The hotel is set to feature two dining venues – including an all-day dining restaurant offering a combination of Western dishes, Asian favourites and a host of local delicacies, as well as an adjoining Lobby Lounge decked with a full-service bar and a quick-bites menu. Additional plans call for a well-equipped 24-hour fitness centre, an outdoor swimming pool and meeting rooms to be fully equipped with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment and wireless internet.
“We are happy to have forged this strategic alliance with Marriott International and we are keen to see our relationship grow from strength to strength. We now eagerly look forward to opening the first Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in Sri Lanka and are excited to have Marriott International with us at Colombo City Centre,” said Mrs. Aban Pestonjee, Chairperson of Abans Group.
Behman Pestonjee, Managing Director of Abans PLC Group, said: “We are delighted to partner with Marriott International – the world’s largest hospitality group. With plans for more similar developments to follow, is a testimony to our confidence in the market and our long-term commitment to contribute to the growth of our beautiful city. We gladly welcome the entry of Marriott into Colombo City Centre and our Group.”
“Abans PLC and Marriott International have jointly recognized the growth potential in our island nation. We are confident that tourism will bounce back to its full glory shortly. Colombo is one of the most sought-after cities in South Asia, as it is highly cosmopolitan and is a melting pot of several cultures. Marriott and ourselves are perfectly poised for long innings together,” affirmed Praveen Methil, CEO of Colombo City Centre.
Daraz donates Rs. 2 million to ITUKAMA COVID-19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund
Daraz showcased their perseverance in combatting the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic through their donation of Rs. 2 Million and the supply of PPE kits to the ITUKAMA COVID-19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund.
The donation was handed over to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksha at the Temple Trees on 19th July 2021, in the presence of the Minister of Youth and Sports, and State Minister of Digital Technology and Enterprise Development, Namal Rajapakse and State Minister of Provincial Council and Local Government, Minister Roshan Ranasinghe. Representing Daraz Sri Lanka were Managing Director, Rakhil Fernando, Chief Operations Officer, Darshika Attanayake and the Head of Administration, and Procurement, Malith Ranadewa.
The ITUKAMA project is a fund raising initiative for the COVID-19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund established by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to support the mitigation of the spread of COVID-19. Initially established with a donation of Rs 100 million from the President’s Fund, the fund aims at securing the safety of those in the health sector and other essential service providers while facilitating the aid of those made vulnerable by COVID-19. It simultaneously supports the improvement of Sri Lanka’s long term vigilance and preparation for future health emergencies.
Daraz has played an active role in supporting the community through a series of CSR initiatives spearheaded under Daraz Cares, since the onset of the pandemic and will continue to do so by aiding the government of Sri Lanka.
Ceylinco Life opens latest Green branch on company land in Piliyandala
(Above, from left) Ceylinco Life Chairman R. Renganathan, Managing Director Thushara Ranasinghe and directors Messrs Devaan Cooray, Palitha Jayawardena and Ranga Abeynayake at the opening of the company’s new Piliyandala branch.
Ceylinco Life has placed another Green pin on its branch map with the opening of its latest eco-friendly branch in Piliyandala in a purpose-designed building constructed to the environment-friendly specifications adopted for all new branches on company-owned land.
Intended to reduce the Company’s carbon footprint while improving the customer and employee experience, the latest branch is located at No. 192, Horana Road, Piliyandala, on three floors that provide 5,683 square feet of space.
An investment of Rs 54 million, the Piliyandala branch completed in 11 months is designed for optimal use of natural light, is powered entirely by a 20kW solar power system that results in zero consumption of electricity from the national grid, and has its own waste-water recycling system. It is also equipped with the latest energy-efficient artificial lighting and air conditioning systems, has a rainwater harvesting facility and uses minimum amounts of pipe-borne water.
While the construction was designed to require minimum quantities of timber, trees planted in the premises upon completion of the building, further contribute to the Company’s Green agenda.
The building will function as an office for the Ceylinco Life branches in the Piliyandala area. With ample dedicated parking bays for visitors, it is designed to enhance customer convenience. In the same vein, the branch features private discussion rooms to ensure customer privacy within the premises and to deliver specialised customer handling processes by a team of well-trained and experienced employees, the Company said.
A cash deposit machine is deployed at the branch to enable deposits of policy premiums even during non-office hours and on holidays.
Ceylinco Life has been protecting the lives of the residents of Piliyandala and its suburbs via a dedicated branch since 1992. The newest branch is the seventh in the Colombo district to operate in a Ceylinco Life owned building and is the 43rd building owned by the company.
Ceylinco Life is in the process of constructing another Green building for its branch in Ja-Ela. The Company currently owns the buildings housing its offices in Anuradhapura, Trincomalee, Jaffna, Batticaloa, Kandy, Kalutara, Kurunegala, Gampaha, Galle, Matara, Tissamaharama, Negombo, Ratnapura, Kotahena, Mount Lavinia, and Wellawatte, many of which have already been converted to solar energy. New branch buildings purpose-built to the company’s sustainable energy model are those at Horana, Panadura, Wennappuwa, Bandarawela, Chilaw, Kadawatha, Jaffna, Malabe, Divulapitiya, Negombo, and now Piliyandala.
Ceylinco Life operates the largest network of 272 branches in Sri Lanka’s life insurance industry, giving it a physical presence in 142 cities, towns, and villages in every one of the island’s 25 districts.
Ranked the ‘Most Valuable Life Insurance Brand’ in Sri Lanka by Brand Finance and voted the ‘Peoples Life Insurance Service Provider of the Year’ for a record 15th consecutive year in 2021, Ceylinco Life has been Sri Lanka’s leading life insurer for more than half of the 33 years it has been in existence. In 2020, the Company was certified as a ‘Great Workplace’ in Sri Lanka by Great Place to Work®, was named the ‘Best Life Insurer in Sri Lanka’ for the seventh consecutive year by World Finance, and accorded an ‘Honourable Mention’ as one of the ‘Most Admired Companies in Sri Lanka’ by the International Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka (ICCSL) in collaboration with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), UK.
Ceylinco Life has close to a million lives covered by active policies and is acknowledged as a benchmark in the local insurance sector for innovation, product research and development, customer service, professional development, sustainability, and corporate social responsibility.
IRD and SLPA payments via Pan Asia internet banking
Aligned to its strategy to extend the highest convenience and superior customer experience, Pan Asia Bank is the first bank in Sri Lanka to integrate with the LankaPay Online Payment Platform Common Interface, through which its customers can make payments to the Inland Revenue Department and Sri Lanka Ports Authority via Pan Asia Internet Banking.
Customers wishing to pay taxes will no longer need to go through the hassle of depositing cheques for tax payments by visiting other bank branches. Instead, by simply logging into the Pan Asia Internet banking facility, they can now make their tax payments at a nominal and fixed transactional fee of Rs. 50/- irrespective of the value of the tax payment. The system supports tax payments up to Rs. 10 billion in value via a single transaction. This innovation offers a convenient, cost-effective and efficient option for taxpayers.
Facilitated via LankaPay Common Electronic Fund Transfer Switch (CEFTS), these payments will be credited real-time 24X7 x 365. The system provides its participants with the required payment confirmation details on a real-time basis.
LankaClear launched LankaPay Online Payment Platform in 2017 under the direction of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, with the objective of digitally empowering government agencies by enabling large value transactions to be accepted via digital means.
Pan Asia Bank has been on digital transformation journey and this digital enhancement further strengthens its position as The Truly Sri Lankan Bank that puts customer convenience at the heart of its operations.
(Pan Asia Bank)
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