Chief Operating Officer of Galle Face Hotel Group
Rohan Fernandopulle has been immersed in Sri Lanka’s hospitality industry for nearly four decades. Today he is President of the Bocuse d’Or Sri Lanka Chapter - a position he’s held since 2008 - and Chief Operating Officer and Culinary Advisor to the Galle Face Hotel Group.
Although starting his working life as a laboratory technologist, Rohan Fernandopulle found the appeal of Sri Lanka’s burgeoning hospitality industry of the early 1980s irresistible. Investment in tourism was just beginning as some international hotel chains and other local entrepreneurs had recognised the potential for growth. Development then began on some exceptional resort hotels along the pristine beaches of the South Coast.
At the age of 22 Rohan was accepted as a Management Trainee at the newly built Palm Garden Hotel, which was located within the area designated by the Government as the hub for the development of tourism in Sri Lanka. A move to Hilton International followed in 1985 from which Rohan carved out a successful career spanning 28 years. He was primarily attached to Hilton Colombo, where he rose to the position of Executive Chef, with many opportunities to gain overseas experience.
In 2013 Rohan was invited by the Sri Lankan Government to take up the position of General Manager at Waters Edge, a Government-owned leisure complex boasting five banqueting halls, several speciality restaurants and other food outlets.
In November 2017, with Rohan at the helm, Waters Edge hosted Chaîne members to a ‘Great Brunch Journey’. The event was held at its aptly named ‘The View’, a spectacular venue overlooking well-manicured lawns and with stunning views of the lake beyond.
More recently, Rohan has moved on to be Chief Operating Officer and Culinary Advisor to the Galle Face Hotel Group which owns the Galle Face Hotel.
History of the hotel
Founded in 1864, the hotel - older than the famous Raffles Hotel in Singapore, opened its doors in 1887. It is arguably one of the best heritage hotels in the World.
South Asia’s leading Grande Dame, the Galle Face Hotel is testimony to both Sri Lanka’s colonial past and its independent present. Celebrated within the hospitality world, it blends historical splendour with crafted modernity to form a new model for heritage properties.
International guests are immersed in the Galle Face Hotel’s rich traditions and compelling stories, while Colombo society perceives the hotel as the most prestigious, desirable destination in the city for memorable dining and special events. Whether at the hotel for dinner or for a month-long stay, an experience of the Galle Face Hotel is one of timeless grandeur and exceptional hospitality.
The hotel started out as a Dutch villa called Galle Face House that had been a meeting place for gentlemen of the colonial era. That was until four British entrepreneurs decided to use it to start a business, unaware that, by the late 19th century, it would be known as the best hotel East of Suez.