Archive for September, 2010

Mount Lavinia Hotel celebrates the official release of the new Beaujolais In partnership with the Embassy of France

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

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Beaujolais nouveau is a red wine made from Gamay grapes produced in the Beaujolais region of France. It is the most popular vin de primeur, fermented for just a few weeks then officially released for sale on the third Thursday of November. Beaujolais is the “fun” wine on Mount Lavinia Hotel’s wine drinker’s lists. Mr Anura Dewapura states, “It’s not too heavy, it’s very fruity, and it’s very approachable even for non drinkers. It’s the only red wine that actually benefits from being served slightly chilled (this seems to accentuate the fruitiness in the wine.” Yet good Beaujolais is still complex enough to hold interest. Best of all, there is a quaint requirement by French Law that all Beaujolais grapes are picked by hand.

Mount Lavinia Hotel celebrates the release of the Beaujolais Nouveau 2010 with a night of BEAUJOLAIS PASSIONS with French culinary extraordinaire and indeed re-creating the French ceremony in the heart of Colombo. The frenzy the Beaujolais Nouveau’s arrival generates is almost as high as the build up for a major award show. Hence, the hotel will feature French culinary delicacies, and live music. Mr Dewapura avers, “Guests will not only be able to taste the Beaujolais Nouveau 2010, but also explore many other wines, sample great food, dance, have fun, and enjoy what Mount Lavinia Hotel loves to boast wine, food and ambiance.”

18th November is the official release date for Beaujolais Nouveau however we are celebrating it on the 19th of November 2010 when the Empire Ballroom will celebrate the ceremonial release courtesy Embassy of France,”states Mr Anura Dewapura. Then from 21st to 27th Nov 2010 the Governor’s restaurant with our global chefs will have French extraordinaire menu and to compliment it the nouveau passions. A variety of dishes ranging from Les escargots de la region( Burgundy Snails with melted butter spiced with garlic), La Darne De Seer la facon du rhone(Cutlet of Seer, white grapes, fresh cream, shallots, white wine garnished with fresh asparagus), Les fillets de sole au Beaujolais(lemon sole fillets cooked in white Beaujolais and cream and shallots mushrooms, crayfish and quenelle of pike) and desserts like la poire au vin de Beaujolais(fresh pear cooked in syrup and beaujolais) and much more will be yours to fancy and it indeed calls for celebration with wine and great food.

Tickets for the ceremonial release festival on 19th Nov is priced at LKR3000 which includes food and beverage..And the Govenor’s menu will be individually priced…

MLH’s International Hotel School and NDB partners to uplift the livelihood of youth in the East

Friday, September 24th, 2010

The 9th of September 2010 was a special day for new beginnings for 30 youth from the East when two Sri Lankan products launched a venture that is a fine example to many and indeed a worthy investment that will reap a pool of new hoteliers. Why was it special? It is special by the nature of its focus – the youth of the East. It is special by nature of its ultimate goal – Building a Region Fit for youth. Most of all, the dawning of this special partnership represents NDB’s and MLH’s International Hotel School’s collective conviction that a truly prospering and humane region requires holistic investments in its youth and their development undoubtedly securing a great future for Sri Lanka.

The vision and framework for NDB JEEVANA LIVELIHOOD TRAINING AND LOAN SCHEME indeed fits the bill of the tourism development initiatives for the East.   “We are also proud to be a catalyst to take steps for a changing landscape with its own set of new collective challenges. Issues like youth with no occupation and the new investments creating the East as a tourism destination hence creating an influx of opportunities for the youth hence an increased job force necessary for the hospitality field to prosper in the country particularly the East as it is now ready to face the new era in a new outlook,” states Mr Harinda Weerasinghe, Resident Manager of MLH.

As such, the reflection and development initiatives taken on the youth by NDB and MLH’s training are not only to gain knowledge and creating a knowledge centre in the heart of the east but also enabling them to emerge as an asset to the hotel or hospitality trade in Sri Lanka, and indeed sustaining their livelihood.

The long term value of this special initiative will be gauged by the continued commitment and support rendered by MLH in the field of training and development. Mount Lavinia Hotels commitment to the youth not only is focused on the East but also in the youth nationwide. As Dalreen Seneviratne of NDB stated why they chose MLH– a well established Sri Lankan icon, prestigious and professional that goes hand in hand with NDB’s vision of being a world class Sri Lankan outfit, was only the way forward. “ Potential industry in the north and east

Inspired leadership like this taken by NDB and MLH’s International Hotel School makes all the difference in putting an action plan into reality.

Amongst the many CSR initiatives that have been begun by MLH this would be a milestone for the youth in Sri Lanka

“And finally it must not be forgotten that it is the people within a building that create a welcoming atmosphere and we are proud that we have invested on the ambassadors that create that magical experience for the world today, states Mr Ruwan Punchihewa, Director HR of MLH.

The International Hotel School – ( IHS ) is situated in the vicinity of Mount Lavinia Hotel and students receive a supervised practical training in hands-on learning activities offered by  Mount Lavinia Hotel.

After completing the Diploma Course at IHS, students are granted a two year exemption to read for the Bachelor of Arts ( Hons. )  Degree at the Thames Valley University UK, a three year Diploma at the International Hotel Management Institute, Lucerne, Switzerland, and the Bachelor of Business Administration of Schiller International University USA, Switzerland, UK and France.

The Hotel Catering and International Management Association ( HCIMA ), UK awards 20 educational points for the two year Diploma of the I.H.S. Several other universities grant exemptions to I.H.S students.The school also provides its students with a monthly allowance, meals while on duty and uniforms.

MLH certified and committed to a sustainable future via Earthcheck

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Earthcheck is used by travel and tourism organisations around the world to confirm their carbon claims and guide their sustainability initiatives.

It is encouraging to see that MLH has introduced many innovative ways that host communities, team members and guests are being educated about the benefits of treading lightly on the planet.

MLH over the past year has embedded sustainability into the way they do business. “We have been working tirelessly in this area and felt it important, to those involved internally, as well as all our stakeholders, communities and business partners to seek independent, external recognition of our efforts and we are delighted to have been awarded Bronze Benchmarking in May 2010,”states Mr Anura Dewapura, General Manager Mount Lavinia Hotel.

It is the largest benchmarking, certification and management solution in use by the tourism industry and the leading program in-market.  There are many certification products available, but few cover both environmental and social performance and require a long term commitment before higher levels of achievement are rewarded.

For these reasons Earthcheck was a seen as a best fit for Mount Lavinia Hotel.  “We understand sustainability requires a long term view from our business, a long term view that takes into consideration the needs of future generations today,”adds Mr Anura Dewapura. By joining Earthcheck, MLH is simply saying we are part of a global tourism industry, we are serious about sustainability and we are taking local action on many global issues.

Some of the initiatives performed by the hotel:

Earth day was observed with awareness towards its environment by launching the “Kaduru” project at the hotel. “Kaduru” (bitternut: strychnos nuxvomica) grown on the river banks of Sri Lanka acts as a natural barrier to soil erosion.  These seeds are collected by the communities that live along the river banks and Mount Lavinia Hotel in turn purchased them at the hotel and decorate their guest bathrooms and public area. After the seeds give birth to the plants, they sprout a very attractive plant and hence they are ready for planting. The hotel gives the plants back to the same communities and they plant them along the river banks to protect themselves from floods and soil erosion. The income they gain from this project is used to assist their school going children.

Green Month was an opportunity for all Sri Lankans to take a positive and active role in helping protect the environment. By planting native trees and shrubs, MLH helped to combat climate change by partaking in this nation-wide venture. Mount Lavinia Hotel planted coconut seedlings which is a plant species that is best suited to local conditions, since native plants use far less water than exotic species, in addition they help restore the natural character of an area, and finally they provide food and shelter for local native wildlife.

No pesticides are used by Mount Lavinia Hotel. Hence actively shaping the environment that they live in they use biocides on plants which replaces harmful pesticides, weedicides and fungicides in the premises and environment of the property.

Another first for Sri Lanka was also when Mount Lavinia Hotel, engaged in a global call to action showing leadership and being responsible for the future by partaking in the Earth Hour Movement of 2010 dedicated for the 27th March 2010 at 8.30pm. A terracotta lantern was left in all places of the property and rooms to symbolize hope and indeed to represent their support for a sustainable future.  The hotel turned off their non-essential lights and other electrical appliances for one hour to raise awareness towards the need to take action on climate change.

An eco-gastronomy initiative

Slow Food concept which rides on the farm to table motto, offers the freshest organic dishes prepared from local ingredients found within the destination creatively presented, and enjoyed in a casual ambiance. This concept of eco-gastronomy which totally endorses that there is a strong link between plate and planet shows the hotel is concerned about leaving a small environmental footprint while working closely with local growers endorsing the hotel’s commitment to the planet. Slow Food Nights are celebrated every last Sat of the month and now the 16th Slow Food Night makes its mark on the 25th of Sept 2010.

On account of World Enviroment Day, Mount Lavinia Hotel felicitated the day with a Tree Planting initiative at their neighbourhood girls schools. The trees that were utilized are indigenous to Sri Lanka: King Coconut, Mango, Kohomba(Margosa), Kumbuk(Terminalia Arjuna) and Naa(National tree of Sri Lanka).

The EarthCheck Program is used by more travel and tourism organisations than any other around the world. It validates the carbon claims of the largest accommodation providers on the planet and guides them in their sustainability initiatives.
EarthCheck’s science-based technology can leverage and indeed increase operational efficiencies, maximise guest experience, minimize environmental impacts and improve bottom line performances

A British Governor’s residence forms the nucleus of the hotel which has expanded in size and style to the sprawling colonial palace it is today. It’s unique products being the unusually extensive beach frontage, a generous terrace (overlooking the bay and offering a stunning panorama of the Colombo skyline), a spectacular view of the ocean, an absolutely incredible atmosphere and indeed the famous romance rainbowed over the hotel sitting at the epitome of its existence, are one of the many reasons why, perhaps, it is a favourite choice for lovers, weddings and honeymoons.

Mount Lavinia Hotel demonstrates their commitment to the environment by undertaking five aspects namely:  better waste management, water consumption control, green procurement mechanisms, community development projects and energy consumption control. Past green felicitations included the National Tree Planting Day, Earth Day, Earth Hour, No pesticides Use Day.

1st Winemakers night: Sandalford Wine Dinner with Chef Mats at MLH

Friday, September 24th, 2010

The Wine and Dine pairing nights with Chef Mats will be another signature event that will occur monthly along with the most talked about Slow food Nights and the soon to be showcased “WE Dining nights with Chef Pubilis.”

These “Winemakers Dinner” nights will showcase wine from well known wineries from around the World paired with a gourmet dinner from the Kitchen of the Mount Lavinia Hotels specialty chef from Europe, Mats Petersson.

For the first such dinner on 18th September, Chef Mats and Grant Brinklow, CEO of Sandalford Wines (Western Australia) will match and pair delectable dishes to create an enhanced dining experience that will be a first in Sri Lanka. The price is for LKR4900/-nett which includes cocktails, wines and dinner.

“We at MLH are trying to create dining experiences en par with the best in the world so that our clientele will have the variety and choice in wining and  dining demanded by discerning guests worldwide, states Mr Anura Dewapura, General Manager, Mount Lavinia Hotel.

Sandalford (www.sandalford.com) has Vineyards in the Swan Valley and the iconic Margaret River region and routinely wins awards at wine shows and competitions. It also has a highly regarded restaurant on the Vineyard which has won its own numerous awards and accolades – hence this initiative fits in very well with the direction that MLH has taken.

In the words of Grant Brinklow, “We are very pleased to be the associated with the debut of the Winemakers Dinners at the Mount Lavinia Hotel – a world famous historic property in one of the most exciting tourism destinations”. At this dinner, Sandalford Wines will showcase limited production wines and the current vintage and it will give guests a chance to chat with a personality who has vast experience in the wine trade and is a much sought after speaker on wine.

As Anura Dewapura says “It is about putting diners in touch with other people, for some light hearted conversation over great food and wine. Some people would see it as a more relaxed form of networking accompanied by the chef and wine connoisseur to add some insights into the dining experience.  So why not join us for a very special event when Chef Mats prepares a masterful, multi-course, gourmet dinner paired with Sandalford award-winning wines with our objective being to establish an unique experience that the discerning public can become involved in”

Some of the menu items are as follows:

Ceviche of Tiger Prawn

Confit of Organic Tomato & Black Olive Tapenade

Sandalford Estate Reserve Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2010

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Ballotine of Chicken

Creamy Spinach & Truffle Jus

Sandalford Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

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Dragon Fruit Sorbet with Lime

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Duo of Australian Lamb & Beef

Sautéed Wild Mushroom & Tarragon Sauce

Sandalford Prendiville Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

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Chocolate Fudge with Licorice Ice Cream

Mango Foam in Crisp

Sandalford Sandalera

Sandalford ( is a boutique winery with Vineyards in the Swan Valley and the World famous Margaret River wine region in Western Australia world that consistently wins awards and accolades for its wine as well as for the award winning gourmet restaurant at its Swan valley property.

MLH launches innovative signature dining experiences Chef Mats, Chef Pubilis and Chef Indika take MLH to a unique realm…….

Friday, September 24th, 2010

The sunset, unusually extensive beach frontage and the Colombo skyline are a photographer’s  delight at the Mount Lavinia Hotel and adjudged as “One of the Worlds’ Best Gathering Places” by Newsweek and to top it all off connoisseurs of gracious living come for the heart-stoppingly beautiful panorama of the Indian Ocean. But equally potent is the exquisite service and tantalizing delicacies all cooked up by world class chefs that make your visit to the hotel nothing short of picture perfect.

To be in par with this picturesque experience, The Mount Lavinia Hotel has launched  new dinner-time experiences aimed specifically at travellers and visitors looking for conversation, company and a unique experience over dinner.

These most innovative, yet simple concepts to be introduced into the dining scene, adding another two unique experiences for our valuable guests.” said Anura Dewapura, General Manager Mount Lavinia Hotel

Mount Lavinia is one of the oldest and most important surviving colonial buildings in Sri Lanka; it is one of the few remaining buildings that bear a testimony to the legacy left by the British during their period of rule. However, a fantastic holiday destination for those wishing to soak up the sun, enjoy the warm waters and feast on fresh tropical flavours. The hotel boasts of an exceptional seafood restaurant and a culinary cruise at the Governor’s restaurant serving more formal fare but for those wishing to try something a little bit different, there are some great unique experiences to be enjoyed.

When asked the reason for the innovative dining experience, “As a business traveller, you may well travel three out of four weeks in a month, leaving loved ones, spouse and family behind at home. While away, your schedule of meetings is exhausting and most nights you go back to the hotel to dine in the privacy of your suite or brave a restaurant alone. Dining by oneself isn’t always as exciting as it is with others, and the alternative of in room dining, while once in a while is fun, each and every night, lacks a certain appeal. ”states Mr Anura Dewapura, Mount Lavinia Hotel

Winemakers nights with Chef Mats

The Wine and Dine pairing nights with Chef Mats will be another signature event that will occur monthly where winemakers will showcase their Wines and Chef Mats will match and pair with delectable food dishes with the winemaker to enhance the dining experience. September hailed in the first night when Sandalford: a boutique winery with Vineyards in the Swan Valley and the World famous Margaret River wine region in Western Australia marked the debut Winemakers Night at the Mount Lavinia Hotel.

Sandalford routinely wins awards at wine shows and competitions and a highly regarded restaurant on the Vineyard which has won its own numerous awards and accolades – hence this initiative fit in very well with the direction that MLH has taken.

Mr Anura Dewapura states “It is merely putting diners in touch with other people, for some light hearted conversation. Some people would see it as a more relaxed form of networking accompanied by the chef and wine connoisseur to add some insights into the dining experience.”

Slow Food nights with Chef Indika

The night very appropriately known as farm to table brings out Mount Lavinia Hotel’s commitment for an eco gastronomic experience. The Slow Food concept offers the freshest dishes prepared from local ingredients found within the destination and Chef Indika will indeed ask the question how good genuine global cuisine could be, especially when it’s locally sourced, creatively presented, and enjoyed in a casual ambiance. September hailed in Slow Food Danish style whilst Oct will open the evening to a Greek spread and in November we have French Food taking centre stage.

The General Manager, Mr Anura Dewapura states, “This cooking initiative is exciting and the fact that we’re leaving a smaller environmental footprint while working closely with our own local growers endorses our commitment to the planet.” And he continues to state, “Above all, we’re focused on preparing a delicious meal for you to enjoy while at Mount Lavinia Hotel.”

WE Dining with Chef Pubilis

Culture and vibe of dazzling Sri Lanka is exalted in this “WE Dining” night. Diners will learn about and experience first hand the uniqueness of Sri Lankan cuisine by a culinary legend.

The menu is inspired by the local ingredients of Sri Lanka and served degustation style complimented by the intrinsic values of the range of Sri Lankan food that will be in offer.

“During dinner, allow Chef Pubilis to take you on a culinary journey and the medicinal and indeed ayurvedic value of the meal you are about to consume.“ states Mr Anura Dewapura.

Guests at the Mount Lavinia Hotel are spoilt for choice when it comes to dining, and the “WE-DINING” dinners are no exception. Each month the three dining experiences will be surfaced by our global chefs.

“I think the fact that the dining experience is accompanied by someone who is a food connoisseur is appealing. This is not a structured gathering it’s designed to be fun and allow social, business and dining interactions with people. To understand the driving force behind this idea I simply ask the question: How many times have you dined and just have gone back home with a memorable experience? I think it will be especially popular with people who wanting a lasting experience that what they paid for was indeed worth it. ” states Mr Anura Dewapura.

All three evenings will delight any diner on approach as the nights will be set in a unique venue for the evening. The scent of the warm Indian ocean, soft sand underfoot mingles or maybe a venue meticulously decorated to the period of its original occupants or a venue that one could visualise and share the aesthetic beauty of the Mount Lavinia Mansion entwined with the smell of the forthcoming culinary delights signaling the start to a very memorable night.