Sri Lanka exuberates MICE appeal
Shannon Creado, Area Director Sales & Marketing, Anantara Resorts, Sri Lanka, throws light on the unique offerings for the MICE and wedding segment, and how Sri Lanka as a destination is gaining popularity
Kindly tell us about your property. What are the banqueting spaces offered?
Anantara Kalutara is situated on the southwest coast of the island, only a 60-minute drive from downtown Colombo. 141 rooms, suites and private pool villas dot the manicured grounds. Facilities include the Anantara Spa, an on-site water sports centre and fine dining options from East and West, in addition to their expertise in Indian cuisine. The resort recently unveiled its purpose-built two-storey meeting complex. Comprising of a 630 sqm grand ballroom, three meeting rooms within the resort itself and expansive indoor and outdoor pre-function areas. The perfect setting for conferences and events,
the ballroom can accommodate 400 guests for a reception or 350 for banquets and meetings in classroom or theatre style.
What kind of specialised services are offered to Indian guests?
Delegates can celebrate corporate milestones with a sunset cruise down the Kalu Ganga or enjoy teambuilding activities including a host of water sports on site. Corporate employees can be rewarded with a wildlife safari or whale watching trip. Anantara Kalutara specialises in Indian weddings, with traditional set ups and can arrange celebrants for religious ceremonies, regional Indian cuisines and live music for the sangeet, along with personalised welcome gifts.
Anantara Kalutara specialises in Indian weddings, with traditional set ups
What is your marketing strategy?
Given Anantara Kalutara Resort’s prime MICE
location with state-of-the-art facilities and its unique resort character, our marketing strategy focuses around international MICE and wedding opportunities.
What new trends do you foresee in the wedding space?
The trend clearly goes towards Destination weddings in unique and new destinations. Sri Lanka is an increasingly popular destination for weddings. To connect guests to the rich details, interesting history and captivating scenes of Sri Lanka, Anantara Kalutara offers a unique range of inspirational and authentic explorations to the island’s natural and cultural attractions. The colonial era can be relived with a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Galle’s Portuguese and Dutch fort, offering a charming enclave of boutiques, museums, modern bistros and bars. The 200-acre Handunugoda Tea Estate offers a pleasurable low-country tea experience and serves as a working private tea museum. Guests interested in wildlife conservation can meet day-old baby turtles at a nearby turtle hatchery. A larger than life experience takes place in Mirissa Harbour, where visitors set sail for Weligama Bay to spot majestic whales between December and April each year.
Do you have any specialised chefs? Which are the popular cuisines on offer?
Our executive chef hails from India. In addition to Sri Lankan chefs, the resort has Italian and Thai chefs besides a second Indian chef, who specialises in regional cuisine and works in the resort’s pan-Asian restaurant Spice Traders. For specialised functions, the resort brings in chefs from the Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle.