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“Colonial charm, but very uncomfortable beds”

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The Havelock Place Bungalow
Ranked #10 of 133 Colombo B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Almaty, Kazakhstan
Level Contributor
40 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Colonial charm, but very uncomfortable beds”
Reviewed January 1, 2011

We stayed here on our first night in Sri Lanka and were initially very impressed with it. It is set in two colonial bungalows and has heaps of colonial charm - don't expect a plush, luxurious hotel, although you do get your own garden area. The location is not ideal - around 20 minutes to the centre of Columbo, but the garden is very peaceful. Swimming pool is rather small and freezing cold. We ate dinner here and it was tasty and good value for money.

However, the major downside was the beds - the mosquito nets were very poor (and there were plenty of mosquitoes about) and the mattresses rock solid. It is not a comfortable night's sleep! On balance, I would choose one of the other colonial places - I heard good things about Mount Lavinia hotel and the Galle Face. We stayed at the Cinammon Grand on our return, which for $50 more represented a totally different and much better experience.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank sarahlrhodes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Havelockbungalow, Owner at The Havelock Place Bungalow, responded to this review, January 3, 2011
To our knowledge there are no heated swimming pools in Sri Lanka. There was heavy rain in Colombo during this time and the water would naturally be cold.

Travel to the commercial centre depends on time of travel and mode of transport used. We are less than 5 kms away.

Our rooms are all air conditioned and the mosquito nets referred to are the decorative canopies on the four poster beds. In the tropics if windows are kept open after dusk mosquitoes and other insects will be attracted to the lights. We have provided electrical insect repellent in every room.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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sydney
1 review
Reviewed December 3, 2010

I love this small intimate setting, good food and delightful hosts. Perfect location to access key businesses and institutions in Colombo . Lovely colonial houses joined by bridge over pool. Fantastic 24hr wireless internet.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled on business
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Helpful?
Thank on_the_lamSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed October 19, 2010

We have just returned from a two week trip to Sri Lanka and we stayed at Havelock Place Bungalows for our first three nights. It's a really lovely place to stay to acclimatise to Sri Lanka. The rooms are nice and the location is good, it's easier to get a tuk tuk into town. We didn't eat in the restaurant as it was a Western menu but it did look good, if that's what you want. Our only complaint would be that we were put in a suite for our first night after arriving at 6.00am and we were charged the full price, after that we changed rooms. Other than that, a lovely place to stay. We would recommend not staying long in Colombo, as there is not so much to see or do, so head to Kandy or south to the beaches, like Unawatuna.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank helenecluercoleman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Owner at The Havelock Place Bungalow, responded to this review, October 28, 2010
We informed our guest at the point when we confirmed the reservation that our standard rooms were all taken up on the first day and that they would have to take a suite for one day, Our check in/out time is 12 noon and as the clients requested early check in the only way we could accommodate them was to reserve the room for the night. Their flight was scheduled to arrive at 1.15am.

This response is to clarify any wrong impression that may be created in the minds of a potential guest reading an otherwise favorable review.
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Singapore
Level Contributor
130 reviews
98 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed September 6, 2010

Stayed 2 nights in Sept. 2010 with my partner. Peaceful boutique hotel in a quiet neighbourhood. Most interested rooms are the dining room and library, not so much the rooms themselves, even though they are quite charming, 4-posters bed, high ceiling all wooden with aircon. Did not taste the dinner food menu. Curry for breakfast was not so great though. Great address.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Frog_Singap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burlington, VT
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 28, 2010

My wife, my 12 year old son, and I stayed at the Havelock Place Bungalow for three nights upon our arrival in Sri Lanka. We had a splendid stay and enjoyed every aspect of our time there. Our son particularly enjoyed the beautiful swimming pool. We plan to return next time we visit Colombo.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank BurlingtonVT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria
Level Contributor
40 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed March 24, 2010

When you find a truly wonderful place to stay on your travels, there is sometimes a temptation to keep it as your own personal secret so that it doesn't change its character or become so popular you can't find a room next time you go.
For me, this small hotel was a complete delight, nestled in a leafy garden just off a quiet street in Colombo, where I could sit in the garden and eat breakfast as I listened to the birds in the trees above, or eat dinner as dusk fell, or share a pre-dinner drink with other intriguing guests (or sit quietly by myself if I chose to), or try the many flavours of home-made ice cream, or have a swim in the pool or sit in the whirlpool in mid-afternoon to shake off the heat of the day.
The staff were so attentive and caring that I felt I was staying at the home of a friend. Nothing seemed to be too much trouble, whether it was breakfast in my room after a 5 a.m. arrival at Colombo airport, or an 11 p.m. return from a long drive from the eastern side of Sri Lanka. And I saw that each guest was given the same personal care and attention.
Delightful fragrances waft through the main building, where the rooms are located (off a wonderful sitting room). This was once the family home of the owner, and it is full of antique furniture, comfortable sofas, and orchids. I had a sense of experiencing an older, very gracious Sri Lanka - but with all the modern conveniences, like air conditioning, cable tv and wireless internet.
The Bungalow seems to attract intriguing people, some of whom return here every time they come to Colombo, and I had some fascinating conversations over drinks or dinner. The menu, written up on a blackboard, offers a wide range of choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Desserts include wonderful home made ice creams and sorbets. Meals are delightfully presented and the food is excellent.
If you wish, the hotel will arrange transportation to or from the airport for you.
I will definitely stay here when next I visit Colombo.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank Outsider222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level Contributor
42 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed February 28, 2010

Havelock is a lovely oasis to escape the busy streets of Colombo. When we arrived mid afternoon, the place was almost deserted and looked a bit tired and unloved. But once we'd been checked in, the boys cleaned up the pool and generally freshened everything up.

The bedroom was a bit basic and a bit on the dark side, but it had everything we needed for a nights stay. The food was good, lovely outdoor restaurant and very helpful staff.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Jilly1230
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Havelock Place Bungalow

Property: The Havelock Place Bungalow
Address: 6, Havelock Place | Colombo 5, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Western Province > Colombo
Amenities:
Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 133 B&Bs / Inns in Colombo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Havelock Place Bungalow 3.5*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Governor, Hand-written Deed and Peppercorn The year was 1892 and what was known as "Ceylon" was under British rule. Governor Havelock transferred the title to the land (on which the bungalows are built), by a hand-written deed to the Havelock Building Company on the payment of Rs. 1307/- and a Peppercorn. The present owners purchased the properties in the mid 1980's and lived there. The Havelock Place Bungalow was first opened to guests in December 1999. In the city, yet miles away... If you've ever visited the Bungalow, you would have noticed how discreet we have been about our presence. To the casual passer-by, the Bungalow appears to be nothing more than an old colonial home. Only a plaque with the name 'Havelock Place Bungalow' engraved on it, indicates that we are open to guests. No wonder the Bungalow continues to be Colombo's best kept secret! We are conveniently located so if you are in the mood for a visit to the Museum, Independence Square, or Temples, or would like to go on a shopping spree, you can get to your destination in a matter of minutes. It's a jungle. But definitely not the concrete type... When you enter our gates and walk along the paved pathways, you realize you are in an oasis, away from the bustle of the city. Trees are an intrinsic part of the Havelock Place Bungalow experience. You can enjoy your breakfast while watching our garden come alive with a variety of birds and butterflies, or relax on a bench and gaze at the stars as night approaches. The surrounding foliage lends a quiet charm to every part of the Bungalow. Welcome to the Bungalow! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Havelock Place Bungalow Hotel Colombo

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