Grand Hotel (Nuwara Eliya)

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Grand Hotel Nuwara Eliya
Grand Hotel Nuwara Eliya 026.jpg
General information
Location Grand Hotel Road, Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka
Owner The Nuwara Eliya Hotels Co. PLC.
Management Tangerine Hotels (Pvt) Ltd.
Technical details
Floor count 3
Floor area 15,660 m2 (168,600 sq ft)
Other information
Number of rooms 154
Number of suites 6
Number of restaurants 5
Reception, Grand Hotel Nuwara Eliya
Bar, Grand Hotel Nuwara Eliya

The Grand Hotel is a luxury hotel in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka, that was built in the style of an Elizabethan-era manor house.[1] The hotel has 154 rooms, including three presidential suites, two junior suites, and a governor's suite that have been maintained to preserve the traditional design.[1] The Grand Hotel has a number of restaurants, bars and a billiard room.[1]


The original building, a single storey bungalow, called 'Barnes Hall', was constructed as the holiday residence of Sir Edward Barnes,[2] the fifth Governor of Ceylon (1776-1838) in 1828,[3] for the sum of £8,000.[4] Following Barnes departure from Ceylon in 1831 it was rented to his successor as Governor, Sir Robert Wilmot-Horton. It was subsequently purchased by Reginald Beauchamp Downall (1843-1888), a planter and member of the Legislative Council of Ceylon, who operated it a small guest house/hotel.[5] On 12 April 1892 it was sold to the Nuwara Eliya Hotels Company Limited.[5] William Milsom, owner of “property...... known as Barnes Hall on which is built the Grand Hotel” sold it to the Company for Rs. 35,000/-. The total area, which was in three separate lots amounted at the time of sale to approximately 27 acres. In the 1890s a second storey was added to the building.[3]The northern wing (now known as the Governors Wing), originally only a single storey, linked by an archway with the main building, was added. A further extension was opened in 1904, with a second floor added to the northern wing linked by corridor with the additional floor of the main building. An additional southern wing (now known as the Golf Wing) was then added to the building. In the 1930s the third storey was constructed with its mock Tudor facade.[3] The main restaurant, Barnes Hall, was named for the former governor. Notable guests who have stayed at the Grand include the Duc d’Abruzzi (brother of the Italian Sovereign), Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (nephew of King Edward), the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar, Prince Reuss XXXII, the Maharaja of Kapurthala, Jagatjit Singh and Sir Thomas Lipton. Lord Mountbatten is also reported to have stayed at the Grand.[5]

The Hotel hosted the 21st session of the SAARC Council of Ministers Conference on 10 March 1999.[citation needed]


In the 1990s the Archeology Department of Sri Lanka identified the Grand Hotel as a 'National Heritage Property'.

In 2005 the SAGA food award was awarded to the Grand Hotel. The award is based on the year's customer feedback and regular inspections carried out by "SAGA Holidays" for consistency and standards maintained for food quality, presentation, Variety, hygiene and service. The hotel subsequently won the award for the following four years.[citation needed]

In 2009 the Grand Hotel was awarded a 'Four Star' status by the Hotels Classification Committee of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority.

In the same year the Grand Hotel was placed first in the 'commercial large' category for the 23rd consecutive year at the "April Blooms" flower competition organized by the Municipality of Nuwara Eliya.

In 2012, National Geographic Traveler listed Sri Lanka as one of six countries to visit that year. In the same article, the Grand Hotel was listed as one of six places in the country to visit (the others being Adam’s Peak, Sigiriya, Sri Dalada Maligawa, Dambulla cave temple, and Yala National Park).[3][6]

The annual report for 2011/12, won the Bronze Award in the Hotel Companies category, conducted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka.[citation needed]

In 2013, the Grand Hotel secured three Gold, two Silver and nine Bronze medals at the Culinary Art Competition 2013 organized by the Chef Guild.[citation needed]



Grand Hotel features 154 rooms including six suites.

Restaurants & Bars[edit]

The hotel has eight food & beverage outlets:

  • Grand Indian Restaurant
  • Grand Thai Restaurant
  • Magnolia (all day dining) Restaurant
  • Barns Restaurant
  • Coffee Bar
  • Dilmah Tea Lounge
  • Public Bar
  • Wine Bar

Leisure Facilities[edit]

The hotel's leisure facilities include a ayurveda health centre, gymnasium, bird watching, air rifle shooting, bicycle tours, Billiard Room and a children's play area.

Further reading[edit]

  • William Warren, Jill Gocher (2007). Asia's Legendary Hotels: The Romance of Travel. Singapore: Periplus Editions. ISBN 978-0-7946-0174-4. 

Picture gallery[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Rajaratnam, P. (2012). "Grand Hotel - a Tourist Hot Spot". The Daily News. Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  2. ^ "Grand Hotel". Tangerine Hotels. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Grand Hotel Nuwara Eliya". The Nation. 2 June 2013. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  4. ^ "History of Nuwara Eliya". Nuwara Eliya. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c "Stay Cool in Grand Style". The Sunday Times. 8 March 1998. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  6. ^ "Best of the World 2012". National Geographic Traveler. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 

External links[edit]