I had an assignment scheduled for the month of March in Sri Lanka. As the coronavirus was starting to make hay in Italy, Iran and South Korea, I was cautiously watching for prudent travel restrictions around the globe. Right after I left PHL airport and arrived in Colombo, things were just starting to erupt. OKAY!! Now what?
The good news was Sri Lanka had one reported case that had ran the cycle as of March 9th....that was comforting. But, by the 13th, new possible cases were springing up. As of this morning, the 14th, the country now has six suspected cases in government isolation. Six still has me feeling settled, but I think we all know that without massive testing programs, the real number may dwarf announced totals in every country, including here.
There are currently two operating Marriott properties in Sri Lanka, none in the capital city of Colombo. My month long lodging is at Accor groups Movenpick. It’s the first time in a Movenpick for me and I will say it is very nice. This particular hotel is on par with a Sheraton or Marriott.
The 13th to 15th is my first weekend and off days. I took an Uber from Colombo to the resort area of Kosgoda. The ride was a little less than two hours and cost $35. I checked into the 16 day old Sheraton Kosgoda Turtle Beach Resort. Very eerie! This is a beautiful hotel and all but empty. The coronavirus recent cases has the citizens of Sri Lanka spooked. Like many areas around the world, panic buying set in yesterday and no one is doing much leisure traveling. I wast told at check-in that I was one of nine. I think that is triple the real room count. I’ve only seen one couple and one family of four. Here is my private pool between the hotel and the beach.
Last evening I was the only patron at the SHO Lounge. It’s a bar/restaurant area off the lobby similar to an M Lounge. This being a resort, there isn’t an executive lounge, but the GM is doing a free everything from 4pm-8pm for the Bonvoy Elites....err, that means just me. The staff out numbered me four to one in the SHO Lounge and would clean up after my every sip or nibble. I felt bad for these folks.
Breakfast was going to be interesting......
The ground level restaurant for breakfast is massive and no doubt lays out an incredible buffet, but for just a few guests? Nope, as I thought and as is appropriate no buffet today. The restaurant manager apologized but offered to make anything on or off the menu. The GM came by and thanked me (as he did in the Sho Lounge). I told him the staff was outstanding and could feel his pain. He smiled a sad smile.
erc’s favorite shorts!