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Reviews (3,542)
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All reviewsgalle facesea spraycolonial hotelold world charmold wingsri lankaindian oceanwooden floorsoverlooking the oceanjunior suitecolonial stylepool barwatching the sunsetsea frontbreakfast buffethigh teaunder renovation
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Reviewed 23 March 2010

The staff have no idea about customer service. There were three people in my party. The waiter came and took orders for only two people and then left without taking the third order...um...hellooo?! When we finally flagged down the waiter (who was apparently deaf because no amount of calling and excuse me's worked) he came and took the third order. Then a different waiter came back with two orders but not the third. The third order happened to be a mango juice. Again...calling the deaf waiter...where is my mango juice....they tell us that it is being made in the kitchen...I didn't know the kitchen was 10 miles away...(yes, I'm being sarcastic)....finally we get the mango juice..and it's warm! Warm juice?! Is this how the locals drink juice? I asked the waiter that...(genuinely interested in the answer). He proceeded to tell me no but since many people ask for ice/no ice etc, they just rather not bother putting ice at all....oh...interesting.. Not worth the money. Go have a look but don't stay or buy anything. You can find better deals elsewhere.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled with friends
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4  Thank questionsc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 March 2010

A tremendous old relic of a hotel but with a modern wing to allow you creature comforts like air conditioning. Right on the sea with the crashing of the waves - you breakfast or dine to that sound. Very atmospheric and also good service. The oldest doorman in the world is still working here - Kutta - standing by the most amzing enormous doors to reception.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank sunny_jay_jay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 March 2010

I could write a magazine feature on our recent (Feb/March) experience at the Galle Face Hotel (GFH), but we will just stick to the points that you as a prospective visitor MUST be aware of before you make the mistake of booking to stay at this place.

The road leading to the hotel entrance is manned by soldiers with guns for security reasons in Colombo, plus this hotel is near to a key army base.

The first impression you will get when you enter towards reception is that this seems like a grand place to stay. Don't be deceived, it is not. Appearances can be deceptive.

Start your climb up the grand stairs to the upper floors and you will notice (if you arrive daylight) worn, dirty red carpets, strong moldy smell and signs of decay on the main corridors.

Enter either a Standard or Delux room and again, the first thing you will notice is- strong musty and mouldy smell, worn out furniture, views of roof tops and other buildings- depending where they slot you, dirty bathrooms, dirty stained bathroom curtains (which everyone shold know, harbours harmful bateria), dirty stained bathtubs, worn bath towels with threads, peeling cealing adn wood work, noise from other guests in rooms next to yours and the feeling that you have been trapped into a false sense of luxury and comfort when you entered the grand entrance.

Going outside, you will notice signs of decay around the hotel, the so-called Green is now an open dirt barren landscape by the sea, many staff are unhelpful and some rude and unprofessional. There are also lots of unsavoury activities in this area, so it is not exactly safe, despite the security presence.

Breakfast in the main dining room is good and varied with staff who are willing to assist.

Drinks on the terraces facing the sea is expensive and service is second rate. The view is good for the sunset over the sea.

Be careful about giving your credit card for pre-authorisation without asking the amount they are requesting from your bank and ask for a copy of the pre-authorsation receipt. Get this destroyed when you check out, otherwise, you leave yourself open to access to your account.

Or honest advise to fellow Tripadviser memebers is to THINK CAREFULLY what you really want from a hotel in Colombo?? before you book to stay at the GFH. By international standards, THIS IS NOT 4 star hotel. It bearly reaches 3 star!!!!

Hotels like Cinnamon By The Lake and Hilton Residences offer far superior services, value and quality for money and you are likley to leave feeling you had a great time to remember.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled with friends
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6  Thank Gazzajam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 March 2010

The Galle Face hotel was far better than expected! But this was only because we stayed in the new Regency wing of the hotel. The classic wing didn't look so great but people generally choose the Classic wing for it's Nostalgia and it's many original signs and floor tiles that remain. Our room was rather average and the view was uninspiring, but it's not like we spent much time in there anyway, as the pool was stunningly located right next to the Indian ocean.

Pros:

The hotel has a very Nostalgic feeling about it with original signs and original pieces of cutlery, plates, wine glasses and two beautiful old cocktail glasses. Old photos of Colombo in it's glory days adorn the walls everywhere you walk. We only ate breakfast at the hotel so I'm not sure if the restaurants are good (I have heard they are awful) but our breakfast was nice (I had danish pastries which were fresh) much to our surprise. Also you get the nice sound of the waves and a view of the lawn and the sea as you eat so it's lovely even if the food isn't tops. The rooms aren't going to get many awards for their appearance but the bathrooms are nice and you do get plenty of channels on the TV. In the suites you get a big balcony overlooking the sea. Our favourite spot in the hotel was the pool which had a romanic view of the sea and watching the sunset which the hotel is famed for was magical. What a shame we only had a night there!

Cons:

The rooms are not decorated well and the furniture is very much mass produced despite the fact that the luxurious Regency wing has 60 rooms. The views were not good at all which was a real shame as the hotel was in such a nice location. The rooms were very small too and I couldn't even take a proper pic of the whole bed! The main lobby was pretty old and needed a good face lift as it looks like it belongs in a 3 star hotel.

The hotel isn't perfect, it has to be said but I love it anyways and I would love to come back soon.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank LSHemshall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 January 2010

Checked into the hotel's old wing was having a lot of stuff i wanted to hand over to banquets for my wedding the following day. Had a good fealing since my early checking but was a little bummed by the old room i got to spend the night.

The following day our wedding was held & was surprised by the wonderful service with a lot of attention to detail given to us for every little request made by me & my (little bit fuzzy) bride. Later that day checked into the new wing of the hotel 9Big Suite) which was marveless, fresh, comfy & clean.

Was reluctent to leave the place for our honeymoon. ]

Special thanks to Mr Sudesh & the amazing banquet team who at the top of the game
(service), Mr Whayne De Silva at front office, Master Chef Halisher & his team.

Great location/ Rooms, Memorable flavors that linger & Plesent Efficient Staff

Thaks Guys...!!!

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled on business
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Thank NShay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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