Milelion Community Trip Reports

Circuitous Curry Routings: Galle Face Hotel Colombo Review

A brief visit to an iconic Colombo hotel

We’re always looking to introduce new voices on The Milelion, and we’ve got an aspiring guestwriter in Sam. Over the next few days and weeks, we’ll be publishing Sam’s flight reviews and adventures bit by bit. Please let us know what you think in the comments, especially if you’d like to read more!


Circuitous Curry Routings: Introduction
Sri Lankan A320 Business Class CMB-DOH
Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Lounge DOH
Qatar Airways A320 Business Class DOH-NBO-DOH
Sri Lankan A330 Business Class DOH-CMB
Galle Face Hotel Colombo
Emirates 777-300ER First Class CMB-SIN

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I seem to spend quite a lot of time in hotels, but I’ve never been in a position to be loyal to a single programme (mostly because I stay in random cities and no one programme has a consistent footprint across them all). So I’ve found that the best approach for hotel loyalty for me is Hotels.com. It’s simple: for every 10 nights you stay, you get one free night valued at the average pre-tax price of your last 10 nights. You can use free nights to offset the cost of paid bookings for most hotels on their platform. Because it’s owned by Expedia, the list of hotels on it is very similar to Booking.com, so I usually find plenty of choice.

I find Hotels.com nights particularly useful for layovers (where you actually leave the airport) as rates for day rooms are often silly, and it seems a waste to pay the full rate for a room when you’re only using it for a few hours. Colombo was an ideal example of this. I landed from Doha at 06:00 and my flight out was at 15:30. A day room at Galle Face Hotel was about $160, the rate on their website was $180/night and it was on hotels.com for $144.10.  I used one of my hotels.com nights to book it for $43.62 in taxes for the night prior to my arrival, meaning I’d have breakfast when I landed and a room until about 12pm.

The Junior Suite room was the closest to the value of my free night so I went with it. If I’d chosen a cheaper room I still would have had to use the same free night and pay the same taxes, so it made sense to find a room that was priced as closely as possible to my free night.

The hotel was about a 30 minute drive from CMB, and right on the coastline.

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What was the first order of business? Breakfast curry:

Then a quick walk around the grounds.

The hotel has a long and colourful history, and is somewhat of an icon in Colombo. This means it has a lot of character, but I also found the rooms felt quite, well,  old.

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The TV seemed like a bit of an afterthought

I always appreciate separating the bath (which is really just a medieval filth cauldron) and shower.

I grabbed a few hours of fitful sleep before having another quick walk around the property to see more of its history. Near the main reception is the “Traveller’s Bar”

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TL;DR: The hotel is 154 years old and lots of old, famous people have stayed here.

The bar feels like an old “members only” type club, with Winchester leather sofas scattered about and portraits of important visitors adorning the walls.

It also has the trolley of happiness

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Overall, I’d really enjoyed my short visit to the Galle Face hotel. On my next curry run, I probably wouldn’t stay here, but I’d definitely do drinks and dinner one night.

Soon, it was time to head to the airport for the final leg of my trip – Emirates First to Singapore!

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