The Kingsbury

48, Janadhipathi Mawatha, Colombo 1

The Kingsbury hotel is a massive unmistakable building if you're driving by Galle Face - it's one of the grander ones in the city, with an old Victorian theme (at least with the interior). The views from the hotel, especially from the rooftop bar, are pretty cool. And we thought the hotel deserved points for aesthetics, if the general vibe of extravagance doesn't put you off.

We don't have quite enough for a full review here, so consider this quite preliminary (following our first look, which was a pan). The Kingsbury doesn't open for guests until Jan/Feb, but one bar/restaurant is open now and others (Chinese, seafood) look set to open soon.

The Kingsbury was the Intercontinental, then the Continental, before its $18 million dollar refurbishment under the Hayleys Group. Hayleys Deputy Chairman Dhammika Perera cut his teeth on casinos and this revamped hotel does seem opulent. But also cold.

Fully Tiled

In many ways the height of Sri Lankan modern design seems to be 'fully tiled' or, in this case, full marbled. The effect, however, is to turn many buildings into bathrooms. Case in, point, the refurbished Cinnamon Lakeside, nee TransAsia.

Couple this with full-blast A/C and you get a rather uncomfortable bathroom, and the whole lobby of the Kings is like this. They also have distortedly large chairs, giving the whole place a sort of Red Queen/Alice In Wonderland feel.


That said, the old Continental was a city hotel which willfully avoided its great location, for security reasons or whatever. The Kingsbury has opened up the layout so you get the natural sea view and it's opening up the hotel to it's natural position as the modern counterpoint to the Galle Face Hotel, on the other edge of the Galle Face Green.

Now it's also walking distance from the Dutch Hospital Shopping Complex and the rapidly growing Fort area, so this should be a good place to stay. It has more physical identity than the Hilton and is (hopefully) less dodgy than the Galadari, but time will tell.


We're told that they won't let rooms for a while now, but there is at least one bar/restaurant open on the first floor. It has a nice bar and a sense of space, and the usual hotel prices. A burger will cost anywhere from Rs. 650 to Rs. 1,500, desserts start at around Rs. 700 and a Lion beer is Rs. 470 for a small one. We actually didn't stay to eat, but some friends there said the food was OK.

In Sum

While we find the general architectural trend towards toiletization repellant, we hope the Kingsbury can make up for it by at least rising about the level of the Intercon/Continental days, which was basically a hotel paralyzed by security concerns. If the Kingsbury can exist and add to some way to the Colombo scene, that is an achievement.


48, Janadhipathi Mawatha, Colombo 1


Head right to the end of the Galle Face rampart, and you'll see The Kingsbury at the Galadari roundabout.


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Open until 06:00 AM

Price Range

More than Rs.1500

Ratings Breakdown

Overall Rating
Quality Rating
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