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SPOTLIGHT ON Sanjiv Hulugalle – Sri Lankan Vice President & General Manager – Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection in Hawaii

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anjiv talks about the resort’s $200M renovation and how the destination is the perfect vacation getaway to socially distance and unwind after a long hard year. They are gearing up for group business later in the year with innovative programs to make conferences and meetings successful.

What do you anticipate for the recovery in Hawaii and how have you coped with such an unpredictable market?We are seeing strong demand from guests on the mainland wanting to visit Hawaii. With the testing protocols becoming more clear, the state and Mauna Lani will come back better than ever. By nature, the resort lends itself well to social distancing: wide open spaces, private, oceanfront dining and beautiful views that can be enjoyed from your balcony.

During our closure this summer we have won numerous industry awards, including Conde Nast Travler’s Hot List and Travel+Leisure’s World’s Best. Most recently we were named to Travel+Leisure’s 500 Hotels. Through this coverage, so many new guests have learned about the resort and are excited to visit Hawaii island when the time is right. While we were only open for 7 weeks after our reimagination in the beginning of 2020, during our closure we were able to add in a robust fitness and tennis program, wellness experiences, as well as reopening one of Hawaii’s best restaurants to locals, CanoeHouse.

We anticipate group business returning later in the year, with programs set up to allow for private experiences and distance meetings. Attendees will be able to attend large conference events virtually by way of their guestroom TV, and incentive programs will take full advantage of wide open spaces and thoughtful experiences.

How have you made guests and staff feel safe at the resort?By nature, the state of Hawaii provides a haven to those seeking opportunities to be outside, explore nature and enjoy distance. Mauna Lani was designed as an indoor-outdoor retreat. From outdoor dining options and endless activities on our beach, guests feel comfortable and relaxed here, for perhaps the first time since the Pandemic started. Since reopening in November, our goal has been to provide the safest environment possible for our guests, Team Members and locals. In getting to Hawaii alone, guests traveling from the mainland and any other island must arrive with a negative Covid test taken within 72 hours of travel. The island of Hawaii administers a second, rapid test at the airport, so that gives travelers here peace of mind that they are visiting one of the safest destinations in the world. We are one of the first resorts to be Sharecare VERIFIED by Forbes, giving an extra level of confidence. In addition to safety protocols, experiences at Mauna Lani happen where open spaces and nature are abundant.

Your $200M renovation in 2020 is quite spectacular. Can you give us a snapshot of the brief?People have always loved the elegance of this resort – the simple, beautiful natural spaces, and incredible sense of place, all deeply rooted with history. And all of that remains after our renimagination. Designed by Meyer Davis, the interiors are now brighter and more refined, with ample hardwood, natural fabrics and textures. Furnished lanai balconies offer spectacular mountain and ocean views—each presenting an understated, natural décor, setting the tone for a soulful Hawaiian escape. The ultimate island getaway is reserved for those who reside within one of our five private Residences, each with their own private pool, dedicated service and exclusive dining options. Nestled on sacred shores lined with tropical gardens, secluded warm-water beaches and natural lava plains, Mauna Lani offers an unrivaled, authentic experience, raising the bar for luxury in Hawai’i.

Oceanfront guest rooms and suites set the stage for transformative experiences while activity at the resort buzzes from Surf Shack, the heart of Mauna Lani. Guests enjoy morning yoga and embark on sunrise canoe paddles from here, and come back later in the day to live, local music and sunset cocktails. Three pools and expansive lawns are perfect for picnics and stargazing. For dinner, private dining options include highlights from Hawaii’s fresh bounty from the laid-back, yet refined CanoeHouse with Executive Chef Matt Raso at the helm.

Trends are predicting travelers will migrate to more open, natural spaces. How can guests at your resort tap into a sense of wellbeing and reconnection with the outdoors?Mauna Lani offers guests unparalleled opportunities to connect outdoors with Hawaii’s natural and cultural treasures. The land itself is sacred, nestled on 32 oceanfront acres called Kalāhuipua‘a. This raw and potent paradise is at the piko (center) of Hawaii’s five great volcanoes, and the point where volcanic plains meet the shimmering sea. Mauna Lani sits within Kalāhuipua‘a, a sacred realm whose astonishing natural beauty is equaled only by its primal, magnetic power. To walk this storied coastline, breathe the salt air, and swim in the crystalline waters is to feel the same mana—spiritual energy—that first drew people here centuries ago. This is where ancient Hawaiians mastered the art of aquaculture and where King Kamehameha came to recuperate and work in the fishponds.

 

 



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Galadari Colombo awarded ‘SLIM People’s Hotel Brand of the Year 2021’

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The Galadari Colombo was given a thumbs up from the people as the People’s Hotel Brand of the Year for the second time running at the recently concluded SLIM (Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing) People’s Awards 2021.

The uniqueness of the SLIM People’s Awards is the fact that it is awarded by the public which shows the popular choice of the Sri Lankan people.

This is the 15th successful running of the much-anticipated event conducted by SLIM in association with Nielsen which is globally renowned for its measurement and consumer insights.

Having stood the test time of time in the hospitality industry for more than 3 decades the Galadari Colombo is hopeful to remain in the hearts of its people as a brand that is trustworthy and dedicated to service.

 

 

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Expatriates’ organization painting competition for Sri Lankan children from care homes highlights close India-Sri Lanka ties

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Celebrating 75 years of India’s independence in Sri Lanka, Sri Lankan children from care homes converged in Colombo from all across Sri Lanka over 10-11 April 2021 for the final round of the nationwide painting competition organized by Colombo Expatriates Cultural Association (CECA) – a voluntary organization of expatriates consisting of mainly Indians – with support of the High Commission of India, Ministry of Education of government of Sri Lanka and several other partners.

Prof. G.L Peiris, Minister of Education was the Chief Guest and Gopal Baglay, High Commissioner of India was the Guest of Honour at the final round. Several other dignitaries including State Minister Piyal Nishantha were also present. The dignitaries lauded the effort as a shining example of strong people-to-people ties between India and Sri Lanka and stressed the enormous significance of the enriching experience for the children.

The competition was held in three categories – Sub Junior, Junior and Senior. The first round of the competition had seen enthusiastic participation of 4,375 students from child care homes across Sri Lanka. Contestants from all provinces who had produced sixty best paintings were invited along with one care-giver for the final round held in Colombo on April 10 at Hotel Taj Samudra. While top three winners in all the three categories were awarded SLR 100,000, SLR 75,000 and SLR 50,000 respectively in addition to various other gifts, certificates and medals, all the 60 finalists received cash awards, desktop computers, and other gifts contributed by various sponsors.

The event also formed part of ‘India @ 75’ celebrations in Sri Lanka which comprise events and activities in the run up to completion of 75 years of India’s Independence in August 2022. Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi had launched these celebrations in India on March 12 2021, 75 weeks before the 75th Anniversary of Independence. In Sri Lanka, formal launch of these celebrations had taken place on April 9 2021 with the inauguration of ‘India Corner’ at the Nagananda Institute for Buddhist Studies.

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Chrissworld to raise Rs. 56.25 million through IPO

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne 

Chrissworld Ltd. (CWL), an SME company  engaged in the provision of third-party logistics (3PL) services, is gearing to raise up to Rs. 56.25 million via an initial public offering (IPO) on the Colombo Stock Exchange, sources said.

The company plans to offer 7,500,000 Ordinary Voting Shares for subscription at Rs. 7.50 per share. The subscription will open on April 27, with Atara Capital Partners representing the company as managers to the issue.

Meanwhile, the CSE noted in a statement that it has approved an application submitted by Chrissworld Ltd. for the listing of its Ordinary Voting Shares by way of an offer for subscription on the Empower Board of the CSE.

The company,  starting off with Rs. 6 million capital in 2019, expanded its capital to Rs. 22.5 million and projects to obtain Rs. 79 million after the IPO.

Chrissworld will be earmarking milestones with the IPO as the first to be listed on the Empower Board, CSE’s newest listing platform, dedicated to SMEs. Further, Central Depository Systems (Pvt.) Ltd., a subsidiary company of CSE, will step in for the first time as the registrar to the issue.

Amid those developments the CSE  started  on a bullish note yesterday and during the latter part of the day with heavy retail investor participation the CSE witnessed a bullish trend. It is said that manufacturing sector counters became the most popular stocks during the day. Notable price appreciation was reported in Hayleys Group, Royal Ceramic Group and  Distilleries.    

Both indices moved upwards. The All Share Price Index went up by 100.10 points and S and P SL20 rose by 49.18 points. Turnover stood at Rs. 3.51 billion with a crossing. The crossing was reported in JKH, which crossed 1.32 million shares to the tune of Rs. 199.3 million and its share price was Rs. 151.

In the retail market, companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Royal Ceramic Rs. 511.2 million (1.46 million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs. 359.9 million (4.5 million shares traded),  Hayleys Group Rs. 359.9 million (4.5 million shares traded), Dipped Products Rs. 321 million (5.5 million shares traded), JKH Rs. 290 million (1.9 million shares traded), and Haycarb Rs. 177 million (1.5 million shares traded). During the day 87.8 million share volumes changed hands in 23900 transactions.

Hayleys shares appreciated by Rs. 6 or eight percent. Its shares started trading at Rs. 75.90 and at the end of the day they moved to Rs. 82. Royal Ceramic shares appreciated by Rs. 13.5 or nine percent. Its shares started trading at Rs. 328.25 and at the end of the day they moved to Rs. 358.75. Expolanka shares appreciated by Rs. 2.70 or five percent. Its shares  started trading at Rs. 49.70 and at the end of the day they shot up to Rs. 52.40 and Distilleries shares appreciated by 70 cent or 3 percent from Rs. 20.20 to Rs. 20.90  

Sri Lanka’s rupee quoted steady at 202.00/203 to the one month US dollar Monday, while gilt yields remained unchanged, dealers said.

The rupee last closed in the one-week forward market at 202/203 to the US dollar on Friday. Sri Lanka markets were dull as seasonal bliss kicks in.

 

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