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5/5

The Castle Hotel

Masjidul Jamiah Road, Colombo 2

  • This place has closed down


The Castle Hotel is the finest of dodgy bars.



The Castle Hotel is the finest of dodgy bars. This is an active working class bar in a beautiful, crumbling and soon to be demolished building in Slave Island. It's worth visiting while it's still around, but please read on so you know what you're getting into.

The Location

This is actually an old picture of the location. Castle Hotel (in the center) is still standing but everything to the right of it (your left) has been demolished. TATA is building a residential/commercial properties there and the Castle Hotel, also, will be demolished soon, we think in about a year.

We will miss the place. The building has been around since the 1800s, being named the Castle Hotel in 1875. It has the solid simple architecture of that time period. Everything is roughly symmetrical, there are two big halls on either side and a staircase right up the middle which splits into two as you climb. It's a beautiful structure.

The building, however, is not very well maintained. It's actually crumbling and rot is seeping through the walls. The Castle Hotel has a good soul, but the body is ancient and falling apart.

Note that this place isn't especially clean (though it isn't dirty). There's usually a cat roaming around, sometimes thrown paper on the floor and it can smell like sweat and get a bit loud. 

Drinks And Food

The Castle Hotel is an actively working class bar. They serve mainly arrack and beer (you may find local gin or brandy, but this really isn't the place to have a cocktail). We didn't note down the prices cause we never use a menu here. The prices here are basically as cheap as a bar gets. We ordered three rounds of arrack and beer for Rs. 900 among two people, along with soda and ginger beer chasers.

They also do nice chili fries and deviled bites for Rs. 200 and up.

This place won't hit your wallet much as it's meant for the cheapest of cheap drinkers.

Service

Solomon (ask for him) is a young waiter here and he's always smiling and quite charming. The other waiters are quite functional and at this sort of place they serve you efficiently and fast. 

Note that the clientele here is usually 100% male. You can come here as a mixed group safely and, indeed, we know women that come here alone, but you would attract attention. They get a fair amount of tourists so we'd say it's safe, but it may feel uncomfortable for ladies.

Conclusion

The Castle Hotel is a beautiful building with an exceedingly simple and cheap bar inside. It's not especially clean or well-maintained, but the great charm to the place, especially since it will be bulldozed very soon.


TIP

Ask for Solomon. The french fries with chili are good.

Address

Masjidul Jamiah Road, Colombo 2

Directions

From Galle Face Roundabout, go up Macan Markar Mw, over the canal and turn left immediately after the rail tracks. From Colombo 7, head down Union Place, go straight at the junction and turn right before the trail tracks.

Report Inaccuracy

This place has closed down

Price Range

Between Rs. 500 - Rs. 1000

Ratings Breakdown

Overall Rating
5
Quality Rating
5
Service Rating
5
Ambience Rating
5
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