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“You only pay for the view” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Castle Hill

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Castle Hill
22, Rajapilla Mawatha, Kandy, Sri Lanka   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #48 of 52 Hotels in Kandy
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“You only pay for the view”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2013 via mobile

We spent two nights in the castle hill villa. We felt kinda lost when we checked in because the manager was not there and we could not figure out who was in charge instead. The staff did not really seem to care.

The room was huge but not nice at all. The furniture is old and smells even older. They try to hide that bad smell but they don't succeed.

The hallway reminds more of a museum than a hotel or guesthouse. The breakfast is served at the big table in the living room. They didn't ask what we would like, so we got some fruits and toasts. The fruits were okay but there was a dark hair on the butter and the marmalade was inedible.

We wouldn't go there again because furthermore it was too expensive. The marvellous view of the tooth temple and the lake isn't worth it.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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89 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
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English first
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2013

Our stay at the Castle Hill Guest House was unfortunately one whole terrible experience.
We arrived with the train in Kandy and took a Tuk Tuk to the Guesthouse.
Upon arriving the view from the Guesthouse was beautiful and the house from the outside looked very appealing.
But it went downhill from there. A man who worked in the garden greeted us and asked us to have a seat in the lobby. The furniture in the lobby is from the 1950s which I didn't mind but it smelled old and musky and we had black feet as the floor was not clean.
The manager was not present and the man from the garden was clearly not up to the task of managing a guest house. He brought us to our room which was really huge and had the same old and musky smell as the lobby. The bathroom was not clean and I complained about the smell and the lack of cleanliness. He then used a spray can of air freshener and left without a word. We had planned to stay there for 2 nights but we did not feel welcome there at all so we talked to the employee and asked him if it was ok if we left one day earlier.
He immediately said it was no problem. 5 minutes later he came back and told us that he just talked to the manager and that we have to pay for both nights as we already signed in for 2 nights.
We weren't happy about that and I told him that he told me otherwise before but he just said he is only a servant and cannot decide things like that. I asked him to get the manager on the phone but he told me that this was not possible. I then asked him to organize a driver for the next morning to pick us up and drive us to Sigiria.
He left the room again to organize the driver and came back and told us that he has a driver but we have to pay the driver in advance. At this point I had experienced enough terrible customer service for one day and I demanded to talk to the manager but he refused to let me talk to her. My wife and I had the impression that this place tried to rip us off so we decided to leave the place immediately. The staff member insisted that we pay for both nights although we only spent a total of 30 minutes in the Guest House.
I wrote a mail to the Manager and gave her my feedback of our stay at her place and she refused to accept our feedback concerning cleanliness, customer service and the dubious practice of paying a driver in advance.
We had really amazing experiences in Sri Lanka and all accommodations have been welcoming and very pleasant except the Castle Hill Guest House.
There are so many great places to stay in Kandy, stay away from this one!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2013

I heard about this place from other travellers in Colombo and what a beautiful place! I couldn't understand why drivers and guides tried to take me elsewhere until a local chap told me that the owner will not pay guides to bring tourists there which is common in Sri Lanka. The guide who took me had one hell of a row with the owner when she would not give him a fat fee! It doesn't make the owner popular with guides and touts but it makes it even cheaper for us.

The house and garden are beautiful and the views breathtaking. The rates are very reasonable and the food is good especially the Sri Lankan breakfast. The owner takes time to make one feel welcome and will offer advice on how not to get ripped off by local "guides". Kandy itself is crawling with rip off merchants so take notice of what the owner says. She regularly has to refuse entry to locals and travellers who want to book rooms 'by the hour' so you will be safe here. I have stayed here with my wife and by myself several times and will do again. Very highly recommended. SMRP

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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PUNE
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

stayed for 3 nights in December at castle hill resort. Old architecture reminds of British colonies. view from the castle is amazing. you can have a eyeful of Kandy from here in a single panorama. Great Buddha, candy stadium, lake and hills surrounding Kandy . Castle is surrounded by green lawn and lots of flowers. Old British architecture and antiques take the place to new level. breakfast served was good. rooms were super clean with french windows serving as walls on 2/4 sides. from your bed, you can have amazing view of hills and kandy lake. overall i can rate it 8/10. caretaker also arranged for auto for visiting local attractions at very moderate price and was overall very co operative. rooms do not have television but who needs television when you can enjoy eyeful of kandy in a glance which is heaven on earth.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Melbourne, Australia
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
133 helpful votes 133 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

Arriving at sunset, my first impressions of Castle Hill were positive. The sweeping driveway and luscious garden complemented the gorgeous views of Kandy from the elevated position of the Main House. Rather than rushing to check out the room, I sat and watched the sunset and took in the scenery of the Kandy Lake, Sri Dalada Maligawa and town situated below. The water level of the Lake was full so it was a lovely sight. It isn't as picturesque when the water levels are low.

The Main House is maintained in a colonial style with older style furniture and fittings. As you enter the house the living room has three distinct sitting areas and a piano to one side. Towards the back of the same room there is large dining table with an art deco style chandelier hanging above. There are four rooms available to stay. Two to the front of the house and two in the middle. The back of the house is for the owners and staff.

We stayed in one of the spacious middle rooms to the right of the house (facing the Lake). Our view was a limited one, and I noted the two new self-contained portacabins blocking the view anyway. The owner indicated that she will have four portabins installed to overlook the Lake and Sri Dalada Maligawa. It's an interesting concept and no doubt there will be some interest from certain travellers in staying in them once the installation is complete. Interestingly, I felt that the space within the Main House wasn't fully utilised to its potential. Each of the four available rooms is very spacious, but with an improved layout, better furnishings, some much-needed refurbishments (i.e. paint, cleaning, electrical repairs)it could be much more luxurious and cosy.

As it stands, the room we stayed in was, on the positive side, spacious with plenty of beds. Note - there is no television/radio or tea/coffee making facilities. On the negative side, the room smelt old and musty; it wasn't sufficiently clean (particularly the rugs, the bathroom and floor) and could have done with better air ventilation. Mosquitoes are an issue, so I definitely wouldn't recommend opening windows towards the late afternoon. Sleep quality was poor and we heard noises coming from above our ceiling (in the roof) in the night. If you're looking for an overnight place to stay, Castle Hill may be okay, but for an extended stay, there are better options with similar views around Kandy.

We had breakfast and dinner at Castle Hill during our stay. Note that dining is communal with only the one long dining table that seats about eight people, so if you're feeling antisocial or were hoping for a romantic dinner for two, it's not possible. You can however dish your plate with rice and curries, vegetables etc. and go sit in one of the sitting areas eating with your plate in your lap. The food quality was fine. Breakfast is a similar affair. You have a choice between western and sri lankan breakfast options. I'd recommend the sri lankan option of string hoppers, coconut sambal and curry. It's tastier and possibly more filling if you have a busy day of sightseeing or travelling planned.

The staff are helpful and accommodating, but don't expect a lot of conversation. The owner isn't naturally welcoming, which is a little strange being in hospitality/tourism, so if you're looking for a guesthouse/B&B where the hosts are chatty, sociable and offer lots of helpful information, then this place is definitely not for you. I had no particular issues with the owner or staff during my stay, but for any guesthouse/B&B the standard certainly needs to be higher to positively contribute to a guest's overall experience.

I'm not sure that I'd stay here again. There are so many accommodation alternatives in Kandy to put up with average service and value and, poor cleanliness and sleep quality.

Room Tip: There are only four rooms in the main house that are available to stay. I would suggest either of th...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Wellington, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

The Castle Hill appealed because of its colonial period architecture and decor. Unfortunately it was a very disappointing experience on a number of fronts. As per other reviews we and our driver were offended by the ' no Sri Lankans allowed' sign at the front entrance.
When we arrived there were two ugly 'container rooms' waiting to be positioned beside the classic bungalow - talk about bad taste and greed!. We were assured there would be no construction during our stay but returned for a rest mid- afternoon on a Sunday to find a forklift and team of men working right outside our room and our room full of diesel fumes. Despite repeated complaints to the manager the construction continued to 8pm and we were forced to watch from a restaurant up the road until they left. We asked to speak to the owner by phone in the morning but she was too cowardly to take our call and let the manager take the rap for her decision to continue with the construction after we had complained.
Our room had a faulty electrical outlet and when the hot water eventually arrived it wouldn't drain away. A very poor experience.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2012

Stayed here for 3 nights in November. The place is ideally located in Kandy with great views of the lake, temple and giant Buddha. However, the bathroom was dirty even though there were 4 cleaners in it as we arrived...... At night the mosquitos will keep you awake. Even though the doors were closed, but we discovered the next morning that above the windows are just window slats that let the buggers in. Didn't use the mosquito net the first night as it was filthy, we had no choice for the other nights. Breakfast was poor in comparison to the other places we stayed in in Sri Lanka. The manager (owner?) was a bit harsh with the staff, who in return were very friendly in helpful to us.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 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.
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Additional Information about Castle Hill

Address: 22, Rajapilla Mawatha, Kandy, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Central Province > Kandy
Amenities:
Free Parking Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #48 of 52 Hotels in Kandy
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 4
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Castle Hill Kandy

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