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“1 Star to get attention, for someone to care.”
Review of The Kingsbury

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The Kingsbury
Ranked #11 of 55 Hotels in Colombo
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 13 May 2014

I'm writing this review, and giving 1 star to hopefully get the hotels attention. There were many great things about this hotel, but some truly unacceptable, deplorable issues that occurred.

Upon first arrival you are greeted by bellmen and bell staff who do a fantastic job of greeting you and collecting your bags. The check in process was smooth and efficient and we were even walked up to our room by a front desk manager, showing us all aspects of the hotel and our room. This is where the management service and quality stopped, abruptly.

We quickly changed into our bathing suits and headed down to the pool, it had been too many hours in the car for our daughter and she needed out. Upon entering the pool you notice odd double sized stairs that are awkward to walk up and down. Upon further review I realized that these are an architectural design to fill with flower pots, there are other normal stairs around the same area; the hotel has apparently not chosen to maintain the flowers. I watched as one guest misjudged the steps and almost fell down them. The entire pool area is surrounded in polished stone, marble? This is a horrible idea near a pool, the smoothest surface one can imagine in a wet area made for a couple of slips and near falls by me and my daughter full out falling three times, luckily none serious. Finding a chair to sit in we ordered drinks and appetizers. Quickly upon receiving our drinks we noticed a lot of ants and decided to move as we saw an old dropped ice cream and cone behind the table. We explained this to the staff, but no one ever went to the table to see or clean while we were in the area, as I left much later it was still there. Once our food arrived the ants were the least of our problems, Crows began attacking to get our food, fighting them off we looked to the pool staff to assist us in moving or shooing away the birds and they simply stood around watching us. Only after my wife had to walk up to them and yell at them did they assist in any way, holding our food behind the bar while we were away from the table.

And this is the issue, not so much the wait staff, but the management. During all of these pool events, ants, birds, slips, stumbles and falls, there were three to four managers (I Assume based on their outfits) all in a glassed in room overlooking the pool area. They were all sitting around a computer doing something, YouTube, Training, Inventory, something; but they were also looking out at the events talking to each other, but doing nothing about any situation. I have worked for years in all types of the hospitality industry, Restaurants, Hotels, Management, Staff, etc... And I can tell you that as a manager who sees guests get up and move tables, you ask why. Seeing guests fighting with birds and no staff assisting you ask why, seeing guests slip, stumble, fall you immediately assist, whatever your department. You also remember that "Perception is Reality" and when guests see you and perceive you to be doing nothing that is their reality. To me it looked like a bunch of guys hanging out watching online videos. As I Said they may have been doing real work, but being in view of the guests they should be working for the guests. My wife wanted me to confront them there, but knowing that four of them would all stand together and not care or take any action I felt it would be best to wait for checkout and the standard "How was your stay?" and then I could discuss it separate from the event. That question was never asked, there was no concern for how my stay was or how my experience was, simply, pay your bill and have a nice day. I have had other reviews on trip advisor where I explain my bad experiences, but mention how management discussed the situation and is looking into it. Not here.
My experience is that the managers are more interested in being managers, having the title, walking around in a suit and shaking hands. They are not interested in hospitality or guest service, they are interested in themselves. Except the first manager he seemed to be genuinely interested in showing us the hotel.
The rooms were nice and comfortable, a bit small though. The lobby was busy with tourists having tea so it felt like a bus terminal.
I am sure many others will stay here and have a fantastic experience and rave about the hotel, I probably would have too if I hadn't gone to the pool, saw and experienced what I did, and watched staff sit around. I can not recommend this hotel to anyone based on my experience though.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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4  Thank Jasher0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 13 May 2014 via mobile

We stayed one night, the room
Was very comfortable with a great view of the coast. The pillows were lovely! The shower gels smell wonderful. The pool was lovely. The breakfast was fantastic with loads of choice. My only regret is not having time to try the high tea!

  • Stayed: May 2014
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Thank IDEK106
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 May 2014

The beds are unbelievable..you have the feeling to be in Heaven...the pillows and blankets are very high quality...staff is very professional and the food of course is excellent...its really worth a stay while you are in Colombo!

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Carla B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 May 2014

Great reception .Excellent reception lobby.My room was facing the beautiful Colombo Beach.Excellent room with all facilities.Excellent World class Buffet Dinner and Breakfast was provided.
I enjoyed my stay in this Hotel.
Excellent place to stay.

Room Tip: A room facing Colombo beach is the best choice.
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank Brahadeesh2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 May 2014

Stayed at The KIngsbury for 1 night in early May - check in was fairly easy as I had booked previously through a travel agent. The Front Desk person asked if I was going to use the minibar in the room - as I had dinner plans that evening, I replied that I didn't think I would. Imagine my surprise when one of the staff entered the room immediately after I had just stepped in, and locked the minibar right in front of me! This to me is rather rude and insulting - for a guest who is paying decent money to stay in the hotel, it sends the message that The Kingsbury doesn't trust its customers to settle a few dollars extra they MAY rack up in the consumption of miniature-sized alcohol bottles!
My room was rather compact - but since I was staying for only 1 night, I didn't really mind. Having said that, the placement of the water kettle in a little "niche" made it rather inconvenient to make tea/coffee as the kettle needed to be expertly manoeuvered out of the nook to fill it with water. My 7th floor room had a direct view of a very nice pool below (and a somewhat partial view of the Galle Sea Face to the side), but felt slightly claustrophobic due to the absence of a balcony. Again, not that big of a deal for a short stay.
Spent some time in the gym (the trainer was quite helpful and showed me a couple of exercises that I intend to incorporate in my regular workouts), but was a bit disconcerted with passersby (from outside the hotel) peering directly in as I exercised on the machines. Perhaps the hotel needs to put in some dark-tinted film on the windows that allows more of a one-way view only!
I also had my hair done at the little salon in the basement (a bit cramped in terms of space - thankfully, I was the only one there at the time) - and was quite happy with the results!
Stopped by the concierge desk to ask recommendations on good lounge bars and clubs in the vicinity of the hotel, but he was unaware of anything happening that evening. Was surprised as I expected a concierge at The Kingsbury to be better informed - and surely they get inquiries of this nature on a regular basis from guests? Guess with the advent of Google, the concierge's role is reduced to no more than arranging for taxis these days.
As I was waiting in the lobby, saw a group of guests check in and being greeted with a garland and a welcome drink - felt quite disappointed because I had not received the same treatment on my arrival. Perhaps they were VIPs? But isn't the mark of a luxury hotel that they treat all their guests like VIPs?
Started my evening with drinks at the Skybar (on the 10th floor) - lovely views and a pleasant sea breeze. There was a band playing as well, so enjoyed my time there. Dinner was at the seafood restaurant (The Ocean), where guests can choose from an array of seafood and have it cooked as they prefer. Here, I must mention the Restaurant Manager as well as the staff who were very attentive and made my meal an enjoyable experience - all of them came together at the end to sing "Happy Birthday" and bring me a lovely piece of cake!
Breakfast the next morning was fairly good too - with a decently extensive choice of food, although I did not see the live counter dishing up Sri Lankan egg hoppers, and had to settle for the usual scrambled variety instead.
The hotel allowed me to check out a couple of hours later than the usual check-out time as I had made this request with the travel agent at the time of booking. Overall, a pleasant stay - if they iron out the inconsistencies in their offering, it would be a hotel I might recommend to friends travelling to Colombo.

Room Tip: Sea view rooms are recommended!
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank travel_czarina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 May 2014

I enjoyed The Kingsbury. Keeping with the people of the island, the staff were very helpful. upon arrival, you receive a Welcome Drink. The gym was okay. Great breakfast buffet with great variety. The concierge desk was efficient in traveling plans as well as valet, and hired car services. The room view was lovely. We had a slight maintenance issue with our door, but was fixed quickly. Additionaly, the picture often depicting the view of the beach from the pool area is misleading as the view is obstructed by a hill of rocks.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a view of the beach
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank tigresstsu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 May 2014

The worst service ever!..the worst staff ever!.rooms are so dirty..not like what it shows in there website at all..was the worst experience ever,not worth the money at all..not the best place to be if your looking to stay in colombo..was there a week and it was soooo terrible!!.

Room Tip: just don't stay here!!...period!!!!!!
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank nikkyt89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Kingsbury

Address: 48 Janadhipathi Mawatha | Colombo 1, Colombo 00100, Sri Lanka
Phone Number:
Region: Sri Lanka > Western Province > Colombo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 55 Hotels in Colombo
Price Range: £115 - £156 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The Kingsbury 5*
Number of rooms: 229
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Kingsbury Colombo, located in the heart of Colombo city by the banks of the great Indian Ocean, is s really an ode to the golden age of grace and elegance. There are 229 rooms and suites in this regal edifice and all of them face the sea. The Kingsbury Colombo is also business and leisure central with shopping, entertainment, dining, Colombo Stock Exchange, foreign & local banks, World Trade Centre, historical sites as well as recreational parks being just a across the road. The Kingsbury is also just five minutes from the Colombo Central Bus Stand and the Colombo Fort Railway Station. The Kingsbury experience will be a personalized, respectful one where patrons will be treated like royalty in keeping with the promise of bringing back 'good-old fashioned' hospitality. The Kingsbury's Restaurants include The Ocean - seafood restaurant, Harbour Court - international cuisine restaurant, Yue Chuan - Chinese restaurant, The Kings - lobby bar, The Pool Café, The Gourmet Station - patisserie and the epicenter of Colombo night life - Sky Lounge. A fully-equipped gym, spa and 24-hour Business Centre and the Executive Lounge with personalized butlers and concierge services add to the pleasures and comforts of The Kingsbury, Colombo. ... more   less 
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