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Grand Hotel

4.0 out of 5.0

Recent guest reviews

We stayed at the Grand for two nights in February 2018 whilst on a two week tour of Sri Lanka. When we were deciding where to stay in Nuwara Eliya, it had been suggested to us that the Grand was perhaps a little “tired”. We would not agree. Whilst it is obviously an old building, and given it’s size it must be somewhat difficult to upkeep, but it is all clean and well presented throughout, with plenty of old world charm. It’s size is perhaps it’s biggest problem when it comes to catering. The main restaurant hosts a buffet for both breakfast and dinner, and on the plus side the variety of food available was huge, almost to the point of being overwhelming. The table layout of the main part of the dining room is very regimented with many big tables, presumably to accommodate the large tour groups they cater for. This leads to a quite impersonal feel. Just to one side of this room there is a smaller (connected) area where they seem to seat “independent” guests such as ourselves. However it is brightly lit and has plain white walls so is not the most attractive place to eat. The food however is fine, which I suppose is the main consideration. As a consequence of the above we decided the following night to eat in the a la carte “Magnolia” restaurant. This was a much better experience, nice surroundings with very good food. That said we were lucky, as we had not made a reservation and for the size of the hotel it is arguably too small. We saw several people who could not get in, and others who had a long wait. At the risk of getting paranoid about size we also thought the bar (though very inviting and comfortable) was also too small! The Grand makes a feature of its gardens and the cream teas served therein each afternoon. Unfortunately, whilst we were there, the majority of the plants were covered in polythene, apparently to protect them from the night mists / temperatures, and the tea was not served in the gardens. All in all this may sound like a negative review but it’s not meant to be - we would probably stay there again. It’s just that it feels as if our stay could have been that much better.

Passing through on a tour and spent a night here. Initial impression is old colonial style (dark wood everywhere), but charming. Staff are very smartly dressed, friendly and helpful. Rooms are inevitably on the small side and a bit dated - weird mix of UK square 3-pin and Indian round 3-pin power sockets. Rooms do have: TV (no BBC), safe, iron & board, hairdryer and there is free (reasonably fast) WiFi. Dinner was a buffet, with a good selection and well prepared - no issues with the food at all.

If you are to visit Nuwara Eliya, High Tea in one of the two old colonial hotels is a "must". Staying at the hotel is also a great experience, with a varied set of restaurants, good location, nice rooms and a fabulous and seamless service. Friendly staff, loads of warm smiles and a good atmosphere makes this a good place to stay.

I fell in love with the hotel's colonial-styled building the minute I saw it. The furnishing, decor, fixtures... Wow! And the lawn? Gorgeous, except for the plastic sheet-covered hedges. I was told that the sheets would be removed in April when the plants start to bloom. Kudos to the property owners for keeping the huge trees intact as they add so much character to the surroundings. I enjoyed every minute of my stay in this hotel. When one of my family members wanted to change his room, one of the staff Tyrone went out of his way to ensure that my brother's request was met. And when he wanted his mattress changed as he found it too soft, it was done in less than no time. Also, a big thank you to waiter Ramesh who made sure I got my dose of hot and strong coffee during breakfast! Overall, excellent service by the friendly staff.

As this was the Governors Residence in the past the building is very ornate and impressive,with some stunning rooms ,so it obviously does not have updated bath rooms or private outdoor areas of the other hotels on our tour.The High Tea on the lawn was an interesting experience if not of the expected quality . Having said that the breakfast buffet and evening meal in one of the smaller restaurants were very good .

We were a little apprehensive at first as this was not our first choice hotel but those apprehensions were soon diminished upon arrival. We had a charming 2 night stay and enjoyed the experience of staying in a hotel with as much history. The staff were very accommodating especially Bala at the bar and Rangasan in the Barnes Hall when there was a mix up with our reservation. The decor is slightly dated in the rooms but were clean and comfortable. The gardens did have plastic sheeting covering the plants which was slightly disappointing but it was still nice to sit on the lawn and enjoy some morning sun. The food in both the Magnolia and the Barnes Hall was great. The buffet had a wonderful selection of Sri Lankan food including many freshly cooked dishes, and was one of the best we sampled on a 2 weeks tour of Sri Lanka, the high tea was also lovely.

A very imposing approach to what appears to be a "Grand" hotel. Staff helpful and meals excellent. Check out the rooms, loose power points, mould growing on bathroom tiles, decor shabby. We called the duty manager and he offered to change our room, having unpacked for our one night stay we declined. Others in the tour group made similar derogatory comments the next morning. If you book into this hotel check out the room before anything else.

This was by a long chalk the worst of the five hotels we stayed at during our visit to the country. Anyone who believes the place has an "Olde Worlde Englyshe" atmosphere about it is talking nonsense. Sure there is a hint of the 1950's about the place, apart from the plastic window frames which now disfigure it, but the atmosphere is more one of a funeral parlour than a hotel. When we were there the whole place was totally disfigured by a sea of plastic sheeting all over the garden area which turned out to be frost protection for the summer bedding which had clearly been planted out too early in the season. It all looked absolutely ghastly. The decor in the public areas was brown and gloomy, and the bedrooms were not much better. The bathrooms are badly in need of a makeover. I did not expect plastic showers curtains along the side of the bath. How ante-diluvian is that. We had great difficulty a getting delivery of a second miniature bottle of gin for our minibar. The other mistake was to opt for the buffet supper in the cavernous and over-lit dining area. The atmosphere was more reminiscent of a 1960's holiday camp, probably due to the value offered by the buffet which meant that half the visitors in town seemed to want to get in on the act. I have no idea whether there is anywhere better to stay in this curious and fascinating time warp of a town, but this place is frankly a disaster.

Have just returned home after a fantastic holiday in Sri Lanka and The Maldives to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary. As we had a 'rest day' whilst staying at The Grand Hotel in Nuwara Eliya on Valentine's Day we signed up for their Valentines Day Package we spotted on their website before leaving the UK. I'm so pleased we did as it was one of the best days of the holiday. We were treated like royalty all day and Kelum, who had put the package together, bent over backwards to make the day so very special for us. Against the odds, he arranged a train ride through the tea fields knowing it meant so much to me as our train trip the previous day from Peradeniya had been cancelled as our tour operator had not been able to secure the elusive tickets. We had the most fantastic BBQ Seafood lunch on the lawn and, in the evening, were serenaded during a romantic 5 course dinner in the tree house which would rival many of the Michelin star meals we have had in this country. Thank you Kelum and your staff for making it such a very special day for us! Louise and David Shapland

Stayed here 1 night during a tour. Very high up in the mountains so temperatures are low, rooms have fan heaters so can get stuffy. Overall the hotel is good, breakfast and dinner buffets had a very good selection of food, service was good overall and staff friendly. Ensure you have extre clothing to wrap up if staying her as gets cold. Loved the decor, old English colonial themed.

Grand Hotel Rd Nuwara Eliya

Hotel highlights

  • Free breakfast
  • Free WiFi in public areas
  • Free parking
  • Onsite dining

Within a short walk of Nuwara Eliya Golf Club, Grand Hotel is within a mile (2 km) of Victoria Park. This 154-room, 4-star hotel has 3 restaurants along with conveniences like free self parking and a fitness center. Also near this Nuwara Eliya hotel are Holy Trinity Church and Galway Forest Reserve.


Free breakfast is included with your stay. There are ample dining options with 3 onsite restaurants, including Grand Indian, which specializes in Indian cuisine. Order from room service to satisfy your hunger without leaving your room, or explore the hotel and get a beverage at the bar/lounge or coffee shop/café.


All 154 rooms feature minibars, coffee makers, and free bottled water. Guests can expect to find TVs with cable channels. Beds sport premium bedding and bathrooms offer free toiletries. Safes and desks are other standard amenities.

Property features

Guests of Grand Hotel enjoy a fitness center, free WiFi in public areas, and a meeting room. A stay here includes free parking. Front-desk staff can answer questions 24/7, and assist with dry cleaning/laundry, concierge services, and luggage storage. Additional amenities include a business center, a library, and a terrace.

Room options


Full 1 | Sleeps 3

Reviews from Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor aggregated rating

67.0% of guests recommend this hotel

Total of 2232 reviews