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“A very mixed experience”

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Galle Face Hotel Colombo
Ranked #4 of 51 Hotels in Colombo
Certificate of Excellence
Warwick, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
257 reviews
124 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 202 helpful votes
“A very mixed experience”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 September 2012

No doubt the Galle Face has got a lot going for it. The location facing the sea is wonderful, the pool is great (sea water). And it reeks of history (the oldest hotel east of Suez). The food is not bad and the prices are surprisingly modest for drinks and eats. The rooms are clean and functional.
But the service has a reputation that it entirely lived up to in our experience. In a country where a welcoming smile is the norm and service seems second nature the Galle Face seems to have taken its cue from the British Empire.
We arrived at 4.00 pm and were told that our 2 rooms would be ready in 5 minutes. Why? this is as 5 star hotel - checkout time is 11.00 am. In fact one of the rooms was not ready for over an hour. This was a real problem for us since one of the kids was ill. When we said this to the reception desk they looked at us as if to say - what has that got to do with us? When the room was finally available - it was not a proper twin room - there was a double bed and a temporary "camp bed". We insisted it was changed. And these were not the only run ins with the front desk and concierge. Which is not to say that there are not some wonderful staff in the hotel - they are jusrt not in the roles that create the impression.
One thing to be aware of in wonderfully located hotels - not all rooms get the benefit of the location- we had a little room that looked out at a fence.
There have to be better hotels than this in Colombo

Room Tip: Check whether your room will have a sea view. Plenty of the rooms have - just make sure yours is on...
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Kingmaker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,708 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
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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Lund
Level Contributor
280 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 August 2012

This is the place for a sundowner, or two. The terrace is outstanding overlooking the ocean. Perfect for Sri lankan wedding spotting with couples taking photos by professional photographers. Perfect, almost, service and great non flat drinks. The food is average, I've had better in Colombo. But unbeatable for some drinks in the afternoon after a stroll at the maydan nearby. Slightly worn down but it is as it should be in old colonial hotels. The bust of Gagarin in the lobby is unbeatable. The staff try hard but they don't reach the stars but it doesn't matter. You' ll not get disappointed.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank goldmann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
102 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 August 2012

the hotel is great place to stay especially if you are staying in the heritage wing which is more than 150 years old. the entire place retains the colonial charm and is extensively made of wood.every floor of the hotel has some or the other display of historical value. the flooring the passage areas are wooden and thats a disadvantage also. being one of the preferred location for family & social gatherings as well business gatherings, any loud music being played on ground floor creates vibrations on the upper floors. room service options are expensive and limited. if you need sumptious food then you need to visit the restaurant on the ground floor which is buffet type but expensive.. you can unwind at the sea side restaurant where the ambience is great.

Room Tip: check for sea facing rooms.
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled on business
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Helpful?
Thank STalapatra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
nupurankur
Level Contributor
90 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 August 2012

We just had a one day stay in Galle face Hotel and its huge and lovely.The regency wing rooms are the best and one should book that as we read on trip advisor before and booked regency wing rooms.The rooms were very lavish and clean.The buffet breakfast was sea facing which was so enjoyable and the hotel is oldest hotel of Colombo so it was very very huge and made in the british style.The wi fi charges for the room for 24 hours was not much costly.The swimming pool was small and neat and clean.Overall we had a great experience.We ate in Chutney's restaurant in Cinnamom Grand hotel which was walking distance from Galle face hotel and that is must visit restaurant.Yummy food and beautiful ambience.The hotel is at galle face so it presents lovely view of sea beach..

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank nupurankur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shefford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
26 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 August 2012

Stayed here n arriving in Sri Lanka and wish we had organised to stay another night! Warm welcome and couldn't have been more helpful. Looking over the coast from our room and enjoying a relaxing drinking on the terrace while watching the sunset. The beach next door was a amass with kite flyers and a home coming party in the hotel, was just enough to give a flavour of what was to be a great holiday.
Would indeed go back in a heart beat and recommend to any fellow travellers

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank esjaybee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dhaka City, Bangladesh
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 August 2012

Few months back my friend visited Colombo and stayed in a city center hotel. She strongly recommended to stay somewhere near the sea. So when we planned our trip, this was one of the best options for us. We were total 7 people in this trip including 3 kids. We booked the old wing but going there we decided to switch in the new wing. The reception people were really helpful and managed us a family room. On the second day one of the kids was not doing well and we decided to take most our meals in the room. It's difficult to explain how helpful the people were. No matter which time we called them, they came up with a warm smile. Food was amazing but the service was extraordinary. The pool is about 100 feet- Colombo's largest hot water pool. The spa seemed a bit expensive but I loved their thai foot massage. In short, it's not a hotel- it's an experience.

Room Tip: Galle Face has two wings- old one which was built about 150 years back (1864 probably). Rooms are hu...
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Farhana T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yangshuo County, China
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 August 2012

The Galle Face Hotel is a great hotel to relax for a few days. The ocean frontage location is excellent. Enjoyed the cool sea breeze when strolling along the Galle Face Green in the evenings. It has quite a large swimming pool for doing laps or just relaxing around on the deck chairs. The staff were generally courteous & helpful & the food was very good. Also a great place to sip a cocktail & indulge in some people watching.....lots of interesting looking guests. Perhaps the only gripe would be having to pay for a second rate wifi connection. The charges are exorbitant for what you get.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Gary N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Galle Face Hotel Colombo

Property: Galle Face Hotel Colombo
Address: No. 2, Galle Road, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Phone Number:
Region: Sri Lanka > Western Province > Colombo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 51 Hotels in Colombo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Galle Face Hotel Colombo 5*
Number of rooms: 158
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Presented proudly as Sri Lanka's iconic and historic hotel, Galle Face Hotel is located in heart of Colombo City, along the seafront and facing the famous Galle Face Green.The hotel has 158 well-appointed rooms and suites, with some offering excellent views across the Indian ocean and the fascinating view of evening sunset.There are three restaurants, a gym, spa and unique saltwater swimming pool, overlooking the seafront. Guests here will be convenient as the hotel offers close access to many of the business district,historic cultural sites and landmarks in Colombo, as well nearby shopping. The hotel is a 45-60min journey from the airport.Guests seeking a glimpse of Colombo's history will enjoy the charm of The Galle Face Hotel with its unique, unaltered setting since 1864. ... more   less 
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