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Aitken Spence Heritance Kandalama, Bawa’s vision for sustainable tourism

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Heritance Kandalama is an eco-resort nestled in the heart of Sri Lanka’s central province owned and managed by the premier hospitality company Aitken Spence Hotels. The resort is a masterpiece of environmentally friendly architecture and has won numerous awards for its sustainable design. Designed by renowned Sri Lankan architect, Deshamanya Geoffrey Bawa, Kandalama is a testament to the concept of eco-friendly construction and the importance of preserving our natural heritage. Recently celebrated at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) Delhi, where it was a key feature of the ‘Geoffrey Bawa: It is essential to be there’ architectural and photographic installation.

The Heritance Kandalama is built into a rocky outcrop amid a lush green forest, overlooking the Kandalama Lake. The design is inspired by the ancient rock temples of Sri Lanka and incorporates natural materials such as timber, stone, and terracotta to create a harmonious blend of modern architecture and traditional design. The resort is self-sufficient in terms of water and energy, utilizing rainwater harvesting and solar panels to meet its needs. It also has a sewage treatment plant that recycles wastewater, ensuring that no harmful pollutants are released into the environment.

The hotel has been designed to blend seamlessly into the surrounding landscape, with the use of earthy tones and natural materials. The guest room windows frame a stunning view of the lake and the surrounding forest and the Sigiriya Rock. The open-plan design of the rooms allows for natural ventilation, reducing the need for air conditioning.

One of the most impressive features of the resort is its integration into the surrounding ecosystem. The hotel has planted over 3,000 trees on the site and continues to do so, it has created several wetlands and water bodies that provide habitats for numerous species of birds and other wildlife. The hotel also employs several local villagers who have been trained in sustainable farming practices, providing them with a livelihood while also promoting sustainable agriculture.

Preserving the environmentally friendly architecture of Heritance Kandalama is essential to its continued success. The hotel has implemented several measures to ensure that the buildings and infrastructure are maintained in an environmentally responsible manner. The use of eco-friendly cleaning products, recycling of waste, and careful management of water and energy resources are just a few of the initiatives that have been put in place to minimize the environmental impact of the resort.

Speaking about the property, Stasshani Jayawardena – Aitken Spence PLC Director, Head of Tourism and Leisure, and Chairperson of Aitken Spence Hotel Management, said, “Heritance Kandalama has become a beacon of hope for sustainable tourism and environmentally friendly architecture. We are very proud to play our role in ensuring Bawa’s vision for the hotel continues 29 years after it was built. We are so happy to be an example of how hospitality and sustainability can coexist, and how tourism can be a force for positive change in the world. As we continue to face the challenges of climate change and environmental degradation, the lessons learned from Heritance Kandalama’s eco-friendly design and operations can serve as a model for future development.”

Heritance Kandalama is home to several cultural and historical sites. One of the most famous of these is Sigiriya Rock Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that dates back to the 5th century AD. The fortress is located atop a massive rock formation and features a series of intricate frescoes and carvings that depict the history and culture of Sri Lanka.

Heritance Kandalama is an excellent destination for eco-tourism enthusiasts who want to experience the natural beauty and cultural heritage of Sri Lanka in an environmentally responsible way. For more information on Heritance Kandalama, log on to www.heritancehotels.com/kandalama

 

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