It’s a little after 2pm when I arrive at Cinnamon red, situated down Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha, Colombo 07. I’m a little surprised that the reception counter is not to be seen anywhere, as soon as I walk into the hotel, and I’m told by the staff at the entrance that it’s on the seventh floor. Bewildered, I take the elevator up to the seventh floor and walk into the busy reception area, bustling with guests waiting to check in. It’s not your average 5 star Colombo city hotel I realize and that is quite refreshing, but in fact a 3 star. The entire area offers a stunning view of Colombo, and this is just from the seventh floor, so I imagine that the view from the rooftop has to be something incredibly spectacular. The check-in counters are created as large brown suitcases piled up sideways and cleverly designed to resemble a unique counter, with friendly staff waiting behind it, ever ready to assist you with check-ins and check-outs and any other inquiries.
Cinnamon red happens to be Colombo’s very first hotel to introduce lean luxury to Sri Lanka. So what exactly is lean luxury, and how does it apply to guests at the hotel? Going in line with ‘less fuss, and more independence’ is what Cinnamon red has brought in. Targeting the leisure and business traveller the hotel offers everything in terms of comfort and amenities except for a few, such as room service, although they do provide takeaway from their coffee shop and bellboy service, which is available on request.
Staying at Cinnamon red
check in immediately, and take the elevator to get to my room, which is a City-view room, one of 4 different options when it comes to guest rooms at Cinnamon red. If it’s one thing for sure, it’s that this hotel offers what could be the very best in terms of stunning views of Colombo. There are 243 guest rooms, and the hotel’s double and twin bedrooms offer four spectacular views namely the City-view, Park-View, Lake-view and Ocean-view, and guests can request for a room of their choice, depending on availability or if a prior booking has been made. A City-view room offers a stunning view of the Colombo city skyline, the Park-view room faces the Viharamahadevi Park, the Lake-view room will give you a wonderful view of the Beira Lake, and the Ocean-view room overlooks the Indian Ocean, and will be perfect especially in the evening, when you can peacefully watch the sunset. Do take note that a Colombo sunset is not to be missed!
Each room comes equipped with tea and coffee making facilities, should you wish to have a kick start to an early morning, complimentary water bottles, mini fridge for you to stock yourself, an ice bucket, which can be stocked with ice from the ice machines located on each guest floor, iron and ironing board, a safe for keeping valuable belongings, a writing table with a desk lamp and chair, IPTV – not just for your entertainment purposes, but also an electronic guide to the hotel, and fast Wi-Fi in case you need to access emails, or just for browsing the Internet. The bathroom in each room comes equipped with a hairdryer, and an outlet for appliances, including a shaving mirror and bottles of body wash and shampoo and conditioner in the shower area. There’s an abundance of plug points in each room too, providing utmost convenience to guests. Apart from the 242 standard rooms, there’s a suite available, which offers certain privileges such as express in-room check-in and check-out, local newspapers available on request, mini fridge stocked with complementary soft drinks, basket filled with seasonal fruits and a welcome drink and canapé upon arrival.
Dining at Cinnamon red
Breakfast, lunch and dinner, or a quick snack in between meals? Guests can choose between three locations for indulging in delicious meals, sipping on a cocktail at dusk, or even snacking on a sandwich past 12 midnight, if you’re feeling peckish.
For main meals such as breakfast, lunch and dinner, guests can dine at Flavoured which is Cinnamon red’s main restaurant. Offering delicious international fare alongside local cuisine favourites, guests are sure to enjoy their meal in peace. For breakfast, tuck in to string hoppers accompanied by deliciously spicy curries, or settle for toast and jam, or warm, crispy waffles made fresh and generously slathered with golden syrup, and finish off with a hearty serving of fresh fruit. Lunch is a la carte, and start your meal with soup and salad, and then choose from a variety of rice, pasta, sandwich and grilled meat options. For dinner, Flavoured offers an international buffet as well.
Breakfast [buffet] : 6.00am – 10.30pm
Snack Menu : 10.30am – 10.30pm
Lunch [a la carte] : 12noon – 2.30pm
Dinner [buffet] : 7.00pm – 10.30pm
The highest rooftop bar in Colombo, Cloud red is situated on the 26th floor and offers an unprecedented experience to guests. The 360 degree view is nothing short of stunning, and what better way to unwind after a long day than to sip on a cocktail whilst taking in the breathtaking view of Colombo and its skyline. By late evening, watch the twinkling lights all over Colombo, including the port development project, and it really does offer the best view of the city. Snack on tapas, to go along with your drink, and relax with friends and colleagues. Cloud red is open daily from 5pm – 12 midnight.
Dress code : no shorts or flip flops.
Stirred is the hotel’s coffee and tea bar, which is open 24/7. The menu offers a range of delicious, light and healthy sandwiches, burgers, wraps, tea and coffee beverages, in addition to fresh fruit juices, and wine by the glass or a bottle of beer. It is located right next to the reception area on the seventh floor, and if you’re feeling hungry past 12midnight, you can order from the IPTV menu in your room, and just come downstairs to pick up a sandwich or beverage. Similarly you can order to fill your Customisable Mini Fridge from Stirred too or with little treats you may have picked up during your travels around Colombo during the day.
The snack menu is available from 10.30am – 11.00pm, while the late night snack menu is available from 11.00pm – 6.00am, and the wine and beer menu from 11.00am – 2.00am.
If keeping fit and healthy during your stay is what you want, don’t forget to check out Powered, the rooftop gym exclusive to in-house guests, equipped with state-of-the-art fitness equipment and enjoy the view while you work out. Take a dip in the infinity swimming pool, also located on the rooftop, which overlooks the Indian Ocean and the Beira Lake. The view is amazing in the evening and you can enjoy your swim while taking in the stunning hues of purple and orange in the sky during sunset in Colombo. In between swims, feast on a snack from the poolside menu.
Powered is open from 6am – 9pm.
The pool is open from 7am – 9pm.
Quadrangle talks to Terrence Fernando, General Manager at Cinnamon red.
Why the name Cinnamon red?
Red, as a colour connotes all things bold, fun, passionate and vibrant, so in launching the new young brand under Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts, Cinnamon red is just the most apparent name that conveys the brand personality.
Why did John Keells want to venture into lean luxury tourism?
Being at the forefront of hospitality in Sri Lanka and with plans to expand as a “lifestyle” brand that is one for the people, there was a noticeable niche market for 3 star hotels and independent business travellers. As such providing the market with a Cinnamon product and service (at the high Cinnamon standard set by our older, more established sister hotels) at a value for money rate seemed like the next most appropriate step in this expansion and clearly it has been welcomed with open arms and the success of high occupancy from launch to present is apparent.
Describe the concept of the hotel.
A 3 star lean luxury hotel concept which is new to Sri Lanka but a fast growing hospitality sector in Western and other Asian countries such as Singapore, China and Thailand. Cinnamon red aims to provide a no frills hotel, which is more attuned to the needs of the modern, young, independent traveller who values technology, efficiency and a central location. At Cinnamon red guests can be guaranteed that they will receive a 5 star sleep experience. However, unlike the higher star sister hotels, F&B outlets are limited as we only have 1 restaurant, 1 tea and coffee bar and 1 rooftop bar – but they have all received brilliant reviews and great guest feedback with increasing popularity every day. As such the primary focus of the hotel is to cater to the business traveller, providing a value for money stay without compromising on providing a high quality product and service which is found across Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts.
How has the response been so far?
Being at such a high and unprecedented occupancy speaks for itself.
Overall, I really enjoyed my stay at Cinnamon red. From the blissful sleep, to the deliciously flavourful cuisine, impeccable and friendly service, and the hours spent in the pool with the gorgeous view of Colombo, I’d definitely come back to experience it again.
For more information, bookings and rates, please visit http://www.cinnamonhotels.com/cinnamonredcolombo.