The history of Jetwing Lagoon

4th Feb 2012
The history of Jetwing Lagoon

To those veterans of the travel and tourism industry, the formerly known Blue Lagoon in Thalahena is indeed the Holy Grail: officially Sri Lanka’s first planned resort, as well as being the amazing Geoffrey Bawa’s first resort design.

Back in its day, however, the property was small and was reliant on the seasonal inflow of Scandinavian tourists. The owner at the time was the late Mr. G. E. B. Milhuisen, who was a pioneer in the industry, as well as the deciding influence that shaped the destiny of an entire family: the Coorays.

Beginning with Jetwing Blue, formerly known as the Blue Oceanic Beach Hotel, Herbert Cooray took Sri Lankan tourism to new heights, following Mr. Milheusen’s advice. The Blue Lagoon, however, always held a special place in his children’s hearts: “When I was a child, the first time my father ever took us to a hotel for a meal was at the Blue Lagoon. That day has always remained with me, as that memory has always inspired me in what I do today,” said Hiran Cooray, Chairman of Jetwing.

Jetwing purchased the resort a year ago, and has set on an ambitious drive to restore the property. The overall design of the resort is in line with Bawa’s original plan: being under the oversight of one of his most celebrated students, architect Vinod Jayasinghe. Jetwing Lagoon, when launched early this year, will feature probably the longest swimming pool on the west coast, at 100 meters in length. Comfort and facilities will indeed go hand in hand, with 55 deluxe rooms situated near the Negombo lagoon front, and villas, which will be added later, as well as a restaurant dedicated to Bawa and his preferred dishes, a coffee shop, fully-equipped gym, and conference facilities.

“Jetwing Lagoon is a refreshing look at a pinnacle of tourism history; we hope to launch in February 2012 and continue its prestigious legacy. Being a Jetwing property, our visitors can indeed expect the high standards and dedication to Sri Lankan hospitality that we have always maintained,” said Wester Felthman, General Manager. “The Jetwing Youth Development Project is currently underway here as well, with over 60 youth from the area being trained in hospitality skills, which we know will benefit them tremendously in the future,” he continued.


Family owned and in the tourism industry for the past 38 years, Jetwing Hotels has surpassed expectation at every aspect. Building on their foundation of being passionate, as well as providing a true, traditional Sri Lankan hospitality experience and constantly pioneering discoveries captures the essence of the brand. Such a strong statement and direction have enabled Jetwing Hotels to imagine and create marvels and masterpieces, where distinctive design and elegant comfort complement each other and the environment.


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