On a recent trip with SriLankan Airlines we were able to experience the lounge at Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport. Firstly, we would like to highlight how efficient and fantastic Colombo is as a connecting airport. With the airport being small enough to walk from one gate to another in just five minutes, this is one hub that might not have the amenities of Dubai or Doha, but offers tighter connection times, and therefore slightly shorter total journey times.
For those lucky enough to be travelling in SriLankan’s business class will be entitled to enjoy the Serendib lounge which is situated in the main terminal building. On entering the lounge you’ll be greeted by two large statuesque lions either side of the reception desk.
The staff in the lounge are friendly, knowledgable and eager to help. The lounge itself doesn’t offer the contemporary designer interior that other airlines are now starting to offer, but there is comfort in bucket loads. The lounge isn’t large, but considering the size of the airline, when we arrived, it catered for a large amount of departures and there were still plenty of seats.
There are two main areas, separated by a bar situated in the centre of the lounge. The main seating lounge area is situated by the large picture windows looking over the airport apron. The leather bucket seats are comfortable and laid out to offer smaller seating areas suitable for smaller groups.
The bar in the middle is a mix of self service and staffed, with Piper Heidsieck champagne and wines on ice on the bar, and a range of spirits available behind the bar. The bar faces the main dining area which offers a fantastic large buffet offering, with tasty and flavoursome local dishes as well as a salad and desert bar. It’s a lovely touch to have a glass window showing off the chefs in the kitchen preparing the dishes.
The dining area is perfect for those wanting to sit down and enjoy a meal and is tendered to by a noticeable quantity of staff members, although if you want a more casual affair, you may enjoy taking a plate to the picture windows to watch the world go by.
Apart from showers, a powerful Wi-Fi and even a small business centre, the Serendib lounge also offers two other key areas which are perfect for a layover. Illuminated by blue lights, there is a relaxation area, which is soundproofed by a glass divider from the rest of the lounge, offering large comfortable leather recliner seats, and there is even a herbal spa that offers a wide variety of reflexology treatments and offers passengers a complimentary 15-minute massage. It is run by Siddhalepa, one of the oldest and a leading Ayurvedic brands in Sri Lanka.
The lounge itself is intimate, perfectly formed and punches well above our expectations. The catering and spa were welcome surprises and we easily could have spent several hours there, although most of SriLankan’s excellent connections means most passengers will rarely spend longer than that.