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“Step back a century"” 4 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 #33 of 43 Hotels in Galle
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Step back a century"”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2010

The Closenberg was recommended to us by another Galle hotel owner when I called around inquiring about availability. The owner of the Galle Fort Hotel summed up the hotel best saying "the hotel needs a bit of work, but they do an excellent curry and you will feel like you step back in time."

The hotel is situated on a point about 7 minutes tuck tuck ride from the Galle fort. The views are amazing and the garden is beautiful.

The hotel itself made me feel like I was an extra in a Merchant Ivory film. There is a large, rather unused dining hall and sitting room, and then there is an indoor/outdoor dining area as well, along with the terrace. All of the furniture is teak and probably original (?) Anyway, you feel as if you're visiting another time.

The room we had was great. There was a lovely terrace with views of the water, the bathroom had been renovated and the linens were great.

The staff are lovely. The 'room captain' is quite a character and has been with the hotel for 31 years.

Tuck Tuck drivers wait at the bottom of the hill and can be bargained down to about 200 rupees for a ride into Galle.

The next time we visit the south we will stay here as opposed to loud, Unawatunu and take a tuck tuck to the beach during the day.

The food was quite good, by the way. We had curry for lunch and a wonderful breakfast the day we left.

  • Stayed December 2010, 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Drifting_Wanderer, Owner at Closenberg Hotel, responded to this review, January 6, 2011
We are pleased that you enjoyed your stay here and hope to warmly welcome you again. Yes our teak is original and much of it dates back to when Closenberg was built in 1860.

Wishing you a happy and prosperous new year and all the best on your future travels!

The Closenberg management
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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173 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    32
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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 (30)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Stockholm, Sweden
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2010

We were extremely lucky to check-in at the hotel when there was a wedding reception occupying a major part of the hotel. The staff offered us room service however we didn't want to miss out the opportunity of watching beautiful people dressed up in saris and suits ... We got a table in the middle of everything and even got the chance of dancing with the guests. We felt warmly welcome.
Very friendly and attentive staff, the waiters were from the old school i.e. very proud to serve and give good service. Also the owners made everything possible for us to feel welcome. BEST coffee ever in Sri Lanka, even if the taste was a bit burnt ;-)

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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E_Abeyewardene, Owner at Closenberg Hotel, responded to this review, July 12, 2011
We are glad that you enjoyed this traditional experience at Closenberg Hotel and we look forward to greeting and serving you again in the future. All the best on your travels!
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Mauritius
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2010

I have been traveling most of my life to small paradise islands in the Indian Ocean and Sri Lanka has always been my favourite destination, the Closenberg Hotel, one of the oldest hotels in Sri Lanka is my home away from home. The staf are clearly the hart of the hotel and are always there to help you. I have also been surfing during my travels and have discovoured the perfect consistant wave that breaks all acros the bay with a hight of 3 m a dream for all surfers as this point is not known to surfers. I can only say this Hotel is for all types of people the perfect place to relax.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2010

beautiful place , clean , beautiful view , lovely staff . The place needs to be done up a bit , apart from that we had a very good holiday .

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with friends
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
los angeles
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2010

I came to Sri Lanka to get away from my busy life and find some peace in nature. The Closenberg hotel was a perfect fit for me. The hotel has a rich history and has been a family treasure for over 120 years. I personally like to support local businesses and that made Closenberg a little more special for me. The view is breathtaking. The view from your room is the Indian Ocean and Rumassala Mountain. The hotel is big enough so you can have your privacy and also maintains a very intimate vibe. The staff was some of the friendliest I have come across and you can really feel how dedicated they are to the hotel. It’s the perfect place for a destination wedding and is often used as one by local couples. I got lucky and was able to catch a glimpse of a few. If you get bored of relaxing the Closenberg bay is the perfect place to learn how to surf and the beautiful Unawatuna beach is only five minutes away. I’ll definitely be returning to the island one day and without a doubt will come back to the Closenberg. If you’re in Galle it’s a must!

  • Stayed August 2010, 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
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Shanghai, China
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2010

In October 2010, we've stayed three nights in the Closenberg Hotel. The building is about 150 years old, and offers a nice few on the ocean. It's in good shape, has a beautiful veranda and exeptionally friendly staff. Although it's a bit isolated, it's still very recommendable for a few days relaxing.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colombo
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2010

Stayed 2 days and 1 night at Closenberg.
This is a very good location, breath taking views of sea and surrounding areas. Situated at an elevated location on the tip of the Galle bay.

Very old colonial building with a story written in every corner and furniture. Very calm and quite place for a long stay.

Rooms were clean and tidy. No television or phones in the room. Thats good in a way because it gives you a true opportunity to get away from the busy life and have a true relaxing holiday.

The garden is small and really interesting but not maintained properly. A proper maintainable to the garden will bring a totally new value to the property. There are large fish tanks.., which were broken. Need removal or repairs.

Local food was very ordinary but European guests who were there seems enjoying the food.

If some one looking for a really relaxing stay for reading, writing or get a way from a busy life yet stay close to a happening town.., this is an ideal place.

There are enough places to visit around the area including Hikkaduwa Coral gardens, Bonavista coral reef, Koggala beach, Unavatuna beach ( one of the most beautiful beaches in the world as Dr. Arthur C Clerk mentions) etc.

You can find places for scuba diving, swimming, surfing, boat rides etc in less than 1/2 hour drive.

A place to try at least once.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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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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