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“Low standard and friendly staff”
Review of Hotel Nippon

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Hotel Nippon
Ranked #39 of 138 Colombo B&B and Inns
Aarhus, Denmark
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Low standard and friendly staff”
Reviewed 27 August 2013

I have stayed here a few times through the years and latest for a week eight years ago in the beginning of 2005 without any reservation in advance. And in Feb. 2013, I just went for a cup of tea.

If you are looking for a cheap and conveniently situated hotel in Colombo just a short distance to Fort, the Railway Station and the Galle Road and if you don't care about luxury then the old Nippon Hotel on Slave Island is one of a few possible choices. Unfortunately Sri-Lankan hotel room rates are generally high and absurd and in paticular the prices of Colombo's accomodation.

However, since Nippon is a budget hotel charging about SLR 3600,- per night for a double room on the first floor with A/C and an attached toilet with shower, don't ex-pect any high standard. If you still have that, you will get disappointed. Be prepared and ready to get a filthy, dusty and dark room with problems like e.g. a broken door handle or a bad working pad lock, a noisy A/C with reduced effect, a bad smell of cigarettes, limited room service and a few cockroaches in the toilet. My room was large and furnished with a comfortable double bed, a few wicker chairs and a table with a mirror on a floor of wood. A couple of windows were closed and covered by large and heavy curtains. So, it was almost always necessary to turn on the light even around lunch time.

Beside a few other minor problems, I had a good sleep and valued highly the locali-ty of this place regarding the many eating places in the neighbourhood as well as the hectic street life in the evenings.

The reception staff was friendly and helpful and the communicatioin was easy. When I left, they provided a taxi to the Airport.
The restaurant on the ground floor had reasonable prices, a few dishes and menus available and the service was OK, but nothing special to write about. Try instead the many attractive alternatives outside and close by.

On most days from late afternoon, the bar in the right side of the building was crowded by noisy local men who were very open for a chat. Many of them enjoyed the local arrack and a few snacks, but there were no women.

In Sri-Lanka where the local hotel sector just after the war unfairly increased their prices, it is nice to know that the Nippon Hotel still is going on as a budget hotel. However, it needs to be maintained properly and regularly. It slowly becomes dilapidated.

Years ago, I remember a warning written by another guest on one of the walls in the room about how a rat had entered the room through a particular hole in one of the windows. Even Nippon is a budget hotel, the hygienic standard could be better. I don't know if it has improved, but be aware about how the windows are protected with e.g. an insect net.

Acccording to an article from July this year in the Sri-Lankan paper the "Daily News", the main competitors of Sri-Lanka are Thailand and Malaysia which offer better hotel room rates and if this continues, tourists visiting Sri-Lanka would have second thoughts to visit this country.

Acccording to the article the Investment Promotion Minister in Sri-Lanka has said that room rates being marketed for over US Dollar 600,- in the East coast was absurd and if the hotel sector reduced their rates there would definitely be more tourists visiting Sri-Lanka. The govenment are helpless as they do not hope to bring in a "maximum room rate rule".

So, under these circumstances I might choose to stay in the Nippon Hotel again for a night or two, but won't recommend it to others.

Room Tip: Rooms with balcony are all facing a busy and noisy main road in front of the entrance. All other roo...
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kokomo_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Lausanne, Switzerland
Level 6 Contributor
110 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 August 2013

We didn't book any hotel in advance so randomly pick one from Agoda, base on the photos showing on their website and the price is relatively cheap, we gave a try. The reception is antique style, which is fine, however the room is horrible, first of all they didn't give us double bed, so the twins bed in different color cover sheet, look very old and used many years without replacement, very thin mattress, they don't have a kettle but using the plastic one from 1960, room is very dark, old, and toilet is nightmare, very dark inside, it is basically just a room with water supply and you feel very uncomfortable inside. After 10 mins we try to adapt the room, we decided to leave, because we know very well we can't fall asleep in such an environment, if you have money, just ignore this place.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
Helpful?
Thank Quak M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Colombo hotels

Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 April 2013

We stayed only one night in an fan-room. I would not have stayed another night even if we planned it. But first the positive: Very good location and friendly and helpful reception staff. Not very positive are the rooms. The hotel is old and in dire need of repairs. Our bathroom was a dark hole with light fittings missing (and a cockroach shuttling around at night), and the room itself was terribly hot despite the fan. If one opened a window for whatever breeze of fresh air, the noise from the street below was so loud that we could not sleep. The carpet had a greasy feel with cigerette burns and at some places the plaster came off the wall. I would not recommend this place to my friends.

Room Tip: try to get a room facing away from the main street
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank sangoma02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, England, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 March 2013

Cockroaches in my room, in the halls, and on the breakfast table.

Reception area clean and modern, everything else in this place is worn out and dirty.

Avoid unless you really need somewhere central and cheap.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Eric754
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Level 6 Contributor
186 reviews
84 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 February 2013

I visited colombo for 5times.
Now 3 years ago tax changed and almost all reasonably priced hotel changed prices up more than double.
But funny enough this hotel did not change the price that much.
Caz all other hotels added little bit renovation and tried to make bigger money.
This honest and lazy hotel remained cheap and dirty ,aha aha.
So this is one of the cheapest so called hotel in Colombo SriLanka.
if you fo to the countryside, you can find clean and cheap hotels everywhere in SriLanka.

But this hotel is a grate saver for me.
With aircon this price is really good!
( Note this hotel also has fan room with even cheaper price too if you like.)

Room Tip: besides with or without aircon,,there are 2 type of rooms( little better room than just old little d...
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Maguder D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oita, Japan
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 21 February 2013

We used Hotel Nippon on the last day in Colombo in order to take a rest before going to the airport for a midnight flight. Since Galle Face Hotel did not allow us late check-out, we moved to Hotel Nippon at 10 AM and checked out at 9 PM. Although we paid for one full night, 3,600 Rs, it was a good deal for us because we could take hot shower and sleep for several hours.
People at the reception were friendly and efficient.

Room Tip: If you want to sleep in the daytime, avoid a room facing the road.
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tsutomu A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
singapore
1 review
Reviewed 10 February 2013

We stayed for 3 nights in one of the corporate suites. It was huge, and very well appointed. There was a slight mix up with our rooms when we arrived at around 2.00 am, however this was handled very well by the hotel - always a test of a good hotel. The rooms are eclectic in their design but with a great attention to detail and a lot of style. I would generally class the feel of the hotel as on the chic side of shabby chic. The rooms don't have a view (at least the two that we had didn't) and the windows that do face outside are either frosted or coloured glass, with the result that the room is very inward feeling. Not necessarily a bad thing, given how beautiful the rooms are, but it might not suit everyone. The beds are huge and extremely comfortable. The pool is lovely partly because of a large tree around which it is built, however it is also rather cool (blame the tree I'm thinking). The service was very good. The manager, Willem, was great, as was our butler Arrun - both excellent. The hotel is off a busy road, but is quiet and peaceful. The breakfast is very good, as was dinner on the one night that we ate at the hotel (and very reasonably priced). Overall we thought that the hotel was good value for money and a fun place to stay. Minor quibbles: the room lighting is too dim, and there are some areas where the building maintenance could be improved. All in all a highly recommended hotel and we would stay there again if we come back to Colombo. BTW we had also considered Tintagel as a possible hotel, and are very pleased that we didn't stay there - we visited for lunch one day and there was no one in the restaurant and although it is an extremely beautiful building it would not appeal to those who like a little more activity in and around the hotel or who like a little more of the local Sri Lankan feel.
Room Tip: We chose room 4, because the bath is not in the bedroom but in a bathroom. It was lovely.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank rowansSingapore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Nippon

Property: Hotel Nippon
Address: 123 Kumaran Ratnam Road, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Region: Sri Lanka > Western Province > Colombo
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #39 of 138 B&Bs / Inns in Colombo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Nippon 3.5*
Number of rooms: 15
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