East Coast Tourism Awakens with the Launch of Chaaya Blu Trincomalee

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The blue and emerald waves juxtaposed against the surreal white of the famed Trinco sands form a picturesque backdrop to the newest resort under the John Keells Hotels Group umbrella, Chaaya Blu Trincomalee.

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With fewer trees dotting the beach unlike on the southern coast which is made up of swaying palms, the design brings together the blue of the sea and the white of the sand, with a touch of orange denoting the sun

The blue and emerald waves juxtaposed against the surreal white of the famed Trinco sands form a picturesque backdrop to the newest resort under the John Keells Hotels Group umbrella, Chaaya Blu Trincomalee. Conceptualised by architect Channa Daswatte who was inspired by the esoteric James Bond tale ‘Die Another Day’, Chaaya Blu is about retro chic placed cleverly within the 1970s double arched architecture.

With Sri Lanka possessing a relatively mature tourism industry by Asian standards, Deputy Chairman of John Keells Holdings Ajit Gunewardene explains that for those who have been in the leisure industry for over three decades, “the East Coast has been an Eldorado in our very backyard. Therefore it is no surprise that with the dawn of peace, one of the first investment decisions taken by the John Keells Hotels Group was towards ensuring our portfolio of Sri Lanka hotels contained a resort of international standards in Trincomalee with the potential to become the most sought-after destination on this belt. Chaaya Blu Trincomalee will not only address the present dearth in quality star class rooms on the East Coast but by design will introduce a new flavour to Sri Lankan resort accommodation as a whole.”

Chaaya Blu was thus positioned to be among the rare Trincomalee hotels off the mark in the reinvigorated East Coast. “We needed to do something fast, which meant reusing old resources but modernizing the concept,” explains Daswatte. “Aligning all this, I also thought of having some retro-fun with this old building, to be slightly off the wall.” With fewer trees dotting the beach unlike on the southern coast which is made up of swaying palms, the design brings together the blue of the sea and the white of the sand, with a touch of orange denoting the sun. “Chaaya Blu encapsulates the ring of the hip and maybe those lost teenage retro years which we didn’t notice living through when we were growing up. It really was an energetic period and I want the resort to relive some of that.” The whole feel is cool, easy, relaxing; from the mosaic walls in the foyer, to the cool interiors of the white rooms accessorized with white painted clay lamps and terra cotta tiles dipped in white paint for a touch of the Caribbean; polished cement beds with tie and dye and mosaic walls and Wetakeiya rugs and lots of denim complimenting the mid-century Scandinavian limed furniture.

Executive Vice President Jayantissa Kehelpannala enthuses about the broad white beaches and abundant marine life of Sri Lanka’s East Coast which are now mere steps away from the designer retro interiors of Chaaya Blu. He says, “This seaside retreat, with its superior rooms, beach chalets, restaurants and bars is an open invite to enjoy ‘the Blu’ to its fullest. Make the most of some of the best dive spots in Asia, go snorkeling around Pigeon Island, join a whale and dolphin watching expedition or visit our excursion counter at the hotel to embark on exciting and insightful tours in to the yet unexplored locality.”
Chaaya Blu with its eighty rooms including thirty six chalets and two suites complete with all amenities expected by the international traveller combines a series of bleached wood decks that encircle the periphery of the resort making up centralised spaces to enjoy the sun and sea. A timber boardwalk that protrudes across the reception and onto the beach and into the sea allows guests to gain an eyeful of Trincomalee’s unique landscape and brings to life the true ‘Blu’ that seafarers of old were effusive about, a panorama that fills the eye and fulfills the senses.

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Shehara Anthony
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