Reputed Jewellery Manufacturer and Retailer Shri Nadika Gem & Jewellery proudly announced its entry into the hospitality industry with the grand opening of The Grand Walawwa. This remarkable property, located in the picturesque region of Kegalle, Sri Lanka, offers an exquisite haven for discerning guests seeking a luxurious and historically significant retreat. The colonial villa stands as a testament to the timeless charm and sophisticated elegance, captivating all who enter its doors.
Stepping into The Grand Walawwa is akin to embarking on a captivating journey through time. Every corner of the villa tells a story, with its architectural masterpiece that has stood the test of time and emanates a profound sense of history and significance. The villa narrates splendid design and enduring legacy. The walls whisper tales of past generations, creating an enchanting, one-of-a-kind atmosphere.
Proudly serving as the Operations Manager, Ponniah Pragasam expresses his enthusiasm stating, “It is with great pleasure that we unveil The Grand Walawwa, an extraordinary property that showcases the rich history and timeless charm of Sri Lanka. We are confident that our esteemed guests will be captivated by the atmosphere and exceptional hospitality that awaits them.”
Originally commissioned by the late Albert A. Wickremasinghe, a revered philanthropist, human rights activist, planter, and Proctor of the Supreme Court, The Grand Walawwa was known as ‘Wickrama.’ Situated atop a majestic hill overlooking Kegalle town, this resplendent mansion boasted imported fittings of the finest calibre, down to the minutest details. Throughout its illustrious history, this distinguished property has played host to numerous luminaries, including royalty such as the Duke of Gloucester, as well as influential figures like the Senanayake brothers (DS and FR), who frequently graced its halls.
The architectural splendour of The Grand Walawwa is a testament to the renowned British firm of architects, Edward, Reid & Begg, where the acclaimed architect Geoffrey Bawa once plied his trade and eventually became a proprietor. The meticulous construction was executed by Walker & Co, a highly esteemed civil engineering company of the era.
The Grand Walawwa has also had the honour of hosting significant events. During the visit of British Royals represented by the Duke & Duchess of Gloucester, who represented the King for Sri Lanka’s independence in 1948, they were graciously hosted for lunch at ‘Wickrama’ in Kegalle. This distinguished residence has also welcomed the Crown Prince of Japan and was graced by esteemed Prime Ministers, including D. S. Senanayake, Dudley Senanayake, S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike, Sir John Kotelawala, R. Premadasa, among other notable luminaries.
Interior architect Ruwean Gunaratna played a crucial role in bringing the property back to life while preserving the structure and antique features. He added plenty of modernity without changing the original design and restored the property to a habitable state. The Grand Walawwa epitomizes the grandeur and elegance of a bygone era, offering guests an opportunity to relish in its historic significance. Each meticulously designed and exquisitely furnished room is a testament to comfort and luxury while preserving its colonial character. The meticulous attention to detail is evident in every aspect, from the resplendent antique furniture to the intricate artwork and decor.
Surrounded by the breathtaking natural beauty of Kegalle, The Grand Walawwa invites guests to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse themselves in a tranquil oasis. Embrace the serenity of the expansive gardens, indulge in a refreshing swim in the sparkling pool, or simply unwind on the veranda while savouring the awe-inspiring views that unfold before your eyes.
The expansive rooms and sprawling property showcase bespoke artwork and crafts, while a dedicated concierge caters to every need, ensuring a truly curated and unparalleled experience. The property’s grand ballroom stands as an ideal venue for weddings, receptions, and other momentous occasions, while also offering a stunning backdrop for breathtaking photo shoots. A cherished relic, one of Sri Lanka’s oldest billiard tables, stands tall and meticulously preserved within the confines of this magnificent mansion.
The Grand Walawwa further boasts an exceptional in-house Indian restaurant, open to all discerning diners. The dining options are diverse, featuring a fusion of Western and Eastern delicacies. Executive Chef Kamal Perera passionately explains, “At The Grand Walawwa, we endeavour to provide our guests with a culinary experience that reflects the sophistication of the property. Through our carefully curated culinary creations, we aim to tantalize taste buds and create memorable dining moments. As the Executive Chef, I am thrilled to showcase the finest flavours of Sri Lanka and international cuisines, ensuring that each meal is a feast for the senses.”
Whether you are an avid history enthusiast, an admirer of architectural grandeur, or simply someone seeking a luxuriously refined retreat, The Grand Walawwa promises an unforgettable experience. It is a sanctuary where the past seamlessly merges with the present, creating an oasis of relaxation and refinement.