Relax with Cuppa Coffee...
Coffee Stop at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel is a great place to hang out. The atmosphere is great and you will get a good deal on your favorite type of coffee and snacks. It is situated in the far right corner of the Cinnamon Grand hotel lobby. Even your laptop and a good cup of coffee can be great company.
Excellent hotel with high quality service
We have stayed at the Cinnamon Grand four times in the past six months. Terrific place each time. No regrets at all. Superb service of high quality in every way possible - breakfast, rooms and everything else.
Clearly, the Cinnaman Grand is well maintained and is a hip place in the evenings with a young crowd frequenting it! Plus, there are lots of events going on and the coffee bar is fun as well.
Only tip to fellow guests is to call for public taxis from the yellow pages rather than use the hotel taxis that overcharge. Or, simply walk outside the hotel and hail (and bargain) with an autorickshaw!
good potential, uneven reality
The Cinnamon Grand offers a slightly uneven experience. The ambiance in the hotel is generally pleasant and the staff polite. I had a "premium" room which was generally pleasant and well equipped, with effective broadband. However there was a stale smell from the aircon, the safe didn't work, the kettle leaked and I twice had problems with the electronic room key. The possibility of selecting the type of pillow you wanted was a very desirable innovation and the chocolate at evening service was a nice touch, but it didn't arrive every day. I enjoyed a tasty and inexpensive ham and olive pizza from room service, when I ordered it a second time it came with onions, an ingredient I definitely didn't want.
I was on a rate including breakfast and the breakfast buffet was good, I enquired if I could have a room service breakfast for a delivery fee,. But was told this would be "confusing" and they even proposed to charge me one day for the buffet breakfast while other days they didn't even ask me my room number.
Good hotel, would be even better with some better organisation.
New and improved Oberoi
We were delighted to return to our favourite Colombo hotel for a 2 week stay from 27/12/06. My goodness, the new owners have lavished a lot of money on it and it really does look amazing.
My husband spent his childhood in the road next to the hotel and we have family nearby so the location was ideal for us. In fact, my husband's grandparents sold part of their garden to the Oberoi chain for the hotel so it has sentimental attachments for us !
The room was well equipped and very comfortable. Housekeeping services were excellent. Breakfast buffet is the best in the city- fresh king coconut and hoppers to start the day !
We enjoyed all the restaurants esp the new Tao fusion restaurant overlooking the fish ponds. Echo ( Italian ) and Lagoon ( seafood cooked to order ) also excellent and the Taprobane buffet is superb value.
The other plus points are the Crescat shopping centre next door and the new Anksana spa in the Crescat residences. The Crescat foodcourt was clean and very cheap when we didn't feel like a 5 star blowout and the rooftop pool, steam rooms, saunas and jacuzzis of the spa are free for hotel guests.
There was nothing we could fault and our 3 day side trip to Kandalama, though excellent did not have the same exacting standards of the Cinnamon Grand.
All praise to the Keels group and I would urge people to keep coming to Colombo as there is so much to be had here.
I stayed here for three nights in March 2007 and the experience was decidedly patchy.
The driver who picked me up from the airport was extremely friendly and gave me a good tour on the way into Colombo. This was well worth the extra money paid for a chauffer collection.
I stayed in the Premier Wing and the rooms were comfortable. However, in both rooms there was a pervasive smell of damp that I assume came from the air conditioning. This was so bad that I bought an air freshener from the supermarket to dull the smell a bit.
The bathroom was massive, with a fantastic shower and very modern looking. However, the bath was rather short and I am not particularly tall.
The swimming pool is very large and impressive from a distance, but on closer inspection it is in need of refurbishment as the tiles are cracked and you could easily slash yourself on some of the sharp edges where tiles have been broken. The pool staff are very friendly and helpful though.
The reception and entrance are very impressive, but checking out is slow and you can expect to spend 30 minutes in the queue even at the less busy times as the cashier, who also does currency exchange, is also the only person allowed to do check out. The cashier who dealt with me had all the charm of a mass grave - very unusual for Sri Lanka.
The food was lovely - both room service and in the restaurants. The breakfast choice is vast and the staff extremely helpful.
Not having stayed at any other hotels in Colombo I can't speak from experience, but I can't help feeling that there have to be better options out there. This was expensive for such patchy service.
SRI LANKA TOUR
"Arrival, the tour and hotels"
Colombo Airport - I was advised that I might have to pay for my visa - this was not he case on entering or leaving Sri Lanka. I stayed for two weeks from 15th Dec 2010. The weather was cloudy most of the time but warm - except in the hills, where at night temperatures dropped to about 10C. Clearing through the airport was easy. You need to complete an simple entry form before clearing immigration (and a similar form when leaving). I travelled from the airport to Habarana with a tour guide driving - this is highly recommended due to poor signs, poor driving, too many vehicles and poor roads. Driving is slow and it took about 7 hours to reach Habarana - but the time flew by because it was my first visit and everything was new.
I stayed at the Cinnamon Lodge for 2 nights. Excellent. After the chaos and noise of the drive I turned into a small lane of 600M to reach the hotel. On approaching the hotel I was transformed almost immediately from nightmare roads to peace and tranquility. All around was quiet. What a beautiful hotel to start the holiday. Don't bother with the elephant ride - I found it quite boring. Seeing a elephant and patting it, yes, sitting on it, yes, but the ride was hot. You could be sat on a tractor - so not really worth it - cost or time. At the hotel, you just start to sense the feeling of people wanting to do things for you just to get a tip. I didn't feel like the service anywhere in Sri Lanka was genuine - it was all based on being nice to get tips, almost sickening. I only had a few gripes the whole holiday this was one. As the hotels charge a 10% service charge on everything, I did not give any tips out except for my tour guide at the end of the holiday and the odd small tip to baggage handlers (if they waited for one I didn't give anything; it may sound tight, but that's how I felt). But a very nice hotel to get started on.
Stayed at the Citadel Hotel. An excellent second choice after Habarana. You really get the sense of being in the jungle there. Again just 2 nights. Went gem hunting and found a few places with good prices and a spice and herbal garden - a good tour and massage at the end; with the expectation that you will buy some of their creams, etc,.
St Andrews hotel - Not much to do in the evening, but beautiful in the day. The sights and the tea plantations visited; most of which give you a tour but expect you to buy their tea at the end. Tours are good though and worth seeing.
Grand Ella Motel - the view from the hotel lawn is probably the best view in Sri Lanka. One night at the hotel - which was enough as the service, rooms and food was poor. I think I will mention cold meals now - the only only hot food I managed to eat in the whole of Sri Lanka was toast that I made!! Top hotels, but cold food everywhere even in the top notch Cinnamon Grand in Colombo. Anyway - Ella good for sights and cooling off under waterfalls.
Club Bentota Beach - two nights. Good. A small boat trip to get to the hotel. Feels like a paradise when you first arrive. But you are quite constricted in what to do there. Water sports are way to expensive; the tour guide went to another place half the price. A bit of pestering outside the hotel grounds Hi there, where you from, you want a boat ride, necklace, elephant, puppet!!, sunglasses etc,. but just ignore them, unless you really want a puppet. A lovely band singing in the restaurant one evening, big smiles; between songs - where you from, enjoying your stay, our CD is only x rupees, you buy.
Ramada - rubbish. Fortunately their pool was being renovated so we had access to the Taj Hotel over the road where we swam and ate as well.
Cinnamon Grand - ok-ish but expensive, slow service, cold food, not enough staff, fighting for tables, cutlery, cups and food at breakfast!! Nice pool area. Good for a business trip or wedding, nothing else. Foyer stuffed with people at night - just standing.
"Colombo and Departure"
Colombo - rubbish. Beware - Beach Boys - like the mafia they follow tourists in to shops, take over the bartering and selling in shop and split the money with the owner. You can not walk anywhere without an army of scroungers following you and waving things in your face. Stay away for as long as possible, better still don't go there.
Got up at 5am to get into tour car at 6am to take me to the airport. No tour guide. Company not answering their phones because it was too early. Still stood waiting at 7:30. was told 30 minutes each time I phoned. Had a go at them and asked for taxi to be laid on; it is really that difficult. Got taxi in the end.
Reasonably easy to go through the airport. Just one point though they don't let you into the check in area until your flight desk is open - even me flying first class. My check in opened about 2 hours before the flight - so we were all queued up outside with people trying to push in all the time - so I did the same!!
Overall good things - excellent holiday, just driving around seeing new sights. The hills and views of Nuwara, Kandy and Ella. The "out of the way" and paradise feel of the hotels. People not providing me with a service were genuinely friendly. I enjoyed the holiday but will not go back again - been there, done it, etc,. Long drives, but enjoyable.
Overall bad things - although the negatives are many they do not outweigh the positives. Don't go to Colombo. Expect people pulling your arm, right in your face, pestering to sell stuff and beggars. Don't stay in one hotel the whole time in case it's not to your liking or other guests are spoiling your holiday there; move around - get up into the hills; take that train ride. Check you laundry stringently before and after washing. Even the manager at the Ramada challenged me over my laundry missing. Beware, things do get taken from your room. Expect slow service. Enjoy the cold food (why can't they have hot plates). The Cinnamon Grand gave me hot gravy to heat up my cold xmas dinner!!
vegetarian hotels in Colombo
I am planning a trip to Colombo and stay could be either in Galle Face or Cinnamon Grand, Colombo. Can you recommend good indian vegetarian hotels closeby. Also how far is the shopping malls from these hotels.
Re: vegetarian hotels in Colombo
The distance to Majestic City and Liberty Plaza is about 2.5 km.
Re: vegetarian hotels in Colombo
Cinnamon Grand has a decent shopping mall adjoining, being Crescat city. As for the hotels I'd still go for Galle Face (Regency wing) if in price comparable to Cinnamon; same 4/5-star quality but a superb colonial experience as opposed to a dozens-are-similar concrete jungle-building. It's 300 meters from Cinnamon only.
No experience with Indian veggie restaurants but the road south (passing Liberty plaza) has quite a few of them, more as you get into the Wellawatte town part which is in majority Tamil; local hygien level so make sure the food is well-heated.
All the best,
Re: vegetarian hotels in Colombo
I too would suggest the REGENCY wing of the Galle Face Hotel, and just across th street is the Holiday Inn which has a good Indian rstaurant and I would think vegetarian selections.
an interactive map ofthe hotels can be found at: http://www.colombo-travel.com/map
Re: vegetarian hotels in Colombo
Good addition. Holiday Inn is now rechristened as Ramada Colombo and still has an (upmarket) Indian restaurant.
All the best,