It was 2010, and Tsui Yan Ting Jennifer was paying a long overdue visit to this "Pearl" of an Island where she first visited in 1996 to perform charitable work. Jennifer is a Hongkong Chinese world-renowned artist, She is known for her beguiling and luxurious flower paintings on traditional calligraphy paper and she is the first female Chinese artist to be given her own exhibition at the United Nations Headquarters, New York in 2007.
Jennifer was looking for a place to paint and display her art while also encouraging and nurturing the creativity of young, local artists by conducting ‘Masterclasses’. This concept soon changed to an even more challenging proposition when her daughter Helen suggested that they could incorporate the original idea and also run a boutique hotel in Colombo. After several months and visits, an exclusive property in Colombo 7 was decided upon and hence, 19 months later, Zylan welcomed its first guests in Dec 2011.
Each of the guest bedrooms and certain main areas of the hotel is adorned by Jennifer’s vibrant paintings that are reflected in some ways in the name of the hotel, which means ‘to blossom’ or ‘to bloom’.
The hotel itself, being a former villa transformed, retains a sense of ‘home’ amidst the slightly rustic, tropical modern-esque charm of its interior and exterior enclosed spaces.