Being the first five-star international brand in Colombo in 25 years, there was great buzz around Movenpick Hotel Colombo since its January opening. For Feizal Samath, the hotel lives up to the promise of being an exciting addition to the city
Located in Kollupitiya, in the heart of the capital’s business district, the hotel is within walking distance of popular malls, Galle Face promenade and key government and corporate offices. I can see why the property has quickly become a draw for business conferences and small weddings.
The junior suites here feature a bathtub near the bed overlooking the ocean – wow!
The 24-storey hotel has 219 rooms and suites. My deluxe room was comfortable and had the usual five-star trimmings, but was missing the miniature toothbrush/toothpaste pack and shaving kit.
Tea and coffee making facilities are available while the work desk is positioned to provide a lovely ocean view. Although the check-in was smooth, my steward encountered problems with the room key, which was sorted out in 10 minutes.
Executive Ocean View room
The lobby is smaller than in other five-star hotels in the city, although granted those were built years ago when large lobbies were de rigueur and space was no concern.
Rooftop lounges and bars are a magnet for Colombo’s urbanites. The hotel’s large Vistas Bar and rooftop lounge on the 24th floor is no exception, providing 360-degree views of the city and ocean. The hotel’s infinity lap pool and jacuzzi are also located on the rooftop.
The hotel’s biggest banquet venue can accommodate up to 250 guests. There are five meeting rooms, one boardroom for 20 pax and an outdoor terrace.
Other facilities include a fully equipped gym, beauty salon and nail spa, and five treatment rooms with ocean views.
Ayu is the international all-day dining restaurant and brasserie, which provides a good selection for breakfast and international buffets. The Sri Lankan corner has local favourites like hoppers, rice milk and regional condiments in addition to European, Chinese, Indian and Arabic specialities. I particularly liked the chicken curry which was tasty and not too spicy. Also available are healthy options such as juices, fruits, cereals and gluten-free bread and jam.
Robata Grill and Lounge is the restaurant for Japanese food, sushi and sake, while the Mansion bar and lounge on the ground floor is exclusively for members and hotel guests with fine whiskeys on offer.
Overall the service in public areas, rooms and restaurants was friendly and warm though some young staff at Ayu appeared nervous and unsure, not what I expected of service at international hotels.
The hotel comes as a blessing to city folks yearning for a new venue to hang out, have business meetings, and wine and dine.
No of rooms and suites: 219
Rates: From US$166
Contact details: Mövenpick Hotel Colombo
No. 24 Dharmapala Mawatha Colombo 03 Sri Lanka
Tel: (94) 117 450 450