Colombo offers many opportunities for recreation. There are facilities in the city for Golf, Tennis, Squash. Swimming, Rowing, Cricket, Billiards and Snooker among other recreational activities. Cricket is the favourite sport of the country and at any time of the year there will be cricket matches played in the many playing fields of the city. Those interested in watching cricket could have plenty of opportunity at the Sinhalese Sports Club, and Nondescript Cricket Club at Maitland Place. Colombo Cricket Club a Maitland Crescent, Colombo Colts Cricket Club and the Burgher Recreation Club at Havelock Park.
The two main Art Galleries in the city. the National Art Gallery and the Lionel Wendt Art Gallery. have interesting exhibitions and are good ways to spend your leisure as are the Museums in the city. The Zoo and Aquarium, at Dehiwala are very popular places where almost a whole day could be spent. It is rated as one of the better zoos in this region. Several of the better hotels in the city have Health Club and Sauna facilities to help you keep fit. There are trained masseurs and masseuse in attendance. Gymnasiums are available for workouts.
The city also has some good private Health Clubs where similar facilities are provided. For the women keen on keeping in good shape there are several places that conduct sessions in Jazz Aerobics. Evenings in Colombo are often much cooler than the day and good for strolling. One of the best places is the Galle Face Green. where you can get the fresh sea breeze and also meet a cross section of Colombo’s residents. Galle Face is also recommended for a morning walk or jog. You will not turn many heads if you jog on the streets of Colombo at any time of day. It is best to keep to the more populous streets.
Most leading hotels in Colombo have very good bar facilities. and some have a Happy Hour at dusk when drinks arc sold at attractive discounts. There is relaxed entertainment at the Lobby Bars of several leading hotels. Some provide soft piano music, others have regular performances by good. popular singers.
Night-time entertainment is best at the Supper Clubs and Discos at the major city hotels. Live bands play music for dancing. On many occasions there are excellent cabarets, too. For those seeking the many pleasures of gambling there are several good casinos in the city. which are open till early morning and provide excellent odds and many jackpot prizes too.
The casinos are open till early morning. Dining out could be a happy experience in Colombo. with the increasing· number of good restaurants available to pick from. There are those specialising in Sri Lankan. Indian. Chinese, Thai, Korean. Japanese and Italian cuisine in addition to standard western fare. Here is a listing of some of the recreational. dining and entertainment opportunities for this month.
Recreation and Cultural Activities
The Royal Colombo Golf Club on Model Farm Road, Colombo 8 is an 18-hole golf course every popular among visitors to the city. The club accepts temporary members. The caddies are of international class. It is situated in a picturesque fringe of the city. Pro Shop is also available. Tel 595431. Tennis – The major hotels such as the Inter-Continental, Ramada. Oberoi. Taj Samudra and Hilton have facilities for tennis. If you are non resident. advance bookings are advised. Several private clubs welcome temporary members and guests to their courts. Among these are Orient Club. Rajakeeya Mawatha, near Royal College. (Tel: 595068). the Sri Lanka Lawn Tennis . Club. International 45 Edinburgh Club. 16 Crescent. Guildford Colombo 7 Crescent. (Tel 91025 Colombo 7 595072) Colombo 7 and (Tel: the 595293) Nondescripts Cricket Club .. Maitland Place.Tel: Ramada Squash hotels – The Inter-Continental Oberoi, Taj Samudra and Ramada hotels have facilities for squash. Temporary membership could also be sought at the Gymkhana Club and Otter Aquatic at 380 the Gymkhana Bauddhaloka Club Mawatha Tel. ha 91025 Bullers Road) the Colombo 7 (Tel: 95070).
Swimming – Within popular the city, the Kinross Beach at Wellawatte is a very popular place for good sea bathing and swimming. A little south of the city is Mount Lavinia Beach – 12km from the Fort – which is the most popular place for the sun and sea. The Kinross Swimming offers temporary membership to visitors Road (Tel: 586461). Among private clubs which allow temporary membership to visitors (Tel 586461).
Among private clubs which allow temporary members and guests to use their pools are: Otter Aquatic Club, 380 Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colomb0 7; Sinhalese Sports Club, Maitland Place, Colombo 7 and the Colombo Swimming Club and Storm Lodge. Arrangements could also be made to use the swimming pools of the leading hotels in the city.
Billiards and Snookers – there are many fine Clubs in Colombo where as a temporary Member of Guest you can have a good game of Billiards or Snooker with experienced rivals. They include The Ceylon Anglers Club, Burgher Recreation Club, and Havelock Sports Club.
Rowing and Boating – the Colombo Rowing Club, which has a fine Club House by the Beira Lake at 51/1 Chittampalam Gardiner Mawatha, Colombo 2, extends temporary membership to visitors.
Zoo and Aquarium – the Zoological Gardens and Aquarium situated at Anagarika Dharmapala Mawatha, Dehiwela just outside the city limits on the south are well worth a visit. The zoo has a very large collection of species from Sri Lanka and abroad. A very popular attraction is the circus by performing elephants held at 5.15pm everyday.
Park – The Vihara Maha Devi Park at Colombo 7 opposite the Town Hall is a very pleasant place for a quiet walk or to be in the shade of large flowering trees. It is a well tended large park which is open from 6am to 6pm.
Museums – The Colombo National Museum, Albert Crescent, Colombo 7 has the best collection of antiques and object d’art of Sri Lanka; the Dutch Period Museum in the Pettah is devoted to exhibits from the period of the Dutch occupation off the coastal regions of the country. Both museums are open from 9am to 5pm daily.
Cinema – Several city cinemas screen English language films. Watch for the signboards of check with the Daily News for the current attraction. Sinhalese films made in Sri Lanka and Tamil films made in South India, are screened at the other cinemas. The British Council (see special section), the German Cultural Institute, 39 Gregory’s Road, Colombo 7 and the American Centre, have special programmes of British, German and American films.
A blend of French Art of Fine Living in a typical Sri Lankan setting. On Lotus Road, Fort with a magnificent view over the city of Colombo and the Indian Ocean. It has 500 rooms and suites centrally air-conditioned.
Le Cafe Fleuri – Brasserie/Coffee Shop is open 24 hours. It has a luncheon buffet and Chef’s specials for a la carte lunch and dinner.
Palme D’or – Rooftop French Gourmet Restaurant serves a Businessman’s lunch from 12 noon to 2.30pm weekdays and a la carte French and Continental cuisine from 7.30pm to 11pm nightly.
Meridien’s Le Rendezvous Lobby Bar open from 10am to midnight has its Happy Hour from 5.30pm to 7.30pm every evening with 30% off on drinks. The Dolphin Poolside Shack Bar is in business from 10am to 7pm.
The Colombo 2000 Night Club and disco has live music for dancing nightly from 9.30pm to 3am extended 4am on Fridays and Saturdays. Food service is also available on request.
Located in the business area in the heart of Fort covering seven and a half acres of landscaped gardens. This 19-storeyed hotel is on Lotus Road and consists of main hotel tower and a podium which is connected by an overhead bridge to the Sports Centre by the Beira Lake, 378 guest rooms and suites with four restaurants and three bars.
Serves a variety of gourmet Western. Indian. Moghul, Sri Lankan and Chinese specialities daily from 6.00 p.m. to 1.00 a.m. Open 24 hours on Friday & Saturday. For every dining adult – a free meal for a child under 12 years. A daily lunch buffet is laid out from 12.00 noon to 3.00 p.m. in addition to a delicious spread of a dozen desserts. A salad bar every evening. Daily breakfast buffet – 6.00 a.m. to 10.00 a.m. Japanese breakfast – 6.30 a.m. to 9.30 a.m.
The fine dining restaurant of the Hilton offers a celebrated fare for a la carte dining. Best of Continental and American cuisine with open grill kitchen serving specialities in prime U.S. beef and fresh local sea food. Complemented by its own well-stocked wine cellar. Monday to Friday: Lunch 12.00 noon to 3.00 p.m. Daily dinner – 7.00 p.m. to 11.00 p.m. Daily Business Luncheon – Rs. 295 + 10% includes Hors d’oeuvres buffet, main course, dessert from Temptation Wagon and tea or coffee.
With an intimate club-like ambience – open daily from 5.30 p.m. to 1.00 a.m. – ideal for after office rendezvous, pre-dinner cocktails. or post-dinner liqueurs (See page 35).
The Hilton’s Japanese Restaurant – the GINZA HOHSEN serves traditional Japanese cuisine featuring Sushi. Sashimi. Shobu-Shobu, Sukiyaki, Yakitori, Teppanyaki. Tempura and other renowned Japanese specialities prepared by a team of Japanese Chefs.
THORANA – The water-front Lobby Lounge bar is open daily from 11.00 a.m. to 1.00 a.m. A one-price afternoon tea is served from 4.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m. with live background music.
The Sports & Fitness Centre has its own restaurant, the TREE BAR serving delectable snacks. health food, cocktails and fresh, tropical fruit drinks. by the pool side.
The BLUE ELEPHANT Discotheque the ‘Night Pulse of Colombo’ offers a dazzling sound and light system for all-night dancing. Open from Tuesday to Saturday from 9.00 p.m. to 3.00 a.m.
Situated in Kollupitiya on Sir Mohammed Macan Marker Mawatha, Walking distance to the Galle Face Green. 100 rooms. General Manager – Mr. Imthiaz J. Cader.
Director Sales – Mr. Sucil Hapuarachchi Alhambra Restaurant, which is a Moghul Speciality Restaurant, serves a Moghul Buffet every Friday evening, from 7 p.m. onwards, with Jive oriental music. The Alhambra is open for lunch and dinner daily, with Sri Lankan and Chinese cuisine, from 12 noon to 2.45 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. The Gardenia Tea and Coffee Shop has a 24 hour meal service, with a wide range of western foods. A Speciality here is the cake and pastry counter. The Oasis Lounge Bar, which overlooks the pool is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. Chandimal provides music on the organ from 7 p.m. every evening.
Ceylon Inter Continental Hotel
The first five-star hotel m the island. Situated in Fort. in the heart of the city. within close proximity of the commercial and business area in Colombo. Overlooking the ocean. 250 rooms. The Business centre consist of three rooms which cater to secretarial cum telex and facsimile services. a library and sitting room and a board meeting room. General Manager – Mr. Max. P. Brechbuhl Director Sales – Mr. Rohan Pieris
Pearl Seafood Restaurant, serves dinner nightly on the terrace from 7.00 p.m. to 11.00 p.m serenaded by a Sri Lankan Calypso Band. Monday nights include a Sri Lankan Cultural Dance Show. whilst Wednesday boast of a Special Lobster Night.
The Emerald Tea and Coffee Shop – serves a popular daily lunch time curry buffet (11.30 a.m. t-0 2.30 p.m. except Sunday) and a la carte menu. The coffee shop which is now open 24 hours has a special snack menu after 10.00 p.m. The Aquamarine Bar offers a savoury and sandwich lunch (12 noon to 2.30 p.m.) daily, with the accompaniment of piano music of Beverly Rodrigo (except on Wednesday) and evening cocktails from 5.30 p.m. onwards. whilst the “cosmic Rays” provide country and western music in the evenings except Sundays.
The John Player Inter. Sports Centre at the Inter. Continental has three restaurants: The Pizzeria which serves Pizzas and pasta from 9.30 a.m. to 11.00 p.m.: The Tharanga Terrace open air restaurant overlooking the Indian Ocean and the 100 Pipers Pub, – cosy and hidden away “down and under” the Pizzeria. A special jazz band comprising some of the Jazz veterans of Sri Lanka are featured on Thursdays. Fridays and Saturdays from 8.00 p.m. to 12. midnight. “Happy Hour” is be ween 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. During the week, Sports movies are featured. Draught beer. a typical pub menu and darts contribute to the atmosphere at the pub. A chess board too is available for chess enthusiasts and. if you want, piped music too from the special sound effects installed.
The Continental Club and Casino – With its breathtaking view from the rooftop of the hotel is now open daily (except on Poya day) from 12 noon to 5 a.m. Black Jae . Baccarat and Roulette are some of the highlights in the gaming scene of the Casino.
Hotel Lanka Oberoi’s London Grill serves a la carte specialities in Gourmet Continental Cuisine from 7.30 to 10.30 p.m. nightly; the Ranmalu Restaurant which specialises in Oriental Buffet – Sri Lankan, Chinese. Indian – serves a daily buffet lunch, Monday to Friday from 12.30 to 2.30 p.m. The Garden Restaurant Araliya has a varied cuisine ranging from Thai and Tandoori specialities to Continental. It has daily luncheon and dinner buffets (including a Salad Bar) from 12 to 3pm.
The Oberoi’s Supper Club, is a Roof Top Night Club with a la carte dining and a Jive band in attendance nightly. Hours are 9pm to 3am
The Lobby Lounge is open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Favourite melodies are provided on the piano from 11.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. and a Philarmonic Orchestra entertains from 6.30 to 8.30 p.m. daily.
Hotel Taj Sanfudra A Resort hotel m the city, stands on 11. 5 acres of well planned out gardens facing the Galle Face promenade, by the sea. Centrally air conditioned 400 rooms and suites. General Manager – Mr. Yezdl Katrak.
Ports of Call Restaurant offers a 24 hour culinary voyage with a selection of Eastern, Western and speciality foods from Asia. The Sunday Buffet lunch is from 12 noon to 3 p.m. The Golden Dragon Restaurant an exclusive Schezwan Chinese Restaurant serves Schezwan food at lunch/dinner open from 12 30 p.m. – 2.30 p.m. & 7.30 p.m. – 11.30 p.m. the Drive In Tandoor Bar-B-Q serves Indian Tandoori specialities in a pleasant outdoor setting. Other oriental and western delicacies too. Food available to have and to take away, from 7.30 p.m. to 11 p.m. daily
Ramada Renaissance Hotel
Situated on 7 hectares of landscaped grounds in the heart of Colombo’s commercial sector on the back of the Beira Lake 378 furnished air conditioned rooms on seven floors with 25 de luxe suites and six restaurants and bars. 1 km. from Fort. 2 km. from the Railway Station and 40 km. from the International airport.
Summerfield’s Coffee Shop has a Continental Breakfast – 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. daily. Summerfield’s also has lunch and dinner buffets daily, and special vegetarian buffet on Poya Day – Nov. 5 Noblesse Continental Cuisine Restaurant which will have a exclusive menu for November, will be open for lunch from 12 noon to 3.30 p.m. and dinner from 7 pm. to 11.30 p.m. King Claude will be at the Piano at the bar lounge from 7.30 to 11.15pm nightly.
The Ibn Batuta’s Steam Boat promotion will be on every Monday night in November The Long Feng Chinese Restaurant has its special Businessman’s lunch :rom 12 noon to 2.30 p.m and a la carte dining daily. On Full Moon Day – Nov. 5 – there will be a Poya Special Chinese Buffet from 7 p.m. to 11.30 p.m (See page 35) Happy Hour at the Beira Lounge and Terrace, the Ramada’s Lobby Bar, is from 5.30 to 7.30 pm daily when there is a 25% discount on beverages, complimentary snacks are served, and Shiranthi entertains. ‘Dilup & Ramona’ entertain every Tuesday Wednesday, and Thursday while ‘Dalreen & Suriyakumar’ perform on Friday, Saturday and Sunday – from 8.00 p.m. to midnight.
On the way from Ramada’s Sports Centre in the Lower Lobby Bar, is the Roots Restaurant with special snacks and pick-me-ups after a good work out at squash or steaming out sauna. Sunday – Champagne Brunch at the Sports Centre. Cocktail of the month – at all outlets. Every last Sunday of the month a strict tempo Ballroom Dancing- ‘Come Dancing Sunday’. Speciality Restaurants Chez Amano – Sea food and Sri Lankan specialities; China Town, Schezwan Chinese specialities. German Restaurant – the only authentic German restaurant in town. Open daily from 12 noon to 2.30 p.m. and 6.30 to 11 p.m. Hotel Renuka’s Palmyrah Restaurant serves Western food as well as authentic Sri Lankan food. Among its many Sri Lankan food preparations are Hoppers, Pittu, Thosai, Pillau – from South and North of the island. Kolio Restaurant, at the Hotel Empress, specialises in Korean cuisine, Chinese and Western fare also available. Open for lunch from 11.30 a.m. to 2.30 p.m. Dinner from 6 p.m. to midnight.
Sakura Restaurant -Japanese Speciality Restaurant, with authentic Japanese menu and service. The Curry Bowl -Sri Lankan food speciality Open through week-Poya days included -11.30 a.m. to 2.30 p.m. lunch; 6.30 to ’11 p.m. dinner. At Mount Lavinia, the Mount Royal Beach Hotel’s Royal Garden coffee shop serves Eastern, Western and Thai food daily. The Shanghai Palace specialises in Yang-Zhou and szechuan dishes. Open from Tuesday to Sunday The Seaspray Club is a restaurant on the beach with Sri Lankan fare. The Peacock Night Club is open Fridays and Saturdays. and features a live band. The Mount Royal has a Sunday Buffet lunch on the poolside terrace, and a poolside Bar-be-cue every 2nd and 4th Friday. Palm Village Hotel at Uswetakeiyawa, 11 km from Colombo, has a Sunday Buffet featuring Sri Lankan, Chinese and Western cuisine from 1 to 3 p.m. A live Calypso Band is in attendance. The Buffet is priced at 125 = net. plus 10% S.C. which is just under US$5/-. There is also the use of the pool and plenty of sun and sea, too. Indoor games include table tennis, carom, chess and darts. Tel: 530766 or 547161 & 26767.
Casino Colombo’s casinos are growing in reputation internationally for the excellent facilities, the range of games and good winning opportunities offered. The many casinos in the city are favourite spots of Sri Laokaos and visitors who enjoy an evening at the tables with the whirr of the roulette wheel and sound of chips on baize. Black Jack, Baccarat, Roulette, Pontoon, Rummy, Poker Flush and Casino are some games played. Among the clubs where the dealing goes into the wee hours of the morning are Atlantic, Casanova, Caesar’s Palace, Columbia Club, Golden Topaz (Gaylords), Golden Nugget, Palm Beach and Star Dust. Many offer jackpot prizes, bonus drawings, complimentary drinks, entertainment and free transportation.
Hotel Serendib on the beach at Bentota has a “Sri Lanka Nite” every Monday everung, a “Chinese Nite” on Wednesday, and a special Barbeque Buffet on Saturdays, from 7.30 to 11 p.m. each night, to the accompaniment of Calypso music. On Sundays the Serendib has an International Buffet lunch from 12.30 to 2.30 p.m. also with Calypso music. The hotel swimming pool could also be used by those who come for the Sunday Buffet.
KALUTARA Tangerine Beach Hotel Tangerine Beach Hotel has a regular dining and entertainment programme weekly. On Monday Night, Its a Chinese or Italian Buffet, and on Wednesday Night, a Sri Lankan Buffet is held with a Sri Lankan Calypso Band in attendance. A poolside Bar-B-Que is held every Saturday Night. The Tangerine has a popular Sunday Buffet lunch. Music for dancing by a live band or recorded music for dancing is provided every night either at the Hotel Lounge with the cascading water garden in the background or at the Air Conditioned Supper Club. From November to April, additional entertainment is provided regularly: Fashion Shows, Magic Shows, Fire Limbos and Cultural Shows for which no extra charge is levied. KANDY Kandy’s Hotel Suisse has the Araliya Night Club where the Hezonites provide music for dancing every Saturday evening.
The British Council, situated at 49, Alfred House Gardens, Colombo 3, (Tel: 587078) -has a regular programme of activities from poetry to Special musical performances, theatre and screening of quality films.
GOETHE -INSTITUT: German Cultural Institute Colombo at 39 Gregories Road, Colombo 7 has the following programme for November 1987.