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“wauw, loved it!”

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Galle Face Hotel Colombo
Ranked #4 of 51 Hotels in Colombo
Certificate of Excellence
copenhagen
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“wauw, loved it!”
Reviewed March 4, 2012

we spent 2 nights in total at this beautiful, charming and wonderful hotel. we just loved it with its great location in a nice city (forget about going to Negombo to/from the airport -hit straight to the wonderful Colombo instead!). We stayed in the newest wing in a deluxe spa room, which was quite small for the 5 of us but so worthwhile. acturally, we were offered a HUGE room in the old colonial wing, but it had none of that luxury feeling we found in the other part.

We stayed with our 3 children age 2,3 and 7 and it is not in particular chidlren-friendly, although staff loved the kids :-). But the view there and the whole thing is amazing. great buffet as well, both the dinner and breakfast. also, our kids ate for free, which was highly appreciated.

If we ever go back to Colombo, we would without any doubt stay at the Galle face hotel again - WAAAUUUUW!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank zuzan l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Zurich
Level 6 Contributor
281 reviews
196 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 151 helpful votes
Reviewed March 4, 2012

I loved this place. I felt like I was in an Agatha Christie novel. We were upgraded to a suite, which hadn’t been updated from sometime, but this added to the period charm. It had a living room, bedroom dressing room that resembled a railway carriage and full bathroom. The suite looked over Galle Face Green and the Ocean.

The salt water pool is in lovely setting by the ocean. The grounds of the hotel are well maintained.

The breakfast was good and was taken in the Veranda restaurant. The building oozed period charm and would thoroughly recommend.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank EKSAYERS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 3, 2012

If you love the old Colonial feeling and a touch of the Raj, this hotel is for you. Loads of atmosphere, but the hotel's strength is the large amount of attentive staff always on duty (such as a man to frighten the birds away while eating breakfast.)

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank jhw15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Karachi, Pakistan
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed March 1, 2012

Had stayed in the Galle Face's old wing at the tail end of the Cricket World Cup 2011 with a group of 11 boys! The location was excellent with the back of the hotel right next to the sea and the waves spraying onto the garden / verandas, towards the front there was the public beach with lots of hawkers and locals occasioning it around sunset (but your privacy was still maintained), the place was pretty centrally located short tuk tuk rides from most other hotels and eateries.

We spent a lot of the time in the pool aswell which was clean and well maintained and fresh towels would always be provided along with ample lounging chairs. The rooms were decent, bathrooms had been renovated and the hotel had its own colonial charm. The breakfast buffet was excellent :)

Considering it was the cricket world cup and probably the peak tourist season it was not too damaging on the pocket either!

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Ibaad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hereford, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
254 reviews
88 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 128 helpful votes
Reviewed March 1, 2012

There are some places you have to stay, just adjust your perspective slightly. You go in knowing that the rooms might be a little tired, the bathrooms not out of a brochure - and this is certainly the case in the Heritage wing (I always think that anything called Heritage means dodgy bathroom fittings!) - but what you get is a sense of style and history that is worth the odd quirk. And you must also recognise that you get the best location - walking straight out onto the Green and all it's life. The people of Colombo coming to play and relax on the Green and walk along the esplanade late into the evening is a great introduction (or goodbye) to Sri Lanka.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank SuttonHill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Zealand
Level 6 Contributor
326 reviews
154 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 824 helpful votes
Reviewed March 1, 2012

Returning to the Galle Face Hotel, now more than ever it is apparent that this is virtually two hotels sharing the same grounds. The older Heritage wing, and the newer, renovated Regency Wing are almost run separately, complete with independent entrances and reception areas. Rooms in the Regency wing are more expensive, but also renovated to a higher standard, and worth the extra investment, if you really want to appreciate and enjoy this hotel.

The Regency Wing, with its reception off Galle Face Road, is pleasantly decorated in marble and period furniture, and is somewhat more modern than the historic reception area opposite Galle Face Park.

The Regency Wing is the location of the hotel’s small executive lounge, the upmarket “1840” international restaurant, the Tea Lounge café and cake shop, and a tiny interesting museum built around Prince Philip’s first car, from when he was stationed in Ceylon as a young man in the 1940s.

Bedrooms in the Regency Wing are small but comfortable with original wooden floors, and new marble bathrooms. I like the fact that bathroom amenities such as shower gel, shampoo and conditioner are provided in refilled (sustainable) ceramic containers, rather than tiny plastic bottles that end up daily in landfills.

Wifi is very erratic quality, and costs US$15 per day, or 10 LKR per minute.

The appeal of the Galle Face hotel is and always will be the gorgeous, terraced, west facing oceanfront lawn that the hotel wraps around. There can be few heritage Colonial hotels in the world with such an appealing setting for a beautiful sunset drink in the evening, or an alfresco dining experience with the waves lit up at night as they crash onto the seawall in front of your table. It truly does provide the hotel with an “x-factor.” The lawn is dotted with palm trees and has various levels, most with open tables facing the sea. There is also a small but attractive swimming pool on the top of the sea wall.

Breakfast is served on the long, undercover open air terrace overlooking the gardens and ocean – a lovely setting in the morning. In the evening the Sea Spray buffet restaurant has tables right on the seawall itself, and serves an excellent buffet at a very attractive price of 1820 LKR.

There is no doubt that if you are looking for modern facilities, extensive creature comforts, fast electronic elevators, etc, you would probably be better served at the Cinnamon hotels, Hilton, or similar, but if you are seeking the heritage colonial touches, Galle Face Hotel is the place to be. (ideally in a Regency Wing room).

The Galle Face hotel is conveniently located in the central hotel precinct of Colombo, next door to the Galle Face Park – a large open space that fills with local people, kite fliers and street food vendors in the evenings. I definitely recommend an entertaining walk along the seawall promenade in the evening. It is also a good place for a morning walk or job, before the heat of the day sets in.

On arrival in Sri Lanka, the drive from the BIA International airport can take between 45 – 90 minutes depending on traffic. Thankfully a new direct highway is from the airport to the city is due to open mid 2012, which will cut the time down to only 20 minutes. Arranging a car through one of the taxi touts on arrival can be hit and miss, and will still cost around US$25, so it is easiest to arrange Galle Face Hotel to have a car waiting for you at the airport. This can be done through their website and costs US$35.

Note that as of January 2012, many countries that were previously visa free for tourist travel to Sri Lanka now have to purchase a visitor visa. This can be done online prior to travel, or purchased on arrival for US$25. Credit cards are accepted at the Visa on Arrival counter at BIA Airport.

Room Tip: Get a Regency Wing room, ideally with a balcony if you can afford it.
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled on business
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Helpful?
4 Thank Brett M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed February 27, 2012

...which, in terms of decor was lovely as it retained it's Colonial charm and old world feel. However, when the bathroom furnishings are falling off in more rooms than one (I checked) I think you can safely say that the place needs a slight overhaul.
I hear the Regency Wing is better but I can't comment as I didn't stay there.

The staff are a bit hit and miss: some of them are incredibly helpful, whilst others quibbled over making a hot chocolate as it took too long. As an average, they were good.

I had one cockroach fiasco but the staff who dealt with that were actually fantastic so I was put at ease, and I understand that it's a hot country so it's not completely unavoidable...though why do those creepy creatures always manage to find me?!

The setting is perfect. Of all the hotels we drove past in Colombo, this one may be old, but it has the monopoly on a beautiful view.

Room Tip: Across the road you will see the Taj Samudra. If you're going to spend a lot on a hotel, stay th...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kheets
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Galle Face Hotel Colombo

Property: Galle Face Hotel Colombo
Address: No. 2, Galle Road, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Phone Number:
Location: Sri Lanka > Western Province > Colombo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 51 Hotels in Colombo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Galle Face Hotel Colombo 5*
Number of rooms: 158
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Presented proudly as Sri Lanka's iconic and historic hotel, Galle Face Hotel is located in heart of Colombo City, along the seafront and facing the famous Galle Face Green.The hotel has 158 well-appointed rooms and suites, with some offering excellent views across the Indian ocean and the fascinating view of evening sunset.There are three restaurants, a gym, spa and unique saltwater swimming pool, overlooking the seafront. Guests here will be convenient as the hotel offers close access to many of the business district,historic cultural sites and landmarks in Colombo, as well nearby shopping. The hotel is a 45-60min journey from the airport.Guests seeking a glimpse of Colombo's history will enjoy the charm of The Galle Face Hotel with its unique, unaltered setting since 1864. ... more   less 
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