Sunday, 19 February 2012

Tilko Jaffna City Hotel

Tilko Jaffna City Hotel
Tilko Jaffna City Hotel is the first luxury hotel in the heart of Jaffna Town, and it opened the doors to cater for the demanding tourists from 2010 onwards. The hotel is consisting of 38 Guest Rooms and 2 pent house apartments to accommodate group tourists. The hotel is offering facilities such as restaurant, gymnasium, saloon, spa and conference hall. Tilko Jaffna City Hotel is established in a 340 perch land with an overview of the Jaffna lagoon and the beach. The Tilko Managing Director Thilagaraj stated to me that the area lacked hotels offering proper facilities to the demanding tourist in an international standard and he also described the hotel as a Luxury Hotel targeting business community, tourists and expatriates.

Restaurant and Conference Hall
The amenities and services of the hotels are designed to satiate all the discerning needs of the international travellers and the guests. The warm hospitality and welcoming staff at the hotels make the guests feel at home even miles away from home. The various facilities of comprise a mixture of basic hotel facilities as well as some luxury frills that the guests might expect from a hotel of its class. Currently there are no hotels with all the above facilities to cater the international tourists in Jaffna. After commencing the commercial operations in January 2010, the hotel served many dignitaries such as Ministers, Governors, Foreign Diplomats and INGO Directors.

One of the Bed Rooms
The hotel is under BOI Project and this is carried out as an Accelerated Development Programme for the Northern Province for an initial investment of Rs. 280 million. “There is so much investment potential in the area and investor confidence must further be enhanced” said Thilagaraj and he urged the expat Tamil community to invest in North & East to contribute the reconstruction process. Hope Jaffna will get it old time beauty in the coming years.

Tilko Jaffna City Hotel
70/6, K.K.S Road, (In front of Jaffna main post office)
Tel : +94 21 2225969
Hot Lines: +94 0770 780 393, +94 0777 696 443
E.mail :

Monday, 13 February 2012

Gnanams Hotel Jaffna

Hotel Entrance
Gnanams Hotel is one of the oldest hotels in Jaffna with the good service facilities. Thirty years of war and disruption the hotel is now open for public after being occupied by the Army for 24 years.  Gnanams Hotel offers travellers the convenience accommodation to enjoy their holidays, when they are visiting to Jaffna. Gnanams Hotel started their operations on May 2011 and responses from the visitors are encouraging, hotel owner Sankarapillay Kailasapillai told us on a private conversation.

Court Yard
Situated at Clock Tower Road Jaffna this 31 room property is well maintained and offers comforts of home away home for the demanding travellers. Hotel got experienced management staffs with three speciality chefs and 43 staff members to provide a courteous and efficient service to the visitors. Apart from local visitors, hotel attracts foreign visitors too. They are mainly from the various INGO’s and Indians. There are also repeated clients who are frequent visitors to Jaffna, according to the owner.

One of the Bedroom
The hotel offers all types of menus ranging from Western to Eastern. Its specialty is the Jaffna menu which includes delicacies typical to Jaffna. The hotel is popular for its food and comfortable facilities where it maintains a reasonable occupancy rate. Among the facilities available were internet services, tour guides and transport for those interested in seeing the peninsula. They also offer Conference facilities for the corporate clients and the owner is planning to further upgrade the property by adding more facilities as see high growth in the tourism sector. There is increased travel both by foreigners as well as locals and comfortable accommodation has a good market in Jaffna.

Gnanams Hotel
299 & 301, Clock Tower Road,
Tel: 0094 021 2220630

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Best Hotels in Jaffna

There are many Hotels and Guest houses in Jaffna, which are catering for the needs of demanding Tourists around the Globe. Some hotels are located just in the heart of the Jaffna city while many of them are located in and around the outer city such as Nallur, Kantharnmadam or Chundukulli.  Most of the establishments offer Basic Accommodation facilities and Food and Beverage services to the demanding guests. However the Facilities, Service Quality and Price are different from establishment to establishments. A panel of Hotel professionals including me visited the most of the establishments and analyse the overall quality and did an unannounced survey with the guests whom are currently staying with each property and refer the Travel & Booking pages with the comments. Here we come to the conclusion and the named establishments are currently doing better, even though they cater for the different segments.

Tilko Jaffna City Hotel
70/6, K.K.S Road, (In front of Jaffna main post office)
Tel : 0094 21 2225969

Gnanams Hotel
299 & 301, Clock Tower Road,
Tel: 0094 021 2220630

Hotel Lux Etoiles
34, Chetty Street Lane,
Tel: 0094 21 222 3966    

Green Grass Hotel & Restaurant
33, Aseervatham Lane,
Hospital Road,
Tel : 0094 21 2224385

Blue Haven
70, Racca Lane,
Tel : 0094 21 2229958
Web :

Iyanar Guest House
29/33, Udaiyar Lane,
Iyanar Kovil Road,
Tel: 0094 21 2228653 / 0094 714461812  / 0094 774308001

Expo Pavilion Hotel
40, Kandy Road,
Tel : 0094 21 2223790  /  0094 11 2576941   

We are going to post about each establishments in the comming days.Hope it will help your stay in Jaffna.Have a great Holidays!  

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Jaffna's Gastronomy

Table full of Jaffna Foods

Jaffna's cuisine primarily embraces the peninsula's limitations and evolves in glorious isolation from the Indian subcontinent and the rest of Sri Lanka. Accordingly, Jaffna food is very different from the rest of Sri Lanka's and it is unique style of culinary dishes is one of the most important thing which a visitor should not miss when they visit Sri Lanka. Moreover, Jaffna cuisine is above all famous for its use of the fresh seafood that abounds along the coasts.

Likewise, the soup known as “Kool” is among the region’s signature dishes. Thus, it is quite famous among both Jaffna people and foreigners. In fact, its unique flavour results from a slew of mouth-watering ingredients such as Crab, fish, cuttlefish, prawns and crayfish creating  a seafood broth with the addition of long beans, jak seeds, manioc and spinach . Hence, with hints of tamarind, the entire dish is practically thickened with the help of Palmyra root flour.

Jaffna Style Curry
Another famous authentic Jaffna dish is “Jaffna Crab Curry” which is a juicy sweet meat and spicy curry prepared using special Jaffna curry powder and aromatic herbs. Hence, it can be considered as one of the best treat to try on a rainy afternoon. Other curries such as “Fish Sothi” (fragrant coconut milk curry with turmeric) tender and tasty mutton “Paal Poriyal”(mutton cooked in dry gravy with cumin, chilli and curry leaves), and “Brinjol Poriyal” are also some of the notable dishes specially dedicated to Jaffna.

As for the dessert, the “Sweet Apam” is one of the famous dishes which a tourist who visits Jaffna definitely needs to try. It is a unique style of dessert with a soft centre made of sweet coconut milk giving it a mouth-watering smooth texture. Thus, it can also be prepared plain or with brown sugar sprinkled on top upon request.

Dinner Table with Jaffna Foods
One of the most common layouts of meal for lunch is red rice which accompanies a set of curries that appear to conform to the standard rice and curry menu.  A side dish which looks like clear liquid known as “Bone Rasam” is also very famous in Jaffna. It is a light, peppery broth prepared from mutton bones which goes excellently with rice and fried fish and is often drunk plain to clear the nose and the sinuses. Hence, the broth can also be prepared using chicken. In fact, many Jaffna chefs prefer to use boneless chicken to prepare spicy chicken rasam by giving it an aromatic flavour. The consistency often decides the category of the dish. Likewise, a curry is typically thicker than a kulambu, and a kulambu is thicker than a sodhi.

Moreover, a more adventurous gourmands might be drawn to the range of dishes known as “Varai”.It is basically a mix of finely chopped or minced ingredients tossed with coconut, green chillies, mustard seeds, red onions, turmeric powder and curry leaves to create a distinctive dish. For instance, a perfect varai is usually light and flavourful, with each ingredient providing a distinct flavour.

Jaffna Style Meat Dish
Though finely minced the primary meat or vegetable remains firm on the tongue and is never reduced to mush. Shark meat varai uses the tough, distinctive meat in a dry mix, but you can also use prawns, drumsticks, leeks, drumstick leaves and even plantain flowers to create the same dish.

Nonetheless, another dish known as “Pulich Canji” or sour porridge which is a refreshing drink made of mustard seeds, mint leaves, salt and a little of pinch chilli which is quite good for those burdened with a cough or cold.  Apart from this, the “Fried Brinjol” is a favourite among Jaffna schoolchildren which goes quite well with another signature dish called as “Pittu”. 

It is traditionally made with rice flour and scraped coconut through steaming by separating the small flakes and nodules of the rice flour. Unlike the school children, the combination of brinjol and pittu does not seem to be common among Jaffna adults due to its dry combination. Hence, majority of them prefers to eat pittu with curry or perhaps laced with fish as in shark pittu. Pittu can also be made in several variations. For instance, it can be made like a sweet milk pittu. 

There are several restaurants in Jaffna where a visitor can taste the traditional cuisines of Jaffna. Here are some places we found for real deal of Jaffna Foods, are Green Grass Hotel and Restaurant( off Hospital Rd),Cosy Restaurant (off Stanley Road),  Thinakkural Rest (Chetty Lane, Nallur) and Hotel Rolex (Hospital Road). Hence, most of the dishes are quite affordable with each dish offering a unique taste unique to Jaffna. For instance, Jaffna style Crab Curry (RS. 200), Kanawa (cuttlefish) Curry (Rs.180), Odiyal Kool (Rs.200) and Thirukkal Pittu (Rs.150) which is made using the flying fish found in Jaffna. Hope you have a great time when you visit Jaffna.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Jaffna: Removing the Scars of War

Jaffna Welcomes You Arch in Navatkulli
Peace is one of the basic preconditions for sustainable development. Sustainable tourism and peace go hand in hand. Peace provides the basis for travel, whereas war and conflict disrupt tourist activity. Very often tourism is used a means to regenerate war-affected areas, or develop conflict resolution processes. Peace is also essential for the preservation of the environment and biodiversity, both of which are casualties of war.

In Jaffna after thirty years of war and conflict the restaurants are reopened for tourists and new hotels are under construction to cope with the influx of tourists. The current Influx of both domestic and foreign tourists to Jaffna has brought about a boom in the hospitality industry last two years. 

A bullet ridden building in Jaffna
The broken roads and bullet ridden buildings are still visible in Jaffna and the people are still uncertain about what happened and their own futures.The only change Jaffna has seen since the war officially ended is a boom in tourism. Hundreds of people from other parts of Sri Lanka and from August 2010 onwards foreigners are also going to Jaffna out of curiosity to see the situation there after three-decades of devastating war. According to media reports nearly 500,000 tourists visited Jaffna last year for various reasons. Whatever the reason be, post-war Jaffna with its large number of guest houses, rest houses and a few star class hotels welcome the world to see Jaffna after the war and its potential for development. 

Palaly Airport
The rapid increase in tourist arrivals to Jaffna, the hoteliers and tourism officials believe that Jaffna requires more hotel rooms offering comfort with an efficient service at a competitive price for travellers. The local and foreign investors are keen in this matter and local investor the Green Grass Hotel management is planning to build a new hotel comprising 27 rooms in Jaffna with an investment of Rs 60 million and another luxury-hotel chain Jetwing, plan to build a new luxury hotel in the north.

Recently renovated Gnanams Hotel in Jaffna Town
Many local residents request to the Tamils around the world is to invest and start businesses in Jaffna and help the war-ravaged region. However the war is over there is still doubt among those well- to-do Tamils in the diaspora to return to Sri Lanka. The authorities must give the assurance that the country is completely free from war and further to attract the investors and businesses in this former conflict zone, the government must quickly build the infrastructure facilities and transport including the domestic airlines to Jaffna.

At present around 500 people have been employed in the hotel and tourism sector in Jaffna and many direct and indirect employment opportunities will be generated if there are more investors arrived to this part of the country. However considering the development and the investments taking in action, very soon Jaffna will be the main Tourist attraction in Sri Lanka. In here Tourism is not just a source of money in this part of Sri Lanka; it will support the peace and stability of the region.

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