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“Really looking forward to my third stay at The Closenberg”
Review of Closenberg Hotel

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Closenberg Hotel
Ranked #18 of 25 Hotels in Galle
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 21, 2009

I have stayed at The Closenberg twice. The first time was in 1986, and the place inhabited my dreams for more than two decades thereafter. It is a riot of mahogany and ceiling fans. It is also an extremely welcoming, family-run hotel. It is not comparable with the most expensive hotels in Galle in terms modern gizmos, t.v's and phones in the room, access to high-speed internet, and so on. But it does have couple of very nice touches: There are no t.v's in the rooms (which is wonderful, and more than compensates for having no t.v. in the room) and there are no phones in the rooms (which also wonderful, and more than compensates for having no phone in the room). Those things were true in january 2008. I hope they are still true. I believe they have added Wi-Fi since I was there.

I don't know whether the staff is unhelpful, or less helpful, to guests who treat them disrespectfully, or who simply talk down to them, but my own experience with the employees was the exact opposite of that described by the guy who advised people not to stay there. I have no idea how he or they treated the hotel staff, but the behavior he describes is distinctly out of character. As for his advice that you "take pictures, and run!" because there are better hotels in Galle, allow me to give you the run-down. The two "better hotels" in town are better in some ways -- five stars rather than three; room rates about 50% higher than The Closenberg; many more "mod cons" such as phones and t.v's in the rooms; and a swimming pool. But IMHO neither has anywhere near the charm of The Closenberg. Otherwise, there are some seriously expensive boutique hotels inland within a few miles, and a slew of cheaper hotels in a variety of very old buildings inside The Fort. I know all these places, and I choose to stay at The Closenberg.

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled on business
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1  Thank 3party
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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271 - 277 of 342 reviews

Reviewed July 6, 2009

I stayed at Closenburg for 2 days ( 5th/6th June) during our honeymoon. I would say this hotel has some of the best view i have ever seen..The view of harbor & Roomathsala mountain was amazing!
Rooms are clean and tidy but i guess a TV is a must. kind of hard some times to stay from information.
Bathrooms are clean, but can improve a lot if they are willing.
Staff is friendly - willing to work, but NOT professional. Some times they take local tourists for granted.

but - how can any one forget the view it offers of indian Ocean!

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank kasun_Arunadeepa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 26, 2009

Stayed 2 nights as part of a 13 night tour of Sri Lanka. The building is a lovely example of old colonialism. Room was clean and tidy without the modern touches except for air con (but that suited the style and us). We had a room on the top floor with great views if you looked out across the bay and seawards. Rather scruffy beach though. Wouldn't advise the ground floor rooms. Too close to the kitchens and lots of mosquito hiding vegetation. Being out of season we were the only people there and the staff were not brilliant nor was the food.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank dadyha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2009

Staying here really ought to have been a great experience. The location, equidistant between Galle town and Unawatuna, was convenient. The building itself, and the furniture in the public areas, were quite lovely. However except for the waiters, who tried their best, the staff had little interest in enhancing our stay. On one occasion we had to chase up the room boy to get our room cleaned at all (finally done at 6.00pm), although he was keen to do our laundry for cash!
When I advised reception that my wife had been stung by a hornet from a nest outside a neighbouring room, no apologies or sorrow were expressed, merely a one word response "spray?", after which nothing further happened. It was no coincidence that, out of 8/10 hotels in which we stayed in Sri Lanka, this was the only one not to offer a Guest Satisfaction Survey!
With so much better accomodation available both in Galle itself, and in Unawatuna just 5 minutes away, no-one deserves this hotel - visit, photograph and run.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Villabloke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 2, 2009

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled with friends
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Thank horatio1943
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2009

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank IainManchester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2008

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with friends
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Thank niksgaff
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: $138 - $234 (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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