By:Staff WriterColombo (LNW): In far reaching development that seeks to revive the island’s heritage, the Urban Development Authority (UDA) has signed an agreement to lease on long term the prestigious ‘Visumpaya’ property, located at No. 25, Lillie Street, Colombo 2, to Azotels and Hunas Holdings PLC.
Hunas Holdings PLC together with its Consortium. This visionary conglomerate has joined forces with the esteemed Adrian Zecha (owner of Azotels), the founder and inspiration behind Aman Luxury Resorts, to undertake the ambitious project of restoring this historic landmark.
Nestled in the heart of Colombo, the 4-acre ‘Visumpaya’ property holds significant historical value as one of Sri Lanka’s well-known official residences.
Its colonial mansion, constructed nearly 190 years ago, serves as a testament to the rich past of our nation. Initially named ‘Ackland House’ and used as the Mess House for the Officers of the Ceylon Rifles Regiment, the property later became the Manager’s Quarters and Office for the Colombo Commercial Company.
Following nationalization under the Business Acquisitions Act in the 1970s, the property was transferred to the Government and assigned to the Sri Lanka Navy for refurbishment as a State Guest House. Renamed ‘Visumpaya,’ it has since hosted numerous important events, including the first State Banquet held in honor of the Prime Minister of Japan in 1990.
Adrian Zecha, renowned hotelier with a deep commitment to preserving natural habitats, has been entrusted with the responsibility of leading many remarkable restoration projects, including many UNESCO heritage sites.
With a career spanning over five decades, Zecha has established various luxurious brands such as Regent Hotels & Resorts, GHM hotels, and Aman Resorts.
Since 1988, he has successfully developed 33 exceptional Aman hotels across 23 countries, including two properties in Sri Lanka. Aman resorts are celebrated for providing guests with an unparalleled luxury experience,
while Zecha himself places great importance on responsible tourism and promoting sustainable and socially responsible practices.
In addition to his achievements in the hospitality industry, Zecha is also a dedicated patron of cultural institutions and a committed philanthropist. Zecha’s passion for this new project is clear as he refers to ‘Visumpaya’ as ‘The Jewel of Colombo.
Discussing this landmark partnership, Mr. Zecha extended a personal note of gratitude to Mr. Sugimoto, one of the key members of the Consortium.
“An opportunity of this magnitude has been given to us, and we are aware of our responsibility to make this location a landmark that future generations can relate to. After all it’s our history and our future!” Dhanuka Samarasinghe, Chairman of Hunas Holdings PLC stated as he went on to describe their ambitious vision forward.
The recent launch of the development of their flagship property Hunas Falls Hotel under the Azotels direction, shows their growing momentum as they move forward. Hunas Holdings PLC has expanded its ventures into other hospitality properties, plantations, renewable energy and more, firmly rooting itself to a strong commitment to empower the island’s true potential.
The partnership between Hunas Holdings PLC and Adrian Zecha, focusing on the historically significant ‘Visumpaya’ property, exemplifies the group’s unwavering dedication and visionary approach.