You have booked your dream trip to Sri Lanka and want to spend a few days in Colombo, to explore the capital. You are probably researching now which is the best hotel in Colombo for you, have narrowed it down to a few and now you are searching for reviews. Well, let me tell you about my stay at the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel, in Colombo.
Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel is very centrally located, located on the shore of lake Beira. It takes around 45 minutes to reach the hotel from the airport, on a day with normal traffic.
The seafront is 5 minutes’ drive from the hotel and the Independence Square is 8 minutes’ drive away.
The Cinnamon Group was one of the brands who had one of their hotels (Cinnamon Grand) targeted during the unfortunate April attacks in Colombo. After the incident, the hotel chain has raised the security to a level at which you can’t enter the hotel without being checked.
Each vehicle that enters the premises of the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel is searched, both inside and underneath, using mirrors. At the hotel entrance, every guest must go through metal detectors whilst the luggage is scanned with x-ray machines, the same way they do at the airport.
After passing through security, the check-in was very smooth and didn’t take long. I was invited to sit down and offered a glass of refreshing cold cinnamon tea, while my passport was registered, and my room key issued. The staff was really friendly and attentive during the entire process.
The room at Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel
I experienced a Premium Double Room located at the 6th floor, with beautiful views over the Beira Lake. The room was spacious and modern, with a large double bed, a desk and a lovely comfortable chaise longue next to the window. In front of the bed there is a large flat screen TV with international channels, but I haven’t used it.
The bed was so perfect, so comfy, allowing me to sleep like a baby after the 12 hours flight to Colombo.
The room features light controls through a console, which is very useful. I did admit that I roamed around the room for about 10 minutes looking for light switches before I spotted the console. I blame the tiredness of arriving in Colombo at 6AM and not sleeping at all on the transcontinental flight. With one touch of a button you can switch off all the lights in the room. You can also set an alarm, control the air conditioning or let the cleaning staff know not to disturb you if you are a late sleeper.
Tea and coffee, together with two bottles of water, are offered each day. The tea is cinnamon flavoured and is produced by Sri Lanka’s most known brand, Dilmah.
The bathroom was very luxurious, with a powerful shower that did a great job relaxing my shoulder muscles, but also a bathtub, in which I almost fell asleep in, soaking in bubbles. The bathroom has complimentary toiletries and very fluffy towels.
Breakfast at Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel
I had breakfast and dinner included with my stay at Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel. Breakfast is served at the Dining Room restaurant and it consist of an endless buffet of both local and international choices. There is an egg and hopper station as well, where chefs are cooking this Sri Lankan treat to order. The hopper is a thin pancake shaped like a bowl that can be eaten on its own, filled with curry or with yogurt and treacle, or cooked with an egg inside. I chose mine with the egg inside, accompanied by seeni sambol – a sweet and spicy onion relish.
As soon as I sat down, I was offered coffee. To drink, besides the classic fruit juices (which are about five to choose from) there are also smoothies and infused water.
Dinner at the Dining Room
Dinner was at the same Dining Room restaurant and it was as outstanding as the breakfast. Plenty of choices of what to eat, from delicious individual portioned appetisers, to a remarkable salad bar and countless different dishes from both Sri Lankan and international cuisine. On the side, the chef was slicing a very appetising roast lamb, but I chose to taste local flavours, such as the chicken curry and the fried dried fish.
As I mentioned before, the buffet has plenty of dishes to choose from, and I want to mention a few from the night I diner here: sushi from Japan, pasta carbonara from Italy, butter chicken from India, Hunan style prawns from China, mushrooms with oyster sauce from Thailand, pumpkin and arugula tart – don’t know which cuisine this dish belongs to. 🙂 There is something for every taste.
The dessert station is worth mentioning, with the beautiful colourful treats. I just had to try as many as I could, in the little space that I still had left after such a good dinner.
Other restaurants on site
There are 9 restaurants and bars on the premises which I wish to try next time I am in Colombo. Royal Thai offers an intimate atmosphere, having only 14 spaces. It is the only restaurant in Sri Lanka to have received a certificate of authenticity from the Thai Embassy in Colombo.
Long Feng is a Chinese restaurant serving a delicious dim sum buffet for lunch and an a la carte menu for dinner.
7 Degrees North is an open-air lounge bar, overlooking both the lake and the pool, with a live music band.
The Library is a private bar opened to members only, very elegant and private.
The Sports Bar is a great place to have a drink with your friends at whilst watching a cricket game on the TV.
The Pool Bar is the perfect place to unwind with a drink by the pool, when you feel like doing nothing, just swim and sunbathe. Here you can enjoy a wonderful BBQ for lunch.
Goodies is the perfect place to go to satisfy your sweet cravings. Selling cakes, cookies and freshly baked bread, is the perfect place to grab a snack from.
The Lobby Lounge gets very romantic in the evening, when a live singer starts playing the piano.
The grounds at Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel
Cinnamon Lakeside has the largest outdoor pool in the city which is so warm and pleasant to be in.
If you look for a bit of relaxation after a long flight, same as I did, you might consider visiting the Spa on the premises, Azmaara, which offers Balinese and Swedish healing treatments.
For a different type of relaxation or for some fun with friends, Cinnamon Lakeside has 3 clay tennis courts and two air-conditioned squash courts.
A fully equipped gym with a personal trainer is also available for the guests at Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel.
Disclaimer: Please note that I visited Sri Lanka as a guest of the Sri Lankan Tourism Board. However, all the opinions in this article are my own and I would not recommend anything that I wouldn’t have enjoyed myself doing or think it was a great place to visit.
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