We choose to stay at the Dutch House following trip advisor reviews and numerous recommendations in guide books .Sadly, it did not meet our expectations.
Service standards were poor compared to other boutique hotels we used on our stay in Sri Lanka. Once a person i presumed to be the manager showed us to our room we were left to our own devices. There was no information in the room which meant we had to seek out one of the two members of staff for all the rudiments of our stay, i.e wifi code, pads for pool loungers, towels for the pool , meal times etc. Throughout our stay no one offered us anything such as a cool drink or even enquired if we needed anything. In fact ,other than serving breakfast and enquiring whether we wanted lunch or dinner there was no interaction.The staff had a general air of indifference.
The room itself was tired. Flaking paint, frayed bathmats,cheap amenities,sparking electrical adaptors, bulbs missing in lamps and a furiously noisy airconditioning unit. There was no in room safe and the windows contained no glass. With the blinds requiring to remain shut to benefit from the airconditioning and attempt to keep out mosquitoes the room was gloomy.
The pool furniture was either dilapitated or recently renewed. The latter was made from roughsawn wood. There was only one umbrella offering shade.
We used the bar and restaurant in the adjacent sister property once. The bar was full of a noisy unwelcoming group, possibly expats, which necessitated sitting in the courtyard. When the barman brought our drinks one tumbled to the floor due to an broken tabletop . Despite reserving our table and being shown the menu on arrival the waiters attention was taken up with the large group and after waiting to be shown to our table, we gave up and found the waiter ourselves.A person who i believed was the owner was in the courtyard but made no attempt to enquire whether we were enjoying our stay or indeed even acknowledge us.
In contrast, the day of our departure a new party of guests arrived. Staff multiplied and came out of the woodwork. Garden furniture was rearranged, unseen pads appeared and we were asked by the returning manager if we had ordered our breakfast. In fact we had not, but we took this as a cue to hurry up as the party which had arrived en masse and camped on the verandah clearly wanted our room. In fact the staff attempted to change the bedclothes in our room before we had even finished breakfast.
This is a grand old dame of boutique hotels but at $320 a night it is tired and in immediate need of care, attention and intrusive management oversight. What a shame.