The strategic positioning of Sri Lanka on the world map has given us the opportunity of being a hub for many sectors – and the tourism industry tops the list. Being a tropical paradise, more and more local and foreign organisations are identifying Sri Lanka as a hotspot for globetrotters. Every effort is being made to cater to different segments in tourism. One such area is MICE tourism. In other words, the travelling connected with Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing and Exhibitions.
Waters Edge says it is the premier MICE venue in Colombo. Located in close proximity to Colombo city, in Battaramulla, Waters Edge has a capacity to cater up to 5,000 guests, and the hotel is one of the most sought-after venues by leading corporates in Sri Lanka as well as other countries. The hotel provides facilities for conferences, award ceremonies, weddings, corporate get-togethers and many other large-scale functions.
When it comes to events and functions, planners have a field day at Waters Edge. The sheer size of the facility offers ample space for creativity. Theme nights and mixes of different ideas run wild and create unique experiences for corporate clients, colleagues or loved ones. While a DJ can rock the dance floor, at the other end of the grounds, guests can enjoy the buffet and bar while socialising under the starry skies. With its capacity of 400 employees, Waters Edge is geared to cater to 5,000 guests with five-star cuisine and other services.
This property is one of the most picturesque locations in the vicinity of Colombo. The view is breathtaking and for a moment, one forgets that it is anywhere near a busy city like Colombo. And the first impression anyone who walks into the hotel gets is its amazing spaciousness. The venue opens up to a view of an expanse of foliage and the Diyawanna Oya snaking around, creating a beautiful hideaway from the hustle and bustle of the city without ever really going out. The minimalist décor adds a refreshing touch to Waters Edge, and its ambience is refreshingly close to nature. And it is not just corporate functions that the venue is famous for. Be it a romantic dinner for two, family get-together or friends catching up, this is the ideal place to be. Dining at Waters Edge is an experience one can truly look forward to. The restaurant serves tantalising food à la carte and buffet-style, and the bar offers some of the finest wines in town. The view from the restaurant is magnificent at sunset. Whether it is a candle-lit dinner with sweet summer romance in the air to be enjoyed with fine dining, or a friends’ get together after work to wind down with some good food and drinks, Waters Edge is likely to create a memory from each and every moment.
Spaciousness is the main focus of every aspect at Waters Edge. The spa, for example, spans an area of over 4,500 square feet, complete with a guest lounge and seven treatment rooms, a mani-pedi room, reflexology room, steam room and a hydrotherapy room with a plunge pool. The treatments are provided by qualified in-house spa specialists. The gymnasium, with its state-of-the-art equipment, covers an area of 5,000 square feet, making it an ideal place for a perfect workout. Other facilities include the Essentials patisserie, which is famous for its cakes, fresh fruit juices and short eats, a 25-foot swimming pool, and a hair and beauty salon.
Impeccable service is the secret behind the success of Waters Edge. Each member of the crew takes service excellence very seriously. “We are in the process of obtaining ISO 22000,” reveals Thusith Samaraweera, the General Manager of Waters Edge. In accordance with the ISO-certification requirements, various training, awareness programmes and new systems to ensure maximum productivity and reduce waste are implemented by every department. Using the 5S system, Waters Edge says it has created a great working environment for its staff and consequently, employee output is outstanding.
“At the end of the day, it is the people who work here, at Waters Edge, who make this place a tribute to service excellence with their commitment,” says Anusha Abeyesinhe, Head of Corporate Sales & Administration. Clearly, it is such dedication that enables the hotel to be viewed as one of the premier venues for large-scale events.
Employees are rewarded with internal training programmes that empower them to become more effective and skilful, as well as aiding career growth. The training programmes are not necessarily conducted inside classrooms. Employees are encouraged to be close to nature, and their programmes are conducted under the trees in the garden. This offers a refreshing change from traditional methods of teaching.
Sustainability plays an important role at Waters Edge. With applications such as Cleaner Production developed by Ecologically Sustainable Industrial Development, the hotel ensures it acts in an environmentally-friendly manner. “Cleaner Production is a methodology that helps identify products and processes to reduce or eliminate waste and emissions,” says Sunil Gomes, Cleaner Production Consultant who is working with Waters Edge on its quest to become a more environmentally-friendly establishment.
The Cleaner Production methodology includes selecting a team to become the designated crew to pursue the concept and carry out the audit inspections, list the process steps, prepare Cleaner Production flow charts, identify input resources and waste streams, prepare balances and quantifications of materials, submit energy reports, identify the cause analysis, conduct brainstorming sessions with the group, and select Cleaner Production options to make recommendations and implement them.
Many awards and certificates won by Waters Edge speak volumes for its service excellence. The hotel won 42 medals and four trophies at Culinary Art 2011, Sri Lanka Tourism Award for Best Conference/Exhibition Venue 2010, Certificate of Commendation at National Productivity Awards 2010… and the list goes on.
With the Government’s initiatives to promote the tourism industry in Sri Lanka, the future looks bright for Waters Edge. As an internationally renowned venue, the hotel has great potential, especially as MICE tourism is becoming very popular in Asian countries. Complete with high standards and service excellence, Waters Edge assures that it is ready to face these challenges and emerge triumphant.