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“Convenient location and spacious and well...”
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Overview
Condo/Apartment -
3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, Sleeps 6
Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia, Western Province

Reviews from our community

Average - based on 2 reviews
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Reviews from our community

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jackw53
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
147 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
“Read The Small Print”
Reviewed April 20, 2016 for a stay in March 2016
3
people found this review helpful

Marine City Apartment – (If you don’t want to read my full review skip to the Summary at the end).

My first piece of advice is “READ THE SMALL PRINT”.

Let us get the positives on record to begin with. The apartment is much as described in terms of size and facilities in that it has 3 reasonably sized bedrooms with 2 bathrooms 1 of which is on-suite. It is also minutes from the sea and beach and Dehiwala railway station. It also has a shared swimming pool on the roof and a gym (although the latter was never manned each time we visited and the sauna, steam room etc. were certainly not in daily use) and on occasions the swimming pool was not as clean as it should be causing us not to use it on those days. It also requires ladies to wear bathing caps not something you normally pack.

The views from the roof top out to the Indian Ocean are impressive, however there is NO direct view of the beach/sea from the apartment. What there is from 2 of the balconies is a side view along with the balconies of other apartments.

The main view from the lounge does have an impressive cityscape which takes in distant Colombo and the surrounding areas. There is also a supermarket and a good restaurant on the ground floor as described and WiFi is good and solid and reasonable speed for downloading but there is a data cap which is not highlighted and when exceeded everything slows down to a crawl. The last positive is the local Agent “Nimal” who is dedicated, helpful and goes out of his way to ensure any issues are resolved.

Now for the negatives: the bathrooms (shower rooms) are small and basic – there are no shelves to store toiletries and when taking a shower the water goes all over the floor inside and outside of the shower meaning slippers etc should not be left outside the shower but outside the shower room itself. Cleanliness is just about acceptable and the apartment is cleaned once a week at no extra charge but the corners, high places, etc do need more attention. There is an extra charge for the washing of linen provided. Bedding supplied can be a bit of a lottery in that there are 2 double beds and 1 King and some of the bedding supplied does NOT always fit the beds in that the sheets barely reach the edge of the bed – no tuck in room – we were often given double sheets on a King sized bed or single for the double. Also you are only supplied with 1 top sheet which if you use the A/C at night is not enough. Blankets are NOT supplied.

Internal and external noise can be and was during our stay an issue. The whole apartment has tiled floors as does the one above meaning that chairs, when they are moved, scrape and screech on the tiles and in the apartment above the chairs can start to be moved as early as 6 a.m. – I know other apartment noises are part of living in an apartment block but DIY banging at 6 am from one of the other apartments, which at the weekend was all day (sounds like they were demolishing a wall or taking off tiles) also the “dinging” of the lift bell, as it reaches floors above and below is very loud. The call to prayers from the local mosque, which often goes on for 1 hour is another regular early morning wake-up call!
All of these noises compete with the sound of train horns and PA announcements from the local station, which is literally between the apartment and the beach.

Okay, none of these are within the owners control but they do impact on the comfort of the stay significantly and disprove the statement “sound proof tidy rooms” as described in the advert and I have a hearing issue which causes me to wear 2 hearing aids! There is also a noise issue with the balcony door in the guest bedrooms in that when the wind gets up along the side of the apartment the door rattles quite loudly which to a 10 year old in the middle of the night can be quite frightening. We wedged it so it did not re-occur and whilst not show-stopping it adds to the down points/niggles of this apartment.

My final “Negative” is in the small print and the charge made for use of the electricity and extra linen. The electricity, when compared with the “domestic rate” charged by Sri Lankan electricity, is in the region of 42% more and this includes the standing charge which would have to be paid anyway!

An average family of 4 uses around 45 units a day of which 5 are free. The remaining 40 over an extended stay can be really significant cost based on the small print charge of USD 0.50 cents – that is an extra 20 dollars a day and that is not using electrical items excessively! As for charging for extra sheets when only 1 per bed is provided and there are NO blankets and also extra for towels when again only 1 per person is provided and one of these was a hand towel – not the best for drying after a shower!

These charges add significantly to the hidden cost of taking on this apartment. When challenged on the electricity charge the Owner pointed out they charge the “Commercial Rate” not the Domestic Rate (Why?). Sri Lankan Electricity Board charge Hotels a rate of (LKR21.50 = USD 0.15 cents per unit) at the “Commercial Rate charged USD 0.50” the charge is 70% more than the Domestic rate charged by Sri Lankan Electricity! In fairness this charge is highlighted in the apartment advert but it is impossible to appreciate electricity use until you actually live in the apartment so the additional charges this creates and at the rate charged are really a “HIDDEN CHARGE” and add significantly to the cost of staying!

My Summary:-Having spent 4 weeks in this apartment what is my final assessment?
The apartment has some good aspects – space, convenience of local facilities, including the super market and ground floor restaurant, Cityscape views and main balcony which gets the morning sun. It also however has down sides which I have highlighted above so will NOT repeat here.
Stripping away the various points I have made above my main 2 concerns are:

The apartment is described as a “luxury apartment” at best I would say it deserves no more than 3 stars on the luxury scale and certainly is not “expensive high-quality surroundings, and the great comfort that they provide” which is how “luxury” is defined in a dictionary!

And yes the Hidden Charges, in particular the electricity which whilst highlighted in the advert, just feels to me unjustified at the rate being charged. It cost me an additional £270 for our 28 day occupation of which we were away for 5 days on tour and 14 days when only the lounge and 1 bedroom were being occupied meaning an average of £12 a day extra!

Will we stay here again? I don’t think so as the “niggles” far outweigh the good points especially what I feel is the unjustified charges made for “extras”!

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: Closeness of local facilities
Liked least: Noise and extra charges
Traveling group: Extended Family
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   No.
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management Response
Apr 21, 2016
We appreciated your comments and will reviewed in fine details to improve our facilities and guests fulfillment with immediate effect.

We have facilitated our guests to reduce the electricity charges by using
- CFL/LED bulbs for illumination.
- Higher energy star rating 1,500 watt split AC units with programmable thermostat for controls in each room for comfort and ceiling fans as a backup plan.
- Eco friendly fully automatic washing machine

Positively, we would sincerely evaluate the possibility of applying a discounted electricity rate for our long staying guests.

We recognized the inconvenience of the water slippage from the shower enclosure and this will be rectified permanently with the schedule maintenance program in the month of July 2016.

Best regards
Nandika Ekanayake (Owner)
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1181234
Melbourne, Australia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Convenient location and spacious and well maintained apartment”
Reviewed January 31, 2016 for a stay in January 2016
2
people found this review helpful

We visited in December last year and had a comfortable stay, very spacious , well furnished and clean place.
Convenient location the mini supermarket and the snack bar and restaurant was very useful for our meals , loved the beautiful views from the 17th floor we would highly recommend this apartment to our family and friends

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: The roof top view
Liked least: On suite shower /kitchen
Traveling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Older travelers Families with young children
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2 guests
Adults2
Children0
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