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Mount Lavinia Hotel

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Title: Mount Lavinia Hotel  
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Subject: Thomas Maitland (British Army officer), Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall, Lascarins
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Mount Lavinia Hotel

The Mount Lavinia Hotel, in Mount Lavinia, Sri Lanka, is a 275 room star class 200 year old hotel, situated at 100 Hotel Road. It is recognized to be one of the oldest and most famous hotels in the country. It has been a hotel since 1947, but was the Governors Residence since the 1800s and celebrates its rich history from then on.

Historical background

When Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) was under British rule, the governor in charge during the period of 1805-1811 was Sir Thomas Maitland. He had acquired land at "Galkissa" (Mount Lavinia) and decided to construct a personal residence there.

During this time, legend has it that he fell in love with a dancing girl named Lovina who had been born to Portuguese and Sinhalese parents. During construction, the governor arranged to build a secret tunnel between Lovina 's house which was located nearby, one end inside her house and the other inside his wine cellar, so that the lovers could meet in secret.

However, Sir Thomas Maitland left Ceylon in 1811 and settled in Malta, where he died a bachelor.

Some time in 1920 the tunnel was sealed up and the Gypsy village that surrounded the mansion was developed into a modern bustling city. Later, the city of "Galkissa" was renamed "Mount Lavinia", keeping her name alive.

During World War II the hotel was used as a military hospital by the British Army. Following the war in 1947, the "Mount Lavinia Hotel" was re-established. Some scenes in the film The Bridge on the River Kwai were filmed at the hotel.

A blue plaque commemorates Sir Thomas Maitland, Sir Robert Brownrigg, Sir Edward Paget and Sir Edward Barnes who resided at the house when it was the Governors residence.[1]

See also


External links

  • Official Website
  • Sri Lanka Hotels

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