The original building, a single storey bungalow, was constructed as the holiday residence of Sir Edward Barnes, the fifth Governor of Ceylon. In 1892, it was sold to the Nuwara Eliya Hotels company and a second storey was added to the building. A further extension was opened in 1904 (north wing) and 1930 (south wing) as well as a third storey, with a Tudor style façade. At this time, The Grand became the centre of the season’s social activities of visitors from Colombo. Known as the “little England” of Ceylon, its guests used to come to play Golf, but also cricket, polo, hockey, croquet and there was hunting too.
The Grand has welcomed many notable guests from Europe and India.
154 deluxe rooms including 7 suites
The main restaurant, Barnes Restaurant, located on the ground floor of the hotel, overlooks the beautiful garden and offers a wide choice in both Western and Eastern cuisine.
You also have three other restaurants serving Thaï cuisine, Indian cuisine or buffet.
The Public Bar is located next to the Billiard room is the perfect place to slip a drink by the fireplace. Next to it, the Wine bar welcomes you in a more contemporary style decoration.
3 Billiard tables, Gym, spa, air rifle shooting, small playground indoor.
Nuwara Eliya Golf (and its colonial Golf Club from 1889) is located just opposite the main entrance.
In the ‘April Season’ it comes alive with an exciting carnival atmosphere – there’s everything from horse racing (a local Ascot with dressing up on a grand scale) to motor cross, boat rides, flower shows, music and entertainment events, Golf and Tennis tournaments and more to keep you busy.
All year round, you can take a leisurely stroll in the Nuwara Eliya Park or visit the Galway Bird Sanctuary nearby. The Hakgala Botanical Gardens is home to exotic orchids, rare ferns and magnificent roses. Spend a day out at the plantations and factories where Sri Lanka’s renowned ‘High Grown’ tea is produced and admire the myriad waterfalls along the way. You can also fish in the nearby reservoirs (rainbow trout, tilapia, carp).
Venture further, and discover the unique beauty of Horton Plains high up at around 7000 ft, and the awe inspiring wonder of ‘World’s End’- a near vertical drop of around 4000 ft. Rare flora and fauna abound here; including deer, jackal and the elusive leopard. Pay pilgrimage to Sri Lanka’s holy mountain ‘Adam’s Peak’ and catch a glimpse of the famous shadow at sunrise. There’s plenty of action for the thrill seeker – white water rafting, rock climbing and trekking (the hotel proposes different options from 2 hours walk till 7 hours), and if you prefer it slow, the colonial charms of the town offer much to explore.