Tried & Tested

Hotel review: Hilton Colombo

10 Mar 2024 by Hannah Brandler
Hilton Colombo (photo: Hilton)


Hilton Colombo has been operating in Sri Lankan’s capital since 1987, welcoming both leisure and business guests alike to the 2.6 hectare complex. Renovations are currently underway of its guest rooms, with all 345 set to be complete on 30 April, 2024.

Hilton has three additional properties in Sri Lanka, Hilton Colombo Residences in the capital, Doubletree by Hilton Weerawila Rajawarna Resort, and Hilton Yala Resort –  we also visited the latter on this trip and will cover it in a feature in the April issue of the magazine.

Where is it?

The hotel is located in Colombo’s central business district, and helpfully connected to the World Trade Centre by a walkway bridge.

Those adding on a few days for leisure can also access the Dutch Hospital shopping centre within five minutes while Gangaramaya Temple is located a ten-minute walk away.

You can hire a tuk-tuk for riding around the city, or the hotel can organise a car transfer to Bandaranaike International airport – which is around 45 minutes away.

Hilton Colombo Lotus Pond (photo: Hilton)

What's it like?

It’s a vast 19-storey property with an energetic atmosphere as soon as you enter – wedding parties cross paths with corporate types, while families too gather in the spacious, open-plan lobby.

As with many establishments in Colombo, presumably owing to the tragic terrorist attacks in April 2019, there is a security scanner for bags and individuals at the entrance.

Once through, staff wheel your bag to reception and concierge on the far-left of the lobby. Check-in is from 3pm and checkout at 12pm, and I was on my way to my room within minutes, greeted by the incredibly friendly staff at the lift bank.

The lobby is adorned in wood panelling, with high, carved ceilings and plenty of seating dotted throughout the heart of the property.

The tropical grounds, too, are expansive, and include a beautiful lotus pond and events lawn adjacent, while a footbridge takes guests over the road to the resort-style section of the hotel, complete with a pool and sun loungers – a perfect way to separate business and leisure.

Hilton Colombo King Deluxe Sea View Room (photo: Hilton)


The hotel has 345 guest rooms which start from 31 sqm and extend to 80 sqm suites. Note that there are two Executive floors (16-17) with rooms and suites that include access to the Executive Lounge on the 2nd floor.

At the time of going to press, the hotel had refurbished 192 rooms – including 80 Superior Rooms, 96 Deluxe Rooms and 16 suites.

The rooms have been conceived by design firm FBEYE Singapore and brought to life by local architect Nuwan Dias from NUStudios.

I secured a newly renovated suite on the 11th floor during my visit. The refurbishment has seen the addition of teak wood, bronze Art Deco style lighting features and wardrobes outfitted with timber veneers.

Sri Lankan touches include furnishings from local furniture maker Don Carolis, motifs inspired by Dumbara weaving, and a tissue box crafted from coconut tree wood.

My King Deluxe Sea View Suite was an expansive 80 sqm, with large windows overlooking the Colombo Harbour, Port City Colombo and Indian Ocean. Suites feature a spacious living room with an L-shaped sofa and long dining table – which has a boardroom-like feel – and a separate, sizeable bedroom which had a dining/work table and an en-suite bathroom. There is a separate washroom beside the entrance.

Hilton Colombo Suite (photo: Hilton)

The living room features a 55-inch HDTV opposite the sofa, however its off-centre position is a little unsettling for a perfectionist and is particularly noticeable as the rest of the wall is empty.

The bathroom was pristine, with a large shower cubicle featuring a hand-held device and rain shower as well as a bathtub.

Additional features include easy-to-operate air con and thermostat, a safe, hairdryer, minibar with a few soft drinks and beers, tea-making facilities (but no coffee machine), iron and ironing board, fluffy bathrobes and slippers.

Hilton Colombo Suite bathroom (photo: Hilton)

When it comes to working in the room, it’s a shame that the long dining table does not have any built-in USB or plug sockets. Instead, the dining table in the bedroom has a neatly hidden hub with USB sockets, a UK plug socket and HDMI port. Personally, I would prefer this to be in the lounge area so I can separate work and sleep as best possible.

A few areas in the room still looked a little tired. For instance cup ring marks on the marble table, a broken door stopper in the bathroom, and fiddly curtains with window frames that looked a little worn.

Hilton Colombo Graze Kitchen (photo: Hilton)

Food and drink

The hotel has six F&B venues for different occasions, as well as a lengthy room service menu which differs from the standard offering at most hotels.

For more casual fare, there’s the grab-and-go Café Kai on the ground floor, offering pastries, sandwiches and snacks, and the sleek L.A.B (Lounge & Bar) which serves afternoon tea, evening drinks amid nightly entertainment and an ‘overnight menu’ available until 1am.

If you’ve had one too many glasses and are feeling confident, grab the mic at the Stella Karaoke Bar or watch your friends harmonise while you dine on the bar’s fried snacks and burgers – open Mon-Sat until the early hours.

SUNSETBLU, meanwhile, is an all-day pool club where you can enjoy cocktails, pizza and poolside snacks amid live band entertainment and resident DJS from 7pm till late Wed-Sun.

Graze Kitchen is the hotel’s all day dining destination and offers à la carte or a generous buffet option. I had dinner here during my stay and was really impressed by the choice and quality of the buffet, with stations for Chinese, Indian, Italian, Japanese, and Sri Lankan cuisine – as well as a salad bar and dessert area.

Staff were really friendly and I really enjoyed dining here as a solo traveller, discussing favourite cuisines with the waitress. You don’t stand out either, as even guests in large groups are leaving and returning to the table on rotation.

Emperor’s Wok is the hotel’s more high-end restaurant, offering Cantonese and Szechuan cuisine for dinners daily – plus an all-you-can-eat dim sum feast every Saturday from 12pm-3pm.


The hotel is well-equipped for meetings and events, boasting 1,373 sqm of event space across 17 flexible meeting and banqueting spaces – including a 730 sqm pillarless ballroom.


Within the grounds is a 90-foot-long outdoor pool surrounded by an urban garden, with an adjacent kids’ pool, and a fitness centre


Hilton Colombo is a great option for business travellers, with rooms upgraded in the ongoing renovation, while guests can also enjoy great facilities for work and play – plus excellent dining options. Service is also standout, with staff in every department making me feel at home.


  • Best for Hosting events and business meetings, with friendly service in a convenient location
  • Don’t miss Indulging at the fittingly named Graze buffet
  • Price Rates from US$184
  • Contact 2 Sir Chittampalam A Gardiner Mawatha, Colombo, 00200, Sri Lanka; +94 112 492 492;
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The cover of the Business Traveller April 2024 edition
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