The most awful hotel experience I've ever had in 12 years of visiting Sri Lanka. I stayed one night at the Glendower Hotel in February 2008 with my husband, our 3 month-old baby and my parents and managed about 1 hour's sleep the whole night. We were given small, dark rooms although the room rate was fairly high and assumed this was because the hotel was full, only to find the next day that the hotel had been almost empty.
The rooms stank of mothballs so that the smell caught in our throats. In one of the two small rooms we found around 25 mothballs scattered about.
The handles came off the furniture in our hands. The crockery wasn't very clean when we ordered tea.
At about midnight a water tank on the roof above our room started to overflow down the roof. The sound was deafening. We could find no-one at reception, so we called and shouted and no-one came. So we phoned reception from our room hoping someone would hear, but nobody did.
Then the water started dripping through the roof and pouring into our room; onto the wardrobe and splashing onto us and our bags. There was water everywhere. Then the rats in the roof space started running, presumably to keep out of the water, and kept running and squeeling for a few hours.
At dawn my husband finally found someone in reception and made them turn the water to the tank off so I and the baby could get a few hours sleep.
We were given the worst breakfast we had in a month in Sri Lanka.
Then the acting manager at the desk did not apologise, and would not deduct anything from the room price. He wouldn't even come and look at the room to see how wet it was. Finally he agreed to call the actual manager on his mobile and I spoke to him myself. The actual manager asked to speak to the duty manager and the room boy, and then chose to believe the room boy (who told him there wasn't any water in the room) over me (eyes half shut with a tiny baby having been up all night trying to keep the baby dry). The manager didn't bother to apologise, and refused to deduct more than 20% from the room rate.
It was the worst customer service experience I have ever had anywhere, including Sri Lanka.
Don't stay at the Gelndower Hotel!!
Uniquely terrible customer service
Located at a peaceful area, Glen Fall Inn is a small, quiet hotel. Rooms are impersonal but clean and all have hot water. There is also a cosy living room with a fireplace.
Great place to honeymoon (especially if your on a tight budget and hate the city life). Welcome to the Hills! Things are very quiet (Hence, No Clubbing & Dancing). The rooms are very cozy & nice. The environment is decent. This is not your fancy luxury hotel. Its more like a big fancy house. Cost per day ranges from 30$ to 60$ (Rates In 2007). Where the 60$ is full board.
My suggestion is go half board, and have your lunch and meals from outside. There are plenty of places where good meals are available for under 5$. Of course these rules applies for those targeting low budget semi luxury living $$. The place is cooler during the nights, and warm clothes are recommended.
If your daring, there are places for under 20$ a night. However the room facilities & environment is something to be debated on. For me: I need my hot water, comfy sofa, comfy & clean bed, cupboard & a mountain view from my window.
There's not much you can do (within a 2 Km radius) except go
1. Site Seeing & Hiking.
2. Fishing, boating
3. Eating (trust me, its cold, and you will eat a lot)
4. Getting Lost.
Take your camera! This is a very quiet & friendly town. There's not much of night life (I'm not entirely sure about this) .
There are a few Pony Rides (boring).
There are no pools in this zone ( Though I am still looking for one ). You will probably die of hypothermia if you get into one. water temperature drops to 10'C. You get to feel @ home here. Just turn on the TV & plop yourself on the sofa & cuddle a pillow (In the main hall)!.. These kindof facilities are not available @many other hotels.
I'm going with Satisfied - Since they didn't have a pool, and I wanted to swim in the freezing water a bit...
I haven't too much experience of the lower-budget hotels in Nuwara Eliya, but there are dozens on the hill overlooking the racecourse in the southwest of the town. Unique View Road and Haddon Hill Road are particularly full of options. The Alpen Tour Inn, Sun Hill, and the Glendower on Grand Hotel Road have all been recommended to me. The Single Tree Inn on Haddon Hill Road was also recommended - I stayed there for a night but the service was lousy. First there was no hot water (not a problem in Colombo but here...) then no water at all. After a few other things went wrong I went somewhere else. At the Boat Club on Lake Gregory there are wooden chalets right on the lake that seem worth a try.
Nuwara Eliya is blessed with some beautiful old colonial style hotels. St Andrews, near the golf course, is very homely and over 100 years old, with very well kept gardens and an interesting billiards room, seemingly untouched since independence! The Grand, on Grand Hotel Road, is of a similar charm, age and character. The nearby Hill Club is also similar and has the most formal restaurant in town and bags of colonial character. Probably the best of all is The Tea Factory. The clue is in the name and it did actually used to be a tea factory - part is still working - but was converted to a top class hotel with absolutely stunning scenery of the old tea plantation. It has quirky little original touches such as open showers with a (private!) view of the gardens. The setting is superb, but it's about half an hour northeast of the town at Kandapola.
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