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Olde Empire Hotel
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Reviews (194)
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86 - 91 of 194 reviews
Reviewed 24 October 2013

Stayed here in late September 2013. Cool old hotel with a lot of charm. The common balcony overlooks the entrance to the Temple of the Tooth and all the flower vendors below. Rooms were clean with high ceilings and dark wood floors. There's a vibe of British India in the hallways and the staff was helpful in finding drivers. Excellent rice and curry place right around the corner.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Gary G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 September 2013

After finding this place in the Lonely Planet guide we were astonished at the price of a twin room - 1500rupees! You do get what you pay for&there some discrepancies in the the two rooms we booked. One room had no mosquito nets nor balcony. The rooms have a shared bathroom with only cold water, which was welcome in the Kandyian heat.

This place is in a great location, overlooking the lake& less than 5 mins walk to the Sacred Temple of the Tooth&the Main Street with the supermarket&restaurants. The towels provides are a little on the small size so bring your own.

Room Tip: A room at the front of the hotel overlooks the Temple of the Tooth and Kandy lake
  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank LNott20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2013

Lovely hotel, old and antique furniture with and extremely rustic feel. The staff were friendly, but the main and the most important downside to this place is it was infested with bed bugs. We stayed there for two nights, changed our rooms hoping that the next room would be clean and bug free, unfortunately not. Had it not been for the bugs it would have been a lovely place to stay.

  • Stayed: July 2013
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1  Thank nrachey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 July 2013 via mobile

We chose this hotel because it was central and cheap, but it was not a great experience. The rooms were extremely dingy, the beds uncomfortable, the place was locked up by 11pm and I shudder to think what we'd have done in a fire (we had to go upstairs and down again to get out).

The bathroom functioned well (no hot water), but the hotel had no other redeeming features.

The main issue though is its proximity to the main Temple. Wailing begins at 5am for an hour and is broadcast into the neighbouring streets at very high volume. You will be woken, so only stay here if you definitely need to wake v early

My view is that it would have been better to stay virtually anywhere else in town.

  • Stayed: July 2013
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2  Thank Bootlemarmot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2013

This place is old, and some of its parts aged gracefully and look magnificent, while others are shabby. It served the purpose; place to sleepover, but it also provided great relaxation spot in the evenings (see terrace below, under "Character").

Rooms:
We got late and couldn't choose,so we settled with rooms in the back of the hotel, on the ground floor. They resemble basement rooms, because only windows are located high on the walls dividing rooms, just under the high ceiling. One room does not have a window, but a grill, connecting to a room of a staff (at the moment of our stay, one that snored quite loud). They do have bathroom section, divided from the rest of the room with concrete wall 2 meters high.It was clean although a bit dark, for only light comes from the window high above and a single lightbulb.
Walls are thin, and the ceiling creaks as people walk on upper floors.
There was six of us in three rooms, for three nights, and no bedbugs were spotted, although I did spot a cockroach once (it was discreet, and not showing himself afterwards, although we were looking).
Rooms on upper floors seem to be much better.
Being right next to the Temple has it drawbacks; First Puja (ceremony including loud drums and blaring trumpets ) is held at 6 AM, and it is hard to sleep through it.

Location:
Excellent. Almost dead center of the town, just across the Temple of the Tooth, 5 minutes walk from the lake, and up to 15 minutes walking to the bus and train station. Bus stop in front of the hotel, wide range of, shops, restaurants and bars within short walking distance.
Concentration of touts and tuk-tuk drivers is higher than average, and they are slightly more of a hassle than around rest of the hotels.

Someone here mentioned that this was high security zone, but we did not have any problems with moving around even in late hours of night. Entrance is locked before midnight (time did vary), but night clerk was always ready to open it for the guests to move in and out.
Security seems good.

Character:
After shabby interior, creaky stairs and dark rooms, upper floor and the terrace are direct opposite of the expected. Great wooden floors (still creaky for those on the floor below), comfortable chairs, and terrace that lets you relax and really feel like the old emperor. This was high point of our stay, and we ended up spending several hours every night there, with a view on the temple gardens by night, and distant glimpses of a lake.

Room Tip: Rooms in a back of the hotel ground floor have their own bathroom (section of the room walled of with 2m high concrete fence) and extremely thin walls (or just a grill high on the wall). Rooms on the upper floor by the terrace seemed nicer.
  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Zvijer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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