Travel Trade Journal

Teardrop Hotels fuse luxury and sustainabi­lity to offer a unique experience

- Vartik Sethi

In a conversati­on with Travel Trade Journal, Henry Fitch, CEO, Teardrop Hotel, engaged in a one-onone interactio­n and shared a snapshot of the luxury boutique hotel collection. The collection of seven properties (and expanding) is one of the premier boutique hotel chains in Sri Lanka. Each property has an exquisite story behind its curation, restoratio­n and functionin­g. Read on to know more...

Teardrop Hotels has been in the limelight for advocating the category of luxury boutique hotels for several years. The chain is currently maintainin­g five prime properties along with adding two new ones. These seven properties span across the country and promise, as Henry says, a ‘genuine Srilankan’ experience. “We’re a small boutique hotel collection with seven hotels around the island, where each location promises a tailor-made experience for its visitors. We’re very much into genuine Srilankan hospitalit­y and hold our co-values high,” shared Henry Fitch.

Fitch lays great emphasis on the covalues of restoratio­n and transforma­tion and walks us through the deeply entrenched spirit of the chain to be as sustainabl­e as they can, and give back to the community as much as they can. The chain has restored and maintained the architectu­re of the properties that come from centuries of grandeur and was put in place by stalwarts like Geoffrey Bawa. “The first co-value, ‘restoratio­n’ is the most sustainabl­e value of ours,” says Fitch. They regularly engage with the local community and sponsor various projects that cater to uplifting the needy in the society.

They also support orphanages, where children aged between 18-24 years are given quality education and skill-based

education to sustain a livelihood, as well as old-age homes. They have always opened their gardens to distribute the produce among the locals. During COVID, they applied for the coveted Travelife Sustainabi­lity Certificat­ion, a remarkable step towards ensuring and promoting sustainabi­lity in the travel and tourism sector. Fitch proudly shares that all seven properties are Travelife certified, with parameters on electricit­y usage, forms of power, increasing female workforce and providing employment, ensuring child protection, putting guidelines in place, and so on. The audit is carried out every two years and the properties have done an excellent job in not only promoting but also practicing sustainabi­lity.

Sharing a snapshot of the properties, Fitch highlighte­d the features of each property. Wallawwa is a 200-year-old property, often cited for its fantastic food, clean, simple bedrooms and suites. Camellia Hills, launched in 2017, a newly built bungalow on a hilltop with five bedrooms, is one of the highest luxury hotels in Srilanka. Goatfell and other properties are famous for their traditiona­l architectu­re and modern, lifestyle inclinatio­n. Nine Skies is famous for the activities offered and the adrenaline rush that follows. Visitors often go for ziplines or biking near Nine Skies. On the other hand, properties like Fort Bazaar, Lunuganga (literally meaning salt river), and Kumu Beach are known for their artistic yet luxurious offerings, including great food, great spas and beautiful aesthetics. Each property is carefully maintained and promises an interestin­g corner to the traveller’s eye.

Answering the trending question on bouncing back from the pandemic, Fitch shared that the bounce back is, in fact, quite good. Bookings had started coming in immediatel­y after the bans were lifted. The internal political turmoil did upset the industry but things have fallen into place, all thanks to the spirit of the country. The chain did redo their budgets and plans but is quite positive to meet the targets by December 2023, with three projects lined up in the kitty.

Their expansion strategy now puts greater focus on the India market and will soon become their prime market. Fitch shared that they have lined up new strategies for this market, including investing in digital marketing, visiting Indian cities and inviting folks to live the Srilankan life! “It’s perfect,” exclaimed Fitch.

 ?? ?? Nine Skies, Ella
Nine Skies, Ella
 ?? ?? Henry Fitch
Henry Fitch

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