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“An Absolute Gem”
Review of Closenberg Hotel

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Closenberg Hotel
Ranked #15 of 23 Hotels in Galle
Certificate of Excellence
Herts
Level 5 Contributor
36 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“An Absolute Gem”
Reviewed 6 February 2011

This is a real gem, perched on a cliff looking down on the ocean on all sides, a location that's hard to beat. The rooms are clean and pleasant with balconies looking out to sea, great to watch the sunset from. Food here is good, excellent breakfast and rice & curry dinner and the waiters are friendly and attentive. Lovely grounds and a verandah to sit out in. Much prefer to stay here than in the Fort, it is so much quieter and also more affordable. I always regretted not staying at the New Oriental when I was in Galle 20 years ago, now that it's morphed into the overpriced and sterile looking Amangalla, I couldn't afford it even if I wanted to. So appreciate the Closenberg for what it is because although there is room for some improvement, if totally renovated it could become out of most people's price range.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Hedo-epicureans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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324 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (52)
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English first
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 December 2010

The Closenberg was recommended to us by another Galle hotel owner when I called around inquiring about availability. The owner of the Galle Fort Hotel summed up the hotel best saying "the hotel needs a bit of work, but they do an excellent curry and you will feel like you step back in time."

The hotel is situated on a point about 7 minutes tuck tuck ride from the Galle fort. The views are amazing and the garden is beautiful.

The hotel itself made me feel like I was an extra in a Merchant Ivory film. There is a large, rather unused dining hall and sitting room, and then there is an indoor/outdoor dining area as well, along with the terrace. All of the furniture is teak and probably original (?) Anyway, you feel as if you're visiting another time.

The room we had was great. There was a lovely terrace with views of the water, the bathroom had been renovated and the linens were great.

The staff are lovely. The 'room captain' is quite a character and has been with the hotel for 31 years.

Tuck Tuck drivers wait at the bottom of the hill and can be bargained down to about 200 rupees for a ride into Galle.

The next time we visit the south we will stay here as opposed to loud, Unawatunu and take a tuck tuck to the beach during the day.

The food was quite good, by the way. We had curry for lunch and a wonderful breakfast the day we left.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank darlingindubai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Drifting_Wanderer, Owner at Closenberg Hotel, responded to this review, 6 January 2011
We are pleased that you enjoyed your stay here and hope to warmly welcome you again. Yes our teak is original and much of it dates back to when Closenberg was built in 1860.

Wishing you a happy and prosperous new year and all the best on your future travels!

The Closenberg management
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stockholm, Sweden
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 December 2010

We were extremely lucky to check-in at the hotel when there was a wedding reception occupying a major part of the hotel. The staff offered us room service however we didn't want to miss out the opportunity of watching beautiful people dressed up in saris and suits ... We got a table in the middle of everything and even got the chance of dancing with the guests. We felt warmly welcome.
Very friendly and attentive staff, the waiters were from the old school i.e. very proud to serve and give good service. Also the owners made everything possible for us to feel welcome. BEST coffee ever in Sri Lanka, even if the taste was a bit burnt ;-)

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Mirjana074
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
E_Abeyewardene, Owner at Closenberg Hotel, responded to this review, 12 July 2011
We are glad that you enjoyed this traditional experience at Closenberg Hotel and we look forward to greeting and serving you again in the future. All the best on your travels!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mauritius
1 review
Reviewed 29 November 2010

I have been traveling most of my life to small paradise islands in the Indian Ocean and Sri Lanka has always been my favourite destination, the Closenberg Hotel, one of the oldest hotels in Sri Lanka is my home away from home. The staf are clearly the hart of the hotel and are always there to help you. I have also been surfing during my travels and have discovoured the perfect consistant wave that breaks all acros the bay with a hight of 3 m a dream for all surfers as this point is not known to surfers. I can only say this Hotel is for all types of people the perfect place to relax.

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank flippin88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 November 2010

beautiful place , clean , beautiful view , lovely staff . The place needs to be done up a bit , apart from that we had a very good holiday .

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank jraf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
los angeles
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 5 October 2010

I came to Sri Lanka to get away from my busy life and find some peace in nature. The Closenberg hotel was a perfect fit for me. The hotel has a rich history and has been a family treasure for over 120 years. I personally like to support local businesses and that made Closenberg a little more special for me. The view is breathtaking. The view from your room is the Indian Ocean and Rumassala Mountain. The hotel is big enough so you can have your privacy and also maintains a very intimate vibe. The staff was some of the friendliest I have come across and you can really feel how dedicated they are to the hotel. It’s the perfect place for a destination wedding and is often used as one by local couples. I got lucky and was able to catch a glimpse of a few. If you get bored of relaxing the Closenberg bay is the perfect place to learn how to surf and the beautiful Unawatuna beach is only five minutes away. I’ll definitely be returning to the island one day and without a doubt will come back to the Closenberg. If you’re in Galle it’s a must!

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank sheelav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shanghai, China
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 October 2010

In October 2010, we've stayed three nights in the Closenberg Hotel. The building is about 150 years old, and offers a nice few on the ocean. It's in good shape, has a beautiful veranda and exeptionally friendly staff. Although it's a bit isolated, it's still very recommendable for a few days relaxing.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank HaraldWierenga
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:
#6 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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