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“Home Far Away From Home” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Mount Lavinia Hotel

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Mount Lavinia Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   100 Hotel Road, Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia 10732, Sri Lanka   |  
Hotel amenities
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Home Far Away From Home”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2014

Super location, close to Colombo city but just far away so your not disturbed by city noise. Passing rail track may occasionally disturb. Personally just found it an atmospheric addition to our holiday.
Room was more than comfortable. The building is old so there were some signs of wear and tear, but we only mention this for the nit-pickers.
Food was one of the most outstanding features with the most comprehensive buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner we encountered throughout our 2000km+ tour of Sri Lanka. Every dietary requirement imaginable was accommodated. From local cuisine to sushi to high quality English fayre, foodies will be in 7th Heaven.
Private beach was lovely as were the cocktails and fresh juices served by the beach staff. Talking of staff, their warmth of welcome and professionalism was exemplary. If anyone is thinking of staying her for the new years party, which we did, it is worth every Rupee. Wholeheartedly!
Overall, highly recommended.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1,388 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
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Finland
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
75 helpful votes 75 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2014

My husband and I stayed at Mount Lavinia Hotel for four nights back in January 2012 while on our honeymoon, so this review is unfortunately a bit late in the coming.

Upon arrival, we were upgraded to a very big suite in the modern wing, which was a nice touch. This was, however, the only acknowledgement by the hotel that we were there celebrating our honeymoon. The other complimentary add-ons that Kuoni (whom we were travelling with) had advertised never actually materialised.

Our suite was lovely. Very modern, spacious and with great views towards the ocean. We especially liked the double his-and-hers sinks and the huge bathroom.

The hotel grounds are utterly stunning and romantic and the beach is great (although the water was too rough to swim in while we were there). Food at the restaurant was okay and the fish restaurant on the beach was extremely romantic and had good food.

Unfortunately, all of this was let down by the poor service at reception. Our suite was on the ground floor and on our first day we noticed that one of the windows lacked any sort of locking mechanism. Basically anyone could climb into our room through the window. This made us feel extremely uncomfortable and we asked both the hotel staff and Kuoni rep to do something about it. Nothing happened and they seemed like they could care less.

Also, there were a lot of weddings going on at the hotel. At first, this felt fine and provided us with some lovely glimpses into Sri Lankan wedding culture. However, by the end of our stay it got pretty tedious and it felt like the hotel was only interested in the wedding guests and not in the hotel guests.

It's a pity that such a potentially perfect and beautiful hotel is let down by rude and careless staff.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kapuskasing, Ont. Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2014

Travelled to Sri Lanka October 3 to October 18, 2013 with wife, brother and sister-in-law.

We were coming into land in Sri Lanka at about 4:30 in the morning and were very surprised to see the steady stream of head lights on the roads below. The traffic in Sri Lanka is like nothing I have ever seen but it seems to work.

Landed at Bandaranaike airport and walked through the very long hallways to ultimately find the exit from the airport. It was very busy inside and a little bit confusing as to where we were supposed to go to get out but the workers are very helpful. Anyway, we walked outside and were punched in the gut by the sweltering humidity. Our driver picked us up and took us through the craziest traffic I have ever seen in my life. About 45 minutes later we arrived at the Mount Lavinia Hotel. What a beautiful site.

You pull up into the courtyard where you find doormen in really cool looking outfits with hats and all. You set foot into a very nice and cool lobby. We were quickly given our keys and led to our rooms by a staff member. I had been awake for roughly 36 hours straight and remember thinking that when I got to the hotel I was planning on sleeping for 2 days, but as soon as we got into our room and saw the view from our balcony we got our second wind. No more than 20 feet in front of us was the Indian Ocean crashing up against the small cliff outside our balcony. I managed to empty out my mini-bar of all the cold beer it had. The view was stunning.

Later on we went to the terrace area where meals are served. Once again another incredible view. The food was absolutely amazing at every meal. There is such a variety you cannot possibly go hungry. Breakfast had everything I could think of and then some. We generally ate so much at breakfast that we would just snack a bit through lunch and wait for supper. They serve cashews fresh out of the oven which are now the only way I figure you should eat them.

If you like spicy food you will love this place but they also serve dishes which are typical of what we might eat in North America but usually better. One night I ordered a cheeseburger through room service and once again was not disappointed. It was the best cheeseburger I ever had.

The servers are all very friendly and genuinely nice people. The strangest thing though is that there are very few females working there or at any of the other hotels we stayed at in Sri Lanka. One person told me it was because the employer must ensure that females get to there homes by 10 o'clock and it makes it a sort of hard work around. Don't know if this is true but it could be. Even the people cleaning the rooms were young men maybe even as young as 16. They were incredibly quick and thorough with the rooms. Very polite like every other Sri Lankan we met.

The hallways are dark and all parquet flooring which is okay but could be nicer. All of the hallway lights are on motion sensors which would explain the dimness. I believe we were in the newer section on our first 6 nights there. The rooms were very nice, especially the bathrooms. A/C worked very well.

Past the older section of the hotel, where we spent our last 3 night, is the private beach. Supposedly this is the only hotel with its own beach. It was very nice and relatively quiet but while we were there it was red flag conditions every day. The Indian Ocean produces some very powerful waves that would beat you to the ground in a second and come back to kick you while you're down as I found out. Unfortunately there was some garbage in the water. There was a board with a nail in it and I even saw a larger truck tire washing up to shore. Workers are regularly cleaning up debris that washes up throughout the day.

Our last 3 nights of our vacation had us as returnees to this hotel but this time we were in the older section on the 5th floor to the left of the entrance. We had a juliette type balcony which faced the train tracks in front of the building. The noise wasn't overly annoying and it seemed as though the frequency of the trains lessened as the night went on. They never woke me up. It was really cool to see how many people were on the trains as they went by. There would be people hanging out the doors. Anyway, in this section the rooms were obviously much older and the finishes were more wood than anything else. Stair cases were really nice. The room was reasonably large and we had a king sized bed again. The bathroom was nothing like the one in the previous room but was adequate. We had a massive cockroach on its back just under the vanity but big deal.

On our last evening there a rain storm had apparently broken a pipe above the lobby bar which we saw the staff dealing with the next morning. I hope they were able to get it up and running again quickly because this was another of our favourite places to sit during the day as it had another spectacular view of the ocean. You would usually see wedding parties here. The outfits were very nice. On a couple of nights we ran into the comedians who were there doing Fawlty Towers.

I would love to go back but the flight from Toronto to Colombo by way of Frankfurt was such a long ordeal I would definitely make sure the itinerary had at least a 1 day layover on the way to Colombo.

I really liked this country and I really liked this hotel.

General observation:

The country is beautiful and varied. You have lush forests, hectic cities, mountains, and flat lands. The climb of the highway up to the city of Kandy makes San Francisco`s Lombard Street look like child`s play.

It`s not a very big country but due to population a trip which would take 5 hours in Canada can take days in Sri Lanka due to heavy traffic and low speed limits.

The people everywhere were very friendly and very appreciative of anything you gave them. It was almost embarrassing how special we were treated in public places. The grocery store manager would practically push the shopping cart for you, they`d open up another cash register for you. They really are that nice everywhere. We went into a beer/liquor store to get wine and beer and the owner brought us in behind the cage so we could look around.

We contacted Walker Tours to arrange all of our accommodations including 6 nights at Mount Lavinia Hotel, pick up and return to/from hotel, private van and tour guide for 5 nights with accommodation and supper and entrance fees to attractions for a very, very reasonable rate

I would go back to see this country again and I would certainly stay at Mount Lavinia Hotel again. You can walk right out of this property and be on a main street within minutes. There's even a small Bhuddist temple a 2 minute walk away. It's a completely different lifestyle that Sri Lankans have and it was great to see.

Room Tip: Direct ocean view is very nice.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2014

We arrived here at 130 am after a 23 hour trip with various delays and so were perhaps not in the best frame of mind. We had two rooms and one of them had the air conditioner leaking water all over the floor. This necessitated 3 service people trying to address the problem at 2am and in the end a towel was stuffed into the offending spot! Clearly this can happen anywhere and as the hotel was full there was no option of another room. The rooms themselves were pleasant and generally well presented despite the leak. I found it odd however that there was not a table and chair set on our ground floor "balcony" to enable us to enjoy the sea view. The hotel itself is a mix of the updated and outdated and is clearly in need of work in some areas. The pool area is however lovely with excellent views and the breakfast was excellent. The beach in the area is not great and I was pleased we were not spending a week there. The hotel is a fair journey from the centre of Colombo but this can be a plus depending on what you are looking for. Overall, we were a little disappointed but some further work would help further restore the colonial grandeur that it may have once enjoyed.

Room Tip: Avoid the growing floor unless you have young kids
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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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Colombo, Sri Lanka
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2014

As an overseas professional cricket player I lived in rented accommodation in Dehiwala. When I had down time I would often get a tuk-tuk to go and lounge around the pool terrace at the imposing looking Mount Lavinia hotel. The food and service are great and there are beautiful panoramic views over the beach and down to Colombo. I booked a two night stay here out of interest and had a very agreeable time. The rooms big and clean and the spa was unbelievably good. The location is spot on as well as there is a train line that you can jump on directly South to Galle without the faff of going bak into Colombo. My room bill did run up quite quickly and was more than I thought it would be after a two night stay. Dont go here on a tight budget but if you want western comforts good food and beautiful views with immediate access to the South of the island this is your place.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2014

This hotel is not good value for money at current rates. It was obviously quite something at one stage adn is very impressive from the outside, but is let down by consistently shoddy service and a 'coundn't care less' attitude from the staff.
Like other guests below me here have pointed out, we also got stung by the compulsory charge for the New Years party; which was amusing but very poor value for approx £90 for one night, which ended earlier than advertised.
Rooms are shabby and showing their age: this is not a 5* hotel by any stretch of the imagination, so it is a scandal that is charges the rates of one.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
290 reviews 290 reviews
91 hotel reviews
Reviews in 174 cities Reviews in 174 cities
176 helpful votes 176 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2014

We stayed one night towards the end of an island wide tour organised by Red Dot. It is rare to feel compelled to give a historic hotel such as this a ' poor' rating but there were a few factors to take into consideration for fellow travellers. Firstly, as has been highlighted there appears to be certain individuals at the hotel who seem to be at odds with the general high standard of customer service that is prevalent throughout Sri Lanka. A chap at the check in desk blatantly ignoring people, a rude pool attendant ( unfortunately didn’t get his name) when asked to provide a sun lounge, examines you suspiciously and then retorts 'take one that’s been used' clearly had no interest in his job. A room adjacent to the railway line which was nosey to the extreme and with an unhygienic shower which did not drain all unfortunately detracted from what otherwise should have been a good last night in Sri Lanka. The mark of good hotels is often the way they handle guests staying for short periods and clearly this place was not geared up to it. There were many instances nevertheless of very helpful and friendly individuals but I got the overwhelming feeling of a place steeped in sense of its own importance with certain staff who also acted accordingly. If the colonial experience is what you seek then I would suggest staying at the Galle Face Hotel but despite these comments try to visit the poolside at least for drink which has spectacular views but perhaps avoid the pool attendant unless you want an interrogation and a stare.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
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Additional Information about Mount Lavinia Hotel

Address: 100 Hotel Road, Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia 10732, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Western Province > Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 9 Hotels in Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Mount Lavinia Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 275
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Also Known As:
Mount Lavinia Hotel Sri Lanka/Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia

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