Friday, January 14, 2005

The following is a status report on i-escape featured hotels located in areas affected by the recent earthquake and tsunami in Asia:


SRI LANKA

UK Foreign Office Advice Following the recent tsunami, we advise against all but essential travel to affected areas on Sri Lanka's eastern, southern and south western coasts until local conditions improve. There were extensive casualties and damage along these coasts including to tourist resorts. For further details please refer to www.fco.gov.uk. Visitors are able to travel as normal to parts of Sri Lanka unaffected by the tsunami.

The South coast (including Galle), East coast (including Arugam Bay) and parts of the South West coast (including Bentota) were affected by the tsunami. The following properties in these regions are featured on i-escape:

Taru Villas and River House (Bentota): no damage and operating as usual from 15 January
Club Villa (Bentota): no damage and operating as usual from 15 January
The Villa (Bentota): no damage and operating as usual from 15 January
Saman Villas (Bentota): no damage and operating as usual
Taprobane Island (Weligama): incurred damage and currently closed, expected to re-open July 2005
Beach House (nr Tangalle): suffered serious damage and currently closed, expected to re-open July 2005
Sun House and Dutch House (Galle): no damage due to hillside location
Apa Villas (nr Galle): some damage, currently closed, expected to re-open June 2005. Any guests booked here have been re-located to Illuketia
Illuketia (nr Galle): no damage and operating as usual
Secret Garden (Unawatuna): suffered extensive damage and will remain closed until the end of 2005.
Kudakalliya (Arugam Bay): incurred minor damage but closed as the surrounding area and infrastructure was very badly hit
Claughton (Dikwella): no damage and operating as usual

Kandy, the Hill Country and Cultural Triangle were unaffected. Helga's Folly, Stonehouse Lodge, Villa Rosa, Paradise Farm, Boulder Garden, Galapita, Rafters Retreat, Tree Tops Jungle Lodge, Elephant Corridor, Kaladiya, Ulpotha, Colombo House, Horathapola, Havelock Place and Mount Lodge are all open for business as usual.

British nationals in Sri Lanka caught up in the tragedy should contact the British High Commission in Colombo if they have not already done so. The High Commission is open on an emergency 24-hour basis. Its telephone number is: (00-94) 112437336.


THAILAND

UK Foreign Office Advice Following the recent tsunami, until local conditions improve we recommend against all but essential travel to affected resorts and towns along Thailand’s west coast, in particular Phuket, Krabi and Khao Lak. Some coastal areas of Thailand were hit by a large tsunami on 26 December, resulting in widespread flooding and damage. Large numbers of casualties have been reported. The infrastructure and public services are severely disrupted. For the latest information please refer to www.fco.gov.uk

The following hotels on i-escape.com were affected…

Golden Buddha (Koh Phra Thong): extensive damage to property, loss of life confirmed and many more missing, island has been evacuated. No word yet as to when the resort could be up and running again.

Sri Lanta (Koh Lanta): suffered no structural damage or casualties but the gardens and furnishings in the lower public areas were destroyed. Scheduled to re-open about 20 January 2005.

The East coast of Thailand (including Hua Hin, Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Pha Ngan), was untouched and the hotels there are functioning as normal

British nationals in Thailand caught up in the tragedy should contact the British Embassy in Bangkok, which is open on an emergency 24-hour basis. The telephone number in Thailand is 02 305 8333. A team of officers from the British Embassy and the Honorary Consul have opened an emergency office in Phuket, which will aim to provide immediate practical advice for British nationals in Phuket and other adjoining areas. Its numbers are 076 264 473/4/5 and 076 264 484.

INDIA - Kerala

None of our hotels or houseboats in Kerala appear to have incurred any damage and are operating as usual. The Kerala Tourism Board has stated that all tourist destinations are functioning as usual.

INDIA - Goa

None of our hotels have incurred any damage and are operating as usual.

MALDIVES

UK Foreign Office Advice Like other countries in the region, the Maldives was hit by a series of tidal waves on 26 December 2004 A State of Emergency has been declared. There has been serious damage to a number of islands, including some resort islands. Before travelling, those planning a holiday in the Maldives should check with their tour operator that their resort island is operating normally.

The following hotels in the Maldives are featured on i-escape.com

Soneva Fushi: Buildings received minor damage that will be repaired by 30 December 2004

Soneva Gili: Incurred some damage and is officially closed now. It is their intention to reopen the resort by 1 February 2005. A firm re-opening date will be given as soon as possible.


Contact Numbers

The FCO has issued an emergency number 020 7008 0000 for relatives and others who wish to report missing relatives and friends affected by the tsunami in Asia or to pass on information about them. (Please note that the emergency number is only for people in the UK who are concerned about the welfare of UK nationals they believe may have been in the affected areas).

For travel advice only please telephone 0870 606 0290.

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