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“Only saving grace was the curry at breakfast”

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Galle Face Hotel Colombo
Ranked #5 of 54 Hotels in Colombo
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 4 April 2010

We checked in at about midnight from a 6-hour flight and although the reception person was accomodating, the room wasn't great. It was really OLD and we got 2 beds. The 2 beds were literally 2 separate beds pushed together. Although this is ok as we've stayed in other hotesl with this set-up, this one was bad - separate bed sheets and even when pushed together would slide off to opposite ends. The bathroom was really DIRTY with a lot of stains on the bath tub - not to mention mould stains on the shower curtain and the room gave me the creeps. If you are very sensitive to smells and dust, don't stay here. Only saving grace was the breakfast buffet as we got a taste of some good curry. The people were accomodating and friendly even when we had requested to be transfered to a better room with 1 bed.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank manilamoongoddess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,588 - 2,592 of 3,053 reviews

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
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Additional Information about Galle Face Hotel Colombo

Address: No. 2, Galle Road, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Phone Number:
Region: Sri Lanka > Western Province > Colombo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 54 Hotels in Colombo
Price Range: RM638 - RM1,705 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Galle Face Hotel Colombo 5*
Number of rooms: 156
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Presented proudly as Sri Lanka's iconic and historic hotel, Galle Face Hotel is located in heart of Colombo City, along the seafront and facing the famous Galle Face Green.The hotel has 158 well-appointed rooms and suites, with some offering excellent views across the Indian ocean and the fascinating view of evening sunset.There are three restaurants, a gym, spa and unique saltwater swimming pool, overlooking the seafront. Guests here will be convenient as the hotel offers close access to many of the business district,historic cultural sites and landmarks in Colombo, as well nearby shopping. The hotel is a 45-60min journey from the airport.Guests seeking a glimpse of Colombo's history will enjoy the charm of The Galle Face Hotel with its unique, unaltered setting since 1864. ... more   less 
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