A friend of mine, (a local) booked told me to come and stay at the NE golf club when visiting this charming village and region.
Don't be put off by the signs when you arrive saying “Guests and Members only” - they do take outside guests and I stay here for 3 days...
Well - what did I think of it... It is not your normal hotel for sure.
My reception is a bit of a mess as they did not have my reservation - no one told the head barman that I would be arriving after the office was closed - not that it mattered as there was only another couple staying at the time...! Phone calls were made to the appropriate authorities…i.e. “We have an Australian here who say he has a reservation”.
Sri Lankan drama frequently occurs in this country, which is not really drama at all… so I did the next best thing and ordered a drink at the bar wile things were soughed out…
Finally they told me that they had a room for me and I headed off with the 'room boy', a sweet young Tamil guy (well “up there” they all seem to be Tamils and very nice and friendly people they are too) who was willing to please/help and had just joined the club. He was a nice ambassador for the place and saw that I was nicely settled in with the hot water turned on etc.
The room was fine, not large and not small - twin beds (for me) and en-suite with shower, toilet and basin etc....the beds having N.E.G.C on the bed head so that when you wake up, you know where you are...!
The rooms were not heated, but I was not cold... Nuwara Eliya weather is rather strange and the air is always moist... The room looked out on to a very pretty putting green surrounded by flowers and all... - but it is not heated so it did necessitate leaving the window open for a bit of ventilation... - otherwise you wake up with 1/2 inch of dwe on the inside of your window....and a general feeling of damp - I notice as soon as the weather becomes fine, all the rooms are aired for the day to prevent moisture build up.
The service of rooms was poor and on the first day, my bed was left unmade and the room not cleaned.... - maybe I should have complained, but the staffs were so sweet in their Sri Lankan sought of way I really could not be bothered – it must have been the view and the bar service on the verandah which won me over !
The room was cleaned on the 2nd day and sheets changed - seems like they have a 2 day changeover - but who knows...!
Hearting in the rooms would be a good idea to keep the rooms dry but for me, they were OK!
Maybe a hot water bottle to would also be a good idea for those cold nights...! I suppose for a club having a hard goes of it - central heating is probably out of the question.
Now for the food, well “give dinner” a miss is my advice.
I ate there one night and the meal was not good - well I was the only one in the dining room that night.... and I suspect it had been al pre-cooked.
Full English breakfast, served on the terrace, overlooking the beautiful course, was great as was lunch – for me, sandwiches and tea (Sri Lanka has the best Egg sandwiches in the world).
Dinner, if I didn’t go out, was a drink & a snack beside the fire in the lounge, which suited me fine.... as I felt that the dining room was best left alone...
So who goes to the golf club? Members and their guests mainly... - really for a single guy it is a nice place to stay - it is great for couples too and of course great for golfers... the rooms are fine and the club has put in some Deluxe rooms, which I am told are very nice indeed.
The position of the Clubhouse is superb, (probably the best) and the town is just around the corner from the hotel. If you want a nice meal, then I would suggest the Grand Hotel, 5 minutes walk away where 2 restaurants and an outside coffee shop/snack bar await you....
The Front Verandah of the club is hard to beat... - it is really is a lovely place to wile away the day and the members are always popping by for a chat and maybe if you are nice to them, they will shout you a beer.
The club is all “very proper” in a very British sought of way... actually I just loved the experience and the old place “sure” has character... The Bar was a great place for a drink besides the fire at night and to meet a few locals or travelers up for a spot of golf from Colombo - one can easily imaging the things the have happened in times past... - but really I think the nothing has changed.... the members/guests still complain about their workers, lack of money and that you can not get the ‘buggers’ to work !
I loved it all… the place has atmosphere for sure….! If you wish to visit, for a drink or a light meal that you will be welcomed with opened arms by the staff... - for all it's strange vibes, staving there is a great experience and one I will not easily forget...
I just loved the Club and of course the golf course is divine for those who love this interesting game… I think that visitors are very welcome indeed…
The accommodation rate was very good indeed and the position unbeatable.
The train trip to Colombo to Colombo was wonderful and not to be missed - the scenery is spectacular.
The phone No. for the gold Club is (--) should you wish to make enquiries.
Mike - Australia
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