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“The Best of Galle”
Review of Closenberg Hotel

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Closenberg Hotel
Ranked #13 of 23 Hotels in Galle
Certificate of Excellence
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
30 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“The Best of Galle”
Reviewed 6 May 2014

Closenberg Hotel is the Best of Galle. A place you do not want to leave. Colonial beauty and history. Not only the most stunning view of the ocean and bay, sunrise and sunset, from all rooms and everywhere on the grounds, but constant cool fresh breezes which cannot be found staying elsewhere in Galle.
Although staying down in the Galle Fort is interesting, closer to shopping and historical walks, it is very hot down there. Not so at the Closenberg! One is inspired to simply...stay. To paint, write, to sit and wonder. Our rooms with a spectacular outlook, a balcony and the wonderful sounds of the water all night. The food is good and service excellent. The wine list could be improved. The new infinity pool is a wonderful addition to what was previously near perfection for myself and friends. An added bonus is knowing that this hotel remained safely above the tsunami of 2004. None of our group wanted to leave and have vowed to return!

Room Tip: All the rooms on the Top level have an amazing view of the Bay.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank BeingJoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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310 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (48)
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Kochi, Kerala, India
Level Contributor
188 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 March 2014

We stayed at the Closenberg for 3 nights. All in all a good experience. The new block rooms have a stunning view. A little bit of money spend on maintenance and upkeep could make this galle's best hotel. The view is brilliant, from all sides. Service was good, nothing to complain.

Room Tip: Choose from the new wing.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sumith D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hatfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 March 2014

We stayed 2 nights in a luxury room, cnt remember what it was called. Those rooms had an amazing view of indian ocean. Sound from the sea wave and the wind was a very pleasant to hear which calms and relax you down. Food ins't great and we had few delays even restaurant was empty. Amazing view towards the indian ocean and sunset make me fallen love with this place.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
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    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank misuwa915
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
52 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 March 2014

This hotel would be wonderful if it was well managed and fully restored. There's no TV in the room (not really a problem, but at this price you expect a TV), no window or mosquito net in the bathroom (so the room was full of lezard, spiders, etc). And the food - breakfast and dinner - is quite average. But the view from the room on the Galle bay is beautiful and the pool quite nice. But next time, if there is a next time in Sri Lanka, I'd rather stay in a nice boutique hotel with a pool within the fort of Galle. No view but it is much more charming and entertaining.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank ItaloSvevo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Haarlem, Netherlands
Level Contributor
50 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 February 2014

This place has certainly seen better times. The building hasn't lost its grandeur, but a major investment is needed to bring it up to scratch. The question is where to begin. There is an attractive new swimming pool with sea water and a fabulous view over the bay, but this seems to be the only recent investment.
The welcome was professional and friendly. We had a good night's sleep.
Breakfast is OK, nothing special. Service was slow.
As walk in guests we paid US$150 per night - far too much for what you get.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Philip076
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne
Level Contributor
103 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 January 2014

This hotel is extremely overpriced what it offers. You are paying only for the fact that you are staying in a grand old building, but in terms of service and staff attitude this hotel needs to bring itself out of the 1950s.
The waiters in the main dining area were happy to ignore me whilst I sat down waiting to be served (mind you, I was the only person that morning in the entire dining area). They all saw me sit down but chose to continue with their tasks of arranging forks and spoons. It took a manger who passed by to address my situation, who then got the staff to attend to me. Regardless of being served, the waiters made me feel unwelcome and I could feel I was being given looks.

What this hotel needs to do to improve is to provide a television in each room (this is the year 2014 after all) and make the staff realise that customers are there to be served, not ignored. However what this hotel really needs to do as well is make sure the road leading up to the hotel is well lit and paved - currently it is a dirt track where, in the dark, one has to walk through atleast 3 to 4 minutes of pitch darkness. This is hardly user friendly for guests who like to walk around the area - it makes one feel trapped in the hotel.

If this hotel could make these improvements, it could easily justify the prices it charges, but until then, I won't be returning.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank airbus777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
31 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 January 2014

The hotel has a nice view with a lovely pool in a quaint rustic building. It's a ways away from both Galle Fort and Unawatuna beach. The rooms are fine, nothing to write home about... lots of ants in our room, though. The restaurant food is mediocre and slow, though the waiter was very nice. The main complaint I have is with the terrible front desk service. The pool had no attendants and I had to walk around the hotel for quite a while to find anyone to help with some towels. The guy at the front desk was somewhat unprofessional. I got the feeling we were one of the few people staying at the hotel.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Amy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Closenberg Hotel

Property: Closenberg Hotel
Address: 11 Closenberg Rd, Galle 80000, Sri Lanka
Region: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Galle District > Galle
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Galle
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Closenberg Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Closenberg was built by Captain Bayley in 1860 on top of a peninsula overlooking Galle harbor and the Indian Ocean. Since 1889 it belongs to the Perera Abeyewardene family and is today preserved as a heritage hotel. Large spacious halls, long verandas adorned with antique furniture and terraced gardens are in keeping with Dutch architecture. High ceilings resting on tall round columns and large louvered Teak doors set in arched doorways permit the flow of cool air. Alongside an experience of Sri Lanka's rich colonial past, we offer our guest a welcoming atmosphere, fine dining and an unparalleled view. Closenberg Hotel unique features are: The best location at the middle of Galle Harbor, Uninterrupted seaview from all our rooms, Direct access to beautiful sandy beach ideal and safe for surfing and swimming in all seasons, The unique and timeless elegance of an old Sri Lankan Heritage Hotel often copied but so hard to achieve, A sophisticated blend of service, tradition and cultural experiences Luna Terrace Bar Lounge is the funky trendy place to go and be seen in Galle. Great selection of cocktails, top brand spirits, tapas and fine cafe food. The new infinity pool overlooking the surf of Magalle Bay is a "must have experienced". Closenberg is the ideal gateway for enjoying the beauty of Southern Sri Lanka! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Closenberg Hotel Galle

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