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“the Ice bear hotel / the hottest bedroom of Negombo !”

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The Icebear Guesthouse
Ranked #24 of 250 Negombo B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 26, 2013

If yoiu like mosqitos.... if you like spiders...... if you like sleeping in an oven..... so you will enjoy THE ICE BEAR HOITEL ! it was dirty, noisy, toilets and shower are so close that you can make both..... just forget about this place !

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank geoffrey585
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
thenicebear, Inhaber at The Icebear Guesthouse, responded to this reviewResponded April 28, 2013

Bonjour Biarritz and merci Monsieur Buffalan to spend your life-time to comment The Icebear Beach Guesthouse.
My team informed me, that you arrived last minute around 10 PM and decided to stay with your friend in our last available room, non-a/c No 6, a single in our villa for EUR 21.
The bed is 124 cm wide, gorgeous for one person but not enough for two adults. However there is a ceiling fan, a shower in the attached bath room, and door and window is splendid ventilated with lamella blinds.
Next morning a/c double room No 4 for EUR 41 became free, but you decided to make no use even of our 3000m2 breezed sea-side garden, a pleasure included in the room rate.
However there are plenty of dangereous tigers, crocodils, spiders, scorpions and mosquitos in the green lush of the tropical Island, waiting for white tourist meat; what to do, they are not under my management.
Please do not "forget about this place" and come back again to the "très bon" Icebear Beach Guesthouse, this time with a pre-booking for one of our 7 air-conditioned double rooms (the most expensive for EUR 54, per room not per person) and not in one of our 2 non-a/c single rooms, the lowest for EUR 21).

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Reviews (211)
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68 - 74 of 211 reviews

Reviewed March 13, 2013

I stayed 2nights in this guesthouse. My single room was very cute and cosy with attention to detail. It had A/C, mosquito net etc and was decorated with lively colours. The rooms are set around a wonderful garden, where you can sit and relax. I felt very comfortable in Icebear Guesthouse during my stay in the not so nice Negombo.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank CrisPini40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 28, 2013

After a 20 hour flight, the Ice Bear was the ideal place to relax and get your bearings. The gardens are beautiful and well-maintained. The rooms are large and well-appointed with nice furniture and furnishings. Attention to detail is evident, down to the flower-form blanket on the bed with flowers from the garden. We stayed twice, at the beginning of our journey and at the end. Both rooms, very different, were lovely. One had a private terrace but the terraces of the other buildings (where you could access wifi) faced the garden and the beach and ocean beyond. The rooms were clean and provided with mosquito netting as well as air conditioning and a ceiling fan. There are massage facilities on the grounds should you be interested. As the hotel is on the beach, you can go swimming as some guests do. Breakfast (not included in the cost of the room) was a decent continental breakfast of good toast, butter & jam, juice and good coffee or tea. For dinner, we had the specially ordered crab in curry sauce (3 or 4 crabs!, messy but delicious) which was so good that we ordered it again when we came back two weeks later. The food is not cheap, but it was good. The Ice Bear will make arrangements for you to be picked up from or delivered to the airport. Again, you can find a taxi for a lot less, but the convenience is nice. Service is courteous and accommodating. The Ice Bear is a lovely place to stay, albeit a bit expensive, and a wonderful introduction to the hospitality of the Sinhalese in a somewhat European setting and flavor.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank CaroleNWashingtonDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 28, 2013

You hear about the Colombo traffic long before you leave home and wonder how you will get to the airport in time. To overcome this we decided to stay in Negombo and not being 5 star people liked the sound of the Icebear.
We stayed one and a half nights- we had to be at the airport for 3am. On reflection this was a good choice.
The minuses- Negombo is a bit of a dump but a big one so it has no charm. It also had the worst mozzies of our trip.
The pluses. The Icebear has bags of character and reminded me of backpacking for grown ups.I think we had the cheapest rooms- they were the only ones left when we booked about five months in advance. There are a number of little touches which you quite appreciate.-
We had an industrial strength fan( I think most rooms have a/c but ours didn't.).
There was a very long net which was not blown away by the fan.
The room had mozzie plugs all ready with tablet and a knock down spray for our use.
The was a battery operated light on the door for the outages.
The hotel itself is sandwiched between the road and beach but somehow the tranquility of the garden setting makes you immune to the traffic noise.Our bathroom was out of doors. There were animals around - ducks I think and tortoises and a dog.
There was a nightwatchman which was very good to know as I worried whether our taxi would arrive at 2am and what to do if it didn't.
The staff were fairly outstanding-nice friendly and helpful when we told them that two ATM's had refused our cards.
Food was good and location was very peaceful.
We also used Negombo as a base for seeing Colombo and caught a train in and back. This was very easy

Room Tip: Out of choice I would have had a/c but it just wasn't available for when we wanted to stay
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Frances J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 24, 2013

We decided to stay at the Ice Bear in Negombo because it is a short distance from the airport and we thought it would be a good place to relax after a long flight from the USA. That turned out to be the. The Ice Bear has very beautiful grounds and its location on the beach is excellent. We really enjoyed the food. The seafood platter is delicious, prepared in a way in which all the flavors come through. The service did vary from fine to rather awful. One problem we should note was the number of mosquitos in the room. In fact, we had the worst mosquito problem at the the Ice Bear that we had in a month in Sri Lanka. One nearby excursion should be noted: the Murthawala Marsh. It is a beautiful place, full of wildlife.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank sptravelers5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2013

Our friend tried to book rooms at The Icebear Hotel but because none were available, the staff suggested taking the "nearby" two-bedroom holiday apartment at the early 20th century colonial house where the Century Cafe is located. If you thought the Icebear brand was guarantee of some standards of hospitality, think again.

I was shocked at the disparity of standards between the Icebear Hotel and the Century Cafe apartment run by the hotel. The apartment above the Century Cafe is like some unloved stepchild of the Icebear Hotel.

For one, it is not "near" the Icebear Hotel, which is right on the shore, but a little more inland. To get to the Icebear Hotel, whose facilities guests of the Century Cafe apartment are free to use, would require a tuk-tuk ride (100-150 rupees each way) or a 20-minute walk.

I was less bothered about the location than the condition of the apartment.

I was surprised that there was no air-conditioning in the rooms. Instead, we were provided with a portable air-cooler in each. They were left blasting at full-power but the rooms remained sweltering hot, well into the night. The machines were old AND loud -- it was like being in a plane -- but ineffectual -- without any coolant, it merely blew out air. Still, it was endure the racket or risk heat-stroke in bed.

We also had the ceiling fans on at top-speed but that did little to cool the rooms. We're from the tropics too so we are used to the heat but the combination of tiny windows, mosquito nets, wooden floors, roofing and in the case of the master room, a poster bed that practically took up all the space, made the heat oppressive. We barely got any sleep, between the noise of the fans and the humidity.

The bathroom had damp wall splotches and a basin drainage pipe came loose -- we easily repaired that. The shower curtain was slimy.

To be fair, the staff running the apartment were friendly and helpful. They allowed us to remain at the apartment until our late night flight out of Sri Lanka.

I was told that the property is not owned by the Icebear Hotel but rented out by them. This could explain why there is such a big difference between the two properties. Still, I would expect some basic standards -- proper air-conditioning units in the bedrooms is the very least, for example.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank sebastian t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2013

We had booked another, recommended, guesthouse nearby but somehow they knew nothing of the confirmation we received. So there was no pickup at the airport and no rooms left on our 1.30am arrival and the night manager went back to bed. We had Ice Bear's number and very fortunately the Manager answered and arranged a car to pick us up at 3am. Our room was small but we loved the breakfasts, the tea and the helpfulness of the staff. A great first stop for visitors to Sri Lanka, though most other guesthouses we stayed at in Sri Lanka are not up to Ice Bear standard so we were spoilt first up, which was terrific.

Room Tip: Ground floor closest to the beach looked great though the big room on the 2nd floor also looked good...
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Tony M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Icebear Guesthouse

Address: 95 Lewis Place, Negombo 11500, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Western Province > Negombo
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #24 of 250 B&Bs / Inns in Negombo
Price Range: $25 - $74 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sri Lanka with Swissness, Rooms-In-Home for over twenty years ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Icebear Hotel Negombo

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