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“A definite value-for-money hotel”
Review of Grosvenor Hotel

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Grosvenor Hotel
Ranked #27 of 31 Hotels in Nuwara Eliya
Reviewed 8 May 2012

I booked the Grosvenor Hotel for 3 nights/4 days during the middle of April 2012, which is widely known to be the busiest month of the Nuwara Eliya season. Thousands of city dwellers, mostly from Colombo but also from around the country, flock to the cool climes of Nuwara Eliya during the months of March, April & May with the peak visitors coming during the Avurudu (Traditional Sinhala & Tamil New Year in mid-April) holiday period. This results in hotel room prices skyrocketing, sometimes to absurd, jaw-dropping rates.

I reserved the hotel over the phone from Colombo about 2 days prior to arrival and was caught off guard by two lucky breaks. Firstly, I was surprised to find out that the rooms were available, given that it was the peak period of the “Nuwara Eliya Season”. Secondly, during my telephone conversation I enquired about the need to pay an advance but was told that I need not pay an advance and that I could pay on completion of my holiday ! This is quite a refreshing approach to the traditional method of local hotels where they ask for an “advance payment” to be deposited to their bank to confirm the reservation. Such was my level of surprise that I enquired thrice during the same conversation “Are you sure I will have my room when I arrive there?”

The rate of LKR 7,700 for B&B seemed fairly decent considering the fact that the 2 other hotels that I called up asked for up to 3 times that price for the same period. I requested for a hotel with a view and was given a room (Room No.15) overlooking the race course which was, I suppose, the best view the hotel had. The hotel is a brisk 10min walk away from the City centre and hence we found ourselves leaving the car at the hotel and walking up & down to the city. Traffic during the season is pretty bad, with parking in the city a big challenge, so it was nice to stay over at a hotel that is so close to the city.

The room was very spacious with twin beds coupled together to make a double bed. There was a quaint fireplace, which unfortunately we did not light up despite staying for 3 nights. The bathroom was clean and boasted of a bathtub, which was quite refreshing in this sort of hotel. The hot water lacked consistency throughout our visit but we were able to manage. I was not happy with the flimsy door lock. Luckily they had backed it up with a latch that helped to make it more secure. The beds were comfy if not outstanding and we managed to sleep well over all 3 nights, aided by the cool weather of Nuwara Eliya of course.

Meals were acceptable, but none of the meals or dishes stood out. The garlic toast was too “garlic-cy” for our liking and the crumb fried fish smelled a bit too “fishy”, according to my wife, who mind you hates fish that smells weird. Breakfast was always Sri Lankan and we were served Bread, Dhal Curry, Pol Sambol & Sri Lankan Omelette. On our travels we are used to more of the Western Breakfasts of cornflakes, waffles, bacon & eggs etc., but alas that was not to be here. Meals were almost always about half an hour late so make sure you order early. Although there is a restaurant, we had all our meals in the convenience of our room. Maybe that explained the delay in sending the meals to us on time. It could be that the staff was busy in the restaurant during meal times. But we did not make a fuss about it and the most we had to wait was 45min.

Our room did not have a TV so we had to make do with the common TV in the Bar area. The TV had cable with ESPN, which meant that I was able to watch my team Arsenal play Chelsea in their Premier League encounter without having to leave the hotel and finding a fancier place. Luckily, when the match kicked off at 5pm there was no one watching TV so I was happily able to watch a drab 0-0 draw wearing-my Arsenal shirt !

Overall, the hotel was a good experience and I would recommend it for individuals who are looking for a value for money experience. I was told that during the “off-season” the room rates drop down to Rs.5,000 a night for Room Only, although personally I was expecting it to be around the Rs.4,000 mark. Our final hotel bill came to around Rs.25,000 with the meals that we ordered. For 3 nights/4 days in Nuwara Eliya that is a very reasonable amount indeed.

In conclusion, I would say that the Grosvenor, while not being too fancy or luxurious, is an ideal, quaint little hotel to stay over during the season. I look forward to experiencing the hotel during the off-season so that I will be able to make a good comparison between the two.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a view. We got room no.15 that overlooked the road/race course.
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Kapila G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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80 - 86 of 154 reviews

Reviewed 7 May 2012

This place was once a grand hotel but is now run down and dirty. Stains on the sheets and pillow cases, balls of hair and general dust, grime etc by the side of the bed. Filthy, mouldy curtain in bathroom and generally a horrid place. In addition, it is so noisy and we were woken by other guests speaking very loudly early morning as room doors do not fit properly and walls very thin.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank PinkyPinkyPinkyPinky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 May 2012

The Grosvenor is the former Governor's Residence from the days of Empire, and that's both good and bad. On the good side, the antique furniture and beautiful woodwork in the rooms, and the old library and dining room, retain a great deal of elegance and charm. On the bad side, the plumbing is ancient and chancy, and the sound insulation between rooms simply doesn't exist. Add poor and indifferent management, and you have a problem!

First, count on your room being very, very cold. There are fireplaces (which haven't been cleaned since Queen Victoria was a baby), but it costs $5 for enough tiny damp sticks to produce an hour of flame sufficient to heat your feet and ankles, but not your knees. Given the inadequate blankets, this means you're doomed to shiver.

However, the rattling and chattering of your teeth are the least of your troubles when it comes to sleeping. Tile roofs with no insulation and flimsy doors between adjoining rooms mean that every sound is magnified and transmitted from room to room. In our case, it meant that when a couple of Irish girls who had been boozing it up in their room all day before going out to get really plastered rang back in very drunk very late, we got to hear them caterwaul full volume until about 1 AM, at which time they loudly invited some local guys into their room to drink beer with them.

I threw on some clothes, got out of my freezing bed, and went looking for management. One of the local guys scurried after me, and told me he was a hotel employee. In fact, he was the guy who provided the drunken sots with more beer at one in the morning! Then, out of the room emerged a short fat guy dressed like Sinbad! I did a quadruple take, and then he said he was the night watchman! Sweet! The night watchman drinks with the drunken guests who they continued to serve alcohol!

No higher authority being present, I told them to shut down the party, and said I'd talk to the manager in the morning. The boys slunk off, but one of the bimbos pointed out that she was an educated person, so she could make as much noise as she wanted. Then she and her buddy whooped it up for another half hour, until one of them started crying, and the other one joined in for 15 minutes of agonized sobbing, until they slobbered off top sleep.

In the morning, management denied that anything had happened, and gave us and our driver very cold treatment. I guess they were afraid we'd ask for our money back, or else this was par for the course. It's too bad the place has come under the management of morons, because it's a fine old building.

Room Tip: Choose a different hotel.
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Bima77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 February 2012

We stayed for two nights at this lovely old hotel, a bit run-down and worn, but full of charm. The whole place had a bit of a deserted feel about it, but that added to the ambience. The staff were friendly and helpful, and when we arrived back at the hotel late, someone was on hand to let us in. The room we had was enormous, the beds were reasonably comfortable with plenty of blankets, though the shower didn't work very well. Breakfast was pretty basic, but overall it was a nice place.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank DawnG841
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 February 2012

Looked lovely when we first entered our room but thank goodness we were only there one night. We were told it gets cold on a night but they couldn't light the fire due to winds blowing the smoke into the room. After alot of hunting for a different room they decided they would try the fire, which we decided against as we had a small child with us. They then came back and offered us an electric heater... For an extra cost... As we would have had to Pay for firewood anyway (which had also not previously been mentioned). After a discussion about whether it was really necessary we decided against it... BIG mistake. We had the worst nights sleep EVER. It was bitterly cold. I'm sure it would have been warmer out in the car. The blankets or rather a flimsy sheet were a waste of time and I really wondered what we were paying for. I'm sorry but if it's that cold there should be adequate blankets to keep you warm and you shouldn't be paying for the privilege. The other problem was the noise. They were fully aware we had a toddler with us yet our beds were pushed against interconnecting doors (we didn't realise this until bedtime that night). The family next door were celebrating, not excessively loudly but with a thin wooden door between them and our heads they might aswell have been sat on the bed with us. Thankfully once our child was asleep he slept through any noise but I lay for several hours listening to every single word they said (and that was after I had been and asked them to quiet down). Definatley not somewhere I would go back to.

  • Stayed: January 2012
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1  Thank Britindoha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 January 2012

This is not a hotel, please, this is less than a standard b&b. it offers just very poor facilities.
Rooms are fairly large but basic. Our room had a broken window that let cold air enter in the room.
The rooms were very very cold during the night and the poor and too thin blankets were just not enough for a confortable sleep.
Some room has the fire place (which I don't recommend to use expecially for safety reasons).
Toilet facility has poor pipes and the shawer works with a tricky fixing.


The food was poor, we ordered Sri Lankan curry which came 'western' style with no spices or flavouring whatsoever.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Nightfighter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 December 2011

My wife and I really enjoyed staying at the Grosvenor (Governor) Hotel. The rooms are huge, the geds nice but not great, and the service is par none. Very clean and quiet and the location is wonderful.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank dabblanc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grosvenor Hotel

Address: 6 Haddon Hill Road, Nuwara Eliya 22200, Sri Lanka
Region: Sri Lanka > Central Province > Nuwara Eliya
Hotel Style:
Ranked #27 of 31 Hotels in Nuwara Eliya
Number of rooms: 17

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