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“What a find - above Kandy but still feeling part of the city, the perfect place to be!” 5 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
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“What a find - above Kandy but still feeling part of the city, the perfect place to be!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2011

This is a great place to stay – we spent three nights here at the start of our two week tour of Sri Lanka and it was a time that will be impossible to forget.

The house is set in beautiful peaceful gardens in an incredible spot up above the hustle and bustle of Kandy with views over the lake and the Temple of the Tooth. The sight of giant fruit bats silently flocking over the lake at sunset is magical. You can still hear the city chatter and the haunting morning and evening chants from the temples, amidst dazzling birdsong. Light sleepers may wish to take ear plugs, but you will miss these incredible sounds when you are back home!

Some other reviews of this place are poor, but are in contrast to our experience. The rate we paid included breakfast and was, frankly, a complete bargain. If you are hoping for five star luxury then you may be disappointed – yes the towels are not brand new and there may be a few ants in the bathroom (also an obliging gecko) – but there is nothing you won’t find in countless other guesthouses in Sri Lanka. The food is good and plentiful, don’t hesitate to take dinner here but make it known if you like it spicy as the cook cools it down for tourists.

Thank you to Ayoni and her lovely team for a wonderful stay at Castle Hill - it was the perfect beginning to our holiday in Sri Lanka and we absolutely loved it. The house is amazing, the bedrooms cavernous with good mosquito nets, the food was great and the staff made us feel very welcome and at home, it was very difficult to leave! We hope to return one day.

We had a good driver arranged through Ayoni who picked us up at the airport and made things easy for the next few days taking us to the temple sites, elephant orphanage etc. If you do the same just be clear with your driver where you want to go and where you don't, eg if you would rather change money at a bank rather than a street merchant., or eat at a local cafe rather than an expensive tourist restaurant.

  • Stayed February 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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89 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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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Singapore
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2011

We were supposed to stay here for two nights in December. We had booked two rooms, one for the in-laws (a double) and one for us to stay in with the kids (triple). The location is fantastic, and Priyantak the caretaker manager was really sweet and helpful. Although the rooms looked a little dated and there were practically no lights on in the house when we arrived, our first impressions were pretty good.

Unfortunately there are a lot of downsides to the hotel, and I see these are echoed in the other reviews of the place.

When we arrived, we asked to swap rooms as the double room had two separate beds and the triple had a small queen. We figured it made sense to have the kids in their own beds. Priyank asked the owner and she wouldnt allow it. She said if we wanted to do this we would be charged for an extra bed. Nice.

Then we discovered the rest: The sheets, bedlinen and mosquito nets were filthy and smelled as if a hundred other people had slept in them since the last wash. The floors of the house were also so dirty that within 20 minutes the soles of our feet were black and the children were getting black marks all over their clothes. There was no hot water in our room, and the water ran at a trickle. The towels were about 15 years old, the bathrooms were way below standard too. Even our driver mentioned he was surprised we had chosen this location because of it's terrible reputation (or more specifically the manager's bad reputation).

We ended up insisting that our travel agency move us to another hotel for the second night because we didn't get any positive improvement by the following evening. The sad thing is that the manager then ripped apart Priyank and blamed him for everything, when it was he who had honestly done everything he could to help us. He even paid out of his own pocket to get extra fruit for the breakfast for the kids in the morning (why should he have to do that???)

Terrible shame as the place has great potential, if only the owner would actually do something constructive with the place and ensure that it is kept in a suitable condition. We wouldn't have paid more than $10 a night as backpackers, far more than the listed $50 for the triple rooms.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreux, Switzerland
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2010

Staying in Castle Hill, you may believe you came to visit your ceylonese cousins in the 30's. When we came, we had 3 of the 4 rooms and no other guest: the very kind staff made us believe we were at home! we enjoyed the living room, played piano... Castle Hill villa and story helps you to learn about Sri lankan history, art and society; have Ondatjee's family or Lionel Wendt been coming here in 1940?
Castle Hill is not a normal guesthouse, we stay in a private house welcoming us.
Beautiful and huge rooms, very interesting furniture designed for the house in the 40's, lovely breakfast with fresh fruits and lots of toasts....Clove scented bathrooms
Visitors have to behave as visitors, not as complaining tourists. temple music and dogs barking belong to the country. I wish Castle Hill and madame Ayoni never change, and I wish we come again.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
51 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2010

Rather mixed impressions of castle hill. On the one hand the room was badly furnish, the bathroom was dark and the service was mediocre. On the other hand a stunning location over looking the lake in Kandy, wonderful 1920's architecture and a beautiful garden. On the whole a memorable place to stay.

BTW our driver was not at all keen to stay there.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Tel Aviv, Israel
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2010

we booked 3 nights in the castle hill. what a mistake.. we came in the evening after long ride. me and my wife, our 2 litle kids under 4 and my father and mother in law- 80 years old.
the house kipper was unfrendly, the rooms are smmely, bath is broken- he said he will fix it in the morning, dogs barking all nights and very poor breakfast.
in the morning we let him know we are leaving and he ask not to say to the owner...
with a little more we found a much nicer place with upper in the hill in Senani hotel with a plesent stay

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich, Switzerland
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2010

Well, the house is great. The look is great. The stuff doesn`t speak English- no help at all. The rooms were again not clean for europien standart and the towels smells badly. The breakfast is not very good and it is extra. This guesthouse is much too expensive for what you get. Sorry- you are still in Sro Lanka, even if it is located in Kandy.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2010

I stayed here with my wife in 1992 and fell in love with the setting. I am pleased to say I was not disappointed on my return in 2010. If you want some Colonial era charm I can recommend this place. The view and the garden are stunning. The bedrooms are large, especially the two at the front. The public rooms are vast. They are not luxuriously appointed and if you want molton brown shampoo, bring your own. We had supper cooked for us. The meal was great. Castle Guest House is a 7 minute walk down to town. We were there during the Perahera which was a great experience. I would not recommend Castle Guest House to anyone who must have a spa, WiFi, large fluffy towels in the bathroom or who has no interest in history and just wants a large faceless modern hotel.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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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