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“Great Location and History”

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Galle Face Hotel Colombo
Ranked #5 of 55 Hotels in Colombo
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 20, 2013

We stayed 2 nights at Galle Face at the end of a 2 1/2 week trip through Sri Lanka. The Location is great for dining and seeing the sites in Galle and the sunset views and street food and festivals in the park next door should not be missed. The pool is great and the rooms are spacious. The TV's are a bit small and the lunch service is a bit slow but the breakfast brunch and lunches were terrific.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Erik R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 20, 2013

I selected this hotel instead of Hilton because the prices at Hilton was too expensive. It is a business trip and my goodness, it was a nightmare in getting work done. I must defend the hotel as being nice in location, food is not fantastic but good. You cannot beat the beauty of the beach.in front of your window. But, if you come here for business and like me, trying to put a proposal in place, you will be totally in despair. There is not enough electrical wall outlets to charge today's many gadgets. The WIFI is ok but for some reasons, it keeps dropping off if you try to use WIFI on your smart phone. The writing table in the room (I stayed at the old wing) is better suited as a antique. It is so small. I had no space to spread out documents and such. Aside from getting work done, I was really afraid I will die in this place where the floor is made of wood, the elevator is from a design that was years ago. The aircon outlet, the TV and the mini fridge were placed in the room like an "After thought". Thanks, the next time, it is going to be Hilton or Sheraton (in the process of completion). I will not stay again even if it is a holiday because there is a real fire hazard in this old building. But, I will visit and enjoy the food at the restaurant facing the sea/beach.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Bar B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2013

Very pleasant and helful staff a delightful introduction to Sri Lanka. The hotel is stll quite grand with a lovely ambience.Some parts of it need refurbishing particularly the bathroom fittings. However the rooms were still quite comfortable. The A/C worked and coffee/tea facilities available.
The breakfasts were extremely good with western and Sri Lankan dishes. The traditional hoppers were great. A hotel member patrolled the lawn with a slingshot to ward off the black crows, creating some breakfast entertainment. The terrace is an ideal spot to watch the sunset.The hotel is in a good location for accessing the town, one can walk along the seafront to get there. Whilst at the GF a wedding reception was in progress and we were able to view the bridal party and guests being led into the hotel by musicians in traditional dress.
A delightful stay will visit again.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Woodie0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2013

I enjoyed my stay at the Galle Face Hotel Colombo and found it extremely interesting. High tea at the Galle Face is also a very nice treat. Service and tradition are to be savoured. I had an amazing time and enjoyed every bit of it. Will definitely visit again.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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Thank JeromeSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2013

All the reviews here fit my own experience so are all very useful. Actually, despite its wonderful position, I would probably advise to stay somewhere else if you are working, and just visit the Verandah Terrace for a Sundowner. That is, if you have an hour to spare for your drink to arrive which is fine if you are on holiday and have the time to wait and enjoy the atmosphere, but after 9 days of the consistently slow, haphazard service my 'polite face' was rigid! As they have already added the 10% service charge the incentive to the, mostly unbothered, staff is missing. The Pool bar had the worst service with one waiter who should not be in the hospitality industry at all, so avoid if possible. Some staff were more friendly thankfully. As the restaurants only serve huge buffet style meals if you only want a smaller meal you have to use the bars where the meals are not quite large enough -snack style, which is frustrating when you have waited an age for it. They need a spot with in-between full on Buffet and snack eating type food really, like the Pool Bar at Cinnamon Lakes Hotel has.
Sea Spray:
Sea Spray Restaurant was however really enjoyable-the atmosphere, band, sea lit up, the sea food - delicious. Tip- book, even if staying in the Hotel. It is very popular with Sri Lankan outing groups and gets booked ahead so you cannot rely on just walking in. I would really recommend a meal here for one of your nights in Colombo. Wonderful to eat with the sea rollers breaking a few feet from your table and happy people all round. Just a shame you have to keep getting up to get your food! It would be a very romantic spot if it weren't for the Buffet style of the eating which personally I am not a fan of but seems 'the thing' in Sri Lanka in Hotels.
Old wing:
Be warned they are about to undergo renovation on the front part next month for a year so not sure how that will impact on a stay. As It is a must see, historic and unique place, why only 4 stars here? Personally I loved the ambience, the Hall, the weddings, the open space but it is wearing to be in the heat as the fans on the side terrace were rarely switched on and currently the air conditioning is noisy in the room and difficult to get right at night. As others experienced the room is haphazardly cleaned with leaving the note saying don't make the bed up meaning somehow also no refills of tea/shampoo etc so you have to ring for them which gets trying over several days.
I can't say I didn't enjoy it- I did. It is 'delightfully imperfect' as the saying goes.

Room Tip: Ask for a quiet room not above the large function rooms as the functions can be noisy with bands etc...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Hilary B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2013

I stayed at the Galle Face Hotel for one week in Sept. 2012 in the older wing. It is a wonderful old hotel. In fact, I would say that the Galle Face Hotel was a highlight of my visit to Sri Lanka. It was like living the life of the colonial Englishmen of 140 years ago. I am a commited lap swimmer. The Galle Face Hotel pool is the best pool I have ever used - large (35 yards I believe), salt water, in the sunshine, right beside the Indian Ocean. And I had it all to myself. Breakfast was wonderful, a large selection of delicious Sri Lankan and western food. The staff was very helpful. If you like unique and traditional hotels ( instead of the predictable 5 star hotels), You will really like the Galle Face Hotel.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled solo
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Thank John791
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2013

The real enjoyment if staying here is the location and the atmosphere of the old style building. Our room in the old wing was large but very dated. The a/c was either flat out or off! The bathroom had been painted so many times the floor waste was blocked! As the cost was reasonable the experience was passable.

We did particularly enjoy the breakfasts and our time by the pool. YMMV

Room Tip: Pay a little more if you want a nicer room!
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank wing6rider-Australia
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

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 #5 of 55 Hotels in Colombo
Price Range: $162 - $324 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Galle Face Hotel Colombo 5*
Number of rooms: 156
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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