Sept 15, Colombo: The sultry sounds of South America will bring alive the swinging traditions of one of Asia's most iconic properties with the opening of 'King of the Mambo' at the Galle Face Hotel in October.
Sri Lanka's revered oceanfront luxury heritage hotel will play host to a new era of fun, refinement and entertainment by bringing back the "mambo" as the dance movement is set to once again shake the city and its hotel guests.
Launched in partnership with Dubai-based management company Infini Concepts, the Latino lounge-restaurant concept will be styled in 50s décor and introduce classic cocktails, creative culinary specialties and a roster of entertainment as the relaxed, sunset-facing space invites guests to dress up, and dance the Mambo to the songs of legends such as Pérez Prado and Tito Puente.
"The Galle Face Hotel has been in my family for generations and it gives me great pleasure to delve into our illustrious past and connect with the spirit of the hotel. We have had many famous guests and it is in honour of those who stayed with us in the 50s when the mambo was at its height of popularity. We are excited to introduce this concept," said Galle Face Hotel Chairman, Sanjeev Gardiner.
The Galle Face Hotel is a legend of Southeast Asian hospitality and the oldest hotel east of the Suez. The property originally opened in 1864, and over the years has evolved to encapsulate Sri Lanka's colonial history while embodying its independent present.
By the late 19th century the hotel was recognized as the best place to stay in Asia and today it is regularly billed as a must visit property worldwide. The hotel's veranda has played host to many guests; Vivian Leigh, Carrie Fisher, Roger Moore and Anthony Bourdain are just a few of the well-known names that chose the hotel for their stay in Colombo. Sir Arthur C. Clarke lived in the hotel for a year while writing the final chapters of 3001: The Final Odyssey, one of his most famous works to date.
"Galle Face Hotel has been a hospitality leader in Asia for over 150 years and we will continue to innovate while remaining true to our roots and traditions," said The Galle Face Hotel General Manager and Area Vice President, Robert Hauck.
"The King of the Mambo is an entertainment concept inspired by a dance movement that originated from Cuba and one that was as relevant and vibrant then as it is today. We are delighted to bring this great music and dance tradition back to Colombo in partnership with Infini Concepts."
Over the last decade Infini Concepts has launched and managed several successful venues and brands across the world such as Cavalli Club, Sumosan, Billionaire Mansion and Miss Tess. The company has a strong reputation in the dining and nightlife circuit. The joint-venture between Infini Concepts and Galle Face Hotels has established Infini Restaurant Management (Pvt) Ltd, which will oversee the day to day operations of the venue.
The vibe is trendy casual, says David Lescarret, Managing Director of Infini Concepts. "The Galle Face Hotel is just one of those places in Colombo that is effortlessly cool. Maybe it's because the hotel knows exactly what the cosmopolitan traveler and diner needs from all the years of catering to refined palates. This fits perfectly with the vision we have for King of the Mambo."
"We see Colombo becoming one of Asia's hottest destinations over the next few years - in fact it already is," added David Lescarret.
"The Galle Face Hotel is at the center of this development in the city - and what better way to appreciate this beautiful heritage property than with a nice mojito, maybe at sunset, with great company before an exquisite dinner and perhaps a night out? That's the space we see King of the Mambo becoming once it opens in October."
The King of the Mambo opens in October and will be open daily from 12 noon to midnight and will feature nightly entertainment. Bookings are recommended.