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The Hill Club
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All reviewsjacket and tiea hot water bottlereading roomthe formal dining roomformal dinnerwhite gloved waitersgentleman's clubsilver servicetemporary membershipmembers clubbilliard roomtennis courtsstep back in timebygone eracolonial daysan interesting experienceold world charm
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Reviewed November 19, 2012

If you like heritage hotels which have been very well maintained , both in terms of the building as well as ambience and club rules of a bygone era , then you will love the Hill Club.

If you are looking for modern, swish, 5 star luxury , you will not find it here.

The Hill Club is a members- only club, and tourists are allowed temporary membership. The rooms, service and food are very good and the gardens are lovely as well. The staff go out of their way to be helpful.

The town of Nuwara Eliya is situated in Sri Lanka's central hills and afford easy access to sights in the area -- tea plantations, Hakgala Gardens, Horton Plains, Nanu Oya to Badulla scenic railway etc.

This is a great place to relax and be pampered -- slow travel at its best!

Room Tip: Choose the rooms in the Main Wing for views over the lawn , however the stairs are steep. Rooms in the West Wing have no view , but are very comfortable and could be accessed via a chair lift .
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Roshni2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2012

We stayed at this hotel after getting compensated by Jetwing St. Andrews .. It was built in the 17th or 18th century! Old yes, but very charming! It makes you feel like you still live in that time :) .. We reached at night, we were impressed by the room, yet it was cold & the heater we had in the room hardly provided any heat! Room was clean yes, but the toilet wasn't that much clean plus the shower is so tiny for one person & it leaks so bad! If you wish to eat at any of their 2 restaurants you will need to have formal clothes, for men & women! We just ordered room service, cuz we didn't know about this rule, hence didn't have any formal clothes! The food is very delicious & somewhat average price .. We didn't have the chance to check out other facilities in the hotel; as we were tired the night we reached & spent the whole day out next day ..

We had a very bad experience at Horton Plain park the next day, & the hotel staff were very nice & helpful when we reached back in a miserable situation! They accompanied us to our rooms, & provided us with hot towels & hot water bags .. They got tea & food right away & made sure we were all ok & comfy again .. I thank them SO much for their effort!

Room Tip: Rooms are lovely in general .. Just make sure to have a big shower, or a renovated toilet .. Also, in general, walls are thin, so you can hear people from the other rooms!
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Damdoom81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 8, 2012

We stayed two nights here as part of a tour. The decorations are warm and stodgy, but in a good way. Our room had a great view of the front garden. The ceilings in the room are huge! The bathroom is huge and has a nice shower. Everything was very clean. The staff was nice and never made us feel out of place. We ate at the informal dining room and it was quite good. We ate off of the fixed menu each night and that worked out well. The table next to us ordered from the a la carte menu and they had lots of complaints. The white-glove waiters for dinner were attentive to say the least.

Being served breakfast in courses was a little annoying. Couldn't they just serve the fruit, toast and eggs at the same time? Overall it was a good experience of the old empire.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank T-Train205
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 19, 2012

Spent one night (too short!) here on Exodus tour. Arrived about 3pm. Received warm welcome and warm towel, as well as a fruit iced tea in the reading room. We had gone whitewater rafting that morning in Kitulgala and our hotel didn't have hair dryers (so I wasn't as put-together as I'd have liked), but the staff didn't seem to mind.

Head of housekeeping escorted to room #32, a double bed room, on the back side of the hotel. We asked if we could have something on the front and he graciously took us across the hall to room #17. This room had two twin beds that the room boys quickly pushed together into a king for us (albeit with separate bedding, but no matter). Wonderful! The rooms on the "front" are about twice as big as the rooms on the back, and much receive more natural light. Room #17 had high ceilings, wooden floors, a fireplace (no longer in service but an electric heater has in put in front), 2 chairs, a wardrobe (lockable), and kettle for tea/coffee. Flat screen TV above fireplace and telephone on the bedside table. Rooms are VERY clean and very well lighted for easy reading in bed.

Bathroom was spacious (2 bath mats!) and appointed with soap and shampoo (no lotion, conditioner or body wash) but with plenty of towels and a hair dryer. Also a drying rack (handy to dry our still damp shoes and bathing suits from rafting that morning).

Loads of colonial British charm spread throughout the hotel and the lovely garden out front. A bit drafty in the cool climate of Nuwara Eliya, but dress accordingly and bring a sweater with you. Lots of magazines and books to read in the Reading Room.

Darts board also available, and more DVDs for borrowing (free) than I've ever seen at a hotel. Small gift shop that I'd wished would have had more souvenir selection, but that's me. Do have men's and women's polo shirts w/Hill Club logo on them if you neglect to bring clothes for dinner. Also have tea and coffee set pieces with logo on them and a variety of glossy color books.

Casual dining room and formal dining room are your options for eating in the hotel. No dress code for casual room. Formal room requires men in collared shirt, tie and jacket; no sandals or tennis shoes (trainers). Women must be dressed suitably to accompany men. National dress OK. If you are a man who doesn't bring the "right" clothes with you, you can borrow a jacket, tie, and even a pair of leather dress shoes (oxfords).

Dinner is a set menu (2,500 rupees not including tax and service charge) and consists of four courses plus coffee/tea. Ours was a profiterole with pate, a tomato soup w/deep fried eggplant garnish, roast leg of pork or poached darne of seer, and orange mousse. One in our party was vegetarian and when the waiter learned that he provided a full veg appetizer (veg spring roll) and entree (pasta primavera) for her.

We all enjoyed getting dressed up and appreciated the white glove service. Our Sri Lankan guide dined with us and we had a wonderful evening. The music was 1970s instrumental and we had fun naming the artist and tune over dinner.

As we had an early wake-up, we didn't go for drinks after dinner. However, we all had a gin & tonic with Rockland (local) gin and I have to say it was quite good. It was also the lowest priced G&T I've had since college! It was about $2.00. They gave us the "club member" price.

When we returned to our room after dinner the room boys had done turn down and placed a hot water bottle in each of our beds. The bottles stayed warm throughout the night. I loved the quilts and bedding, but some people think they're a bit heavy. I'm chronically cold, however, so I was perfectly comfortable. Very good night's sleep in a very quiet room.

If you have time to get your laundry done, prices are very reasonable here as well. Even their "rush" service is cheaper than most other hotels we stayed at.

Free wifi works best in the Reading Room, but I was also able to retrieve emails on my iPod Touch in our guest room.

Short walk to downtown Nuwara Eliya from hotel.

We had an early departure for Horton Plains/World's End so we didn't eat breakfast at the hotel. Instead, the hotel packed us breakfast boxes. Each box came with a tomato and cheese sandwiches, banana, piece of pineapple, apple juice box, piece of ginger cake, and a bottle of water. You can also choose the Sri Lankan option which is all of the above (minus the sandwiches) with roti and coconut sambol. YUM!

I hope to return here again! I liken it to staying at a castle in Ireland (only British) and really enjoyed the old-fashioned atmosphere.

Room Tip: Get one of the twin bed rooms and have the room boys push them together-higher ceilings and a larger room.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Saranger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 14, 2012

We have stayed at the 'Hill Club' many times in the past and always found it intriguing. Last month (August 2012) we stayed there again, this time with my daughter and her boyfriend. We stayed in a superior room (in the front) and were pleasantly shocked by the modern bathroom renovations - very impressive. Thankfully they have left the rooms as they were many years ago - quaint. As usual, the food and service was very good; I especially like the jacket & tie rule at diner, makes you feel as elegant as the surroundings. I raise my hat to the staff of the Hill Club' well done old chap.

Room Tip: Superior room at the front of the hotel - we stayed in rooms 4 & 5
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Travel-Buff60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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