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“A short stay at Grand Oriental Hotel, Colombo” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Grand Oriental Hotel

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Grand Oriental Hotel
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   2, York Street, Colombo 1, Colombo, Sri Lanka   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #30 of 36 Hotels in Colombo
Gillingham, Kent
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
“A short stay at Grand Oriental Hotel, Colombo”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2012

my wife and I booked a 3 night stay at the Grand Oriental as it was in the center of downtown Colombo, handy to see the local sights and also to exchange currency. On entering the hotel lobby we were quite impressed as the Grand together with the Galle Face hotel close by, are the only hotels left in Sri Lanka of days gone by. There were pictures scattered around the hotel of the then important passenger ships which ran from England to Australia with Colombo as a midway stop over.

We were allocated a double room on the 3rd floor which was quite stunning once again the bed and furniture was of days gone by and looked antique! The bathroom was large and spacious, there was a good shower, also toiletries and bath robes.

The lobby doubled as a lounge and there was also a coffee shop in the verandah which was located at the harbour side of the hotel, a very pleasant place to watch the world go by.

The following morning we attended breakfast on the top floor and here were staggering views of the harbour. The breakfast was buffet style and there was a good selection to choose from.

Room and other services were extremely good and all the staff were very polite and helpful.

I would recommend the Grand as a 2 day stay as there is no swimming pool and limited sight seeing in Colombo. All in all a well run hotel with limited facilities.

A good place to visit and pass some of the time is the Mission to Seamen which is only 2 minutes walk around the corner as you exit the hotel to the left. Here everyone is very welcome and one can enjoy a cool beer, tea, coffee or soft drinks and snacks at very moderate prices.

The staff are brilliant and there is also a small shop by the lounge which sells souvenirs gold & silver trinkets and a variety of other useful items. There is also a travel agent who would arrange tours at reasonable prices which covers trips in private cars all over the Island.

The Seamen Mission is a must on your itinerary. In keeping with days gone by, the Mission is equally old as is the Grand Oriental. Just as you near the Mission there is a beautiful church which still runs service on Sundays. Check it out as the architecture its magnificent.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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308 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (69)
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Karachi, Pakistan
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2012

We stayed one night in this hotel in june 2010 when we were on our way to malaysia via airlanka. We had a stop of one day in colombo. We checked in at midnight and we were accommodated immediately. Hassle free check in :)
The hotel is built in british era and its well maintained. You will fall in love with the building if you love antique buildings. Just infront of reception is the restaurant.. and just outside the hotel is a bar..
The corridor is neat and clean.. the room is also old fashioned but very comfortable. No noise, no nothing.. had a sound sleep..
The mornings in colombo are very pretty.. with kids going to school and traffic going on.. We had breakfast on the top floor. Breakfast was also good. loved the TEA!!!
The hotel also had a tour guide which we hired and he took around 3500srilankan rupee and showed us almost all the attractions as we had flight to kualalumpur at 12am.. he dropped us in noon at odel. Its such an amazing place to shop!! everything is so cheap and soo good. House of fashion and odel are two amazing places to shop. Odel has most amazing jewelry for cheap rates.
And yes i forgot to mention tht we checked out in the morning before leaving for colombo tour.. but the reception manager took care of our luggage.. and he kept it safely till 8pm.. the staff is really helpful.

So I will highly recommend this hotel.
We also had fortune of witnessing a srilankan wedding in the hotel lobby in morning.
Such beautiful people, such a beautiful country.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Essex
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2012

On arrival this hotel looks to be a lovely old place however when you delve a bit deeper it appears nothing has been done to maintain the hotel since its glory days. We stayed at a range of accommodations in Sri Lanka from 5 star luxury to backpacker style. This place was by far the most expensive and worst.

After several emails back and forward I eventually managed to secure a room at quite a high price, as it was only for one night and the right side of the city for the airport I accepted the price. However, the price quoted was far different to what you actually pay once they have added on a myriad of taxes and service charges. This applies to everything in the hotel as well, so please be careful when assessing the value of something.

The rooms are large and basic but the bathrooms are very grim. The view from the main restaurant which they promote for being a great view reminded me of Series 2 of the Wire, a show about drugs, police corruption and prostitution! if you dare wander around at night it wouldnt be a surprise if you did witness some of this as this is not a nice area.

The main problem we had though was with the staff. We were going to the cricket and would be returning in the evening and wanted a taxi booked to get us to the airport on time knowing the traffic situation. We were told there was no need to book a taxi when we checked the night before as there would be one ready whenever we need it. We checked this again in the morning. When it came to leaving I asked at the front desk for a taxi in ten minutes. No problem come back then and it will be ready. When I returned I was told it would be ready right away. 15 minutes later nothing, so I went to the same member of staff on the front desk. He looked at me and nudged his colleague who picks up the phone straight away, obviously having forgotten my taxi. He said it would be here straight away. Another ten minutes had passed and still nothing so this time I was much firmer in asking where the taxi was. I was still not even certain one had been ordered. By this stage a more senior member of staff became involved and asked what was happening. He then took charge and was able to get us a taxi fairly soon.

The end result was we had a taxi 40 minutes after we first asked for one. The manager could obviously tell we were not happy and went and discussed this with his member of staff. The manager chased us into our taxi and requested that we put our concerns into writing as the staff on the desk said it was untrue that we had ordered a taxi previously! Very petty and dishonest.

All in all a pathetic tale of events from the staff to round off a poor stay.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2012

As the 3/5 rating and title suggests, I can't quite make my mind up about this hotel. We travelled here on the last night of our holiday in Sri Lanka as a place to see Colombo and in my case see the last day of the cricket between England and Sri Lanka. The check in was a bit of a farce. We had booked the room through an independent booking site and somehow the booking had got mixed up. Even though we had evidence by email, it did seem like the staff didn't believe us and were determined to prove us wrong. After waiting about an hour, eventually the manager came in to say he had found his booking and offered us a room in the hotel. I found him to be quite rude but in fairness during the rest of our stay, he was polite when I bumped into him in the lobby etc. The hotel was huge and our room was at the end of a very long corridor. I found the room to be comfortable with a nice bathroom and powerful shower. I probably had my best night's sleep on my entire holiday here. The breakfast was a little disappointing with the toaster taking about 10 minutes and there only really being a choice of scrambled eggs and sausages from the hot buffet. The surrounding area of the hotel is a little weird, becomes very deserted at night and felt a little unsafe (although there are quite a few armed policemen around). Overall, the hotel had its good and bad points. If I had to, I would have no issue staying here again, but the next time I travel to Colombo, I will probably look at other options first (the Hilton is just down the road and not massively more expensive).

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2012

This could be a charming hotel if restored. But now, the lobby is the only good thing about it. Room was large but not decorated or furnished well, walls were vacant. Bathroom featured old, worn faucets, a shower head installed so the water hits the wall only - not your body - and there were no hooks for clothes or even a shelf to put toothpase. I was sent here by a tour agency and wouldn't stay here again. If you're not picky and like old world things, really old, then this is the place for you. I complained to front desk about bathroom, they promised to fix right away, but forgot it seems.

Room Tip: View of harbor might improve the stay a bit.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2012

I was looking forward to staying here after 5 days in guesthouses. It was going to be a little luxury at the end of my trip. Who would have thought I would crave to be back in a guesthouse soon after arriving?

The check in was unprofessional. It was as if I wasn’t expected despite having emailed only days before. I showed the email on my iphone, but I had to go into the staff area and log on and print it off. Very odd.

The main issue I have is the quality of the room. It was in extreme disrepair. The bed was very hard. The air conditioning was old and very noisy and makes sleep impossible. The TV remote was held together with sticky tape and cardboard. My travel adaptors did not work in the plugs (leading to a very difficult journey the next day when I needed to make an urgent phonecall).
The bathroom left a lot to be desired. I had to request more shampoo and toilet roll (a third of a roll) as there was not a sufficient amount supplied! 5 days of travelling round eating local food – I need more of both!

My room was full of mosquitoes. I expect that when staying in a guesthouse but not in a hotel supposedly recommended as Top Range by the Lonely Planet! At least you get a mossie net in a guesthouse!!

I could also hear rats running around in the wall cavity. Yes – rats!

I had 1 hours sleep and a horrible journey the next day as a result of having no sleep.

When I checked out, I was amazed that I was still charged for an internet card. My complaint was not taken seriously. If there was any customer service, I would have been offered this free as a good will gesture.

I left full details of my complaint with the hotel but I am not surprised that no-one has contacted me!

Room Tip: Get a room in another hotel
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
52 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2012 via mobile

Luckily we spend only one night at this hotel. Check in was smooth and efficient and helpfull staff brought us to the room on the 3rd floor facing the busy harbor.
The room was spacious but the bed was very hard and no hot water in the shower. All looked a bit dated. Noise from the corridors as well as from outside reach your room. When telling the reception about loud music and screaming in the corridors they just answered "yes but it is a group!" so if you are group you are entitled to ruin the other guests sleep??? Not very professional. The area itself is not very attractive and pretty boring at night. As this hotel is listed as the Grand Dame of Colombo it is time to reinvest. We went for high tea in the Galle Face hotel, this should be your choice if budget allows.

Stayed March 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Oriental Hotel

Address: 2, York Street, Colombo 1, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Western Province > Colombo
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #30 of 36 Hotels in Colombo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Grand Oriental Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 60
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Also Known As:
Grand Oriental Colombo

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