Review: Paradise Road Colombo Tintagel Hotel, Sri Lanka
Paraside Road Colombo Tintagel: A luxuriously modern, historical stay
Paradise Road Colombo Tintagel, 2 Nights, Executive Suite (with Breakfast): US$200 per night. Paradise Road Colombo Tintagel, 65 Rosmead Place, Colombo 00700, Sri Lanka.
Written by EatGoSee // See more reviews here.
Paradise Road Colombo Tintagel is a historic boutique property offering a very memorable stay in Colombo. A beautiful stay, but more attention to maintenance would make it perfect.
Truly unique historical site
Boutique, design hotel in prestigious leafy location
Generously-sized moody suites & perfect his and hers bathrooms
It’s Red Bar is one of Colombo’s best bars
Competitive pricing when benchmarked to other boutique hotels
Exceptional staff service
In-house restaurant is good but not great
Wear and tear is evident & more maintenance recommended
Paradise Road Colombo Tintagel: The Experience
Turning the corner into Paradise Road Colombo Tintagel reveals colonial grandeur rarely seen these days. Seldom do I audibly mutter ‘wow’, but I did today. A cobblestone driveway sweeps towards a luminous white facade adorned with flowering violet clock vines. Towering mocha vases stand like soldiers at attention for your arrival. This former state home offers both a unique stay and a living museum (but more on this later).
Our car circles a trickling fountain festooned with water lilies. A duo of smart butlers collect our luggage and seat us in the foyer for a seamless check-in. We are visibly exhausted from an overnight flight from Dubai. Our check-in team sense the same and waste no time. Like ballerinas, they spring into action and usher us towards our North West Suite, an Executive Suite, where we collapse for a few hours’ nap in marshmallow-soft, Egyptian cotton sheets.
Paradise Road Colombo Tintagel’s outside greenery and architecture leaves a positive first impression.
Paradise Road Colombo Tintagel’s front facade foreshadows its colonial history.
Paradise Road Colombo Tintagel: History of Murder, Royalty, Ruins & World Firsts
Rideway’s widow later became the world’s first female Prime Minister where she resided in Tintagel until 2000 upon her death. Her daughter also become the first female President of Sri Lanka in 2005. Paradise Road Colombo Tintagel also hosted Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall in 2013 and an autographed frame photo appears in the lobby today. Shy of staying with royalty or in the White House, you will struggle to lay your head in a building so steeped in history.
Paradise Road Colombo Tintagel maintains an ivory and black-style monochrome throughout
And The Location?
Paradise Road Colombo Tintagel is one of two Paradise Road hotels, but this is their only Colombo residence. This unique private hotel is nestled into the well-heeled Cinnamon Gardens district; a tranquil sanctuary away from Colombo’s cacophonous bustle. It sits among throngs of embassies and government buildings perhaps a hint towards the hotel’s origins.
Google Maps claim the hotel is only 30 minutes from the airport; this is wildly ambitious given the grinding contact sport that is Colombo traffic. You should assume it takes an hour even with the express highway option. The hotel offers a car for $45 (SLR8000) or a van for $70 (SLR16,000). Make sure the hotel confirms the car. Ours did not arrive (NB taxis are everywhere in the airport but bring cash).
Alternatively, you could drive to the Colombo Tintagel while biting a leather strap weaving through Colombo as free, on-site parking is available without reservations.
Nearby attractions and sights
Paradise Road is replete with boutique shopping, upmarket cafes and restaurants. There is plenty on your doorstep if, like me, you enjoy staying close to your hotel in the evenings. The hotel also twins with an art gallery within walking distance. From here, Colombo’s main sights such as the National Museum and Galle Face Green are reachable within 20 minutes. Why not take the tuk-tuk which is provided by the hotel, or just step outside and stick your thumb out. After all, tuk-tuks love tourists like moths to flames and you’re in Sri Lanka. Live a little! Other locations like the Dutch Hospital area, Ministry of Crab and the like are at the mercy of Colombo traffic but safely assume 30 minutes, at least.
Paradise Road Colombo Tintagel's Location
The library is stocked with over 500 red leather-bound books taking me back to my law school days. You could easily sit here quietly to work, read newspapers or sink in a gin and tonic made with local Colombo gin.
Paradise Road Colombo Tintagel’s period features including stately bookcases and oversized, dark staircases.
Paradise Road Colombo Tintagel’s maintenance does need some more work
Preserving the Paradise Road Colombo Tintagel cannot be easy: humidity, old architecture, constant rains. Old buildings do not easily stand the test of time. The glossy interior is beautifully maintained; however, the exterior could do with some tender loving care. Damp and mould are visible on the breakfast patio walls, inside the pale patio umbrellas and along with the exterior period features on the top floor. Nothing a quarterly Karcher water blast could not fix. It’s these details that seasoned boutique hotel visitors will notice with quiet derision. I suggest the management takes the opportunity (during quieter months) to slowly rectify these blemishes in what is otherwise a distinguished offering.
Paradise Road Colombo Tintagel’s, Executive Suite
Colombo Tintagel houses a mere TEN individual suites (so book early!). Our North West Executive Suite is dim and subdued. The goth black, molasses-like floors are accompanied by dark, classic antique furniture with brass fittings. The Suite oozes history and occasion yet the fixtures are assembled with a contemporary eye. The room’s main feature is the ivory-dressed four-poster bed draped in white sheer mosquito netting like a bridal veil.
Paradise Road Colombo Tintagel’s executive suites are spacious with impressive bathrooms
The en suite bathroom is decked in earth stone with his and her sinks, a rain shower and a generous bathtub. The Executive Suite is one of the smaller rooms but it is perfectly adequate for a couple for a week without getting on each other’s nerves (hopefully). Upgrades to the Royal Suite and Superior Suites are available.
The room includes a mini-bar, Bose stereo (with the now seriously old iPhone attachment), tea/coffee facilities and hairdryer, naturally.
Easily one of the most comfortable beds I’ve ever slept in at a hotel.
Paradise Road Colombo Tintagel, was everything perfect?
Converted older buildings are not without their limitations and practical hitches. Boutique hotels should be fastidious about details. Their guests often look for those touchpoints. A few things felt missing. I undertook an expedition to find any electrical sockets unoccupied by the room’s lamps and a flat-screen TV with no success. A discreet multi-plug extender would really help as travellers – like me – often wield multiple chargeable devices these days. Mrs EatGoSee noted there is only one luggage stand in what is obviously a colossal suite intended for more than one person. We used a desk instead for her enviable Steamline trunk.
Toiletries are unremarkable; I discovered a charming boutique shop across the road that sells handmade toiletries made with local ingredients. This would be an elegant addition to the rooms instead of generic gels. I can hear the deafening roar of eyes rolling. Yet regular boutique hotel patrons know the finer points are where higher prices (and word of mouth credit) are earned.
Paradise Road Colombo Tintagel’s facilities
A slender lap pool downstairs is overlooked by concrete sculptures. The gym is modest but sufficient for a quick, light workout. I was informed that massages and similar are available on sight but they need at least two hours’ notice. WiFi is complimentary, fast, reliable and consistent notwithstanding these thick walls, and even available outside during breakfast.
Paradise Road Colombo Tintagel’s outside breakfast seating area
Paradise Road Tintagel’s Food and Drink
A thorough review of The Dining Room restaurant is available here, but suffice to say it’s a convenient intimate space with superb service. It is suitable if, like us, you want a quick fill before collapsing for the evening. Yet the food feels dated. A classic boutique hotel with a top-notch restaurant is a powerful combination elevating the whole value proposition. There’s some work to be done. I am coming to enjoy the hotel; don’t give me a reason to leave, like finding a better meal.
The Red Bar
This dramatic snug bar regularly features as one of Colombo’s finest and with good reason. It exudes London private members bar without the pretentiousness and cigar-chomping. The crimson-stained walls and exposed concrete is muted by slate grey soft furnishings and warmed by a backlit bar. Think Interview With A Vampire pre-drinking speakeasy. Any minute a Dolce & Gabbana photoshoot will start in earnest. The cocktail list is met with nodding approval, especially the signature tamarind margarita. You can thank me later.
It is a la carte with the option of full English or Sri Lankan breakfast. I chose the latter while Mrs EatGoSee tucked into a full English after a morning’s workout. Her soft scrambled eggs on toast with roasted tomatoes and mushrooms come with the option of freshly pressed juice. You must order the Sri Lankan breakfast the night before as apparently it takes some time to make. I opted for the Sri Lankan breakfast; the bucket list is ticked.
Paradise Road Colombo Tintagel’s breakfast on the outside patio includes Western and Sri Lankan options.
Who Should Come To Paradise Road Colombo Tintagel?
You want to escape Colombo’s madding crowds and clamour. You are looking for a sanctuary; somewhere luxurious and intimate. The kind of boutique hotel that offers modern world comforts with an old-world character. The historical significance oozes through every hallway, corner and sitting area. This would be an elegant start before boarding one of Sri Lanka’s iconic train journeys through tea plantations or rice paddies. I would return here to either spend a day or spend a few before striking out of Colombo to areas far away.
The price point is impressive at international standards. This would easily cost three times more in other stately homestays in Europe with considerably less room. However, you should take note of the lowlights again if you are a pedant for minutiae and must have a spectacular restaurant on site.
I did not see children at the hotel but I understand additional beds are available for a surcharge (cots are free for kids under two). The clientele is certainly DINKS or discerning corporate guests on business. This would be perfect for travellers to Colombo coming for a wedding. In fact, this would make an amazing wedding venue.
If you have young children, you may want to keep searching. There is little here to entertain kids.
I saw one suite on the ground floor by the pool. The Red Bar and The Dining Room are all on the ground floor. I did not see an elevator and the gym is upstairs. I doubt the doorways are wide enough to fit a wheelchair through. You should enquire with the hotel to confirm.