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“Very Basic, Not Clean, Poorly Maintained”
Review of Ranjit's Ambalama

Ranjit's Ambalama
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Ranjit's Ambalama
Ranked #74 of 156 Colombo B&B and Inns
Reviewed 21 July 2014

This is a very basic place and as such, considering the room rates, this may very well work for some, especially if you are traveling on a budget. However, no matter how affordable, this does not mean lack of cleanliness and poor maintenance are okay. My room was spacious with a large bed (at least for one person), an okay mattress (somewhat thin but not bad), and a hammock (perfect). However the sheets were not particularly clean and I found black pieces of something (dirt, ash, or perhaps something of a tree?) and sand in my bed. The bathroom is shared which was not a problem (nobody else staying in the room opposite so had it for myself). It was somewhat clean but very spartan though the shower is quite good. One of the windows in my room had a curtain missing because of which there was not much privacy. The owner apologized for this but apologies are just that right? There simply should be curtains and if they are not there you would expect to be offered a different room or the promise that it will be fixed asap. I moved out after one day as this was simply not a place I was comfortable in but like I said, it may certainly work for some. The place is indeed pleasantly secluded with a a nice garden and it is certainly away from busy traffic. If that's what you are looking for and you are not too bothered by the spartanness of the place or the somewhat lack of cleanliness and maintenance it is definitely an affordable place which oddly in a city like Colombo is actually somewhat difficult to find.

Room Tip: The garden-facing rooms are pleasant and get decent ventilation. Keep in mind though that the birds...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled solo
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Thank mbaas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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9 - 15 of 43 reviews

Reviewed 17 April 2014

I stayed at Ranjit's Ambalama with my sister at the end of our trip to Sri Lanka in January.

This place is a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of Colombo, but within walking distance or a short rickshaw away from the train station, excellent museum, town centre and great cafes and bars.

The rooms are simple but spacious and tidy, and the bathrooms are very clean. There are a multitude of interesting books to read at the house during your stay.

I highly recommend having the breakfast at the guesthouse (at an extra charge) - it is delicious.

I cannot thank Ranjit enough for his kind hospitality during our stay and for taking the time to talk to us about many things, ranging from Sri Lankan history, religion and meditation to travel overseas) but while while still respecting our privacy. Staying at the Ambalama truly was a very special end to our already amazing trip to Sri Lanka.

I highly recommend this guesthouse for any travellers who are after a bit of peace and quiet during their trip. It is in a great location, clean, comfortable with very kind, intelligent and interesting hosts - a very special place.



  • Stayed: January 2014
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Thank KFarrer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 December 2013

I needed a place to rest overnight on returning from the country before flying out the next day, and chose this as a fellow traveller had booked there.
The place is a little hard to find but if you follow the directions you're fine. The nearby mosque is a useful landmark (and the call to prayer isn't toooo early in the morning;-). We arrived about 7pm and Ranjit was there to greet us. The place basically feels like his home, which half of it is. 'His side' has its own secure street door and the 'guest side' is next door with another secure door. Prices quoted had not included 15% taxes and refundable Rs1000 key deposit, but were ok for what I got - I paid for a shared bathroom with no aircon but got a private en-suite bathroom by default as the other bedroom was not occupied:-) Room had 4 single beds all comfy enough (I tried them all :-) with good mosquito nets and adequate lighting, plus balcony (see pic). No problem with paying up front, and key deposit returned without hassle.
The place is nice and peaceful, but outside down Torrington Avenue if you turn left (South) it seems to be a night-time meeting point for the more disreputable tuk-tuk drivers - I wouldn't recommend walking there alone at night as a female, or frankly as a male! Turn right and you're ok though. The Colombo Cricket Ground is a 10 minute walk North.
Ranjit is a dignified and educated man who runs a respectable establishment - this is not the place for all night parties! The shower hose in the bathroom had split but he replaced it (with his own hose I suspect) in the hour or so I was out wandering, so top marks for attention to detail. He also arranged for my taxi to the airport which arrived on time. There are a couple of rather nervous dogs and a cat, but I'm sure if I'd stayed longer we would have got on fine.
Overall the place provided exactly what I wanted - peace and quiet, a comfortable bed, and nice fluffy towels! Can't comment on the provision of meals. Oh, and the wifi was free :-)

Room Tip: The 4 bed room has the bathroom effectively en suite, but shared with access via another door for th...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled solo
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Thank Lady_Tessa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 October 2013 via mobile

We had a lovely stay at Ranjit's in September. We felt a little overwhelmed by the heat and pace of the city- but walking through the gate, it felt like we were a million miles away. Comfortable big spacious airey rooms and a warm and wise host were the perfect combo for our stay. We plan to stay again before we leave Sri Lanka next week.

  • Stayed: September 2013
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1  Thank 124,789
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 September 2013

The place is really quiet, after two weeks of journey through Sri Lanka it was pleasant to take rest in a place as this one. The immense garden gives the sensation to be right in the middle of the jungle while the guesthouse is situated in full Colombo.
The owner is pleasant and nice. He gave us indications to visit the city and addresses of good restaurants.
We had a room with the common bathroom. The room was big, clean and provided with a mosquito net.
If I had only a reproach to be made it is maybe on the price of the breakfast. A bit expensive but on the other hand excellent, especially if you like the Sri Lankan food. The Egghoppers was a delight.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Yvana F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2013

Could you imagine a country house, with a huge garden, tables and sits under a porch, and an spacious living room? This is Ranjit's Ambalama, a pleasant guesthouse located in one of Colombo's best neighborhoods, Cinnamon Gardens.
Rooms are upstairs, and we had a big one, very clean and bright, with windows under the tree.
The owner, Ranjit, lives just beside the guesthouse. He was kind, helpful and very welcoming (as it was his dog!), and he gave us good suggestions
Be careful not to lose getting there, because Ranjit's place is kind of hidden and there is no sign. Any tuk tuk driver should know where it is.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Xxxav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 February 2013

wish I had done more research and read the reviews here on tripadvisor. The property was nice enough and with a little work it could be really nice. The door to our room was really dodgy and didn't shut well, there was a huge gap in the bathroom door that would leave little to the imagination of anyone that should chance by, (thankfully we were alone in that part of the house),
The price we found on the internet was not honored and in face about quadruple the price. Since we were only going to be there for one night and arrived after dark, we decided to just stay. The owner was pleasant enough I guess, but the bottom line was always money. 600 rupees for wifi???? Outrageous.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with friends
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3  Thank rhiannoncwynn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ranjit's Ambalama

Address: 53/19 Torrington Avenue, Colombo 00700, Sri Lanka
Region: Sri Lanka > Western Province > Colombo
Hotel Style:
Ranked #74 of 156 B&Bs / Inns in Colombo
Price Range: $55 - $88 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ranjit’s Ambalama in cinnamon gardens provides comfortable rooms in an eco friendly setting with a leafy courtyard, verandas and large garden with thick vegetation. A peaceful hideaway in a homey atmosphere with personalized service unique in the city of Colombo. It is very centrally situated in close proximity to all embassies, visa offices, shops and other places of interest in the city of Colombo with easy access to transport. Swimming pool nearby is available. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Ranjit`s Ambalama Hotel Colombo

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