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“Character plus” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Olde Empire Hotel

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Olde Empire Hotel
Ranked #111 of 357 Kandy B&B and Inns
Cooya Beach, Australia
Level Contributor
23 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Character plus”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 November 2013

This is a beautiful, very old hotel, with lovely waxed timber floors. We booked private bathroom, but did not have a balcony. Unfortunately we only had 1 night as we had to move on, but we were really happy with the room.

Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank janiceCooyaBeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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183 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    38
    66
    45
    20
    14
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (30)
Date | Rating
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  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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English first
Coral Gables, Florida
Level Contributor
16 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 November 2013

I have no idea how the family who runs this place manages to break even, much less make a profit, with the prices they charge. They could easily charge twice as much and still have happy guests. The place is very basic but all rooms/linens have been clean during my 7 visits. The manager and workers are very protective over tourists, especially solo ladies. This is not just for personal safety but also for honest advice regarding fair taxi prices and which shops to avoid. They really treat guests like family. They often call the train station to get current timetables. They will run out late at night to get cough syrup for a sick guest.

This city is early to bed and early to rise and most things close by 7 or 8. Guests here tend to go with that flow and the place is silent at night. Being this close to the temple, you can't get away from the sound of the morning chanting and drums. Go to bed early and start the next day with a magical sunrise visit to the temple or a stroll around the lake (bring bread for the ducks and mangoes for the monkeys). St. Paul's is superb for photos inside. If you want to get a bit drunk and party the night away (and sleep in afterwards) you can more easily do that in Unawatuna, but you should not miss at least two days in Kandy and The Old Empire.

Room Tip: Choose a room closer to the back of the hotel to hear the least noise in the morning.
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank mazandrani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pismo Beach
Level Contributor
38 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Gary G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
40 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank LNott20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank nrachey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
34 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Bootlemarmot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Kandy hotels

Zagreb, Croatia
Level Contributor
50 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles 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 wit...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Zvijer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Olde Empire Hotel

Property: Olde Empire Hotel
Address: 21 Temple Street, Kandy 20000, Sri Lanka
Region: Sri Lanka > Central Province > Kandy
Hotel Style:
Ranked #111 of 357 B&Bs / Inns in Kandy
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 6

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