Friday, May 13, 2016

New old Dutch House hotel, Galle Fort, Srilanka

We spent two nights at the New Old Dutch House hotel in Galle, Srilanka. We are not very pleased with the overall experience. Though I wouldn’t say “Never book this hotel”, I suggest you read the review and make an informed decision if you happen to shortlist this hotel for your stay in Galle.

I had selected New Old Dutch House, Galle because of following reasons
  • It was listed as one of their top picks for Galle on
  • Pictures of the property were looking great
  • Price was reasonable
  • Location was good.
Notice the gap between bed and wall- that's all the space you get
  • The mosquito net on the bed further complicates movement. (Adding mesh to windows would have removed need for a bed mounted mosquito net)
  • Kettle for boiling water needs to be kept on the ground while connecting to power socket (else we can’t connect it to power socket)
  • Safety lock was not working

Bathroom is not attached. It is external and to be shared with other rooms. This was mentioned during booking, but for someone staying in Room 6, accessing bathroom means getting down the stairs, walking 100 meters to bathroom/toilet hoping that it is free for use.  We were given separate key for the bathroom. Not even a sink in the room.

The larger rooms cost about 20 USD more per night but are spacious enough. We were denied an upgrade even though the larger rooms were unoccupied during our stay. Photos of this room alone were posted on so that prospective customers do not get an idea that cheaper rooms are not half as spacious.
Larger, Expensive rooms
Breakfast is included but extremely limited in quantity- 2 slices of bread, a plate of fruits and tea/coffee. An omelette was offered, but we being vegetarians we had to opt out of it. On Day 1 we asked for extra bread instead of Omelette but it was ignored. On day 2, upon insisting, we got some extra bread. I do understand that for small hotels with 5-10 rooms can't afford to set-up extensive breakfast buffet. But on the other hand having less guests give an unique opportunity to customize the menu as per preferences of guests- items they don't like can be skipped and items they like can be offered more. But no such effort was made. It was like take it or leave it.

Staff's English language abilities are bare minimum. Most of the time they won't understand if we are complaining or making a request or asking them for some information. Takes some effort to have a meaningful conversation.

A few Good things about New Old Dutch House, Galle

1 Located inside Galle Fort, hence Galle light house, Galle stadium and most  key attractions in Galle are within walking distance.

2 Old dutch style furniture and ambiance is good

3. Common areas are relatively spacious

4. Bike rentals available- mopeds cost LKR 1200 per day. We didn't try this.

5. WiFi was fine in Room 3, but very weak in Room 6

A room for your driver could be purchased at LKR 1500 per day. Not complementary. They do have a small jewelry shop inside but is locked most of the time as no one shops there. Shops and restaurants are within walking distance. Galle bus stand, Stadium, Park and market are a km away

We should understand that most hotel properties inside Galle Fort Area are domestic buildings desperately converted into hotel rooms due to increasing tourist demand. The bathrooms in the other bigger rooms of Old New dutch house were not naturally constructed along with the building. The hotel has at least 2 more rooms under construction in its basement. So do not expect lots of space and facilities if you are booking a room at properties inside Galle fort. (You can always try a beach resort outside the town for more spacious stay and probably a private beach)

Because of above reason, I am refraining from saying “Don’t book New Old Dutch House”, instead I just urge you to be extra careful.


Prasad Np said...

hmm such experiences on holiday totally spoil it...the management should note these points and take some action and be more transparent at the time of booking / on website

Ravish Mani said...

Well, you aren't saying this....but I ain't gonna book any room in such hotels. Thanks for the detailed post. It indeed helps in making decision.

Jyotirmoy Sarkar said...

Beautiful place and shots.

Indrani said...

Thanks for the caution.
Great pics.

Ami said...

Well reviewed. Most of these kind of hotels have to be booked with caution. I tend to look for the negative reviews first - just as a precaution. I know many a times, this has saved me from bad experiences.

Mridula said...

Separate bathroom is a complete dampener! I had stayed at Unawatuna and while my room too was small but not as small, it had attached bath, nice breakfast and English speaking staff! And back stairs led straight to the beach, though not private!

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@Mridula - Yes, but it was mentioned that bathroom was separate. Hotels outside the fort area are relatively more spacious.

@Ami- thanks

@Indrani and Jyotirmoy: Thanks

@Ravish Mani: You're welcome

@Prasad: True. Simple things they can improve upon... Have notified my concerns to team