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“Very Clean, Quiet and Comfortable”
Review of Closenberg Hotel

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Closenberg Hotel
Ranked #20 of 26 Hotels in Galle
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 18, 2012

An older histroic property but very comfortable rooms. Very clean and the staff are friendly and helpful. A quiet escape from the city with a lovely view from the balcony. Reliable wifi (in common area only) and hot water. Food was simple but good and fresh. Good value for the money and we slept really well here - better than the 5 star places in Colombo as it was quiet and peaceful here. Easy to get a 3 wheeler (tuk-tuk) into town or to a nearby beach - expect to pay 200-300 rps each way or so.

Would not suggest using the front desk for transportation bookings though - the rates quoted for a van back to Colombo were almost 50% above the going rate through anyone else we aksed for a quote - the travel and tour shops in Galle Fort or on the beach in Unawatuna can help with this.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank jctokyo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 14, 2012

This is a hotel that could benefit from a lot of money being invested in it to bring it up to standard. The rooms were clean but very old fashioned. the view from the balcony was great but it didn't make up for the rest of the hotel.
The restaurant was atrotious! the sandwich at lunch time was stale and unappetising. The evening meal there was a choice of two items - no vegitarian. The luke warm soup came and before we could drink it a even colder main course came. Unhelpful staff. Drinks expensive

Room Tip: No tips just don't go there
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  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank janeinthegarden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
E_Abeyewardene, Owner at Closenberg Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded May 3, 2012

Dear Guest. This information is wrong. We have an A La Carte Menu with an international and Asian selection of meals including a wide variety of vegetarian dishes. We boast an all day meal time policy (you can order breakfast at 10 p.m. or Lobster Thermidor at 7 a.m.) for your dining pleasure. Our daily changing and well priced set menu from which you may have chosen from, always includes a choice of Two soups, garden salad, at least Five mains including a Vegetarian pasta and Vegetarian curry choice, Four deserts and tea or coffee. Our F&B team would have been eager to assist you on any special requests. Our drinks are very reasonably priced, it is doubtful that many hotels sell a 625 ml lion beer below $2.00 ++.
We wish you all the best on your future travels

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2012

I was fortunate enough to stay at the Closenburg hotel for 2 nights and I encourage all those considering Sri Lanka for a vacation to check it out! It is a wonderful, colonial, villa style building with a historic charm that is rare and unique. The rooms overlook a gorgeous view of the ocean and you will wake to the waves racing across to meet the shore. The food was simply superb, especially the Sri Lanka specialities which are spicy and unusual but delicious! The service was warm and everyone is friendly, it is like an extension of the home where hospitality is key. Unawatuna the town where Closenburg is situated is known for its wonderful bay and exciting nightlife, only a few minutes from Galle where the history of the Galle fort, one of the few remaining forts that are inhabited, is located. Do visit and enjoy your stay!

Room Tip: The rooms upstairs had stunning sea views
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  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank amandabertus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2012

Closenberg was an amazing experience. From the sunset at Lunar Terrace to a magnificent dinner buffet,I had a great time. The hospitality was fantastic. The colonial style is one of a kind. I have been there a few times over the last few months and the food has been exceptional each time. On Christmas eve the drinks with dinner was a great experience and a lot of preparation and care had been taken in the food. Closenberg is the best located Hotel in Galle, not only for its fantastic views but for being situated right off the highway.
All in all it has been a great holiday and hope you guys keep up the good work.

Room Tip: Rooms overlooking the sea are amazing.
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  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Imran J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2012

The first thing that hits you on arriving at Closenberg is the breathtaking view, located in probably one of Galle's heavenliest locations, the hotel is perched on a hill at the edge of the bay and harbor providing an insane panoramic view of the ocean and surrounding bay, with magnificent views of sunrise and sunset. At the terrace you are greeted by exceptionally beautiful palm trees that happen to be very unique, The Hotel itself has its own ambiance, giving you the feel that you are in a colonial kings palace. The hotel staff are extremely friendly and constantly provide you with good energy and smiles in addition to the exceptional service, the food was great with brilliant Srilankan buffets. Overall what I can say is for a timeless escape into colonial magnificence, the Closenberg experience is unmatched.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank horseLoverFat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2012

As many other reviewers already stated: The Closenberg's authentic colonial charm is breathtaking, the staff has great service ethic and is incredibly friendly and skilled, the food is delicious (particularly the panna cotta), the seaview up from the cliffs – especially for sunset – is overwhelming and the location next to the exit of the new built highway, right between Galle Fort and the beaches of Unawatuna is excellent. Our room fitted perfectly in the positive overall image: It was not the biggest but was very clean & comfy, had a great view on the bay, provided all the necessary facilities (hot water, a/c, good mattresses etc.) and fitted perfectly in the general atmosphere of the hotel. Overall the Swiss/Sri Lankan management really seems to know what they are doing and our stay was more than worth the money (the rates are extremely fair for Sri Lankan standards).

PS: I am quite surprised by some of the negative reviews about this hotel. Some people are obviously very spoilt, have no Idea what they are writing about or must have been very, very unlucky.

Keep it up Closenberg

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Joh H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 19, 2012

the hotel is in a great area, with wonderful views and only a 5 minute ride from Galle Fort.
it IS rather old, and the rooms a bit dark - but the a/c worked, and the bathroom, though a bit dingy, was clean and had plenty of hot water.
the breakfast was an experience in itself - all rather hastily dumped onto trestle tables and left for you to fight over before the flies take it all, but the staff were helpful and seemed keen that we had enough to eat and drink.
as with other travellers - we stayed over new year, but we found that the NYE party was wonderful news! we went into Galle the previous night and found very little to do after the sun goes down - so a party at our hotel was ideal.
overall - it's an interesting hotel, a bit old and past its prime - but still rather grand, and well worth the money they are charging (which you might find is a FRACTION of what places within the Fort are asking).

if you're not too fussy about clean, shiny new rooms - give this place a go - it's quite charming.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank pipcanti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Closenberg Hotel

Address: 11 Closenberg Rd, Galle 80000, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Galle District > Galle
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Galle
Price Range: $119 - $206 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Closenberg Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Closenberg was built by Captain Bayley in 1860 on top of a peninsula overlooking Galle harbor and the Indian Ocean. Since 1889 it belongs to the Perera Abeyewardene family and is today preserved as a heritage hotel. Large spacious halls, long verandas adorned with antique furniture and terraced gardens are in keeping with Dutch architecture. High ceilings resting on tall round columns and large louvered Teak doors set in arched doorways permit the flow of cool air. Alongside an experience of Sri Lanka's rich colonial past, we offer our guest a welcoming atmosphere, fine dining and an unparalleled view. Closenberg Hotel unique features are: The best location at the middle of Galle Harbor, Uninterrupted seaview from all our rooms, Direct access to beautiful sandy beach ideal and safe for surfing and swimming in all seasons, The unique and timeless elegance of an old Sri Lankan Heritage Hotel often copied but so hard to achieve, A sophisticated blend of service, tradition and cultural experiences Luna Terrace Bar Lounge is the funky trendy place to go and be seen in Galle. Great selection of cocktails, top brand spirits, tapas and fine cafe food. The new infinity pool overlooking the surf of Magalle Bay is a "must have experienced". Closenberg is the ideal gateway for enjoying the beauty of Southern Sri Lanka! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Closenberg Hotel Galle

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