Sky Lounge (Kingsbury)

48 Janadhipathi Mawatha, Colombo 1


Kingsbury's roof top bar hasn't changed much since our last review of its opening month in 2013. We swung by on a cloudy Wednesday evening for sunset and some cocktails.


The view is still stellar (literally, because at night the stars are out and you're just a little bit closer to them that high up). There was a bit of a rough patch a couple of years ago view-wise while we were feeding the port city monster and construction marred the coastline. Now there's just a bit of beachy reclaimed land which looks bare but isn't an absolute eyesore. 

Sunset at Sky Lounge is still one of the best options in the city, with it's 360 view starting with the sea, slipping into the port, the Fort area, the World Trade Centre towers, and back to the Galle Road strip that stretches out like a multicoloured ribbon of headlights when the sun goes down. The crowd is generally pretty chill too. You'll get your usual couples, post-work drink buddies, and if you're unlucky or turn up late unruly Indian businessmen.

We love that Sky Lounge is now open till about 5 AM, which means if you're really determined or alcohol-dependent you can catch both sunset and sunrise.  


So this is where things get inconsistent and tricky. Sky Lounge's service has long been rumoured to be terrible, with slow or inattentive waiters. This usually gets worse as the place crowds up, with one or two waiters orbiting the usual "big spender" tables waving bottle of Belvedere (or more likely, Black Label) around. 

To be fair though, I've personally found their service to be decent. Slow, because I enjoy sitting right at the tables closest to the sea and those are furthest away from the bar, but decent. I was also a fan of erstwhile manager Nish who was incredibly diligent, ensuring I'd get seated on crowded days, check everything was fine, and always remembered my usual sunset order. Service appears to have slipped in his absence, but my complaints are still just primarily about how slow it can be. 

As for what we've heard from friends and quality, we're just not big fans of the quality of the service being contingent on the amount you're spending, especially later at night. 

Food & Drinks

They've revamped their food menu, which is pretty interesting and long overdue. There's a bunch of heavy bar options like ribs and chicken wings, but also a selection of Lankan bites/ starters which looked intriguing. They generally also have some food promotion going on (it's tempura right now).

We tried the Down South Special Hot Butter Prawn & Calamari at Rs. 1200. It was a little bit overpriced, especially in comparison to the tempura (Prawns at Rs. 600) but absolutely superb. The seafood was fresh and lightly cooked, and the batter was crispy and deliciously spiced. We swore the spice on it tasted like Doritos Spicy dust, but there's no proof of that. 

For drinks, we tried the King Coconut Refresher (Rs. 1200) and Mango Mojito (Rs. 1200) at first. The King Coconut Refresher while sounding delectable (raspberry vodka, malibu, mint leaves, fresh strawberries, king coconut water), tasted deplorable. It was so jaw-achingly sweet, and unappetizing to look at (it came in a water tumbler) that we had to ask for something else instead. The Mango Mojito was absolutely superb, with fresh mango and mint offsetting the generous amount of rum in there. 

We then switched to a Cosmopolitan (Rs. 1200) and a Passionfruit Daquiri (Rs. 1200). The Cosmo was fine, rather strong for our delicate sensibilities (jk, we're hardcore), and the Daquiri was great although the abundance of passionfruit seeds made for incredibly inelegant and difficult drinking. They look like martini glasses with low volume, but we found ourselves still drinking them 15 minutes later. 

All in all, great drinks barring the King Coconut special. Probably one of the priciest locations in town, but on happy hour (5:30 PM - 6:30 PM & 11:30 PM to 12:30 PM daily) it was totally worth it. with all drinks 50% off. 


We definitely really enjoyed our Sky Lounge experience, especially on happy hour.  The view was lovely despite the clouds, the service was great despite being slow, and the drinks were great despite the prices. All in all, it works out to a positive and enjoyable evening. It's worth giving their service another chance.

Posted by on 03 May 2013
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Colombo's newest bar/lounge has an impressive view, social buzz, decent if expensive food and drink, but mediocre service.

The Kingsbury Sky Lounge has a beautiful view, from the edge of Colombo Port to the Old Parliament and down the Galle Face Green. At sunset it's truly stunning, though most people seem to go there when the sea is dark, mainly to see and be seen. As the newest spot in the CMB the Sky Lounge is happening most evenings and if you show up at peak times you'll struggle to get a seat. Sadly, at any time you'll struggle to get good service.

The Scene

Sky Lounge is happening. Partly because it's the newest place in town but also because it's a really great location. The Kingsbury (formerly the Ceylon Continental) sits on prime real estate opposite the Galle Face Hotel and walking distance from the Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct and World Trade Center. Of all the city hotels, it has the best sea view, and it's been neglected for far too long. So now it's open, and it is a beautiful sight.

As mentioned, however, the place is nearly empty around 6 PM (sunset) and packed when it's dark.


Sky Lounge has an interesting if expensive drinks menu. They serve only imported beers and have a range of molecular shots (internationally these include foams and scientifically weird drinks, but here they are basically interesting and different shots). Also a lot of champagnes, martinis, etc. Which should give you an idea of the price range. Beers are around Rs. 700 and a shot goes for Rs. 1,000.


The food is quite good, though on the menu we got half the stuff wasn't available. That will change we assume. The Japanese selections are quite good and basics like cooking the meat correctly are attended to. They have a range of seafood and meat items and some interesting veg. They also have a varied chocolate bar - from fondue to poached pears. Again, all expensive, easily pushing Rs. 1000 a dish, going above Rs. 2000 for meats and special treats.


While the Sky Lounge waiters are nice enough, at various points we had to give an order three times (because menu items were unavailable) and were told we couldn't order because it was 10 minutes before the serving time (5:30 PM on the website, but he told us 6 PM). Problems arise, but how staff deals with them is the mark of good service versus bad. This service wasn't good.


You should check out Sky Lounge for the view if nothing else. It is expensive but it's a beautiful view of the sea and city, and one that will change as land is filled in to create new developments over the next decade. Yes, they're filling in the sea. Sky Lounge is a good use of space and for a certain clientele it's a welcome new place to go out.


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  • ChrishanthaJayasinghe-cj

    Thanks for the review was thinking of going there tonight but thought I will give it a miss after reading this the service as well as attention to detail at the Ocean is so much better.

    03 May 2013 01:58 AM Reply
  • AshraaqWahab

    Mediocre service sums it up perfectly! even places like O!Brewery are aeons ahead on service! Would never return to this place, despite the amazing view. Taking 10% service charge after such bad service is pure robbery!

    04 May 2013 06:21 AM Reply
  • pck

    Horrible service, will not return to this place for sure. Spend your money on a better place.

    06 May 2013 11:23 AM Reply
  • Homersimpsons

    The service is just horrendous, wouldn't recommend this place to anyone

    08 May 2013 12:02 AM Reply
  • druks

    Went last night and the place at first sight is very nice! Just the place to relax. However all the reviews and remarks about the service being pretty bad proved to be right as well. The waiters just aren't polished enough to give a good enough service (sadly to say) I am sure with the proper training and skill set, sky lounge has the potential to be a culinary experience!
    As for the food, again quite disappointing because 1 of the 2 menus given did had a list of items that weren't available. So that too was a bit of a bummer. Portions were small + taste was average and the price just did not seem to match up. Again we could not really say the place was 'value for money'.
    I really do hope Sky Lounge attempts to improve their service as well as their food ASAP because the place is really great!

    08 May 2013 12:29 AM Reply
  • Dave

    Went on the opening night - service was horrendous.

    Decide to give it another go a week or so back - service is still horrendous, possibly worse - if that's possible. They never seem to have what's on the menu, and on the both occasions I've been my beer has been served luke warm.

    Such a waste of a great opportunity.

    14 May 2013 01:53 AM Reply
  • vinokrish

    There has been quite a hype about this place so decided to check it out a couple of weeks back. The service was shocking and there is definitely no value for money. Worst part was that the glass roof was leaking bad while it was raining. So most people just ended up leaving.

    15 May 2013 06:18 AM Reply
  • Michael

    Great view, great music below poor service and a very rude manager, that's about sums up sky lounge

    15 May 2013 10:32 AM Reply
  • chanaka

    me dear friends ,my experience was horrible.Bad service i ever saw.i will never ever go there.

    17 May 2013 10:43 AM Reply
  • Cecil

    Great location. Very very poor service. Hopefully this will change with time……

    20 May 2013 08:37 AM Reply
  • daniel

    Never going back,,,,,horrible service,,,, and the dessert menu is deceiving,,pumpkin chocolate cream brule was a rip-off

    21 May 2013 04:44 AM Reply
  • naavee

    Very poor service, Awesome view. Don't give this place your money.

    30 May 2013 06:44 AM Reply
  • Charlie

    Sorry but I differ. Getting a table on the seaward side was no problem - OK, it was a Monday night, and way past sunset, probably a different story at the end of the week. The service was possible a bit lacklustre but may improve with time and I don't recall major problems. But the food - hot buttered cuttlefish and a chicken tandoori roll, both from the tapas menu - was excellent. The only problem - and a big one - was that among the tapas options, there was nothing vegetarian at all (proving what a carnivorous country Sri Lanka is) so my vegetarian friend was forced to have vegetable tempura - not a great option. The range of main courses was, I recall, limited and rather odd. The setting is great. The Sunday brunch downstairs is very good too but the redecoration of the whole place is tacky.

    31 May 2013 07:08 AM Reply
  • Jeremy

    Way too pricey, bad service…no let me say terrible service, would expect better from a four star hotel…a few drinks and some food came to an absurd price.10% service charge is for what ? We are paying for good service.We should get that!

    19 June 2013 06:44 AM Reply
  • Guy

    Overrated place. The staff was nice can barely speak English even to explain things to a Lankan. "What kind of food do you have here" I asked and a waiter said "bite menu sir". The view is also not fancy. Even by Lankan standards, the 9th floor is not that special. Also there's only one red and one white option if you're getting wine by the glass. Staff couldn't even easily tell what kind of a white it was. Who cares when there are no options right? I went here after a recommendation from a friend who is us usually good at picking spots and it's a let down. The crowd varies from ordinary folk you wouldn't expect to see at a supposedly upmarket place like this to foreign expatriates.

    27 June 2013 10:37 AM Reply
  • Parineeti

    Hmmmmm the place is nice,,, food is ordinary ,,,, drinks expensive,,,, view superb…… There are Better places to go

    02 July 2013 08:19 AM Reply
  • Rosh

    I read some of the reviews on Yamu and despite the negative outlook on the service I thought I will give the place a shot just to develop my own views. Given the recent renovation and extensive investment I thought maybe they would go that extra mile and rectify the issues. I was WRONG…the location was fantastic but that was as far as the good part goes the rest is down hill…staff are highly inexperienced the managers are rude and dont know how to handle the situations and despite having over 12 people to serve the night on a very very slow night we had to wait over 20 minutes for one mock tail and over 30 minutes for a plate of calamari. portions were very very small and there is really no value for money. Would I go again…?? NOT unless the service improves by about 10 fold.

    10 August 2013 03:14 AM Reply
  • Niks

    horrible service from the stewards to the manager… There was a bug in ma drink… They refused to waive off as it was not their fault… sucha disastrous place…

    10 August 2013 08:00 AM Reply
  • AnotherIndi

    17000 rupees later and spicy food which no star class hotel would serve. very disappointing. this is getting to be a bloody headache where sri lankans think they can charge jaks**t just because they have a view doesnt any manager look in to having repeat customers??

    24 August 2013 01:47 AM Reply
  • mark

    the cocktails are horrible with little or no alcohol in it - this place is a rip off

    06 September 2013 04:52 AM Reply
  • Avinda

    The food is not the money. Very limited menu. Everything is so overpriced. Service was delayed on both occasions I was there. But full marks for ambiance.

    24 September 2013 01:50 PM Reply
  • Vinnie

    Very disappointing….Service was horrible…would not go there again!!!!

    30 September 2013 09:38 PM Reply
  • nira

    Comment on service is very true! what a pity it is such a lovely venue…!

    01 December 2013 10:25 AM Reply
  • SurovSki

    I think the service has improved. I first went there in August and the service wasn't great but I've been there twice now in the past couple of months and on both occasions the service has been very good. They've come around and asked how the cocktails were, if we were having a good time and they were quite chatty which is not the norm - I was impressed by this. They also serve the best Lychee Martini I've ever had!

    21 December 2013 09:10 PM Reply
  • aro

    food is ok. drinks expensive! dont go in rainy days

    25 December 2013 01:30 AM Reply
  • Chanaka

    Its better to by a bottle and get drunk at galle face green with over looking Indian ocean Don't give this place your money what i liked there was the view

    27 December 2013 10:19 AM Reply
  • Local345

    service is horrible and hopeless in both harbor court restaurent and sky bar. management should hire proper skilled and professional people at better pay. every worker seems unhappy.saw internal disputes among workers that led to poor or no good customer service experiences. They simply do not know how to get a reservation in a restaurant.Reservation had not been available though i made it in person.Saw many foreigners complaining to them while we were having food.Good thing is we love their food.Staff should be revamped.

    17 February 2014 05:13 AM Reply

    i just went in to see what the hype is about this place…well its quite amazing…good place,good drinks…prices are bit on the expensive side. service was bit delayed as i went on a tight day perhaps.i hope they add bit more on to the cocktail list…i think i will go to the place again.

    17 February 2014 07:25 PM Reply
  • Piyal

    hello lovely people….
    just wondering if any one got the menu ? wanna know how much roughly wud cost for two…

    09 March 2014 11:04 PM Reply
  • simon

    Slighty overpriced. Could be forgiven due to location. … but unfortunately the service is terrible. Staff and managers seem clueless. A real turn off to what could be a great bar with a little bit of effort and professionalism.

    22 March 2014 05:40 AM Reply
  • Ron

    Very disappointed with the cocktails… they barely had alcohol in them. Its not worth for the price even if you go during happy hour. The service was also very bad. Even though the place is beautiful I wouldn't be going again.

    29 March 2014 05:21 AM Reply
  • JanithDeZoysa

    Overpriced, chairs and table arrangements are just so close together, it was really hard to move. The Dj's are great. Service is not pleasant.

    11 May 2014 02:36 PM Reply
  • RandomVisitor

    Indecent, unprofessional Service - I went there in Jan 2014 on a Monday that's when they offer the 35% off on all beverages irrespective of whether they alcoholic or not. but then again I went in Feb 2014 on a Monday and just had a Mojito. They did not offer the 35% off saying that it is given only for alcohol beverages not normal drinks. This is very unfair and unacceptable, they advertise on paper and social media on promotions and to attract customers but this is what they do. A policy has to be a consistent policy. I can either mention the bill numbers or email a scanned copy of bills for whoever wants as evidence. I like the place not the service crew, that's low grade and cheap. dishonesty for the whole organization.

    30 May 2014 05:03 AM Reply
  • Mark

    The good:
    Location - stating the obvious
    Service - must have improved now because it was actually good when I went there. The waiters were fast, attentive and polite (and cute). The girl at the door has a bit of an attitude, though.
    The bad:
    Drinks - I didn't taste any alcohol whatsoever in my mojito.
    Menu - very limited number of cocktails. I mean, seriously. Not even a tequila sunrise? There were only about 5-6 cocktails in the list, which is a real pity.
    Prices - ridiculously high to begin with, and made absurd by the taxes.
    Food- just meh.
    Music- too loud, imo. A loud DJ goes against the whole vibe of the place. People go there to chill out, chat & relax, not to dance. So why the loud DJ? I had to shout the whole time to talk to my friends.

    Verdict- I'd go there again just for the location, but nothing much to say about the place other than that.

    12 July 2014 10:24 AM Reply
  • ravipathiravithana

    i felt this as only a good vantage position

    24 July 2014 04:32 AM Reply
  • CS

    Overrated horrible place. We went to this so-called best lounge-bar (11th Dec Friday) in Colombo due to the insistence of a friend (who was giving us a farewell party before migrating to Australia) of ours. It has a nice view of the harbor and Colombo, but the experience is totally ruined by:

    (1.) Extremely expensive booze: My friend had to dish out 27k for a bottle of Chivas.
    (2.) Very limited food menu: There are only a handful of choices.
    (3.) Extremely expensive food: We ordered a portion of lobster tempura and a portion of fried chicken. Problem is with the portions. One portion is enough for only 1 person.
    (4.) Very bland tasteless food: Food sucks. No taste. Very bland.
    (5.) Here is main reason everything is ruined here: EXTREMELY LOUD MUSIC played by a bad DJ. This is a lounge/bar and not a night-club. There is no dance floor. Why have a DJ blasting crap music? People go to bars to relax and have chat and not listen to crap music by DJs. The music was so loud that we could not hear ourselves talk.
    (6.) Unprofessional staff: Even after telling a couple of managers, still they did not reduce the volume.

    The only thing that made me happy was that I did not have to pay the bill. My friends did that.

    Don't ever go to the SKY LOUNGE. Useless place.

    17 December 2015 09:15 PM Reply