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Welcombe Hotel Trincomalee

The oldest hotel in Trincomalee. Resplendent in its old world charm, Welcombe Hotel is set in the background of the mighty Indian Ocean and speaks of a history that began in the 1930s.

Welcombe was the dream child of British entrepreneur, Mr. M. S. Milne. The hotel was commissioned in 1936, having obtained permission for the project from the headquarters of the East Indian Naval Squadron based in Trincomalee at the time. Ceylon was a hubbub of military activity during this time. The hotel too experienced its share of the war. Despite these setbacks, the hotel was successfully completed in 1937.

Welcombe soon became a popular hotel in Sri Lanka with both locals and tourists. As well as hosting the rich and the elite, the hotel became the social center for naval officers serving in Trincomalee.

After many decades, the scene that meets the eye is still as resplendent as it was then. The warm overtones of the hotel are reflective of the sunrise and sunset that touch Welcombe each day.

I stayed there in early 1962. The name Welcombe made me think some one did not spell it right. The doorknob was very low on the door. Beautiful view from top floor. The owner lived close by. Very good food.

In 1998 my son and I stayed there for a week. But the top floor was closed. Later the security guard told me (confirmed later by the owner) that the top floor was used to interrogate suspected LTTE cadres and civilians. The walls were blood splattered. The management was waiting for it to be cleaned professionally. The owner sold it to a minister. He moved. In 1999 I used to go there occasionally to have lunch. The top floor was still closed. I hope it is operating now. Great spot and food.

Nagalingam Ethirveerasingam

The Hotel was fully refurbished in 2003, preserving the old world charm of yesteryear. The restaurant, bar and open air dining and cocktail terrace were also redone completely. The Hotel now boasts of 19 air conditioned deluxe rooms and three super deluxe rooms.

In 2004 the Jetwing Group took over the management, infusing its own brand of leisure expertise over a two-year period.

It’s open floor system, inviting the crispness of the sun and the sea, is ideal for nature lovers, as one is able to admire and explore the abundant bird life in a seat of comfort. The pub, a cozy English affair, is well stocked with a range of local and foreign brews. It’s colorful cocktails will lull you into a perfect state of unwind.

While away, you can enjoy the afternoons at the pool if you fancy a cool swim or for those who prefer to take in the scenic beauty with an ice-cool drink in hand. The upper deck with the fabulous view of the Trincomalee bay is the ideal lounge area. Fine dining at the glass-fronted restaurant will treat you to sumptuous buffets of fresh seafood, blends of Oriental and European cuisine and an array of Sri Lankan dishes.

With its breath-taking view of Trincomalee’s natural harbor and surrounding hills, one is lulled into a sense of quietude, although the thriving town of Trincomalee, a hub to all the wonders of Central and North Eastern Sri Lanka, is only a two minutes drive away.

It’s strategic location serves as a convenient base for those in pursuit of excursions to the historic landmarks of the town or the beautiful white beaches of Nilaveli. The hotel has a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere in a truly exotic location, 275km from Colombo, 5 minutes drive from Trincomalee town, overlooking the Trincomalee bay.

Credit – Welcombe Hotel, Lanka Business Online, Ramdas Ragunathan

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