Colombo is a picturesque city replete with a beautiful skyline, a stunning beachfront, and sunset views. No other hotel does justice to these attributes of the city other than the popular Mövenpick Hotel Colombo, a beach-facing property with sweeping views of the Indian Ocean.
This year, we decided to make a trip to Sri Lanka with ace blogger Riaan George for a little R & R, and while everyone we know always heads to the more popular vacay spots (Ella, Galle or Mirissa), there was just too much we wanted to do in the capital city, Colombo. But where do you begin your Colombo journey? Mövenpick Hotel Colombo creates just the right ambiance for a trip like this.
Located in the centre of the city, facing the Galle road, the hotel is perfect for those looking at some peace and quiet in the bustling city. The clincher? It’s just a mere 40 minutes from the airport and comes with a rooftop bar and an infinity pool.
This wasn’t our first time at an Accor hotel. It’s a well-known fact that their service and impeccable locations make them a traveller’s best bet. This one in particular is Colombo’s first five-star hotel in 25 years — the food, pool-time, and generously equipped brunches are perfect to take the strain off the usual touristy search. Instead you can use your time to explore the beach, go for a walk, and tune into the rhythm of the city without worrying about the basics.
We picked out 8 really good reasons Mövenpick Hotel Colombo make for a great stay — tried, tested, and whetted personally by Team LSA.
Location, location, location
The Mövenpick Hotel Colombo scores on its location — it’s 15-20 minutes from the best touristy spots, and just two minutes away from Galle Face Green, a narrow stretch of grass along the Galle Road in Colombo’s Fort area, the most interesting spot to people-watch in the evenings. You can also easily walk to Old Dutch Hospital Complex, where you can witness bands playing in the evening. The Liberty Arcade, the streets of Pettah, a quick getaway to the National museum – everything is 5-10 minutes away. Don’t forget to grab a meal at the iconic Ministry of Crab close by either (the garlic butter crab is a must-have).
The hotel boasts of 219 rooms and suites with floor to ceiling windows. We stayed on the 11th floor executive suite with bay windows, a desk overlooking the Indian Ocean, and a perfectly placed bathtub with vistas of the city skyline — perfect for some great Instagram shots. Add a note-worthy sunset, music, and a Nespresso machine, and the evenings were a dream.
Rooftop bar and fun drinks
If views were wishes, we’d just park ourselves here and never move. The rooftop bar, Vistas, on the 24th floor had live music and Sri Lankan cocktails — we went to see the beautiful sunset and stayed for the drinks. And as the music surrounded us, we settled down in wicker chairs munching on sambols and fried snacks. The signature achcharu cocktail was a delightful mix of salt infused raw mango, while the Ambarella had pineapple, black pepper, and chili flakes. There’s also the shisha you can order.
The infinity lap pool and rooftop bar
Perhaps the biggest Instagram-able spot in the hotel is the infinity pool that overlooks the beach and the entire city. We sunbathed and lounged around with a book. Also the perfect spot for a selfie, make sure your snap yourself with the Gal Pol or the refreshing Lemon Gin tea in hand.
The Mövenpick food journey
We spent an afternoon with TV Personality Danu Innasithamby as he hosted us for a lunch at the Asian restaurant known for its teppanyaki, The Robata Grill. The restaurant gives you all the seven flavours of Asia — from Japanese, Indonesian, and Chinese, to Malaysian, Thai, Korean and Singaporean cuisine. From flamed Hokkaido scallops to crayfish clear soup to a delicious five spice marinated roasted sliced duck, there’s a lot to choose from. The “Surf n Turf” at the Robata is a popular choice, featuring American beef striploin, grilled prawns, garlic rice, and stir fried veggies. The Robata grill can host private parties too – so we had our own chef and picked out some great mains.
Traditional Sri Lankan breakfast
At Ayu, we had the opportunity to sample the extravagant fare put together by the chefs, in specific the spicy sambols (Sri Lankan chutneys that accompany every meal). The Pol sambol in specific was delightful, made from coconut that can be eaten with rice, string hoppers, egg hoppers, and curries. The egg hoppers and rice cakes were easy on the palette and the taste of the marinated fermented fish curry was interesting. The favourite part of the meal was the dessert: Yogurt with treacle made us feel like we were in an Enid Blyton novel.
Afternoon tea experience
One of the most fun experiences we had at Mövenpick was the grand Afternoon Tea session hosted by the hotel staff. The tea session consisted of 14 interesting tea varieties of Basilur, Sri Lanka’s most popular premium tea label. The white tea was a winner, and the experience included some great sandwiches and mini desserts. The exclusive session is not open to the public, but can be put together on request.
There’s an ocean-view wellness centre with a dedicated spa operated by the island’s famous Spa Ceylon. Add to that a fully equipped fitness centre, pampering nail spa, and beauty salon. The spa had a few interesting options: Our pick was the full body pampering and signature royal Kandyan massages.
Quintessentially Sri Lankan
The best part about our stay was how we were able to immerse ourselves in local experiences that the hotel creates. From entering the property to the beat of the Kandyan dance, a traditional Sri Lankan dance form where the dancers move to the rhythmic beats of drums, to lighting the traditional kovil (huge brass lamps are part of every household in Sri Lanka), there were traditional touches everywhere. The traditional Sri Lankan sweets in every room made our midnight binges fun, and the products from Spa Ceylon, a homegrown Sri Lankan beauty label that we discovered added those signature touches.
Address: No. 24 |, Srimath Anagarika Dharmapala Mawatha, Colombo 00300, Sri Lanka