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Galle Face Hotel Colombo
Ranked #6 of 55 Hotels in Colombo
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 21, 2013

Yes, it is a special hotel and if you like colonial atmosphere than this is the place to stay. Let me start with the positive things: Location, location, location! And having a sundowner overlooking the Indian Ocean is quite something! The pool is magnificent – especially if you really like to swim (=exercise). The buffet breakfast/lunch/dinner is of excellent quality. The rooms have some atmosphere – but in even in the new part everything looks a bit old and unmaintained. And this leads me to the negative issues: airport pick-up was a disaster. I live in Asia and I’m used to a lot of special driving skills but this driver was special. Total miracle I’m still alive. And the car was also not like what you would expect from a five star hotel. But the service at the hotel (everywhere – from the main restaurant to the bars) is just totally unacceptable for a good hotel. It is already sad enough that we have in South Asia in general mainly male hotel staff and waiters (I’m spoilt because I’m living and travelling in SE Asia) but if the guys are well trained, well behaved and polite and friendly then it is all fine. But at the Gall Face Hotel (with the exception of some nice managers and selected staff) this is simply not the case. Many of the waiters are like rude peasants, not really trained and certainly not well managed. And maybe the lack of international management is one of the main problems of this hotel. Would I come back? Yes, I think so – because the hotel has its special charme!

Room Tip: sea view! that's why you stay there!
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank rolofromaustria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,060 - 2,066 of 3,231 reviews

Reviewed May 20, 2013

We stayed here in May 2013, the off season it was nice and quiet. The grounds and rooms were kept exceptionally clean and had an old worldly historic charm. The inside of the rooms were very lavish with large spa baths in the middle of the room. The decor very charming. Great food and buffet breakfast and reasonably polite staff. It is a must to stay at and see if in Colombo, have a cocktail by the pool and watch the sunset, some quiet relief from the crazy city.
My only complaint is needing to pay for wireless internet. In this day and age when you pay a decent amount for a luxury hotel this should be a complimentary given just like toilet paper.

Room Tip: The rooms in the main wing overlooking the ocean from the back are best. Lots of renovations going o...
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank sassymissc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2013

A very old but a nice hotel in the heart of Colombo which is very famous for weddings and functions among the Sri Lankan community. The location is great since its by the sea and they have some lovely restaurants in house including a sea food, fine dining etc with a nice pub/night club. The hotel needs a bit of refurbishment specially the front but the new wing and the entrance to the new is well maintained. Loved the food and specially the checker board for dancing ..

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Treshi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 15, 2013

Stayed there in our last night in Sri Lanka in the "new" wing (and by new we thought it was a bit old). Nevertheless, it is full of history and the most memorable people have stayed there - royals, actors, presidents and so on. We didn't see the so famous sunset since there was a thunder storm for like an hour but it was still very impressive since you are on the beach (literally).

Room Tip: Stay in the new wing
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank fcfeijo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2013

Our first stop over in Sri Lanka was magic. The Galle Face Hotel has so much character and charm, good food, wonderful staff and really well located. Thoroughly recommend it to start yur tour of Sri Lanka.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Pajwa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 12, 2013

We stayed in the new wing recently on our last night in Sri Lanka.
Our room was clean & comfortable, nicely furnished & with a beautiful bathroom.
The pool was refreshing & the outside bar area was really nice right on the Galle Face Green.
Great place to be late in the afternoon to watch the amazing sunsets!
The gym is modern, but was very offputting when the gym attendant sits & stares at you while you are working out....
The SeaSpray Restaurant is about as close as you can get to the ocean. It made for a beautiful romantic setting for dinner, serenaded with live music & lots of delicious seafood to eat.
We had breakfast on the verandah, nice sea views from here too. Food was plentiful & fresh.
Service of staff was good & would highly recommend a stay at the Galle Face Hotel.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Leigh E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 8, 2013

After reading all of the bad reviews about the "dilapidated" state of the hotel, we were blown away when we arrived. It seemed from the comments that more people were pleased with the remodeled wing, so we booked a deluxe room in the Regency wing on Agoda.com for much less than was offered elsewhere (~$150/night before taxes). The room was beautiful with a view of the ocean and overlooked the hotel chessboard/courtyard. The bathroom was newly remodeled with a large soaking bathtub, large sink, and excellent shower. The room, hallway, and shared areas were very clean, and the history of the hotel gives it more character than the newer hotels nearby.

Regarding the food, we had a delicious buffet breakfast (included in the room price) on the verandah with views of the ocean, and returned to the verandah for afternoon tea (~$10/person), which had so much food it sufficed for our dinner as well! This hotel is right on the Galle Face Green, which is very enjoyable on weekend nights. We did not try the other restaurants or meals within the hotel, but the hotel is near several of the top-rated area restaurants, and The Bavarian is across the street from the side entrance if you want variety but don't want to venture too far.

The service was pleasant, efficient, and appropriate throughout our stay, including with help for an internet connection issue.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank jcbnc
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 #6 of 55 Hotels in Colombo
Price Range: $145 - $354 (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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