Main Terminal, Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport, Sri Lanka
This is my review of the Srilankan Airlines Serendib Lounge in Sri Lanka’s Colombo Airport. Ostensibly, this is Srilankan’s flagship lounge, is is certainly the best of the lounges at Colombo.
Officially, said to be for ‘security reasons’, the lounge isn’t a huge fan of taking photos. So I took some discrete ones, and of course have made sure nobody is identifiable. I suspect in reality, there is an underlying different reason for not allowing photography – but in its context I found this lounge good, so don’t see that they have anything to hide!
Various dates and times in October 2022.
The lounge is open 24 hours a day.
Seemingly this lounge is open only to those flying on Srilankan Airlines in either Business Class or First Class.
If you are a OneWorld Emerald member, then access to this lounge is not available – and you need to visit the Serendiva Lounge, which is pretty poor!
Another factor about this lounge is that it’s ‘by invitation only’, and they mean this literally. You are literally given an invitation to use a lounge in Colombo. Much confusion ensued when I had handed my invitation at the Serendiva Lounge, despite flying Business Class with Srilankan Airlines!
They also don’t seem to understand any of the OneWorld tiers.
How to Get There
Once you’re through security, make a left and you’ll find the large brown doors next close to Duty Free.
If you’ve just landed, then you’ll need to walk to the end of the gates, make a right towards the shopping area, and you’ll find the doors on your right hand side.
Like the other lounges in Colombo, the furniture is reminiscent of a 1990’s furniture show room. Everything is lined up, or laid our slightly strangely, badly matched and gave the impression of just missing the price tags!
As you’ll see from my pictures, the lounge is quite very dark!
Generally this lounge offers casual seating, with coffee tables. The seating overlooks the apron of the airport.
There is a dining area, which has a modest-sized bar.
If you need to sleep or relax, there is a quiet room with a bunch of tired-looking (lined up) reclinable seats.
The one thing that has been completely overlooked in this lounge is the ability to charge anything. Nowhere at all were there any sockets or USB outlets for charging laptops or mobile phones. Although, I dare say when this this lounge was designed; laptops or mobile phones didn’t exist!
For this reason, it was difficult to find anywhere to work – there was nothing designed for working from. In the end, I sat in the dining area and managed to find a cleaner’s socket!
Food and Drink
In absolute fairness, I’d argue that the food and drink in this lounge was good, all things being considered.
In fact, I rather enjoyed the lunch/dinner offering! However it’s not quite what you’ll find elsewhere in the world!
Drinks were all self-served from the modestly sized bar. A variety of beers, wines, Piper champagne and spirits were on offer.
All food is a self-service from the fairly large buffet. I’d say it was a really good effort, and the chefs had thought about the presentation, rather than the usual slopping it all on a plate one sees in most lounges.
Breakfast served seemed to cater for a number of options. Close to a traditional English breakfast was offered, along with cheeses, breads, pastries, and fruits.
The lunch and dinner offering was curries, rice, sandwiches, breads, cheese, crackers, salad, fruit and a good choice deserts.
I really liked the way that the food was presented, it was a refreshing change!
The quality of the food was absolutely excellent, it tasted great, and high-quality produce was being used. I was impressed!
As I’ve previously written, unfortunately I really struggled with the Wifi. Everything was being rejected by the airport’s firewall, including Google Drive, DropBox, and even the paper! This is one thing that seriously needs improvement, as it’s simply impossible to work in this lounge – or even communicate. I found the same in the other lounges, so it must be an airport issue.
There are a few showers in this lounge on offer. The showers need to be requested from the front desk, and they will provide you with a towel and small refresher kit. I found my shower to be very hot indeed with good pressure, and I like a hot shower!
Officially, there is a spa offering various treatments. There is also (according to the website) 2D and 3D experiences. None of these were proactively offered – and I fear possibly may not quite meet my expectations, so I didn’t enquire.
As I’ve previously written, I should remind myself of the context of this lounge and this airport; war torn country; ongoing civil war; chronic shortage of key supplies; very small airport; etc.
With that said, all things considered – it’s a good lounge. But it’s tired, and needs more thought about working, device charging, etc. And maybe even an update on the decor and furniture!
But don’t change the food, it’s very good!