We were looking forward to Tintagel as it is an historic house in apparently a good area of Colombo. Yes, it is an historic house and we suppose the area is nice - we walked around and it was okay. There is an Odel department store, shops, the Park and Museum etc nearby - so there are things to do within an easy walk (it was raining while we we there so that stopped us). The house is laid out with a drive-way, entrance area leading to the restaurant and through to the ground-level pool which is in a very public space and has no privacy. There are two small rooms for reading.
Our room was on the ground floor past the pool and kitchen but was quiet. The room was very large with three separate areas - a living area, a bedroom and then a large bathroom. Water pressure in the shower was very low. There was a small plunge pool outside the living area. The furniture and decor were quite nice. The bed was comfortable but the pillows were dreadful - hard and unable to be moulded. There is certainly enough space to spread out. TV was ok. Wifi was stable and quite strong.
So what was disappointing?
Firstly, the house has been leased by the Paradise Road company which has a brand of homewares/decorating, cafe and other hotels. That is okay but there didn't seem to be much attention given to service and the hotel business - it seemed more of a marketing opportunity for the Paradise Road brand. It just seemed to us to be high on the superficial look of the place but not on the details that a guest wants to be comfortable.
Secondly, the food was not good (we had 2 dinners, one lunch and breakfast for convenience and admittedly in the hope that it improved, the weather was inclement and we were on the last 2 days of our trip). The fish and duck were overcooked, the portions were on the small size and overall we couldn't see what the fuss was about. Non Sr Lankan food is generally not done well in Sri Lanka and this was no exception. Nevertheless, on our second night the restaurant was full and was (we supposed) a place to be seen - so perhaps our expectations were too high or we missed something.
Thirdly, we certainly aren't big drinkers (G doesn't even drink), but the ambience of relaxing with a drink is missing because the hotel doesn't have a liquor licence. You have to pre-order (and it took 3 conversations to order a bottle of ordinary Chilean white) and so the process is cumbersome. And we wouldn't have known where to buy a bottle of wine anyway.
Finally, the service was generally forced and lacking genuine warmth. It was like the staff knew they had to be pleasant etc but really didn't want to be (unlike our experience at The Kandy House and Amangalla). On our first night we wanted to dine inside (at 7 pm) and were told that the restaurant was full - so we dined outside which was okay. However, when we walked back to the room at 9pm the restaurant was empty, so what were we to think? We are used to sittings and if we had been told we had to finish by 8.30pm or 9pm we would have agreed. As well, at dinner on the second night the waiter (a Tamil) started complaining to us about his life and how discriminated against Tamils were - which seemed a little heavy for the dinner table. We tried to be pleasant and certainly would have been interested another time - but it came across as just a bit unprofessional. As well, he seemed to take an unhealthy interest in G's cleavage (no, she wasn't wearing a plunging neckline) and I found him outside our room at 9.40pm that night when I was going to pay the bill before we left. He quickly turned and walked away, so I don't know what that was about but it did make me feel uncomfortable. This unhealthy interest in female guests staying at Tintagel has been commented on elsewhere on Tripadvisor but we regarded it as a one-off - perhaps it isn't. However we had no such experiences anywhere else in Sri Lanka and have rarely had such experiences in our travel anywhere.
So we wouldn't stay here again. Some places just don't work for the guest and this one didn't work for us.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
January 15, 2013
Dear Mr. Gardner,
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At the very outset I would like to thank you for taking the time to write your comments about your experience in our hotel. We were very sad to read your review, especially seeing as you did not get an opportunity to experience what Tintagel Colombo really stands for.
Please note that we do have soft pillows available on request, however as a standard we keep the hard pillows. As mentioned in the room information folder, on request housekeeping would have gladly arranged some soft pillows for you. I am saddened that you did not inquire from any of the staff, as they would have informed you of the same and gladly arrange the pillows for you.
With regards to the comment on service standards; please note that how we serve our customers is of utmost importance to us. I wish you had spoken to me on the contact number mentioned in the welcome letter or approached me or any of the managers regarding any of your concerns, and we would have gladly looked into all of them.
Kindly note that the only reason my team have not offered you the restaurant with the option to leave by 8.30pm is due to the fact that the other reservations made for that night were between 8pm – 9pm and unfortunately we did now know that the groups were running late. Also I feel it would be impolite to request guests to finish their meals at a stipulated time, however if only you had mentioned that you are not happy to dine in the courtyard we would have made other arrangements, like we have done in the past.
Kindly note that with regards to the comment on the waiter; we are currently investigating into this and we will do the needful depending on the outcome. Please note that we take any action where necessary to avoid inconvenience to all our guests and would not tolerate any misbehavior from any of our staff members at any time.
With regards to the comment on the staff member being near the room; please note that the room you stayed in is very close to the corridor leading to the entrance of the court yard pantry, hence he would need to enter from there to serve guests in the court yard.
Once again please accept my sincerest apologies for the inconvenience caused.
Given the opportunity to render our services on your next visit to Sri Lanka; we will strive to exceed your expectations as we usually do.
Thank you once again for your constructive comments that will assist us improve our services.
Paradise Road - Tintagel Colombo
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.