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“Fantastic Hotel- great experience” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Mount Lavinia Hotel

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Mount Lavinia Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
26 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Fantastic Hotel- great experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 8, 2013

We loved staying at this hotel. Beautiful colonial architecture. Great breakfast buffet, pool terrace, cocktails etc. Friendly staff. Could not fault this hotel. Ocean views were amazing from our room. Very romantic.
Dinner on the beach was also very nice as well.

Room Tip: I would suggest asking for a room with a view down the beach facing columbo city for the best view f...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank gogotomgo
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, August 27, 2013
We are truly glad you had a good stay at our hotel and your impressions of our hotel and service are much valued by us. We look forward to your return.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,348 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (686)
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English first
Australia
Level Contributor
68 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 6, 2013

As many contributors have pointed out, the hotel is quiet old and at the same time has charm and character. The hotel is about 10km from the centre of Colombo so it is away from the hussle and bussle of the city. It is situated in a picturesque location, right on the beach front.

The buildings are old but well maintained and show of the charm of the bygone era. The building is really really nice.

The rooms...well, I had one in the "new wing". The room was not new, it was modern but a bit worn out. Everything in it worked OK, the aircon which could not be turned off but it cooled the room very well, the TV had a poor reception and the wifi signal was on the weaker side. Overall however, I was happy with the roomo standard, the cleanliness and facilities. The private beach was kept spotless, although the water has been rough during my stay and somewhat too grey to take a swim in.

The food at the hotel was quiet good and OK priced for a foreign wallet. Both western and local food was great. The breakfast was OK priced and had a good variety of items available.

The negatives? There are a couple. The staff were great but the hotel misses out on a few details here and there. These are minor but if improved would add a great touch to an already good hotel. These details....if two people stay in the room, please provide 2 sets of towels or slippers and an appropriate amount of toiletaries. Again, these are easily fixed by speaking to the housekeeping staff.

The lobby bar was on the quiet side, the evenings were rather boring, there was no entertainment. Travelling around China, HK, etc, maybe I am just used to having a band playing during the evening.

The wifi cost was reasonable.

One criticism that stands out - when housekeeping staff clean the balcony windows, they tend to forget to lock the doors. Please make sure that you check your doors.

Would I stay there again???? Yes, definitely, although this time I will ask for a room on a high floor.

Room Tip: Try to take a room on a higher floor, close to a wifi spot. The 1 floor rooms are just too low and s...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank traveller_au97
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, August 27, 2013
Dear reviewer thank you for writing to us on tripadvisor we appreciate your kind comments and your feedback on areas of improvement are duly noted…We look forward to your return and wish you a pleasant journey back.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham
Level Contributor
76 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 5, 2013 via mobile

Stayed here for a night mainly because it was close to the airport. The pictures on their website make it look very grand and elegant...in reality, it looks very dated and a bit grubby. Had to wait half an hour to check in and it wasn't until we were clearly on the verge of complaining that they took us to our room. Room also looked very dated and the dirty balcony somewhat ruined the lovely view. A walk along the beach was also disappointing - broken glass and rubbish everywhere.
As we were leaving very early for the airport and had paid for breakfast, we were told by our holiday company that we could request a pack-up to take with us. I asked for a vegetarian breakfast and the unfriendly lady on reception said 'I'll see what I can do' in a very uninterested manner, before walking away. Lo and behold my breakfast had sausages in it the next day. Very disappointing.
This place is ok for a night if you're in the vicinity, but there are much better places to stay near the airport.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Starlet001
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, September 19, 2013
Dear guest thank you for writing to us on tripadvisor…we would like to assure you that we are heading in for a major refurbishment to the property and we are truly sorry for the inconvenience caused during the tedious check in process and the mix up with the food pack…we thank you for highlighting these issues and ensure that our staff are been periodically trained to provide a more pleasurable service to you should you decide to stay with us during your next stay in Colombo
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Sudbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 2, 2013

This hotel dates back many years and was originally built as the Governor's residence and has a romantic story of the illicit love affair between the Governor and Lavinia,a mixed-race dancing girl, and the secret tunnel which enabled to to meet thus avoiding the social disgrace which would have resulted for him in those days!

It has kept its colonial style and ambience - as well as its willing and friendly service and five star standards. The atmosphere is pleasant and relaxed and the refurbished Governor's wing has the style of the turn of the century with polished wooden floors and comfortable rooms with dark wood furniture.. The Bay and Sea Wings are more modern with carpets and balconies and have wonderful views of the promontory, sea and the vista to Colombo 12 kilometres away All have the amenities and comforts of today,

Meals can be taken on the Pool Terrace, Governor's Restaurant, Seafood Cove or by room service. The Lobby Bar and Lounge provides relaxing service of beverages and snacks and is an ideal meeting place. The food menu is extensive and well prepared and served with top class chefs and food cooked to order. Hoppers and egg-hoppers for instance as well as a grill and buffet option.

Entertainment is provided in the evenings on the Pool Terrace with a romantic view over the lovely swimming pool and out to sea. The private beach is perfect sand kept pristine by the staff Sunbeds and bar service? Of course!

I have been lucky to stay here 9 times in the past ten years and hope to visit many more times.

For beautiful surroundings, perfect beach, lovely rooms, good food, excellent service at all levels and a relaxed atmosphere with good but unobtrusive service do visit Mount Lavinia Hotel.
It has something really special - a unique presence in an increasingly corporate world.

I have had some fantastic times here. Nothing is too much trouble and the staff really enjoy looking after their guests.

Room Tip: If you want sea views - the Bay or Sea rooms. If you want colonial charm - the Governor's win...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank DOLLYMIX690
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, August 14, 2013
Dear reviewer thank you for choosing to stay at the Mount Lavinia Hotel…we are delighted that you enjoyed the history surrounding our property and also the modern facilities on offer to all our valued patrons. We thank you for your valued patronage and look forward to having you with us during your next visit to Sri Lanka.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hobart, Australia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 31, 2013

Mt. Lavinia hotel is sited in an extraordinary position on the sea front and the bygone era of the hotel evokes charm and the romance of a different time. To its credit the hotel has maintained that link with the past and not succumbed to any garish make over. Having said that, to maintain the illusion of yesteryear the nuts and bolts of the hotel need to run with efficiency and should be strong and serviceable.
On arriving the porter dropped my bags in the room, took his tip rather sullenly and departed as I endeavoured to fix the balcony door that was clearly broken and off its hinges. I rang the front desk and someone came up and did attend to it, though it was clearly a maintenance issue that should have been addressed prior to putting any guest in the room.
Within 6 hours the toilet malfunctioned in my room and this was attended to promptly. These things happen. The fact that it happened again 4 hours later was annoying. This time the maintenance on it was more intensive. Why wasn't this done in the first place.

Later the lift broke down and there was a sense that this was not a one off situation and people were used to taking the stairs. The next evening the electricity went off and much of the hotel was in darkness albeit for a short time.
The panorama from the eating areas in the hotel is breath taking. The food served is good and is very well presented. The service, however, is very hit and miss. There are so many staff replendent in uniforms, who rush to open doors for you and rush to ensure you don't leave without paying but seem pre occupied most of the time gazing into the middle distance. Every occasion I went to eat I had to look for someone to serve me.
Those lapses in staff attention did not appear on the front desk which was a model of hotel efficiency and helpfulness.
This is a very special hotel whose internal workings need to match its external positionings.

Room Tip: Ocean view
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank michael b
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, August 14, 2013
Dear Guest thank you for writing to us on Tripadvisor… A British Governor's residence forms the nucleus of the hotel which has expanded in size and style to the sprawling colonial palace it is today…we are truly sorry for the services lapses from our end and have taken measures to improve our many shortcomings…we hope that you will return to our iconic property by the sea during your next visit to Sri Lanka.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rotselaar, Brabant, Belgium
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 31, 2013

Have you ever wondered what you would get when you put the Sri Lankan hospitality and British know-how in a blender? Probably not, but these two components perfectly describe Hotel Mount Lavinia, which sheltered me and my family for 7 days.

It is amiable to see the past being wrapped up with the present. The hotel area consist of two major buildings: the new one and the old one. The old one finds its roots in the British colonial period.

There is one minor to be marked: the buffet restaurant was quite crappy. Despite the expanse of the dishes, there was a lack of variation. Every day of the week was distinguished with a specific theme, one night it was called 'italian evening' and another one 'Sri Lankan evening', although we didn't notice any differences in the every evenings assortments.
The Fish Cove restaurant makes up where the Governor restaurant fails. If you like your fish as fresh as possible -and I am quite sure that you do- you should certainly visit this excellent à la carte restaurant.

Another smaller disadvantage is that some members -and you can interpret some in a larger context- of the staff are driven adherents of the 'Hakuna-matata' philosophy. You will get anything you want if you just can wait long enough.

One of the biggest trump cards of the hotel is their profusion of weddings. Not a day will pass without a wedding party in the Mount Lavinia Hotel. This scatters a festive atmosphere all over the hotel and its guests.

In brief: if you are planning to visit Sri Lanka, I strongly recommend you this hotel.

Room Tip: The rooms in the old, colonial part of the hotel are nicer.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Daan M
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, August 14, 2013
Dear Guest we are delighted to have indulged you in our true Sri Lankan hospitality for 7 days…We always appreciate receiving valuable insights from our guests and thank you for highlighting your observations…we are however delighted to inform you that we are in the process of introducing new and improved theme nights to cater to all our guests… the famous romance rainbowed over the hotel one of the reasons why, perhaps, it is a favourite choice for lovers, weddings and honeymoons…we look forward to your return!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hertfordshire
Level Contributor
26 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 31, 2013

This hotel was chosen for us by our daughter, who currently lives in Colombo. Originally a former governor's residence, this hotel has been greatly extended in recent years and includes a gym, a very reasonably priced spa and an excellent outdoor pool overlooking the sea. The huge reception lobby and bar are teeming with friendly, helpful staff who dealt magnificently with our minor problems. We could not fault the service in any area. The main restaurant offers a wide selection of European and Asian dishes - something for every taste. Our room was in the new extension, with fabulous views over the beach. The room was large and airy and although the décor was badly in need of updating, it was clean, comfortable and had all mod cons in full working order. The hotel is very popular for up-market local weddings - often several on the same day. Although we were aware of the festivities, they were not at all intrusive: in fact it was fascinating to watch the photo-shots on the beach and admire the elegantly dressed guests. The only drawback from a tourist perspective is the distance from the centre of Colombo; however, the beautiful situation and relative peace and quiet more than compensates for this.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Comberdown
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, August 14, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to recommend our property to our many tripadvisor readers…we are delighted that you enjoyed the historical roots and modern elegance and hope you will return to stay with us again.
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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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