Summer 2019

10 Ravana Garden Boutique Hotel was envisioned with just one goal in mind – to truly harmonise with the natural environment and become the world’s premier eco-hotel. Since its creation, Ravana Garden has impressed with its dedication to ‘sustainable luxury’, a new concept that looks set to revolutionise the industry. As a result of this, Ravana Garden was recognised as the ‘Most Outstanding Tropical Hotel’ in LUXlife Magazine’s 2019 Global Luxury Hotel & Spa Awards programme. On the back of this well- deserved win, we spoke with the hotel’s Founder, Rasika Perera, to find out more about his vision. “The birth of the Ravana Garden concept was to establish a new benchmark in sustainable tourism to enable travellers to enjoy a guilt-free vacation by leaving only a tiny footprint behind.” Ravana Garden was designed differently. It was designed from the very beginning to be a herald of a new movement catered to an entirely sustainable experience. In this, it is totally unique: this sustainability-first ethos permeates every facet of the hotel, from the methods used in its construction and operations to Ravana Garden’s use of business e-cards over printed alternatives, as Rasika explains in more detail. “Ravana stands for conservation, minimal waste, and a connection with nature and family. It stands for organic, natural food, and community empowerment, combined with authentic Sri Lankan culture. It’s environmentally friendly, using recycled materials wherever possible. Of course, we also make sure to not sacrifice the elements that makes it a luxury hotel and focus on providing a truly personalised experience to all of our guests. “The hotel was named after the life and times of King Ravana, a legendary figure who ruled over kingdoms over 5,000 years ago. It is said that King Ravana and his Mayuranga Dynasty supposedly frequented this coastline paving the way to Ussangoda mountain, a serpentine deposit, rich in ultramafic minerals credited with the ability to restore psychic abilities, clear all chakras and stimulate the crown chakra.” For Rasika, sustainability is more than just a passing fad. It is a passion born from a love of being outdoors and taking in the natural wonders of his native country. Frustrated on waiting for someone else to act to save the Uniting True Luxury with True Sustainability earth from catastrophe, Rasika laid the groundwork for Ravana Gardens, capitalising on an opportunity presented by Sri Lanka’s growing tourism sector: “The tourism sector in Sri Lanka boomed after the end of the thirty-year civil war. In the midst of this rapid growth, I keenly noted the negative impact of the environment and realised that unless there was an active shift towards sustainability in the sector, the country was headed towards environmental and cultural disaster. Out of this observation, I decided to risk all I have towards the cause, so I could showcase that sustainable tourism is the way forward for the future – not just in Sri Lanka, but the rest of the world. As such, Ravana Garden is my personal commitment towards creating, instilling and strengthening a sustainable future, which in my view, one of the best methods in combating global warming. If others too adopt at least a few elements of Ravana Garden’s approach it would help contribute towards combating global warming. We hope for the hotel to be a guiding model for others to follow. “In light of this goal, one of the huge challenges faced was to define and introduce new ‘sustainable luxury’ elements into the concept, thereby the guest comfort is not really compromised. Some of the key sustainable luxuries that Ravana Garden promote are Personal Butler service, organic or semi organic food, as well as various private dining options that are both in and out of the site, including picnics, flexible timings, customisations wherever possible, surprises etc.” More than anything, it is clear that Rasika has created Ravana Garden with a level of diligence and dedication that few can match. Indeed, per Rasika’s request, not a single Mar19520 Feb19241