Mount Lavinia Hotel
100 Hotel Road, Mount Lavinia, 10732, Sri Lanka
Mount Lavinia Hotel
Of all the excellent hotels in Sri Lanka this could well be my favourite. I like luxury sure, but I also like a hotel to have character and a unique feeling. Mount Lavinia is a beautiful old colonial hotel - complete with marble floors, wood pannelling and white pillars - perched over the Indian Ocean with miles of golden sands each side.
Originally the love-nest of British colonial governor Sir Thomas Maitland (where he could entertain his lower-class dancing girl lover in secret) after independence it became one of the country's most luxurious hotels. It's now surpassed on that front by numerous others but it's still a very comfortable 4 star hotel. Perhaps inspired by its origins, it's a very popular place for weddings and honeymoons. Watching the fiery ocean sunset from the terrace is certainly quite romantic!
The public beach outside gets very lively on weekends and there are lots of seafood restaurants nearby, but if the touts and crowds get too much for you, or you want to wear something a bit more revealing, then the hotel has an isolated private beach as well. The terrace is great for a sunny afternoon drink and there's a good pool if the sea gets rough. They sometimes show films on the terrace as well.
Mount Lavinia is officially an independent town but effectively an extra suburb of Colombo, so if you want to stay near the capital then this is an ideal place to come.
Unique Quality: Trivia fact: Somerset Maugham wrote a lot of his work here, sitting on his balcony and staring out over the ocean. Other famous guests include Gregory Peck and genocidal colonial maniac King Leopold of Belgium.
Directions: Head south along Galle Road, or along the beachfront, and it's well signposted
Hotel Mount Lavinia
Mount Lavinia Hotel is a beautiful colonial style hotel with very good and stylish service. In fact it was built in 1806 as a residence to the Governor of the Queen of England. The hotel has not lost style. And it offers wedding packages should you consider to get married in Sri Lanka!
Something special: the International Hotel School situated at the Mount Lavinia Hotel is the first functional hotel school in Sri Lanka. Students receive a supervised practical training in a 'real' situation.
Unique Quality: Facilities:
Private beach; swimming pool with sunterrace, tennis, volley ball, minigolf, billiard. Indoor games, travel counter, shopping arcade, Ayurveda centre, valet parking, various restaurants.
275 rooms (of which 183 A/C - ask for Bay Wing or Governor's Wing) with private balcony, satellite TV, minibar.
Food & beverage:
The Governor's Restaurant: open round the clock, presents a choice of menus both western and oriental including local and vegetarian delicacies.
The Terrace: the perfect place to enjoy a drink or snack and take in the panoramic view of the skyline of Colombo city.
The Sea Food Cove: sample Sri Lanka's famous prawns, lobster and other marine delights by the beach cooked anyway you like, be it boiled, fried, grilled, cooked or baked.
Tropical Bar: situated on the beach serving drinks and snacks.
Directions: 12 km from Colombo
More about Mount Lavinia Hotel
Sipping Gin & Tonics
The Mount Lavinia hotel is an old British Govenor's residence built by Sir Thomas Maitland after he fell in love with a local dancer named Lavinia. It's stands majestically on a cliffside and has beaches on either side and a great view of the Colombo skyline in the distance. If you look closely you will see the paint is peeling and the rooms could do with an upgrade to the interior, but that doesn't detract from the old fashioned grandeur of the place. The hotel has a pool on the terrace where you can also enjoy drinking out of a King Coconut and have High Tea at 4 pm.
There are several restaurants but without a doubt the best one is the Seafood Cove. It's worth a trip just for the restaurant alone. Choose a table by sea and you will literally be on the beach. Select your fish from the cold counter and choose how you want it cooked and served. If you stick to local beer (Three Coins is recommended) and avoid foreign wines the dinner will be unbelievably cheap.
The old colonial residence.
The Mount Lavinia Hotel is an imposing building set next to the Mount Lavinia Railway station.
Its impressive marbelled Reception Hall provides access to a helpful and friendly Reception Staff and foreign exchange facility.
The rooms are well appointed and we were offered a choice of two rooms with sea view, invited to inspect them and make our choice.
Cleaning was carried out on a daily basis and the room was provided with air-conditioning.
Food was excellent and we chose the half-board option, eating-out at times we felt like it or when we stayed away from the hotel at Kandy, Nuwara-eliya and Hikkaduwa. A great terrace pool was never crowded and was supplied with ample loungers and patio sets; a nearby bar afforded access to drinks and snacks. In the evening the terrace was the place to be to experience the glorious sunsets.
The hotel is frequently used for wedding parties (several each day when we were there) and although we enjoyed most of the various attending photo-shoots etc it might be that some would view this part of the hotel activity as being slightly intrusive and disruptive to the schedule.
An Alternative to City Hotels Colombo
If you are staying in Colombo don't just consider the city centre hotels particularly if you are in town for a few days on business. Built in 1806 by Governor Sir Thomas Maitland the Mount Lavinia is a beautiful old colonial hotel about 20 minutes outside the city. It has a great fish restuarant right on the beach, a nightclub called The Hut and a beautiful terrace to have breakfast or dinner on. The terrace also has a great swimming pool. People will tell you it is too far out of town, the traffic is terrible and you are much better off at The Hilton. You are not ! Stay here. Only down side is the rooms are a bit tired, but each has a balcony and the seaview is breathtaking every morning. The breakfast range is vast, eat this and the need to stop for lunch anywhere is avoided, particularly when you have to be very very very careful what and where you eat in Colombo. The only odd thing is diluting orange drink instead of orange juice. The fish restuarant on the beach is simply delicious where everything is freshly cooked to the portion size and style you want. The staff will do and organise anything you want...... a great base if you are visiting or working in Colombo
Faded elegance and fabulous food
Spent one night at the Mount Lavinia Hotel in November 2004 (just before the tsunami!) We crashed out there in the morning after an overnight flight from London and a very long drive through the Colombo traffic, which has to be seen to be believed. The hotel was originally the Governor's residence before independence and retains a faded colonial charm and elegance. Rooms and some public areas were a little tired-looking, but clean and comfortable. The hotel's position on a promontory and above a huge beach is spectacular - the beach is lovely, but swimming is dangerous in the huge waves and strong aftertow - use the pool instead. Pleasant gardens, with the odd iguana lizard wandering around.
Food was fabulous - a huge Indian/Sri Lankan vegetarian buffet the evening we were there. Staff were very friendly and welcoming as is usually the case in Sri Lanka. It would be a pretty good base for exploring Colombo, were it not for the ghastly traffic (it is quite a way out from the city itself). If we are ever in Sri Lanka again, we will stay a couple more nights at this hotel.
Mount Lavinia and Ceylon Tour South
We stayed at the Mount Lavinia for 7 nights in total, two before our Ceylon Tour South with Kuoni and five afterwards. It was a lovely hotel with some colonial character. Views from the bedrooms were lovely over the private beach. The food was excellent and the staff could not do enough for you and always with a smile. It was fairly conveniently situated for Columbo, traffic permitting, and we twice hired a taxi for half a day to visit the capital. It is well worth a visit to Odel's and the Galle Face Hotel for afternoon tea.
We can also recommend the Ceylon Tour South with Kuoni, very well organised and interesting, not too hectic. We had a very helpful driver and guide Brian from Walker's Tours who was able to answer all our questions. It was good to have time to unwind before the tour and also to have the 5 nights afterwards before we went home.
All in all a great holiday.
One of my favourite places
I have stayed at Mount Lavinia many times in the past six years and loved this hotel and its beautiful location from the start. the staff are some of the best anywhere, and breakfast is great. This is the perfect place to escape the bustle of colombo, and yet to be within easy access of the city. The views are stunning, and eveniing meals, drinks, and movies on the terrace are most enjoyable. Good rooms, especially in the Governors Wing, with clean and comfortable bathrooms.
Skip this hotel
After reading several reviews, I was looking forward to staying at this hotel. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. I found the hotel to be overrated. Given the poor conditions of my room (dark, gloomy and weak a/c), i left a day early. I was also annoyed to discover that the hotel was only serviced by their travel agent's taxis which were at least 3 times more costly than a regular taxi. I preferred staying in Colombo where the hotel choices were better and you had places outside your hotel to explore.
Colonial style and ambiance
Stayed here at the start of Kuoni Ceylon tour. Journey from airport about 1hr30mins. Fantastic location with sea right under our window- noisy as we couldn't turn down the volume! Public areas beautiful with real colonial ambiance. White baby grand piano in bar with christmas carols being played- quite surreal in a nice way! Staff friendly and helpful. Room fine and room service good. Breakfast on the terrace overlooking Colombo great with fantastic choice of food- could easily spend more time here! Used by locals for weddings so this gave us a flavour of high society! Even the adjacent railway line was fascinating- go you won't be disappointed!
Mount Lavinia hotel
Mount Lavinia Hotel
Can someone tell me if Mount Lavinia Hotel, Habarana Lodge and Bentota Beach Hotel have hair-dryers in their standard rooms? Cheers!
Habarana Lodge and Bentota Beach do have. Not too sure about Mount Lavinia
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