The jewel of Colombo


Colombo, Sri Lanka is a beautiful waterside city and the new super-structures being added to its breath-taking cityscape are adding a touch of prestige to what is already a classy locale. Luke Thomas went along to the Dorchester, London to find out about the city’s latest exclusive development.

Sri Lanka’s most exclusive residential development, Sapphire Residences, celebrated its global launch on Wednesday 14th November in the prestigious surroundings of The Dorchester in London, in the presence of Her Excellency Manisha Gunasekera, Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.

Over 150 guests attended the reception, which was hosted in the magnificent Holford and Orchid Suites. The itinerary included speeches by Her Excellency Manisha Gunasekera, Arun Pathak (MD, WelcomHotels Lanka), Patrick Cooke (Editor, Oxford Business Group) and John Hitchcox (Chairman, YOO) and a short film "The Making of an Icon".  Guests were treated to a menu with a Sri Lankan twist especially created for the occasion by The Dorchester’s Executive Sous Chef Mario Perera, who graduated from St. Joseph’s College in Colombo.

Welcoming the assembled guests, Arun Pathak commented; “We are delighted to be able to come together to celebrate the launch of this new icon here in London, which is still seen as the home of luxury real estate. As such, it was the obvious choice for our global launch, and The Dorchester is without doubt the most appropriate location in London for an event of this quality.”

Sri Lanka's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Manisha Gunasekera, comments; “It is a pleasure to be present at the launch of Sapphire Residences to a global audience. Colombo is strategically located, very cosmopolitan, yet very peaceful, surrounded by the beauty of the ocean and the lush landscape. It is also a very green city. So we welcome the presence of ITC Hotels, one of the greenest hoteliers in the world, to the heart of Colombo. The launch is also the ideal vehicle for potential investors to explore the booming real estate market in Sri Lanka and opportunities for investment.”

Sapphire Residences will house 130 uber-luxury apartments and two remarkable 19,000 square feet. penthouses, all with interiors designed by YOO Inspired by Starck. Set to redefine vertical residential living in the Indian Ocean region, Sapphire Residences will provide some of the largest apartments available in South Asia, averaging 5,000 square feet. of living space.

Two distinctive illuminated towers, rising 224 metres and 140 metres respectively, connect at the 19th and 21st floors by a spectacular sky bridge, complete with infinity pools on top and a jazz lounge within. US architectural firm Gensler designed each tower using an innovative triangular plan to maximise the panoramic views from each apartment across the Indian Ocean, Beira Lake and the city.

The building includes a private Residents’ Club offering over 40,000 square feet. of leisure amenities, including several swimming pools, a cinema, a spa, a fitness centre and squash and multi-purpose sports courts. The project is the first overseas development by luxury Indian hotelier ITC Hotels, through its wholly-owned subsidiary WelcomHotels Lanka (Private) Limited.

John Hitchcox, Founder of YOO, commented; “Sapphire Residences encompasses the “village green” atmosphere – somewhere where likeminded people can come together with their families and form a community. It was incredibly important that we integrated our designs with the local materials and traditional concepts and customs, enabling us to create four distinct interior packages.” Hitchcox also outlined how these interior design styles provide residents with the opportunity to create homes to suit their individual tastes and lifestyles:

  • Nature – Harmonious and free airy rooms with white oak floors and light fabrics;
  • Culture – An artistic revolution. Richer and darker materials set in spaces designed to socialise and engage;
  • Minimal – Smooth, white and tranquil. Pure and simple layouts designed to enhance space and light;
  • Classic – Timeless appeal, Interiors that are refined, sleek, with strong colour ways and dark wood finishes.

Residents also benefit from access to a wide range of 5-star services from the adjacent ITC One Hotel, the leading luxury hotelier in the region.

Currently under construction with completion expected in 2021, Sapphire Residences apartments and penthouses are available from US$1.4 million. Worldwide sales are being managed by Sri Lanka Sotheby’s International Realty.

For further information visit www.sapphireresidences.lk

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