A new luxury shuttle service from the South to Colombo now offers you the opportunity to visit some of the most scenic locations in the city and experience the energies of the night.
Words Mamduh Waheed Photographs Damith Wickramasinghe
Sri Lanka is a diverse experience, especially for the first time visitor. It may be difficult to pack in all the things you want to do and see to a short holiday of a few weeks. The contrast in what she has to offer, from the cool mountainscapes and inspiring heritage sites to the warm and sandy beaches, all you can wish for in a holiday is here.
Travel agencies have tried to address this by offering travellers the opportunity to choose or design their own tours. However, even this leaves visitors having to compromise one experience or location over the other. In Sri Lanka casinos are still not considered being within the mainstream leisure sector. But increasingly casinos are offering a combination of entertainment, hospitality as well as the gaming experience.
You can now add a little excitement to a relaxing holiday in the South with a night out in Colombo’s best spots
Bally’s Colombo, one of the more established casino’s in Colombo, has capitalised on this trend and introduced the innovative concept of “Colombo by Night” – a luxury shuttle service from Galle to Colombo. Starting from The Fortress Resort and Spa, the shuttle travels on the Southern Expressway. In Colombo, the shuttle stops at several landmarks ending with some popular night spots. The first stop for the shuttle in Colombo is the Geoffrey Bawa designed Parliamentary complex situated on the 12 acre Duwa island on Diyawanna Oya, Sri Jayawardenapura, Kotte. The other spots where the shuttle makes a stop are the Waters Edge, Battaramulla, the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH), Independence Memorial Hall in Cinnamon Gardens, Colombo Racecourse, Beira Lake, The Galle Face Green, The Colombo Dutch Hospital, The World Trade Centre and the newly opened Sky Lounge on the rooftop of the Kingsbury Hotel, and Silk, the bar and lounge that offers a chic and relaxed atmosphere to its clientele with both local and international entertainment.
The tour finally ends at Bally’s Casino at eight in the night where guests can enjoy the atmosphere and try their luck at the games on offer. With the purchase of the tour you also get free non-cashable playing chips and complimentary drinks and food. And you also have the option of either staying – and playing – at Bally’s until early morning the next day when the coach will depart back to Galle from Bally’s at five o’clock. If you want to visit other night clubs or bars instead of spending the whole evening at Bally’s that is also accommodated.
According to Brian Colwell, CEO – Bally’s Colombo, “the ‘Colombo by Night‘ concept was thought of some time back when we realised there was quite a market down South who may wish to visit sightseeing in Colombo and spend some time at Bally’s and other nightspots with a little high energy as well as more chilled-out clubs. And we are very confident that the tour is going to pick up with visitors to the South and locals who are resident in the area.” The tour is presently starting from the Fortress Resort and Spa although provisions are made for those from the area or staying in hotels nearby to join the shuttle from the Resort. In the future however, the tour will be made available in several other hotels down South and pick-up points established at several locations in the area. For the convenience of travelers, a tour guide is also on board to provide a personalised service.
You can make reservations for the Colombo by Night luxury shuttle service either at The Fortress Resort and Spa or by calling Bally’s Colombo hotline.