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Tintagel Hotel - Colombo, Sri Lanka | Hotel Review

Uber trendy, but not so uber service


Tintagel is a heritage hotel located right in the heart of Colombo, Sri Lanka. This hotel was previously the family home of the Bandaranaikes, Sri Lanka’s most famous ruling family. Tintagel was leased in 2005 to designer Udayshanth Fernando who then transformed it into the present day boutique hotel. Click here to browse through over 30 pictures of Tintagel Hotel in Colombo.

Tintagel is located on Paradise Road, Central Colombo and is a part of the Paradise Road properties. Guests staying at this hotel are within easy reach of most of the tourist attractions, embassies and places of business in Colombo. Tintagel Hotel was our first stop in our three week journey through Sri Lanka. We had arranged for an airport pick-up at the time we booked our suite at Tintagel; however, they failed to pick us up from the airport. We called the hotel and were told the car was late and to wait 10-15 minutes. After 45 minutes, a man from one of the car rental places said they would be taking us to the hotel. Apparently the staff of Tintagel totally forgot about us and rather than tell us the truth when we called, they lied and made us wait until they could figure out what to do. Had they told us the truth from the beginning we could have arranged a car on our own and been on our way in mere minutes! Not an impressive start to our stay at Tintagel in Colombo!

First Impression/Lobby: The hotel itself is gorgeous and has a very fetching contemporary design. The ornate columns and high ceilings reflect the grandeur of the bygone era. The best part of our arrival here and maybe the whole stay was the Tintagel Hot Chocolate. Simply divine!

Reception: Our check-in was done quickly and efficiently in the lobby.

The Suite: Tintagel offers ten individually designed suites. These suites are lavishly decorated with exquisite furnishings and fabrics. Our suite, the North West Suite was located on the ground floor.

Upon entering the suite, there was a very musty smell, a smell of mold and mildew. After we had the air on for a few hours and the fans were switched on, it became better. The suite consisted of a living room, bedroom, bathroom with separate dressing area and a patio. The suite was equipped with a mini bar, personal safe, direct dial telephone, i-pod docking station, work desk and LCD television with DVD and CD player. However, the television had just about six channels or so. Complimentary wireless internet access was available in the suite.

The bedroom was rather small with the custom designed four poster bed occupying most of the space. The deluxe mattress clothed in 400 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets and the mosquito nets were the highlights of this room. The bathroom featured a rain shower, a bathtub and a couple of large vanities. The dressing room offered plenty of closet space.

The suite also featured a small patio and a small plunge pool. In fact, the North West Suite is the only suite in this hotel that has a plunge pool. The patio area was very dirty. It was obvious that this area had not been maintained properly. Also the rug and the upholstery of the couch in the living room and the chair in the bedroom were very dirty and had stains. While the first impressions of the suite made us feel like we were somewhere very classy, further inspection of it made us feel that Tintagel just did not maintain their rooms very well.

Room Service: We did not try the room service while we were staying here. However, we were informed that room service basically serves anything off their restaurant menu, but no alcohol, as the hotel does not have a liquor license.

Housekeeping: The room was in order and appeared to be clean, at least on the surface.

Restaurant: We had breakfast at the hotel as it was included in our package. The Sri Lankan breakfast was wonderful. I specially recommend the beef curry and yogurt. Heavenly!

One point to note is that our breakfast did not include water. Also, the Sri Lankan breakfast needs to be ordered the night before, which I did. However, I was called three different times to find out when I wanted to eat even after I had informed them that I would call 30 minutes in advance so they would have enough time to do the finishing touches!

The Court Yard is an alfresco restaurant situated off Tintagel’s lobby lounge. This outdoor restaurant has a chic and casual ambience. White armchairs and polished concrete table tops set under black umbrellas add to its charm.

The elegant Dining Room offers international cuisine in a chic and trendy atmosphere. This restaurant is furnished with leather upholstered chairs, matching black lacquered tables and burgundy colored glassware.

The hip and trendy Red Bar would be perfect for pre-dinner drinks, but as I mentioned earlier, they do not have a liquor license. Red walls, black leather sofas and bronze tables accentuate the bar’s uber trendy atmosphere.

Pool/Spa/Activities: Tintagel offers a lap pool, spa, steam room and a gym. The lap pool was gorgeous, though it did not offer any view. As far as the spa was concerned, the hotel has to call in someone from outside to come and do a massage. Most of the time, this appointment needs to be arranged a day in advance. The gym was tiny and very warm.

Check-Out: During check out, we discovered one error on the bill. Though the staff did not become defensive when I pointed this out, their attitude really changed after this incident.

Overall Impression: Tintagel is uber trendy, uber gorgeous and uber spectacular, but service just did not live up to five-star standards. To compete against other five star properties, this hotel really needs to step up their service. A beautiful hotel only goes so far. Our rating for Tintagel is Between Bombastic and Not.

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