Archive for October, 2010

Iconic traditions for the Christmas season begins with Soul Sounds and Voice Print at MLH

Friday, October 29th, 2010

Exceptional amidst traditional entertainment is an iconic tradition in the Mount Lavinia Hotel and one of the defining characteristics of the MLH known to be one of the oldest and most important surviving colonial buildings in Sri Lanka. As a Governor’s Residence it formed the heart of where much entertainment and conviviality was celebrated by the former British Governors and their guests and thus it is not surprising that the same spirit is enjoyed by the many guests and travellers this Christmas season at the hotel. Ranked with some of the most renowned choirs in the world, SOUL SOUNDS a much loved all girls who have enthralled many an audience both in Sri Lanka and abroad will team up with VOICE PRINT, a choral musical ensemble or very much known to be an all male acapella choir consisting of past choristers of St Benedicts College who will ring in the seasonal cheer on 25th Nov 2010, with the evening beginning with the lighting of the Christmas Tree and followed by an evening of soulful voices at the Empire Ballroom, for LKR1500/-nett(includes the show and an assortment of seasonal delicacies and Gluh Wine).

The iconic traditions begin with the choirs and will ignite further towards the end of the night with Chef Indika sprucing up the hotel with his specialties for the American Thanksgiving spread, which happens at the Governor’s Restaurant on the 25th Nov 2010.

Then from 1st to 24th Dec – Christmas around the world will be the journey to experience at the Governor’s Restaurant: each night dedicated to the countries that celebrate Christmas. 13th Dec – St Lucia’s Day will be lit with SOUL SOUNDS, 26th Dec – the Gospel Jazz Sunday Brunch will also showcase their Games repertoires that brought them fame at the Choir Games. 4th and 11th Dec – VOICE PRINT will showcase their acapella versions at the Terrace. And all the Christmas splendours for eve and Christmas Day amongst a spread of Scandinavian and European traditions, will be showcased by our European food specialist Chef Mats

Soul Sounds choir won two silver medals at the 4th World Choir Games 2006. The medals were based on the points awarded by an international jury, in the Gospel & Spiritual and Scenic Folklore categories. At the 5th Games in Graz, Austria, in July 2008, Soul Sounds were delighted to surpass their previous performance winning three Golds, in the all three categories, Gospel and Spiritual Open, Open Popular Choral Music and Open Folklore in which they participated.

VOICE PRINT are a much sought after acapella group, and perform with a beat-boxer as well. They have also recorded tracks with numerous local artistes, doing acapella versions of some of these artistes’ popular songs. In addition, they have also re-recorded their own version of various popular songs which have received considerable airplay on Sri Lankan English radio. The unique feature of the choir is the complicated 9 part arrangements which they work into their TTBB selections. All parts and music are composed and arranged by the two immensely talented music directors of the choir. The ten-member choir, fresh from their success at the World Choir Games (WCG) 2010 where they picked up a silver medal in the Pop category and a bronze in the Gospel category will showcase seasonal repertoires and maybe a few of their Games repertoires so that the local audience can have the pleasure of seeing them perform the songs that helped them hit the headlines.

Crack a Crab back again at the Seafood Cove

Friday, October 29th, 2010

Crack a Crab promo again

Mount Lavinia Hotel is the latest hub for sensational succulent seafood cuisine with an exclusive selection of fresh crabs with your favourite condiments and prepared to your liking. Anura Dewapura states, “Since the Crack a Crab promotion has always been a magnificent hit every year it is that time of the year for us to get down to cracking” The Seafood Cove steaming with Steam Pots of ocean food with Crabs and prawns, shellfish to whet your appetite made sizzling fresh by experts surrounded by the ambience of a subtle fishing zone, is an experience never to be missed. The rustic environment, the backdrop of fishermen’s nets and lanterns amidst laid out planks for tables, the rush of the ocean and the cool sea breeze create a soft harmony in ocean magic. Enjoy the fun, the frolic, the sandy beach for a relaxed evening with a calypso band to keep toes tapping, a great atmosphere to crack a crab of an all you can eat crab promotion which is only from the 11th to 17th Nov 2010.

Seafood Cove is stormy and steamy with scrumptious blue lagoon Crab Cakes, Prawn Cocktail and special mention must be made of the ‘Raging Crab’ a complete tempest to tease your taste buds. The Lavinia Dressed Crab, a signature dish, Chow Tom or Tom Chow and the Tandoori Prawn Melt are a relish. Prawn Tempura, the Japanese way, Crab and Cilantro, Sampler Combo a total indulgence. Seafood has always been an all time favourite in the island home and the Chefs at Mount Lavinia Hotel with great expertise innovate and preserve the succulence to turn out special dishes and traditional surprises!!

Mount Lavinia Hotel, the only renowned dream hotel in Sri Lanka offers a table of events with special promotions, strictly keeping to themes and concepts to make a simple occasion, a day of significance. “You sure will have your claws on a scrumptious feast to your hearts content.” The General Manager of the hotel, Mr Anura Dewapura comments, “We like to give back to society what they crave for and no doubt crabs crabs and crabs topped the list.”

MLH certified and committed to a sustainable future via Earthcheck

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Greener tomorrowBronze certified

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.

Publis – He is more than a Chef: Tourism Legends of 2009 Presidential Awards for Travel and Tourism 2009

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Chef Pubilis with awardxxxxChef Publis receiving award from Deputy Minister Economic Development

Presidential Awards for Travel and Tourism 2009 driven by the Ministry of Economic Development in partnership with Sri Lanka Tourism recognized and rewarded excellence among industry stakeholders on 15th June 2010.

Among the award recipients Chef Pubilis succeeded in attaining a Tourism Legend award for 2009.

Today Pubilis has become a household name. He is as big as Mount Lavinia Hotel. Ape Kema on Sunday nights at the Governor’s Restaurant is all about his cooking. His service for the Hotel as well as for the entire hotel industry spans an amazing period of FIVE long decades. During the last 50 years the Hotel has given him the opportunity to grow and he has embraced all prospects that were afforded to him very well. Chef Pubilis has worked tirelessly to bring back the lost art of Sri Lankan cooking particularly among the busy upwardly mobile urban households. They flock to the Mount Lavinia Hotel when Pubilis is behind a Sri Lankan Food Festival. He knows extremely well to please the Sri Lankan taste buds and palette as well as those who are strangers to our food. He has been instrumental in and contributed much for publications on Sri Lankan food and recipes. The media often invite him to make presentations and talks on Sri Lankan Food as he has become an unchallenged authority in this area. There is little doubt as to whether there is any one else in the history of our country who has taken the intrinsic values of Sri Lankan food and promoted it across borders like Pubilis.

Publis has not allowed anything in the world to deter him from serving his country and the Mount Lavinia Hotel. And that he has served well not just as a simple minded unassuming Chef but as a Ambassador of Sri Lanka and Mount Lavinia Hotel.

We were proud to nominate him for this award and we are even more proud that the industry and the stakeholders also consider him a Legend for Sri Lanka Tourism,” states Mr Anura Dewapura, General Manager Mount Lavinia Hotel.