We arrived late into Colombo and had a morning flight to Doha, which meant an airport hotel would have been ideal. Trouble is, Colombo doesn’t have any, at least not any worthy of a miles + points review. So we chose the Hilton Colombo in town.
The ride into town took 45 minutes via Uber. While surface streets tend to be packed in Colombo, the tolled highway from the airport into the city was empty. Uber is more expensive than a cab in Colombo.
I have Gold status with Hilton and Lucky has Diamond status. Upon check-in we were both upgraded to club level rooms and provided lounge access. Lucky received extra amenities in his room, but our rooms appeared identical. My room rate was $167 including taxes.
Hilton Colombo Guest Room
The room was dated, but clean. Most importantly, the bed was quite comfortable. I appreciated there was plenty of room to spread out including a large desk and couch. A tea kettle and minibar were available and a bathrobe was provided in the closet.
The bathroom appeared especially dated, at least per my taste, but was well maintained. Unfortunately, the water pressure in the shower was terrible and surprisingly lukewarm considering it was sweltering hot outside.
View from my room:
Hilton Colombo Lounge
We missed the evening spread (cocktails are served 6pm to 8:30pm), but the lounge was still open until 11pm. Desserts and drinks were available. The lounge is divided into two rooms, with one room primarily a seating area and the other room a buffet/bar.
The following morning I headed up to the lounge early for a cappuccino to start the day. The breakfast spread was quite good in the lounge, though not nearly as comprehensive as the buffet downstairs.
View from the lounge:
Hilton Colombo Il Ponte (Italian) Restaurant
We were quite hungry after a forgettable meal on China Eastern. The hotel contains several restaurants and bars and we both felt like Italian. Thankfully, the hotel has a great Italian restaurant.
The outdoor restaurant was empty when we arrived, but crowded with locals and foreign guests by the time we left. The pizza truly hit the spot.
Hilton Colombo Breakfast
Breakfast is served in Graze Kitchen and has been remodeled since our stay last summer. I’d guess the food items are the same, but now served in a dining room with refreshed tile and stonework façades.
I enjoyed an omelet, crepe, and waffle for breakfast along with fresh fruits and juices and some yogurt.
Hilton Colombo Bar
Here’s two pictures from the bar and lounge–we did not have any drinks during the visit.
Hilton Colombo Pool + Fitness Center
The following morning before departing we took a quick look at the pool and fitness center. These amenities are located adjacent to the Italian restaurant across the street from the main hotel building. A pedestrian bridge above the road connects the two “wings” of the property. Tennis courts are also available.
While not the lap of luxury, I have no complaints about this hotel beyond the water pressure in the shower and slow internet. The property, though dated, is well-maintained and comfortable. A friend advised me to check out the Galle Face Hotel next time, but I would not hesitate to stay in the Hilton again.
I highly recommend the Galle Face Hotel as well. If you can find availability at a discounted rate (sub $200) even better. My wife and I stayed there on our first Qatar Business Class trip in February and it was wonderful. Especially entertaining were the men with slingshots keeping the blackbirds away from the outdoor porch breakfast buffet.
“The ride into town took 45 minutes via Uber. While surface streets tend to be packed in Colombo, the tolled highway from the airport into the city was empty. Uber is more expensive than a cab in Colombo.”
In theory, at least, though in both India and Sri Lanka, that depends on how adept you are at negotiating away the Gringo Tax.
The funny thing is, this hotel looks a LOT like the Hilton CDG, though I suppose that’s a testament to the consistency of the brand!
Thankfully, Uber is cashless.