Is Buckingham Place open?

Yes we are. Please call 047 348 9447 or email to book.

When will Sri Lanka reopen its airports?

Tourist flights are not expected to resume until the repatriation of Sri Lankans stranded overseas is complete. Airports are widely expected to reopen to travelers by December 2020.

What about the Pandemic?

Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority/Ministry of Health operational guidelines have been adapted to suit operations of this hotel. The hotels’ in-house Safer Space guidelines are our ‘go to’ for keeping everyone as safe as possible with minimal inconvenience. Preparation and training began weeks ago, self-assessment and change will be ongoing.

When you come here, we ask that you please agree to

  1. Wear a facemask (near other guests/us)
  2. Observe 2 metres physical-distancing (with other guests/us)
  3. Use feet sanitizing matts
  4. Sanitize/wash hands frequently when using shared areas
  5. Undergo contactless temperature check/s
  6. Tell us about your current health & recent travel
  7. Provide emergency contact info
  8. We must keep a record of your visit for 21 days
  9. Be patient with us, ‘new normal’ is new to us too!
  10. Ask if you need to know more

Safety is paramount but it must sensitively reflect the challenge…

Every guest and member of our team must be safe and feel safe – but not at the expense of reasonable freedoms. When we welcome you, we will explain measures we’ve implemented for your peace of mind as well as ours. Parallel to our own initiatives, we’ve adapted Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority’s Safe & Secure guidelines to the hotels size and features.

We’re taking nothing for granted and will remain vigilant until this crisis is over.

Relaxed & Safer Space…

Buckingham Place is a small hotel as it is, with just 16 bedrooms and suites. But to more easily manage protocols and enhance an already slow-paced ambience, we are limiting occupancy of the hotel and its restaurant, and resting rooms before guest arrivals.

Open-air Dining…

You will be able to reserve a table at Oceanfront – our spacious, open-air ocean-facing restaurant. Unless it rains heavily which is generally rare, doors and blinds will be kept open as always, allowing the sea breeze to circulate. Guests may also dine next to swimming pools or under the stars on their own verandas or balconies. Before all mealtimes, restaurant chairs will be spaced no less than 2m apart, in some cases by much more. However, tables will not be set-up in advance of you sitting down.

Expect discreet sanitization of common areas to be continuous, and to find hand sanitizer at appropriate locations. Kitchen and front of house teams, as well as maintenance, garden and back of house teams, all wear role specific clothing including face masks.

Your meals will be prepared to order as before – buffets have never been our style!

Please also note…

Your health and safety will be overseen by Kalpa our GM. Upon arrival, after checking your temperature and asking you simple health and travel questions, you will be advised of prevailing protocols encompassing our team and guests alike.

Guests are not be asked to wear face masks when eating(!) or using gardens and the swimming pools. Our aim is for the hotel and its restaurant to function as near to ‘old normal’ as possible.

Observations (by Nick Buckingham 23rd May 2020)

On 18th March 2020, other than for the purpose of repatriating its own citizens stranded abroad, Sri Lanka closed all sea and air ports to incoming travelers – most strategically, Bandaranaike International Airport.

Public awareness of physical distancing, use of face masks, good hygiene followed immediately, as did widespread cooperation with strict lockdowns and district specific curfews. A successful campaign by the governments’ health sector and uniformed forces halted nonessential, cross-district and inter-province travel, thus enabling the isolation, quarantine and treatment of suspected and actual Covid-19 cases. Testing and effective tracing segregated many, quarantining them at home or within a nationwide network of 60 quarantine centres established for the task. There have been hardships, some heavy handedness and as everywhere, frustrations. A spike amongst Navy personnel for example, persisted for several weeks due to personnel on leave. These cases accounted for roughly 50% of recorded cases at their peak but overall, the country has kept remarkably good control of the situation. I have remained in Sri Lanka throughout, and with a high degree of confidence and appreciation I might add.

While the pandemic continues to wreak havoc around the world, I can report (cautiously) that extreme levels of chaos and casualties experienced elsewhere have eluded Sri Lanka thus far. Naturally, we want to keep it this way.

Whilst an anecdotal view, Sri Lankans believe their islands’ tropical climate and indigenous remedies have mitigated widespread outbreaks. This may be true, but focused leadership, disaster preparedness and the brave souls on the frontline are in my view what has held the pandemic at bay.

As I update this page…

Our last international guests flew home on March 26th and the hotel closed. Over recent weeks we have renovated, repaired and spruced up the property with a view to reopening later this month.

Nick Buckingham
August 3rd 2020