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“Great location but the "faded elegance" is taken a bit far...” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Galle Face Hotel Colombo

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Galle Face Hotel Colombo
No. 2, Galle Road, Colombo, Sri Lanka   |  
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Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Special Rate
Free room upgrade
Ranked #13 of 30 hotels in Colombo
Petersfield, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
240 reviews 240 reviews
95 hotel reviews
Reviews in 142 cities Reviews in 142 cities
100 helpful votes 100 helpful votes
“Great location but the "faded elegance" is taken a bit far...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2013

This grand old dame of ahotel is set next to the city's main open space, the "green" running along the coast.

Our room was basic, clean and comfortable if a little small and commanding stunning views of a tiled roof and television aerials....smarter and obviously more expensive rooms were very grand and command sea views.

The main offiicers' mess-style dining room was very old fashioned under the colonial arches, with an interesting range of Singalese dishes served buffet-style. Another restaurant was extra (we wereon a half board package) but we didn't try it.

The pool area is quite small and hence noisy plus taking tea on the terrace looking at the sunset is in all the guidebooks so there were tens of camera lugging tourists not staying at the hotel leering at my wife in her bikini....

At night the open space immediately north of the hotel come alive with hundreds of little food and trinket stalls as seemingly the whole populations of Galle comes for a night out.

The entire hotel needs a major refurbishment and soon, flaking paint, chipped surfaces, dirty floors...

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (351)
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English first
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2013

There is a magical spirit in this place when you walk on the ancient wood or tiles or when you climb the steps. You get transported to another time in the skin of those privileged travelers. But magic ends upstairs, where the carpet is really stained and the bedroom (ocean suite) would need something more for the price (plugs that work maybe? warmer decoration? cleaner bath tub?). Service could also be better for this range of hotel, maybe when travelers arrive exhausted after their night flight could the restaurant manager say something else than "breakfast end in 5 minutes". (awful orange juice by the way, but very good choice of things to eat). In addition, in a room for 4, you should have at least 4 towels...
Nevertheless the pool and the view you get there are amazing. Sipping cocktails on the black and white tiles is great.

Room Tip: Corner suites are large enough for a family of 4
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Wattala, null, Sri Lanka
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2013

We decided to eat dinner here following a very pleasant walk along the Galle Face. The oceanfront location of the outside area / bar where we ate was fantastic with great views.Service was prompt and attentive and the food was tasty,Well we be back

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2013

We didn't stay at this property. Decided to eat dinner here following a very pleasant walk along the Galle Face promenade on a balmy April evening. The oceanfront location of the outside area / bar where we ate was fantastic with great views out over the hotel lawns and the Galle Face all topped off with a quirky 'colonial' ambience. Service was prompt and attentive and the food was tasty (we ate Sri Lankan curry). Well worth a visit!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Melbourne, Australia
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013

This old hotel needs a good dose of TLC - not just in the aesthetics but in the attitude of the staff. We arrived very late at night after a long flight and just wanted a shower and to go to bed. We waited over 15 minutes for our luggage to be brought up but to no avail. In the end, we collected it ourselves to the bemusement of staff who where just gossiping amongst themselves.
The next day, we waited over an hour for a burger. Again the staff seemed oblivious to their customers' concerns (we weren't the only ones waiting a long time for lunch) and seemed to spend most of the time talking to each other.
The hotel itself is of an old colonial style and whilst functional, the rooms could do with a bit of an update. Although architecturally reminiscent of Raffles in Singapore, the grandeur of the era is not translated to the rooms.
Both the breakfast and dinner buffets were great with a good variety of both Sri Lankan & Western foods. A big plus is the view over the Indian Ocean which is to die for. Unfortunately we were there when the weather was starting to get hot and both meals were eaten without the luxury of airconditioning. Another drawback to such hot weather is that the pool was uncomfortably warm. I know this cannot be helped but it did make going for a dip most unrefreshing. We were also surprised to find the water in the pool was actually sea water, further exacerbating the unpleasantness of the swim.
All in all, a good hotel to kick start a tour of Sri Lanka - just remember to bring your patience!

Room Tip: Regency wing rooms were update a few years ago
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Riyadh
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013

Galle Face Hotel has been 1 of my favorite hotels in Colombo and have been visiting it very frequently. Hence i booked a suite for 3 nights for my honeymoon but we are regretting it very much. Service was very bad and the hotel looked too worn out and lonely. my stay was the during the long weekend of Sinhala New Year. Also old wing was closed for renovations, maybe dats period i booked.food was terrible, the in-room menu and verandah menu are the same, that also morning menu and night menu both were same except for the different presentation. lol. sometimes what we ordered is not what we got and had to wait longer, on the 3rd day we went out to eat as 2 days we had enough with the hotel food. eventhough i specifically told them whilst booking and personally visited them to inform that i'm coming straight after my wedding and i have booked the suite for 3 nights, i was surprised to see not a single complement was given by the Hotel. Thanks to my friends who went bit early to have some flowers in the suite. only good thing was the jacuzzi in the middle of the suite which was very enjoyable.

Room Tip: go for new wing and corner rooms or suites
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2013

Stayed here 2 years ago and it has slipped a great deal since then. There are two wings, the old one is closed for renovation and the new one which was renovated in 2005 should be closed for renovation. They have also closed the Club bar and the small shop area.
There is only one area that has air conditioning and open for afternoon tea and closes at 4pm then opens at 7pm as a bar and resteraunt.
You can enjoy staying here if you can accept all the quirky parts and things that do not work and the few areas that are not functional.
On the plus side the pool is great and the spa is also excellent even though they do not advertise it in the hotel. Watching sunset from the garden over the Indian Ocean is fantastic. The breakfast verandah is very nice but very hot as outside.
Quirky point is that the hotel employ a man to chase the crows away with a sling shot!!
You can not swim in the ocean here as too rough.
Overal I would give this a miss until it gets renovated fully and the management get their act together.

Room Tip: go for the new wing and ocean facing
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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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:
Location: Sri Lanka > Western Province > Colombo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 30 hotels in Colombo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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 82 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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