Australian entrepreneur breaks ground on Sri Lanka boutique hotel

George Sell By George Sell
21 August 2018 | Updated 21 August 2018

Sri Lanka: Sri Lankan-Australian born entrepreneur Paul Harding has started work on the first Harding Boutique Hotel, in Ahangama.

The six-suite luxury boutique hotel is set to welcome its first guests in autumn 2019.

The property's architecture and interiors are inspired by Sri Lanka's vernacular modernist movement and are designed by British architect Jonathan Ashmore, founder of design and architecture practice; ANARCHITECT, based in Dubai and London.

Harding and Ashmore connected through a shared admiration for Sri Lanka, and have collaborated on this, ANARCHITECT's first Sri Lankan project.

"My great uncle was one of the first hoteliers and great pioneers in the country, opening The Blue Lagoon - the country's first hotel designed by Geoffrey Bawa - the father of Sri-Lankan modernism. There must have been something in the family as my love for boutique hotels and hospitality has been with me from a very young age," said Harding.

Ashmore said: "The new property lies amongst dense coconut groves to the East and West, ocean & beach frontage to the South and a dynamic local community to the North. It was important for us that the Boutique hotels design responded on all four elevations in equal measure through a clean, contemporary and modern aesthetic. It is visually calm amongst the organic and wild nature that surrounds it and contextual and environmentally responsive through its materiality and natural openness and permeability."

The property will feature well ventilated, wide open spaces - suites with generous private balconies and uninterrupted views over the Indian Ocean, sea-facing private baths, rain showers, double vanities and king beds with Egyptian cotton linens.

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