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“Showing its age”

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Mount Lavinia Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Showing its age”
Reviewed January 3, 2013 via mobile

After touring Sri Lanka for two weeks, staying in 7 hotels, we spent our last night at this hotel. Sadly, whilst well located and packed full of history, this hotel is showing its age. Worn floors, tatty edges in bathrooms, smaller rooms than we experienced elsewhere and service that was less than attentive made it a little disappointing. On the plus side, the beach seafood restaurant was very good. Better hotels can be found in Negombo, which is also better placed for the airport.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TheTravelGuideJunkie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MLHG-Management, General Manager at Mount Lavinia Hotel, responded to this review, January 3, 2013
Dear Guest thank you for sharing your comments with the tripadvisor community... our property has a substantial history covering 200 years and holds a very important place in the historical records and heritage of Sri Lanka. The positive mentions made regarding the seafood cove is accepted with thanks along with the negatives mentioned...constructive criticism is always welcome and we will strive to make ourselves better to ensure that your next stay will be nothing short of magical...
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2013

Stayed at this resort for one night this December.

Pros:
Great Historic feel, over 200 years old
Lovely views of the Indian Ocean from most rooms
Nice in room pamphlets informing you about their eco-sensitive practices
Clean modern cars with english speaking drivers on hire for sight seeing
Nice chocolate cake for our anniversary

Now for the unfortunate cons:
Very very farm from the international airport. My fault for not looking into this throughly but, if you're looking for something in Colombo this is not it. It takes longer than stated on their website to get to them from their international airport.

We got in on a 5 am flight from India. In order to ensure we had a bed ready and waiting for us I gladly paid the extra half day charge (half the room rate) so that our room would be guaranteed from 6 am on. That being said when we finally made it to the hotel around 8 am we had to wait 30 minutes to be checked in (as the staff was busy dealing with disgruntled guests checking out) and following that when we actually went to out room we found out it wasn't the category that we had booked. After an overnight flight and a long drive in - this was a huge annoyance. When we asked the person checking us in to look into this they put us on hold for a 2 minutes and then came back with a response stating that the category of room we had booked would only be available at 2:00 pm. Not only that we were on our first anniversary (of which they were informed) and they stuck us in a wrong room with two twin beds. Quite unacceptable by any means. Rushed down to the reception told them this was not going to work. At this point they said they would upgrade us and took us to the Governors suite. This isn't all its made up to be. Its in the old wing. No view what so ever, forget ocean view. It had high ceilings but, that didn't make up for the dark feel the room had. We polity declined and then magically a room in our category with a queen bed suddenly opened up … for which I was very glad but, this whole ordeal took us over an hour when we were already tired and cranky.

All in all the experience was just OK nothing to write home about and the cons over shadowed the pros.

Room Tip: Newly renovated rooms on lower floor have very poor ocean views. Stay clear.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank VH03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MLHG-Management, General Manager at Mount Lavinia Hotel, responded to this review, March 8, 2013
Dear guest thank you for choosing Mount Lavinia Hotel as your preferred holiday destination…thank you for mentioning the good points that you enjoyed about your stay…I would like to apologize for the inconvenience caused to you during your stay and would like to ensure that your feedback has been used as constructive and measures have been taken to rectify the issues highlighted…we would love to have you stay with us again should you chose to come back to spend another memorable anniversary with us.
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Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2013

I stayed for 3 nights at the Mount Lavinia hotel with my wife and in-laws - The stay was over Christmas and Boxing Day.

The hotel is a beautiful and historic building in a stunning location. To the East you can see Colombo and to the West the beautiful coastline. That said, the hotel is definitely not a 4 or 5 star hotel, especially when you consider how run down the property, hotel and rooms are. Additionally the service was very poor over Christmas... In fact I would expect better service in a 3 star hotel.

At times the staff were actually rude and dismissive, which is really sad to see as I stayed at the hotel last year and didn't have any of these problems. Maybe a change of management??

Positives:

- Excellent location
- Nice swimming pool
- Nice private beach
- Good food, excellent buffet selection
- Rooms were clean
- Some rooms have been refurbished.
- Some very good staff.
- Staff cleaned rooms well and efficiently (normally done whilst you are at breakfast)

Negatives:

- Rooms were dated, bathrooms were very old and in need of refurbishment... Also smelt bad during the late mornings.
- Service on the whole was average, definitely not as good as what people say. If you have stayed in the Hilton or Taj in Colombo, the service there is a league above the Mount.
- Weddings and functions mean that if you are staying in the newer part of the hotel, the weddings and functions play loud music till about 2am. We had to request another room because of this.
- My wife and mother-in-law booked the spa and didn't end up using it, as they were greeted at the spa reception with "you are late for your appointment!" !! Interesting greeting for a hotel of this standard. (My family were 5 mins late for the appointment because my wife mis-judged the timings due to being 7 months pregnant at the time)
- For the $150-250 per night charge at the Mount, in hindsight I would have stayed somewhere else.
- At Christmas time, the hotel sold tickets for lunch and dinner to non-hotel guests which meant that we didn't have anywhere to sit for Xmas dinner! Interesting considering we were actually staying in the hotel. Only after getting the General Manager and complaining, did they make up a table for us.
- Cannot reserve a table at Breakfast, which means if you are having breakfast between 8-9, you may not get a table.

I have lived in Sri Lanka for 4 years and this hotel is declining ... Real shame as they could make this hotel so impressive by investing some time and money.

Room Tip: 1. If you are expecting 5 star hotel, then probably not the right place for you. 2. Request a roo...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank d_rod2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MLHG-Management, General Manager at Mount Lavinia Hotel, responded to this review, January 3, 2013
"Thank you for your valued feedback. And we are rectifying every aspect possible so that the below stated areas of errors will not be repeated. Yes, our property is over 208 years old and is considered a historical significance in the heritage of Sri Lanka. Hence the property does have its issues and drawbacks in a few areas. However, we are constantly looking at refurbishing areas and making it newer and trendy.

We do apologize for the mishaps at Christmas time you faced and we totally understand the disappointment, but we have rectified the issues and I assure you that your next visit will be truly memorable.."
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Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
96 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2013

Nice hotel in a great location. Hotel has own private beach that also includes a seafood restaurant and a bar on the beach. Maybe 20 minute walk further down the beach to some other nice beachfront hotels. Roof top pool is nice to swim in with lovely location. Amazing buffet meals provided with a good selection of both Sri Lankan and western foods. I recommend the Sea cove restaurant on the beach. No free wifi though. Supermarket and bakery maybe 10 minute walk back to the main road. Be sure to check the events board for what is on – we arrived on St Lucia day where they had a party with free food and drink and music in the courtyard, but we didn’t find this out until returning to the hotel after having bought dinner elsewhere as the receptionist didn’t advise us of it.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank rf80808
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MLHG-Management, General Manager at Mount Lavinia Hotel, responded to this review, February 17, 2013
Dear Guest we are delighted to note that you enjoyed your recent stay at the Mount Lavinia Hotel…we are sorry about the inconvenience caused due to the lack of communication from our end and necessary measures have been taken to eradicate such activity in the future. Hope you would stay with us during your next visit to Sri Lanka.
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Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed December 31, 2012 via mobile

I have stayed at the Mount Lavinia Hotel three times now and have thoroughly enjoyed each visit. The service is excellent it's great to see me doorman and their welcome is always a good one. The Hotel still looks good but is getting a little bit rough around the edges and could do with some renovation. I enjoy the good service from waiters and sitting around the pool or enjoying a good meal in the restaurant. The hotel obviously gets used frequently for weddings which is a good source of income but unfortunately detracts from the experience of the hotel because it makes the pooll side area and reception extremely crowded in fact the reception area reminded me of a railway station concourse it was so crowded.
I guess the main problem with the hotel is that it is a victim of it's own success.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Honestbloke1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MLHG-Management, General Manager at Mount Lavinia Hotel, responded to this review, February 17, 2013
Dear Guest thank you for taking the time to write to us about your recent experience at the Mount Lavinia Hotel…we are glad you enjoyed the attentive service of our team… the famous romance rainbowed over the hotel one of the reasons why, perhaps, it is a favourite choice for lovers, weddings and honeymoons…we hope you will return to stay with us in the future to indulge in true sri lankan hospitality.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surrey
Level Contributor
55 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed December 31, 2012

Very comfortable beds, clean rooms with sea view balcony, extensive breakfast spread with both international and Sri Lankan options. From the Sous Chef down to the clean-up staff, everyone was very helpful, attentive and took personal responsibility for their guests. Free wi-fi at their business centre is convenient.

The front desk staffing, though, leaves much to be desired. Virtually all staff were trainees, with only one visible fully-trained person. Not surprising that our registration which we had made from overseas, could not be found on multiple visits to the front desk, nor could our credit card number be found which we had given to secure that booking.

Mt Livinia Hotel could also be a better corporate citizen by cleaning up the garbage-strewn rocks flanking either side of the hotel leading down to the beach.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JessSurrey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MLHG-Management, General Manager at Mount Lavinia Hotel, responded to this review, January 3, 2013
Dear Guest thank you for writing to us on tripadvisor. thank you for the wonderful comments mentioned about our cuisine and facilities. thank you for highlighting the loopholes at our service points your feedback is highly appreciated and necessary action has already been taken to rectify same and make sure that your next stay with us will be nothing short of memorable.
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Delhi
Level Contributor
80 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed December 30, 2012

went there to this hotel for the sea food buffet every evening. great food and surprisingly non-5-star prices. location was also great next to the beach. the rooms also looked great from what we saw but sadly did not stay there. next trip to colombo i would definitely stay here.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MayankKhanduja
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MLHG-Management, General Manager at Mount Lavinia Hotel, responded to this review, January 1, 2013
Dear guest thank you for the lovely comments regarding our establishment. Hope that you will stay with us during your next trip to Colombo.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mount Lavinia Hotel

Property: Mount Lavinia Hotel
Address: 100 Hotel Road, Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia 10732, Sri Lanka
Phone Number:
Location: Sri Lanka > Western Province > Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Mount Lavinia Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 275
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With a history spanning over 200 years, Mount Lavinia Hotel Colombo is one of the oldest hotels in Sri Lanka. This premier colonial heritage hotel in Colombo has earned a reputation over the years for its magnificent structure and ambiance, the old world charm which harks back to the grandeur of old Ceylon, a romantic legacy left by the colonial Governor General who used it as his residence, the exceptional service offered by its well-trained staff and its popularity as a venue for weddings. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mount Lavinia Hotel Sri Lanka/Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia

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