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“Uber Authentic Colonial Tropical Sea Side Experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Closenberg Hotel

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Closenberg Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   11 Closenberg Rd, Galle 80000, Sri Lanka   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #32 of 44 Hotels in Galle
Colombo
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Uber Authentic Colonial Tropical Sea Side Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2011

The Closenberg Hotel as the previous reviewers have mention has an excellent almost fort like location overlooking the Rumasala mountains. As you enter the car park area you welcomed by a haikuesque view of the sea and the mountains in its backdrop, as well as some fascinating Doom palms. Ernest Haeckel the famed evolutionary biologist praised the Doom palms, the location and the hotel building itself, which was owned at the time by Captain Bailey, in his book ‘A visit to Ceylon’ (http://www.archive.org/stream/visittoceylon00haecuoft#page/n11/mode/2up). Leaving historical specifics aside, the authentic colonial feel and the magic of the location is simply enchanting. One of my favorite spots in the hotel is the Lunar Terrace, studded with frangipani trees overlooking the ocean, it is probably one of my favorite places in western and southern Sri Lanka to chill out at. The rooms in the hotel are quite nice; they have balconies and great views. The food is very good too, the Closenberg rice and curry for lunch is something you really have to try out mmmmmmmmmm…. The service is on point as well, overall its one of my favorite locations to stay at when I am down south, There are no simulacra colonial feelings/ impressions or over stylized tropicality here, The Closenberg Hotel is as real as it gets …

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
E_Abeyewardene, Owner at Closenberg Hotel, responded to this review, December 9, 2011
We are thrilled that you took such an interest in the Closenberg's rich heritage and had a truly genuine experience. Captain Bayley and his wife Marina who built the villa in 1860 were great botany enthusiasts, we thus hope to maintain this aspect of the place. We look forward to welcoming you again!
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190 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (33)
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Vercorin
Top Contributor
135 reviews 135 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2011

We (3 adults) stayed 2 nights at the Closenberg which has a spectacular location. It is an old colonial mansion and the public areas are just beautiful. The room, however, was small for 3 adults, the bathroom had no shower gel, not enough soap, and no free mineral water is provided (normally standard in Lanka). A/C blew right into our faces so we had to turn the beds around. Food at the hotel was OK but the setting made up for all the shortcomings. Next time, however, we'll stay at the Galle Fort Hotel.

Room Tip: We had a Standard Room. Maybe they have Deluxe rooms. If so, they're quite likely much better th...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brandon, Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2011

Our stay in this hotel was an authentic cultural experience. The furnishings of the rooms and the dining area were genuinely old, and well preserved. Nothing was tacky about the decor. The staff, dressed in their immaculate white shirts and ties, served us tea on period trays, without our asking. They were very helpful in directing us to various sites around Galle. The view of the bay from our small balcony was one of the best you can find in this area.

Room Tip: Choose an upper floor room.
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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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E_Abeyewardene, Owner at Closenberg Hotel, responded to this review, December 9, 2011
The heritage of this hotel extends back to 1719 and we make it a point to provide a service that makes guest feel a nostalgic experience of our rich colonial past. Please visit our website if you are interested in reading more. All the best!
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milano
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2011

I stayed at Closenberg for 3 nights, in september 2010, while I was on a business trip in the South of Sri Lanka.
The Hotel definitely proved to be a good place to relax after a day of meetings/visiting sites under the sri lankan sun. It has plenaty of open space in the various terraces and garden, which make it also a good place to hold informal business meetings.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
E_Abeyewardene, Owner at Closenberg Hotel, responded to this review, December 9, 2011
We are glad that you found Closenberg a good place to relax on a business trip. It's location creates a private atmosphere. We can make any special arrangements for business clients, as well as provide conference and meeting space. Please let us know when you visit us again!
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Colombo
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2011

This was our second visit to Closenberg.

My first visit was on august 2010 with my wife. This time, we were three..! We spent 2 days and 1 night at Closenburg with our 4 month old baby boy..and had a great time.

After our first visit, I had made some contacts at the hotel and booking was not an issue. Managed to get a reservation via phone, and i asked for the same room room I stayed early. They arranged us the same room this time also.

Room was clean and tidy as usual and bathroom was also well maintained. The staff was friendly as usual but this time they were like family as some of them remembered us.

In my last post I mentioned about hotel garden which was not maintained then. But this time it was a totally different place with clean and nicely maintained garden which gives a home away from home feeling.

We stayed whole time in the hotel as our intention was to have a break.

It was a great stay and many thanks to the hotel staff and specially to Mr. Udith Samarasinghe.

Room Tip: All the rooms have a view to die for..! Be ready to spend dawn and dusk in your private balcony..!
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
E_Abeyewardene, Owner at Closenberg Hotel, responded to this review, December 7, 2011
We are glad that you returned, had a great experience and enjoyed the garden. Thank you for the lovely photography. We look forward to welcoming you again!
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Negombo
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2011

We just had our sister’s wedding in Closenburg Hotel. The hotel and it's staff exceeded our expectations by miles! The hall was very well prepared, the staff were looking our guests from start to finish and we could not ask for more! The staff were amazing, they were well prepared with everything and we felt we did not have to worry about anything as they helped us and direct us in many ways, very professionally throughout. They were all very friendly and the managers (Special thanks goes to Mr.Chamika Madugoda) who we dealt with were amazing and very helpful (big thank you here!).The food was awesome! It's a buffet style with so many options from different parts of the world that you can't possibly try it all. This is such a great place. We can definitely recommend it!!!

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
E_Abeyewardene, Owner at Closenberg Hotel, responded to this review, December 9, 2011
Our banqueting team puts tremendous effort in making a wedding day very special. We are thrilled that it was a success for your family. We wish you all the best!
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2011

I stayed at Closenberg for a few nights last August and had nothing but a wonderful experience.

The building itself is incredibly impressive. It's an old colonial mansion with all of its grandeur preserved from when it was first built over a hundred years ago. Staying there is a bit like being in a time capsule that takes you right back to Sri Lanka's Dutch heritage. The first floor hall and restaurant are spacious, the ceilings are high, and the tall windows look out onto spectacular views of the ocean. Make sure to walk around the grounds of the hotel at night as well-- i saw some of the most ferociously awesome waves coming up right in the bay looking over to Unawatuna.

The rooms were cozy, comfortable, clean and in some ways I felt like i was staying in someone's home. The balconies look out onto the water and if you leave your window open you can hear the waves from your bedroom... no better way to fall asleep.

Food-wise, their rice and curry was some of the best I had during my whole trip in Sri Lanka. With a few fellow travelers, we had a big spread of vegetable, fish, and meat dishes and each had excellent different flavors and textures. The service was excellent.

If you're travelling in Galle, there's no other place to stay than at Closenberg.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
E_Abeyewardene, Owner at Closenberg Hotel, responded to this review, October 5, 2011
We are glad that you enjoyed the ambience and heritage of Closenberg. We are also thrilled that you loved the curry. We take pride in it since Closenberg uses the traditional method of wood fire cooking to give it that Southern Sri Lankan country flavor. Always be welcome!
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Additional Information about Closenberg Hotel

Address: 11 Closenberg Rd, Galle 80000, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Galle
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#15 On the Beach Hotel in Galle
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Closenberg Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Closenberg was built by Captain Bayley in 1860 on top of a peninsula overlooking Galle harbor and the Indian Ocean. Since 1889 it belongs to the Perera Abeyewardene family and is today preserved as a heritage hotel. Large spacious halls, long verandas adorned with antique furniture and terraced gardens are in keeping with Dutch architecture. High ceilings resting on tall round columns and large louvered Teak doors set in arched doorways permit the flow of cool air. Alongside an experience of Sri Lanka's rich colonial past, we offer our guest a welcoming atmosphere, fine dining and an unparalleled view. Closenberg Hotel unique features are: The best location at the middle of Galle Harbor, Uninterrupted seaview from all our rooms, Direct access to beautiful sandy beach ideal and safe for surfing and swimming in all seasons, The unique and timeless elegance of an old Sri Lankan Heritage Hotel often copied but so hard to achieve, A sophisticated blend of service, tradition and cultural experiences Luna Terrace Bar Lounge is the funky trendy place to go and be seen in Galle. Great selection of cocktails, top brand spirits, tapas and fine cafe food. The new infinity pool overlooking the surf of Magalle Bay is a "must have experienced". Closenberg is the ideal gateway for enjoying the beauty of Southern Sri Lanka! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Closenberg Hotel Galle

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