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The Grand Hotel
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All reviewshigh teaindian restaurantmagnolia restaurantsri lankatea roomgolf courseold world charmsnooker roompublic roomsgrand indianlobby areabreakfast buffet ismain restaurantcolonial stylecommon areascolonial timeswi fi
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1,409 - 1,414 of 2,284 reviews
Reviewed June 24, 2013

I had high expectations for this hotel based on the website/photos. The hotel is absolutely gorgeous and it rests on grounds that are stunning, especially since we were coming from Saudi Arabia. However, the service was lacking in all areas. I do not believe this was coming from a bad attitude or the desire to be unhelpful. It truly felt like this was everyone's first day in the hospitatlity business.

When we checked in we were taken to a room with twin beds and no view. Since we booked through a travel agent, and requested all king-sized beds (hello newly married couple!?) we requested another room. The front desk attendant that showed us to our rooms said that the hotel was fully booked and a king sized bed was not available and blamed the travel agent. However, we were shown to a room with twin sized beds with a better view. We immediately called downstairs to see if we could get a different answer from someone else, and were shown 3 THREE empty rooms on higher floors with king sized beds and better views. This event got us off on the wrong foot.

My husband and I ordered room service and the order was wrong. To their credit they comped the incorrect drink and brought the missing item of food with a smile.

It was around this time we checked the WI-FI. Although the hotel's website advertises in-room WI-FI, the front desk stated that WI-FI was ONLY available in the lobbby.

We decided to go downstairs have some tea and shisha, and try to connect with the outside world. We were unable to connect to the WI-FI in the lobby. We complained and were told that everyone elses Wi-FI was working and that it must have been our devices. After asking customers ourselves whether the Wi-FI was working, we discovered that although the WI-FI wasn't working, the business center computers were working. We complained again, and were told a tree fell down on the line (do they even use DSL?) and it was unavailable.

We tried to enjoy our shisha and tea but were also provided unlit charcoal by a rude staff member.

A supervisor/manager did listen to our complaints with concern, and comp our tea. However, it felt as if the whole time we were coaching the staff on what they should be doing and how they should be acting. It was almost as if we were dragging the service out of them and performing a skit. The whole staff seemed extremely nervous and acted like deer in headlights when we questioned them or requested anything.

The icing on the cake was the "spa". It is essentially two dressing rooms/closets to receive massages from pushy "salespeople".

We are extremely laid back, forgiving and easy going customers but too many wrongs happened during this stay. And this was only one night.

I really would love to give this hotel another chance because of its potential and charm, but if there was even a whisper of similar service, I would check out immediately.

The food was great and there were numerous options (although slightly pricey). Unfortunately, it was not good enough to redeem the entire experience.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank HijabiTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manager_Grandhotel, Manager at The Grand Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded June 24, 2013

Dear Guest, We are saddened to hear that the level of service was not what is should have been, and certainly not the level of service we are known for. So firstly, let me thank you for your detailed account. As for WIFI facilities we have been experiencing some difficulties during the past few week due to the monsoon rains, which have since been rectified. Most other areas mentioned by you are to do with our service, which we will address immediately. Thank you once again for your post. Sincerely, Resident Manager.

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Reviewed June 21, 2013

This is 4 stars hotel in Nuwara Eliya, Sir Lanka. I stayed one night in this hotel in my trip to Nuwara Eliya area. The hotel location is good; it is very old hotel. The room are fairly okay. Th floor is covered with moving woods that annoy any one sleeping. If you waked up and want to go to toilet; you will be waked up anyone sleeping. The hotel is good compared to available hotels in area.
I liked the garden flowers and landscaping around the hotel.
There is NO Internet service in the rooms except in lobby. This made the lobby very crowded 24 hours; all rooms guests are in the lobby servicing Internet except sleeping times. I HATE it.

Room Tip: Spend one or two nights at most. If you are Internet addicted person; you will spend all your stay in the lobby.
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Musleh S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manager_Grandhotel, Manager at The Grand Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded June 24, 2013

Dear Guest, While we thank you for your post. let me assure you that your comments about the improvements that need to be made to the property has been discussed and certain improvement s are taking place even as I write this response. Thank you and best wishes from all at the Grand. Sincerely, Resident Manager.

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Reviewed June 18, 2013

Stayed 3 nights in June on B&B basis.

Firstly the positives:

Excellent Location in the midst of tea plantation
Property although old is well maintained
Architecture depicts old world charm and character
Buffet Breakfast and Dinner and dining hall was good.

Now the negatives:
My one overriding comment is that the staff are generally not very trained, have communication issues in english and in some instances down right rude. I will highlight a number of examples from my 3 days stay to illurstrate this point

Our first dinner in the 24 hr coffee shop at around 11:00pm, the waiter insisted that we take a 2 ppl table next to the door where whole restaurant was empty and we wanted to take a large 4 ppl table to sit more comfortably after a long journey. He kept on insisting that we are only 2 ppl and should only take the table he suggested. In anycase we prevailed.

Despite being a 24 hour restaurant, we were told (by the same waiter) that no desserts are available as it is late and dessert are supplied by another restaurant in the hotel which is closed.

Next morning we wokeup late and had to order room service breakfast which was a major screwup.We ordered pancakes and a continental breakfast. After a long wait our breakfast arrived but without pancakes. So called the room service once again and were told that they dont have pancakes (why put in the room service menu then). So we ordered French Toast instead, and after a while some slices of toasted bread came. We gave up and decided to wake up on time the next day to make it to our buffet breakfast in the dining hall. Bottom line, the hotel is not geared for room service. The order takers cannot follow simple instructions and have a hard time communicating.

Lastly and most importantly, the staff was very rude several times. We had tea a number of times at the lobby tea shop called 'T by Dilmah'. Everytime the waiter brought the bill for me to sign off my room no, he asked me to show me my room keys which was extremely rude. I mean i have never experienced this anywhere in the world (specially in 4 star plus hotels) where the waiter is suspicious of our presence in the hotel. Same thing happend on our last dinner the the Grand Indian restaurant, we ate, got the bill, signed off our room number, and as we were walking back to the main hotel building, we saw a waiter come running behind us to show him our keys. Extremely disappointed by this experience and shows lack of grooming of staff and not well versed with modern hospitality.

Lastly laundry was screwed up whereby one white socks and one tea shirt was dyed to offwhite color. It came with a muted apology that they have made a mistake and hence not included these item in laundry costs.

Overall, a very good experience in Nuwara Eliya in general and a very disappointing experience with the service at the Grand Hotel. I will explore other hotel options next time I am there.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank TravelJunkieDubai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manager_Grandhotel, Manager at The Grand Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded June 24, 2013

Dear Guest, Many thanks for your detailed comment. At the outset, I'd like to inform you that your post has been widely circulated within the hotel, to facilitate quick corrective action. We at the Grand pride our selves with the type of experience we give our guests most of the time. At the same time, we humbly listen and read about the areas where we need to improve. Your review has been instrumental in bringing about improvements in our service and has even led us to purchase new equipment to overcome some of the shortfalls mentioned by you. We are paying a lot of attention to the language proficiency and courtesy training of our staff and will make special emphasis on these areas in our upcoming training sessions and daily briefings. So, while we are saddened by the fact that your stay was not as enjoyable at it should have been, we thank you sincerely, for the time taken to write this review and with all humility, request you to give us another opportunity to serve you, when you visit Sri Lanka next. With best wishes, Resident Manager.

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Reviewed June 18, 2013

Stayed at the hotel last december 2012. Upon entering the hotel drive way it just like youve been transported back in time.Manicured garden and nice hotel facade. The hotel retains its colonial charm. Hot towel offered upon arrival, front desk is very nice. The room though it retains that "old charm feeling" is equipped with kinda luxurious amenities. Buffet breakfast has sooooooo many choices. There are specialty restaurant in front of the hotel to choose from.Service is good.
The hotel exudes homey relaxing feeling that will not hurt ones pocket. Highly recommended


  • Stayed: December 2012
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Thank jcayowetjuan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manager_Grandhotel, Manager at The Grand Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded June 24, 2013

Dear Guest, Many thanks for your generous comments on your experience at the Grand. We are happy to note that our facilities and services were upto your expectations. We are planning some exciting additional features to the hotel, which I am sure you will see and experience, when you visit us next. Thank you and best wishes from all at the Grand. Sincerely, Resident Manager.

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Reviewed June 11, 2013

This hotel takes me back to the Old Cataract in Aswan, Egypt. It is very Olde Worldly Agatha Christie/Poirot style of hotel. The lounge and bar areas were very 'stuffy' with a pianist and old style furniture. The rooms were not much better and some of the fittings had seen better days. Although it may sound as if I didn't like the hotel overall it was very grand, in a good location and the food fantastic, so enough of the negatives. There was a choice of restaurants with a buffet style and a la carte. It was late so I opted for a pizza in the coffee shop, which was nice, however both restaurants looked busy. The following morning I went for breakfast and was met by an array of dishes and couldn't decide where to start. All of it looked good from continental, British, Sri Lankan, healthy corner and chefs cooking omelettes or a Sri Lankan staple of egg hoppers. Also as I was surrounded by tea plantations a nice cup (or three) of Ceylon tea was the must.

Room Tip: Get one overlooking the hills and tea plantaions
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Chris W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manager_Grandhotel, Manager at The Grand Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded June 14, 2013

Dear Guest, Our sincere thanks for your review and we are happy to learn that you had enjoyed most part of you stay with us. We are in the process of enhancing it's Food & Beverage options for visitors, and will soon open a Thai restaurant, to add to the Grand Indian, Magnolia Coffee shop and the Barnes Restaurant. Please do visit us again to experience these and other exciting improvements which I'm sure will make your next visit even more memorable.
Thank you and best wishes from all the Grand. Sincerely, Resident Manager.

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