A tribute to a bygone era
History of the property
The Swanee Grand is built around the original home of Mudaliyar “William Mohotti Munasinghe” a renowned businessman and philanthropist in Negombo during the 1920’s.
Originally from the deep South of Sri Lanka (then Ceylon), “William Mohotti Munasinghe” set out to make his mark in the world and was drawn to Negombo, a thriving fishing hamlet with an abundance of opportunity for a young man in search of his destiny.
“William Mohotti Munasinghe” became a successful businessman and in recognition of his contribution to the city of Negombo and his philanthropic activity, he was appointed as the Aide-de-camp to the British Governor and was awarded the title of Mudaliyar, the highest state honor bestowed on a civilian at the time.
Acquiring a 2 acre property at the current location, the Mudaliyar drew inspiration for building his home from the Dutch Colonial architecture. Over the past 100 years, the original house and property has remained in the Munasinghe family. It was for many years, the residence of the Mudaliyar’s son who was the Lord Mayor of Negombo in the 1990’s.
Today, the property is owned by a third generation Munasinghe, who in 2010 undertook the mammoth task of restoring the original home built by his grandfather nearly a century ago. To do justice the to the grandeur of the colonial era, the original porch way, columns, crown mouldings and window shutters were all restored to their former glory, a process that took over 3 years to complete.