Introduction: An Insane Week In The Sky
Review: China Eastern Business Class 777-300ER Los Angeles To Shanghai
Review: Grand Hyatt Shanghai
Review: China Eastern Lounge Shanghai Airport
Review: China Eastern Business Class A330 Shanghai To Colombo
Review: Hilton Colombo
Review: Qatar Airways Business Class A340 Colombo To Doha
Review: Oryx Lounge Doha Airport
Review: Royal Air Maroc Business Class 787 Doha To Casablanca
Review: Hyatt Regency Casablanca
Review: Royal Air Maroc Lounge Casablanca Airport
Review: Royal Air Maroc Business Class 787 Casablanca To Doha
Review: Qatar Airways Business Class A340 Doha To Colombo
Review: Saudia Business Class 777 Colombo To Jeddah
Review: Saudia Lounge Jeddah Airport
Review: Saudia Business Class 787 Jeddah To Manchester
Review: Pakistan Airlines Business Class 777 Manchester To New York
Review: Airspace Lounge New York JFK Airport Terminal 5
Review: JetBlue Mint A321 New York To Los Angeles
We arrived at Colombo Airport from Shanghai at around 7:30PM, and our flight the following morning to Doha was at 10:50AM. So we were faced with a ~15 hour layover, where ideally we would have stayed near the airport.
However, based on my research there aren’t any decent hotels near the airport, so we instead decided to stay at the Hilton Colombo. The city of Colombo is about a 45 minute drive from the airport, so it’s a bit of a haul. For what it’s worth, the rate was ~$140 for our one night stay.
Upon arriving in Colombo we first had to queue for a visa, though fortunately we didn’t have to pay the usual visa fee, given that we were just in transit. I’d note that this took some pushing, as the immigration officer needed approval from the “chief immigration officer” before he could waive our visa fee.
So it was about 8PM before we were out of the airport, and then we took an Uber to the city. There’s a great highway between the city and the airport, so it’s a very pleasant ride.
The Hilton is a bit dated from the outside, as you might expect.
Upon pulling into the hotel we were greeted by the bellmen and pointed to reception.
The lobby was under renovation, so there were temporary walls in the entry area.
Reception was located inside the lobby and to the left, and across from it was a pastry shop with some incredible looking sweets.
Check-in was efficient and friendly. Personally I find Sri Lankans to be among the friendliest and most hospitable people in the world, so the friendly service came as no surprise. I was informed that I had been upgraded to a club room, and was presented with a letter describing my Diamond benefits, as well as the details of the executive lounge.
I took the elevator up to the 17th floor, where my room was located. The elevator seemed to be a bit glitchy, because whenever I entered that I wanted to go to the 17th floor, the elevator in fact took me to the 18th floor, and then I had to push the 17th floor button again.
Upon exiting the elevator I turned right, and then my room was located on the left.
I was assigned room 1715, a club king room.
The room featured an entryway with a closet on the right and the bathroom on the left.
The room itself was dated though well maintained.
It featured a king size bed, which was nice and soft.
Across from it was a luggage rack, as well as a TV on a dresser.
In the far corner of the room was a desk with a leather office chair.
Across from that was a couch which seated two, along with a coffee table.
Hilton Colombo king room couch
Waiting on the table was a bowl of fresh fruit, as well as a variety of chocolates.
The bathroom was perhaps the most drab part of the room. The harsh lighting made it feel a bit like a hospital.
The bathroom featured a toilet with a hose, a sink, and a shower/tub combo.
I’m not sure if it was just my room, but the water pressure was terrible.
Toiletries were provided by Peter Thomas Roth, as is the norm at Hilton.
Back near the entrance was a kettle, bottled water, and instant coffee and tea.
My room had nice views of the city, with the ocean in the distance. This was my first time actually leaving the airport in Colombo, and after seeing the views I’m excited to return (hopefully soon). I was surprised by the number of high rises under construction (the Grand Hyatt Colombo is among them, if/when it ever opens).
My major complaint about the room is that the internet was quite slow. It wasn’t unusable, though there was huge variance in the internet speed, which was annoying.
We were quite hungry at this point, given the quality of food on our China Eastern flight. Matthew and I both felt like eating Italian, and as it turns out, the hotel has an Italian restaurant which is well regarded, called Il Ponte. It’s located in the same area as the pool and gym, which I’ll talk more about later. Il Ponte just has outdoor seating.
We both had pizzas, which were very good, and hit the spot.
We also briefly checked out the club lounge. Unfortunately we arrived at the hotel after the club lounge spread was done for the evening (cocktails are served from 6PM until 8:30PM), though refreshments are still available until 11PM. The lounge was on the small side, though it didn’t seem too busy when we were there.
The lounge had two rooms. One just had several tables, along with two couches.
Then the other room had mostly couches, as well as the food spread.
As a club guest you can have breakfast either in the restaurant or in the club lounge. We decided to check them both out.
The lounge spread was surprisingly good, in my opinion.
There was fresh fruit, cereal, salad, cold cuts, salmon, veggies, cheese, fresh pastries, bread, croissants, and even a seafood canapé (which seemed a bit odd for breakfast).
We only had coffee in the lounge, and then eventually headed to SPICES Restaurant, where breakfast is also served. This was located off the lobby, just past the lobby sitting area.
The restaurant wasn’t especially busy.
The food spread was quite good, especially the Indian and Sri Lankan selection.
Then there was a station where they made crepes and waffles, and you could also order custom made omelets.
All three were delicious.
The only other comment I have about breakfast is that the coffee was vile.
While we only had a quick overnight, we decided to check out the pool and fitness center in daylight hours. It’s a bit complicated to get there, since it’s across the street from the Hilton. If you exit SPICES Restaurant there’s a path that leads there.
You have to take an overpass to cross the road.
The pool itself was decent.
There was also a gym, which seemed rather outdated to me.
The following morning we left the Hilton at 8AM to head back to Colombo Airport, once again using Uber. The drive took about 45 minutes.
Hilton Colombo bottom line
While not the world’s most luxurious hotel, it was perfectly functional, and all the staff we interacted with were friendly and genuine. It’s nice that they let Diamond members have breakfast in the club lounge. The Italian restaurant at the hotel that we had dinner at was excellent as well.
If anyone has other tips for great hotels in Colombo I’d certainly welcome them. I know a Grand Hyatt is supposed to open there eventually, though the opening date seems to continuously be pushed back.
If returning to Colombo I’d stay at the Hilton again, whether I was visiting for an extended period of time, or just overnighting, as I was here.