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“Beautiful setting ... disappointing experience overall”
Review of Highbury Colombo

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Highbury Colombo
Ranked #16 of 162 Colombo B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 15, 2013

Highbury provides a beautiful escape from the hurly burly of Colombo. In a lovely residential area but close enough to all the central attractions.

The house and gardens are lovely and there is some great art - and the overall feeling is one of tranquility.

BUT..... the room we had had definitely seen better days - the fridge was a bit rusty and things fell out when you opened then door - and service was really disappointing too.

When we arrived we were told that there was no key to our apartment as the previous guests had left with it (which was fair enough) but five hours later the owner still hadn't got us a replacement which meant we had to go out for the evening and leave our room with all our valuables unlocked.

Breakfast was also off-hand. We were given just one cup of coffee, we had to make our own toast and the only cooked food we were offered was cold scrambled eggs left over from previous guests.

A real shame - as it had the potentail to be a fab place to stay!

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank DJguapa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
manojicolombo, Owner at Highbury Colombo, responded to this reviewResponded March 17, 2013

Thank you for your review. I'm sorry I could not replace the keys on time due to unavoidable circumstances. Guests taking keys with them has become a common occurrence now and we have suffiecient duplicates now.
The fridge we have now is new and is not rusty. We have removed fridges from other rooms as we live close to the beach and the fridges become rusty very fast.
We do not include breakfast in our voucher and it is provided only at the request of the guest.
I deny totally that we ever gave old scrambled eggs. Our kitchen is right next to the dining table and guests can actually see us making eggs.

With Blessings,

Manoji

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Reviewed March 12, 2013

We had a nice stay at Highbury Colombo in February 2013. Manoji was very serviceminded and friendly and made our stay pleasant. She helped us arrange airport transfer and other transport. The house and garden were very stylish but our (standard) room was quite basic. Highbury Colombo is situated in a quiet and nice villa area, 10 min tuk-tuk ride to city center.

We would definitely recommend other to stay at Highbury Colombo!

Room Tip: It was not a big price difference between the rooms so we recommend you to take the more expensive o...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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Thank flipski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
manojicolombo, Owner at Highbury Colombo, responded to this reviewResponded March 17, 2013

Thank you for taking time to review us. I'm glad you had a pleasant stay at our place.
We look forward to having you with us again on your next return to Sri Lanka.

With Regards,


Manoji

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Reviewed March 8, 2013

We booked a stay in the hotels heritage room which their website says has 2 double beds.

It does not it only has 1 double bed !
We had hoped to share the room with our 2 young children and luckily found out before we arrived that the hotels website is very misleading.
I guess its possible they were hoping to let us arrive and try and charge us for another room.
Whatever we asked the hotel for some help and gave them a chance to put things right and they were totally unhelpful and even lied to us saying they had no more rooms available when they were still bookable on line.
As we found at a late stage we ended up paying a higher rate to book elsewhere - dont make the same mistake as us and believe their website.

Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
3  Thank Michael J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
manojicolombo, Owner at Highbury Colombo, responded to this reviewResponded March 12, 2013

I totally deny the contents of your review.
I write to confirm that we have not made a mistake in our website. It clearly states that the Heritage Room has one bedroom and a living room. I also state that you have fraudulantly paid for only two persons being totally aware that you are a family of four persons. We mentioned to you that we have other rooms available but you wanted us to provide you with a free room and this review is in retaliation of not providing you with a free room.
You certainly would have had to pay much more than USD 58 for 4 persons.
We have lost dearly many times as many families are doing this to us.

With Blessings,

Manoji

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Reviewed February 18, 2013

We spent two nights at Highbury after we just landed in Colombo, our first time in Sri Lanka. We arrived at night and the first impression was to be in a special place. This impression has been enforced day after day by the beauty of the house and even more by the kindness of the owner family that is defenitely reflected by their place. Our room was the Garden View room on the top floor. The spatial complexity of stairs and mezzanines is incredibly intriguing and in the morning the room is washed by the unique srilankan light by every direction. Windows and balcony face directly on the tree canopies of the peaceful and delightful house garden, crowded by birds and playful squirrels. The view from the small kitchen podium opens on colombo in direction of the ocean. Every detail shows the ability of the local craftmanship and the sensible and respectful organic growth of the house from a private residence into a guesthouse. We had very pleasant conversations with Manoji, his wife and their doughters about the history of the house and the block that used to house the stables of some british-time colonial residences; they took and are taking care of every design aspect during the years far more better than every architect (I am one!) could have done in one go. We visited the other rooms and the rest of the house and each has a unique and tasteful solution, deeply rooted in the srilankan design evolution (known internationally mainly by Geoffrey Bawa's work) not only for materials, furniture and forms but for those priceless traditional spatial and building solutions that focus on comfort, like just to say one, cross ventilation - in the heat of Colombo we never even considered to turn on the AC. We are very curious to see how the small old house with its original stuccos and beautiful windows on the other end of the garden will turn once the works will be finished, carried on by their trusted craftmen (with no power tools - to listen and look at them working was not only interesting but even relaxing!).
The Highbury is located in a very convenient area of Colombo, easy to reach and close to the main highlits of the city. Take the breakfast in the garden is a delight! The owners helped us patiently to arrange transports and gave us very useful hints to organize our time in Colombo and in the country.
Since we will definetely come back to Sri Lanka, we will know where to go in Colombo!

Giuliano&Geraldine, Hong Kong

Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank Giuliano G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
manojicolombo, Owner at Highbury Colombo, responded to this reviewResponded March 17, 2013

Thank you for your kind review and for awarding us with five stars.
I'm glad you had an enjoyable time at our place.
We look forward to having you with us again on your next return to Sri Lanka.

Regards,

Manoji

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2013

We had a team of 7 people stay at the Highbury and we all had a completely pleasant experience. The most notable part about the place is its incredible architecture,where indoors and outdoors blend together perfectly. The breakfasts were homemade and tasty, the location convenient, safe, quiet, and beautiful, and the staff (a lovely family) helpful and available. We highly recommend it for anyone that wants to experience a beautiful home that forgoes the clinical feel of a typical hotel experience.

Room Tip: Ask for the rooms inside the house--they are the most architecturally interesting.
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Kate H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
manojicolombo, Owner at Highbury Colombo, responded to this reviewResponded February 14, 2013

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on your recent stay at Highbury Colombo and also for awarding us with 5 stars. We are pleased that your overall experience was positive. As we continually endeavour to provide the best experiences thru warm Sri Lankan hospitality your feedback is much appreciated and helps us to focus on what is important for our guests.

With Blessings

Manoji

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Reviewed February 7, 2013

Highbury was my random choice made one day before the departure. It turned out to be a successful choice.

The place is close to the centre of the city (you need some 20 minutes walk or a 10 minutes tuktuk or taxi ride), it is very close to Galle Road will all its shopping options. However, staying there, you’ll never guess you are in the midst of the city. The place is very calm and quiet, with only birds and squirrels disturbing your sleep. Colombo IS a city with all city attributes like traffic, bad air and noise, so it is very nice to stay in a place that resembles all the laid-back beachfront resorts.

The place is very stylish indeed. I guess there was an architect or designer, who created that place in the typical Sri Lankan style, with multi-levelled rooms, open staircases and passages and vast open common areas under high wooden roofs. My room was also double-levelled, the bed was standing slightly below the kitchenette area, which was slightly below the closed bathroom. All the facilities were fully operational, so was the Wi-Fi connection in the room. Enjoy: there is nothing to disturb you, when you fall asleep after the long flight to Colombo.

The breakfast was splendid and the mistress was very serviceable and eager to help. My conclusion – this place is worth a try, if you consider staying in Colombo.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled solo
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Thank olgaginger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
manojicolombo, Owner at Highbury Colombo, responded to this reviewResponded February 14, 2013

Thank you for your kind review and also for awarding us with 5 stars. We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us. Thank you for your wonderful feed back. It is always a pleasure when our guests enjoy their stay with us.

With Blessings

Manoji

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Reviewed February 6, 2013

I arrived here rather excited by previous reviews.

When I arrived after standing in the door way for sometime the owner arrived. I asked if there was anywhere my driver could stay (someone I had become good friends with on my 4 days travelling) she looked at him like a piece of dirt and said he had to find somewhere else. I didn't expect a room but many guest houses have a little drivers area so I thought I would ask.I was just enquiring but she made him feel awful. As he left she told me she didn't trust 'them'.

I then was taken to my room it was lovely. I asked if I could have something to eat she said no and I asked if there was anywhere to get something small to eat nearby and that I wasn't really hungry and just wanted a snack. She recommended a place and I thought great. When I arrived it was a fine dinning restaurant and everything on the menu was 2,000 rips or above...!!! And European and not Sri Lankan...I thought this was odd!

Thirdly the lady was having work done and spent more time with her delivery men then trying to help me. I was made to feel like I was rudely interrupting her each time I tried to ask a question and then I just got short unhelpful replies.

Finally there were hairs and grit in my bed....she tried to make up excuses about that....and in front of her poor housekeeper told me he was not regular staff and sorry he is not doing a good job. He looked really sad and I felt awful.

I also asked if I could have help with my very small case as I have a slipped disc....I needn't have bothered no one seemed to be able to help! It was so small she could have helped as she could see I was I pain...but no.

To sum it up lovely room, terrible service and the trumped up madam of an owner needs to learn some compassion for human kind.....I would not stay here again. I would say great place visually but the owner lets it down.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled solo
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Thank DubaiAmanda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
manojicolombo, Manager at Highbury Colombo, responded to this reviewResponded February 13, 2013

We are sorry that the issues you encountered during your stay have affected your impression of Highbury Colombo. I may have sounded rude as you were insistent on us providing accomodation for your driver when we have no drivers quarters.
As for food what we can recommend is only restaurants with quality food and Qbaa menu starts with LKR 600.
Many things you requested were out of procedure.
Thank you for your honest feed back.

With Blessings,

Manoji

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Additional Information about Highbury Colombo

Address: 14 / 1, Skelton Road | Havelock Town, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Western Province > Colombo
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 162 B&Bs / Inns in Colombo
Price Range: $57 - $104 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Highbury Colombo 2.5*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Beautiful rustic styled fully air conditioned apartments clean, bright and breezy located in the heart of Colombo in quiet, safe, peaceful surroundings. ... more   less 
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