April 18, 2024

Resplendent Awards 2023

Amidst an evening of elegance and celebration on the 12th of March, we gathered to honour the luminaries of our establishment, the ambassadors who epitomise the essence of hospitality at The Resplendent Awards.

Congratulations resonated through the hall as we applauded the well-deserved winners of the Resplendent Awards, each category a testament to the dedication, passion, and unwavering commitment exhibited throughout the year.

From the Front of House Ambassador of the Year, radiating grace and charm, to the Heart of House Ambassador of the Year, whose dedication touches the very soul of our establishment, every accolade signifies a journey of excellence. Supervisors guiding with wisdom, executives leading by example, and administrative excellence setting the stage for seamless operations, each awardee shines as a beacon of inspiration. The Spirit of Resplendent Award encapsulates the very essence of our values.

Long service milestones of 10 and 15 years honoured, positive impacts recognized, and team spirit celebrated through the Resplendent Olympics Award.

Departments and managers lauded for their exceptional contributions, while the Chairman’s Award symbolises extraordinary achievements. The Property of the Year stands as a testament to luxury and service.

Front of House Ambassador of the Year was the esteemed Kasun Silva from Ceylon Tea Trails. He originally began by working between bungalows and ensuring timely goods transportation, Kasun has advanced to handling guest transportation while overseeing Colombo purchases. His responses to requests are consistently positive, earning him respect from both guests and fellow ambassadors.

Heart of House Ambassador of the Year goes to the remarkable Tharindu Prabath from Wild Coast Tented Lodge. Tharindu seamlessly collaborates with team members, shares innovative ideas, and makes positive contributions to group projects.  For instance, last month, he led the team in repairing a long-awaited exhaust and fresh air duct line in the staff kitchen. The cost incurred was only two hundred and thirty thousand, compared to the staggering 1.2 million demanded by an outsourced company.  Additionally, he is currently involved in ongoing projects, such as creating a lorry canopy and air vent.

We had two recipients for Supervisor Of The Year, Demuni Pradeep Sanjeewa from Cape Weligama and Kanapathi Ravichandran from Ceylon Tea Trails. 

Since 2015, Pradeep has been an integral part of the Cape Weligama team, initially serving as a villa attendant and steadily progressing to the role of senior supervisor. He has evolved from the task of transporting beds across the expansive 12-acre property to currently instructing hotel school interns on the fundamental aspects of housekeeping. His notable contributions during festive seasons, buyouts, and resort events deserve acknowledgment. 

Ravichandran embarked on his RC journey in 2005 and stands as a genuine success story. His progression from a kitchen helper to the esteemed position of Star Bungalow Chef serves as a testament to his unwavering dedication to his craft and personal development. Beyond delighting the palates of those fortunate enough to savour his creations, he actively contributes to the overall culture and morale of the property beyond the kitchen, fostering the growth of his peers. 

Executive of the year goes to the dedicated Abhishek De Silva from Ahu Bay. His willingness to take on the challenge of transitioning to another property and leading a team reflects his dedication to the organisation’s success. Abhishek goes beyond his duties by actively engaging with guests to ensure a positive stay experience. Even when faced with complaints, he seeks guidance from superiors, demonstrating a responsible decision-making process. His relationship with agents and guests is so strong that he has a high rate of returning guests.

Manager of the Year recipient was Thushantha Samarasinghe. Thushantha commenced his journey at Wild Coast Tented Lodge as the head of security, tasked with ensuring the safety of guests, staff ambassadors, and wildlife. During his tenure at Cape Weligama, he spearheaded numerous projects, including the development of the private beach. Thushantha has fostered strong relationships with local authorities, thereby enhancing the security of the property.  In instances of illness or injury affecting guests or staff ambassadors, Thushantha is the first on the scene, ensuring prompt and compassionate care.

Chairman’s Award recipients are Senith Pabasara Abegunawardhane from Cape Weligama, Nilantha Gunasiri from Ceylon Tea Trails, Jagath Kumara from Wild Coast Tented Lodge, Ezekiel Gunawardena and Nuwan Chamara from Head Office. 

Senith, fondly known as the “buyout king,” began his journey as a waiter at Cape Weligama. In a short span, he ascended through the ranks, progressing to the roles of captain, supervisor, and now F&B executive. Senith’s versatility extends beyond Cape Weligama, as he has lent his expertise to other resorts like Ceylon Tea Trails and Ahu Bay during buyouts, demonstrating his leadership in the food and beverage department. 

Nilantha, beginning his journey as a house attendant, has risen through the ranks to become a Bungalow Executive over the years. Notably, he has developed a dedicated following of repeat guests who have specifically requested his services for the past eight years. Furthermore, he played a proactive role as a committee member in the Resplendent Olympics, actively encouraging participation in all events. 

While Jagath may not directly interact with guests, he consistently shows concern, particularly in handling situations involving  guests. For instance, when guests attempt to venture to the beach or leave the property, he takes the initiative to engage with them, guiding them back to the restaurant or ensuring their return to the property. Jagath actively monitors elephant movements on the premises, stepping in when Rangers are absent to collaborate with security personnel until the elephants safely leave.

Though he may project a quiet demeanour, Ezekiel excels in the realm of systems. Starting as a reservations executive, he progressed to Assistant Manager Reservations, leading a team of six individuals. Recognizing his aptitude for systems, Ezekiel earned a promotion to his current role as Manager-Digital. In this capacity, he has showcased exceptional skills in crafting sophisticated digital solutions to enhance the overall guest experience. 

Nuwan commenced his Human Resources responsibilities at Wild Coast Tented Lodge, where he efficiently organised numerous events to enhance ambassador interaction and ensured timely payroll processing. After a well-deserved promotion, he transitioned to the Head Office. He played a pivotal role in orchestrating the inaugural Resplendent Olympics. Nuwan’s commitment extends beyond the Head Office, as he readily volunteers to assist resorts when needed.

Spirit of Resplendent Award winners are Namal Surendra from Kayaam House, Chanaka Lakruwan from Ceylon Tea Trails, Nisnka Mendis from Cape Weligama, Ali Mostafa overlooking all resorts spa operations, Dilan Rakshitha from Wild Coast Tented Lodge and Ravi Weerasingam from Kelburne. 

Chef Namal embarked on his culinary journey at Kayaam House in January 2023, and over the past year, he has proven to be an invaluable asset. During the pre-opening phase, he showcased his culinary prowess by crafting menus that featured local favourites infused with international flavours. As Kayaam House transitioned into an Ayurvedic Hotel over the last year, Chef Namal enthusiastically embraced the challenge of creating a menu catering to all three doshas. 

Lakruwan has dedicated nearly a decade of service to Ceylon Tea Trails, emerging as a star employee. In recent years, Lakruwan has taken on additional challenges, including assuming the role of HR head at Kayaam House during the absence of an HR personnel. Currently, he also oversees the HR department at AB, highlighting his versatile and multitasking capabilities.Lakruwan plays a pivotal role in the Dambulla project, actively contributing to its success. He facilitated crucial connections with local authorities and ensured transparent communication with the senior leadership team.

Nisanka, now serving as the Area Finance Manager for Ahu Bay and Cape Weligama, initially began his journey as a senior accountant at Cape Weligama. Currently, Nisanka adeptly multitasks, dedicating two days a week to Ahu Bay and the remainder to Cape Weligama. In addition to his responsibilities, he focuses on empowering his subordinates, contributing to the overall success of both locations.

Ali, initially one of the pioneering male therapists at Cape Weligama, has now transitioned into the role of Spa Operations Executive for Resplendent Ceylon. Known for his collaborative spirit as a therapist, he actively participated in team activities and engaged in various extracurricular endeavours.  He introduced new menus and treatments, playing a key role in elevating the standards of spas throughout the Resplendent Ceylon group.

Shouldering significant responsibilities, he effectively and efficiently manages his team, reflected in an impressive almost zero turnover ratio for the year 2023. Dilan not only maintains an excellent ASANA completion ratio within the property but also across the broader Resplendent group. 

Serving as both a mentor and teacher, he has brilliantly nurtured his deputy, Niroshan, to take charge of the engineering team at Cape Weligama in the absence of a Head of Department. 

Ravi has been a dedicated member of the Kelburne team since the property’s inception, demonstrating remarkable resilience over the past few years. Following Resplendent Ceylon’s takeover of the management, Ravi has consistently exhibited proactiveness during management visits, ensuring that all arrangements for meetings are well-prepared. Adapting positively to the introduction of new systems, he displayed a quick and effective learning process.

Spirit of Administrative Support recipient was Rasangee Sanurika from Head Office. Rasangee commenced her journey at Resplendent Ceylon as a young intern in the finance department. Through dedicated effort and commitment, she has climbed the ranks to become an Accounts Assistant.Rasangee ensures that all payments are processed promptly, even responding to calls from her co-workers during weekends or late at night.

Administrative Excellence Award recipient was Lal De Silva from Head Office. Lal has been an integral part of Resplendent Ceylon since 2016, wielding an extensive understanding of the procurement department’s intricacies. Despite his unassuming presence in the corner of the office, Lal plays a pivotal role as a crucial ambassador for resort operations. His efficiency shines through as he swiftly identifies suppliers for our daily needs, ensuring everything is sorted within a matter of days.

Department of the Year winner was the Activity Department from Wild Coast Tented Lodge. The Guest Experience Score is something which is considered, when applicable, in assessing the performance of a department. Therefore the 95.7% scores received by the Activity Department of Wild Coast is in itself quite a significant achievement. For a department that does not necessarily directly interact with the guests but are responsible for creating a curated experience for them which is at the core of their intended visit to the property, there is a lot riding on the shoulders of that team. However, that is not all that matters, the ability to engage with diverse stakeholders and functions, both internally and externally, continuing to innovate, adapting to unexpected weather events, such as the recent flooding of the park, and doing all that while having a very low turnover rate is a mighty impressive list of achievements that make the Activity Department of Wild Coast Tented Lodge the deserving winners of this year’s Department of the Year Award.

The Positive Impact Award winner was Cape Weligama. There is quite a list of activities executed by the property which have been recognized with this year’s Positive Impact Award. The Zero Waste Garden program and the landfill diversion program, the butterfly garden and the Invasive Species Removal program, the crown jewel of the property the recently expanded vegetable garden, the “Pola” which allows for local entrepreneurs to showcase their wares to guests and community engagement where the community English classes being hosted at the MJF Center by Cape Weligama Ambassadors enhances and develops our bonds with the community while also developing a skill set required within a community which is a tourism hotspot in the country. Last but not least, the beach cleanups held by the property. The broad spectrum of activities executed by the Cape Weligama team touching upon both environmental, social and community empowerment have made them the deserving winners of this year’s Positive Impact Award.

Property of the Year winner was Ceylon Tea Trails.

The Property of the Year Winner for Resplendent Ceylon has to be a one that encompasses and excels from every aspect of the business. This year for this award we looked at guest satisfaction and exceptional guest experiences. Being recognized with the Conde Nast Traveller Gold List is definitely a step in the right direction while being showcased in BBC2’s “Amazing Hotels – Life Beyond the Lobby ” can be considered another step closer to the podium. But then, having guest satisfaction scores in the uppermost end of the high nineties for Overall, Service, Courtesy, Competence, Responsiveness and Management interaction truly show that this property with their curated guest experiences make Ceylon Tea Trails the winner for this year’s Property of the Year.

Together, these awards illuminate the path of our collective journey, inspiring us to continue striving for excellence and embodying the spirit of Resplendent in all that we do.

Moreover, adding to the evening’s splendour, we were delighted to showcase captivating dance acts that enthralled the audience. Additionally, a band formed by the Resplendent Ceylon Head Office graced the stage, filling the air with melodies that resonated with the joyous spirit of the occasion.