Galle Face Hotel

, Colombo, Sri Lanka
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Galle Face Hotel

, Colombo
2 Kollupitiya Rd - Colombo - 3 - Sri Lanka Hotel Website | 11-254-1010
169 Traveller

Reviews - Galle Face Hotel

Historical Traveller Reviews of Galle Face Hotel

Nice place with minor problems

from AsiaPro
Just returned from a short 1 night stay at the Regency Wing of the Galle Face Hotel. The newly renovated side of the old Galle Face hotel. First of all the sunset viewed from the Verandah restaurant is spectacular and something nobody should miss. The hotel is good but try not to stay in the cheapest room category as the rooms are small and the bed too. The deluxe rooms are larger and the bed bigger. There are also a couple of suite options which are sometimes (the hotel is not too full right now) affordable. The hotel is not finihed yet as the breakfast room is still under construction and the spa as well. Service is also a little rough somtimes but overall this is the best product in the city. I have stayed in other hoels and find this one to be the most charming especially if you are on vacation.

Faded old charm

from CJsmile
Lovely old lady of Colombo - we stayed here for 2 nights and this hotel had the most comfy beds of all Sri Lanka!! We were in the Classic Wing and had a room overlooking Galle Face Green - a very large room measuring approx 45 feet long by 20 feet wide! 2 double beds a heavy coffee table and four very large ornate chairs, tv,writing bureau and triple wardrobe looked quite lost. There were 7 pairs of full length curtains too!
Room kept very clean, very old aircon unit though, and staff made a beautiful flower arrangement. Room also had a ceiling fan.
Bathroom smelt lovely - very fresh. The bathroom was equipped with bidet, bath with shower over, toilet and basin unit. The ceiling must have been twice the height of our normal ceilings at home! I couldn't reach the top of the shower rail even! The water here was extremely hot - scalding in fact, but excellent for washing the odd item of clothing.

Again, the food was very good - ate far too much - desserts excellent! Romantic setting sitting on a terrace to eat, overlooking the ocean.

As others have mentioned, the old fashioned cage lift was a step back in time!

The pool is nice, slightly salt water but is chlorinated - adjacent to the sea so very relaxing. Pool towels and cushions for the loungers are provided. Food is available by the pool too, but be aware of the crows who will try to pinch it whilst you are eating!

Genteel faded Raj...

from Anabasis
If a gracefully aging Raj atmosphere at a great price is your cup of tea, then The Galle Face Hotel is for you. The Galle Face is spectacularly situated a few miles from downtown Colombo on the Indian Ocean facing Galle Face Green, an enormous swath of green (well frequently brown) grass on the Indian Ocean.

The public of of the hotel areas are spectacular. The bar and dining areas are on the veranda facing the ocean. Have a gin and tonic and imagine that you are Rudyard Kipling or Mark Twain, the latter of whom stayed here. Sir Arthur Clarke is a frequent visitor and his bronze bust has an honored place in the lobby. In addition to the great and famous, the hotel has no compunctions about listing the infamous on its plaque of honored guests, among them – Richard Nixon and Kurt Waldheim.

At 148 years old, the hotel is showing some of its age. The manual cage elevator is a tad scary, but kids love it. While the public areas are beautiful, the rooms are a bit Spartan. Our spacious room had only one piece of rather odd art on the walls and for some reason the proprietors don’t provide tissue or wash cloths. The bathroom was huge. Everything else was in working order, though in need of some upgrades. If you want a perfect room that looks like a five star room anywhere in the world, try across the street at the Taj.

The staff is highly competent and accommodating.

The Galle Face is the center of a tremendous amount of activity by the local community. While we were there, a beauty pageant was going in the dining room and some sort of Peugeot sales event was underway. If you want to get a real sense of Colombo and Sri Lanka, both today and two centuries ago, you can’t do better than the Galle Face.

Shame about the service

from sBird
We stayed here for the final night of our holiday to be closer to the airport. The hotel itself is pure history, and is an experience in itself.

We were upgraded to the Regency wing as we were honeymooners, and the room was lovely, but our window sadly looked over a courtyard and the back of some houses. Nevertheless, the room was impressive, separate shower & bath, all mod cons, lots of nice touches - I'd go as far as luxurious.

Lots of the rooms in this wing were unfinished (and the doors left wide open so you are pretty aware of this) - maybe this explains why it took our suitcases over an hour to make it from the lobby. Not a good start. However, the check in staff were helpful, and polite.

We had lunch and dinner in the restaurant. It's very atmospheric - the terrace overlooks the ocean, but there wasn't a huge amount of choice, although everything we ate was very good. The service was rather a let down, waiters seemed frankly disinterested.

On reflection, probably not worth the cash, I'd probably stay elsewhere when I return, but it deserves a trip for the experience of lunch or drinks if nothing else.

A wonderful location

from A TripAdvisor Member
The situation of the Hotel is great and the building possess considerable old world charm, it is a pity, however, that the staff who are generally very pleasant and helpful have now been dressed in european type standard restuarant style, how nice it would have been to retain a mode of dress compatible with the date and character of the building.
The food was exteemley good and it was wonderful to dine in open to the sound of waves crashing on the shore adjoining. however, the older rooms which were large and airy, and furnished with period furniture contempoary with the building they were in urgent need of redecoration. The plumbing was atrocious and the bathroom was filthy. Although the restuarant and room staf were very pleasant and polite, the reception staff very inattentive and unhelpful, although our room had been booked in advance and the hotel notified that we would be arriving from the airport at approximately 04:oo hrs. a delayed flight made our arrival at 06:00 hrs. when we found no rooms ready and had to wait another hour before occupation.

t mention the breakfast!

from PFoggSydney
The Galle Face Hotel is the grand old lady of Columbo hotels. We stayed in the newly renovated and pricey Regency Wing. The room itself was very comfortable. However, that is as far as it goes, the rest of the hotel was filthy. The swimming pool was so dirty I contracted an ear infection. At breakfast I witnessed birds and squirrels on the tables soiling the crockery and cultery people were about to use, however a number of waiters did nothing to stop them. Nevertheless, the staff pester you for tips. One night despite having the Do Not Disturb Sign displayed, a number of staff with irrelevant excuses came knocking persistently on the door. Our suitcases were ransacked in the room. Forget the hype you read this hotel .It is past its prime and it will need more than a part renovation to rescue it. It needs a total overhaul. Never again

Ideal Stopover

from marym062
We stayed at this hotel for the final two nights of our holiday, the room originally booked was not available so we received an upgrade to a suite in the new wing. The suite Room 3008 was beautiful but when you opened the blind facing the railway line there was a outlook post with soliders & guns nearby. This wing of the hotel whist very appealing is unfinished, I followed a sign for Spa / Gym only to find unfinished rooms and tools everywhere. If you stay here please take a walk at dusk across Galle Face Green. It is like stepping back in time, the people are friendly & wave, none of the constant hassle from street sellers & tuk tuk drivers we experienced elsewhere.

Lovely faded colonial hotel

from emmalm
I stayed at the Galle Face for two nights in December. It has a wonderful faded colonial feel with a great veranda, where you can take high tea in the afternoon.
I had room 219, in the older part of the hotel, which was a massive double aspect room with sea views. It was clean and simply furnished, although the bathroom was a little worse for wear it was clean. Friends of mine were not so lucky and they had smaller rooms, which were quite noisy due to the numerous weddings held at the hotel.

There was quick internet access and the staff was helpful. The room service was ok but on one occassion I had to cancel it as a bowl of soup still hadn't arrived after 45 minutes.

It is bliss sitting by the excellent pool watching the sun come down.

Cheap and Cheerful

from ellysian
This hotel is a cheap and cheerful place and a bit of faded star despite recent investment.

I would recommend for short stays or stopovers in Colombo and for when you wish a bit of relaxed r'n'r.

Do not expect, or demand from staff, efficient service or high standards of cuisine. Instead, just enjoy the hotel's ambiance, relaxed approach and its faded glories. I particularly enjoyed the fish curries and breakfast and Gin and Tonics on the terrace despite the time taken to serve.

In summary, a really nice, polite place and a wee bit of step back in time.

Very disappointing...

from Beewow
I stayed here for three nights just before Christmas 2005. I stayed here alone for the first night before I was joined by my boyfriend.

I stayed in a 'deluxe' room in the classic wing. I think rooms in the recently refurbished regency wing would be very different to what I experienced. But they are also much more expensive and so should be!

I was given a room facing the road which was too noisy. After a night of listening to the traffic (car horns blare constantly) I very politely asked for it to be changed and was told that would be fine. I was then ignored for several hours despite another phonecall to reception when I was told that they would get back to me.They didn't. Eventually, I took my bags down to the desk and dumped them there, refusing to move until my room was changed. Finally it was but I was never offered so much as an apology. The same man on reception also managed to cock up a taxi order for us later on.

Both rooms were ok but definitely not five star. The paint was peeling off the walls in the bathroom, there were hairs in the bath, the room was dark and drab etc... I paid extra for a deluxe room but I can't imagine what the standard would have been like. There was nothing luxurious about either of my rooms. I never felt as if I were staying in a five star hotel.

On the plus side, the food at the hotel was very good and some of the communal areas of the hotel are beautiful, if a bit tired. The weather was rubbish when we were there so we never got to try the pool so I couldn't comment on that.

Overall, the hotel is definitely not worthy of five star status or prices. If I were going to Colombo again I would choose a different hotel and just eat at the Galle Face. The staff were often useless, the rooms were rubbish and the hotel had a very musty, damp smell.

Colombo is not a great place to be, its dusty, noisy, dirty and I wouldn't recomment it as anything other than a stop-gap. Move further down the coast where you will find better hotels, better beaches and a more relaxed feel. Sri Lanka, on the whole, is beautiful.

Top Local Tips for Colombo

Traffic Jams Traffic Jams in the city can make even trips to short distances take long time. A trip to the airport from Galle Face took about 2 hours, though it is under 40 km. So it is safer to use time taken as a criteria than distance in Kilometers. Colombo is a good place to shop for clothes as they are cheap and of good quality. Odel and House of Fashion are two places to visit. Tuk Tuk ( three wheel vehicles) drivers will charge three to four times the normal charge if you are a tourist. Best option is to use hotel cabs though slightly more expensive . It is comfortable and safe.

From the airport If at all possible try not to arrive on late flights into Colombo airport. The road between the airport and the city center is littered with army checkpoints and can be dangerous late at night. Late night check-ins are also a nuisance in Sri Lanka.

Tuc Tuc Travel The tuc tucs are cheaper than taxis but some of them are driven like racing cars, so you have to be selective in choosing your driver.


Other names for Galle Face Hotel

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  • galle face hotel
  • galle face colombo
  • Address: 2 Kollupitiya Rd - Colombo - 3 - Sri Lanka
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