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Galle Fort Hotel

Galle, South Coast, Sri Lanka

We are extremely saddened by the events that took place in Sri Lanka on Sunday 21st April. We've been following the situation closely and with the recent changes in security, we're pleased to say that we can support the people of Sri Lanka and once again offer trips to this beautiful country.

At a Glance

  • Classic colonial charm with 21st century comfort

  • Rooms feature antique four-poster beds and wooden shutters opening onto wide verandas, taking you back in time to it's occupation as a gem merchants house

  • Due to the design of the building, most rooms look into the courtyard as opposed to out to the town

  • The cafe bar is a great place for meeting other travelers

  • The hotels serves some of the best food in Sri Lanka - both western and Asian

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Best time to Visit

Good time to visit

Average time to visit

From May to August the Yala monsoon brings rain to the island’s southwestern half. The southwest has the highest rainfall – up to 4000mm a year. There is also an inter-monsoonal period in October and November when rain can occur in many parts of the island. Colombo and the low-lying coastal regions have an average temperature of 27°C. The sea stays at around 27°C all year. Climatically speaking, the driest (and best) seasons in Sri Lanka are from December to March for the west and south coasts.

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Insider's View

If you're looking for Sri Lankan food, head out of the hotel as they don't serve it. They do, however, serve delicious food from around Asia.

For older families, the Mews is a really fun and unique suite with kids beds up on the mezzanine floor

Only go for the Loft room if you are prepared to go downstairs to the loo in the middle of the night.

The Grand Apartment boasts two bedrooms connected by a large living room - ideal for big families

The left wing of the hotel is over 400 years old and the walls are made from coral, lime, sand and honey!

The bar in the evening can get quite lively - join in and grab a cocktail!

For the ultimate slumber party opt for the Library Suite boasting 2 Kings sized beds

Call us on 858 523 9000 to start planning your vacation to Galle Fort Hotel or take a look at our itineraries to South Coast

Description

The renovation of Galle Fort Hotel is a triumph. The hotel evokes a subtle sense of colonial grandeur, skilfully updated for the modern age. This 12-roomed luxurious boutique hotel is an ideal base from which to explore Sri Lanka’s southern heritage.

Galle Fort Hotel's social heart is a convivial café bar, offering good-quality snacks, tea, coffee and alcohol, where Galle’s great and good come to gossip or watch the world go by. Yet the demands of guests are never overlooked and once you walk into the main hotel area, a more private interior unfolds – verandas and courtyards, columns and arches, all carefully restored to their original grandeur. A newer building at the back blends seamlessly, following the same period architecture. The interiors are elegantly furnished with a minimalist style, blending the old with the new. A sense of romanticism and tranquillity permeates this hotel, enriched further with the occasional chanting of the Muezzin from the nearby mosque.

The inner courtyard, with a small garden and 10-meter swimming pool, one of the largest in the Fort, offers a tranquil and exclusive area for guests. But a sense of history does not mean that the Galle Fort’s guests will gather dust; far from it.

The charming cafe-bar is becoming a favoured meeting point, with the Australian owners encouraging a genial atmosphere where intelligent opinions are to be shared, not hidden. An exciting restaurant, somewhat expensive by the standards of Southern Sri Lanka, yet very much in tune with Fort prices, receives positive feedback for its classic Asian-West dishes, freshly and locally bought, and overseen by the owner-chef Christopher Ong.

The staff ensure a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Meals can be taken on the terrace, the bar or in a grand dining room. Samanthe, the in-house male masseur, is trained in traditional Thai and Swedish Oil massage. A UNESCO award of distinction was given to the Galle Fort hotel in 2007 for "conservation excellence" and for "capturing the spirit of the Fort."

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Accommodation

The Galle Fort Hotel has 12 exquisite air-conditioned rooms and suites each with a unique interior and opening out to the central courtyard and the swimming pool. All the rooms are luxuriously furnished with king-sized beds dressed with canopied mosquito netting, crisp white linen and comfortable pillows. The en-suite bathrooms are stylish and have showers with hot and cold water.

Garden Rooms

Three very generous rooms, each air-conditioned with a modern king size four-poster bed, luxurious white cotton sheets and a canopied mosquito net. The gallery bathroom has a shower, Grohe taps and Italian fittings. Beyond double French doors is a tiny, private parterre garden and wall fountain, and the poolside verandah provides a comfortable daybed to overlook the hotel courtyard and garden. Perfect for a lazy afternoon reading or for taking tea with freshly baked coconut and lime tart, or perhaps writing your postcards back home. The garden rooms are comfortable for two people and book early.

Loft Suites

More like a small villa these large, double storey, fully air-conditioned suites have a romantic loft bedroom overlooking the garden and pool from your antique four poster bed.

The sitting room is elegant and comfortable and furnished with antique almaris, long cushioned settees and a round, antique, dining table. A six meter atrium rises above the staircases where they open onto a light- filled inner courtyard framed with a panel of ancient tiles and fan palms. The large, verandah is furnished with colonial-style furniture and has views of the swimming pool, garden and grand colonnade.

Porcelain Suite

A fully air-conditioned suite with twenty foot ceilings and its own separate dressing/bathroom. The monumental Dutch windows and shutters open onto a spectacular, columned walkway which frames the courtyard, swimming pool and garden. The towering, bedroom walls feature C18th, blue & white porcelain imported by the Chinese to the Galle area. The antique Sri Lankan cabinets and four poster bed make this one of our most spectacular and romantic suites.

Very elegant !

Admiral Cheng Ho Suite

To commemorate the visit of Admiral Cheng Ho to Galle in 1406, this oversized, double-storey suite, with 36-foot ceilings, has been decorated with antique Chinese and South-East Asian fittings. The suite has two air conditioners and accommodation on two levels, which comprises a double bed upstairs and an antique Chinese opium bed downstairs.

A Chippendale-style staircase leads to a screen made from rare, antique columns. It provides privacy from the generous living area below. The two-storey outdoor bathroom has 36-foot columns with a huge, elevated waterfall shower: just like standing in a fresh tropical downpour.

Library Suite

This outsized, fully air-conditioned suite has two king size four-poster beds and a large separate bathroom with a generously-proportioned open shower.

The Library Suite features a chest and almirah made from the rarest 'tiger' satinwood and 'king' ebony and its cosy sitting area opens up as a balcony onto the archway of the main building. Perfect for small families, those traveling with parents or for two people wanting a king size bed each.

Swanky!

Grand Apartment 1

This grandiose, majestically-proportioned suite is one of two which together form the Grand Apartment. It is fully air-conditioned with its own attached bathroom with oversized shower.

Original shuttered windows, twelve-inch teak floorboards, and fifteen-foot lime-washed ceilings are part of an original design by the Comte de Mauny, the Edwardian 'faux noble' who escaped to Ceylon after his English wife found him in bed with his valet .

Stunning. ( but without valet!)

Mews Suite

A mini private villa with an air-conditioned cubby house for the kids.

Through the huge double-storey archway and behind solid wooden Jaffna Gates, you’ll find our Mews Suite.

Newly rebuilt and designed so we can welcome small families to the hotel. Upstairs kids can hang out in their own cubby mezzanine, with its low-slung king size bed, while downstairs, parents have their own private bedroom and en suite which leads onto a frangipani-filled courtyard garden with daybed and an open granite shower.

Grand Apartment 1 & 2

This grandiose, majestically-proportioned apartment occupies the entire top floor of the old wing and has two fully air-conditioned king size bedrooms, each leading off to their own attached bathrooms and oversized showers. With its private, full-length colonnaded verandah, this is the largest hotel suite in Sri Lanka.

Original shuttered windows, twelve-inch teak floorboards, and fifteen-foot lime-washed ceilings are part of an original design by the Comte de Mauny, the Edwardian 'faux noble' who escaped to Ceylon after his English wife found him in bed with his valet .

It is possible to rent just one of the apartment’s suites and share the living room and verandah.

Childcare

Children are welcome at Galle Fort Hotel, but please be aware the minimum age for children is 3 years old. Please also note there are no specific facilities available for them.

Facilities

Enjoy a mix of delicious of Western and Sri Lankan cuisine at Galle Fort Hotel. Try the traditional Sri Lankan rice and curry, a must when visiting this teardrop isle. The hotel also serves alcohol here, so guests can enjoy a drink on the terrrace after a day's sightseeing.

Activities

Galle Fort Hotel is located on Church Street, in the center of this historcial setting. Visit the cafés, boutique shops and dine in some of the best restaurants around. Elsewhere we can arrange cycling in the surrounding area and visits to Koggala Lake or one of the many golden beaches along this coast.

Reviews

5

Lucy Black (Staff)

I think the Galle Fort Hotel is probably my favorite hotel in Galle. The courtyard is absolutely beautiful and has such a nice atmosphere - the perfect place to enjoy a cup of tea after a day of exploring, or a delicious pre-dinner cocktail.

The rooms are lovely, with antique furniture and an understated feel. The suites are a different matter, with each decorated in an individual style; for example the Porcelain Suite has one wall filled with shelves featuring antique plates and bowls, whereas the Admiral Cheng Ho Suite has Chinese lanterns hanging from the ceiling.

If you are interested in history, David the new General Manager is an absolute fountain of knowledge and can tell you interesting facts such as the left wing of the hotel is over 400 years old and the walls are made from coral, lime, sand and honey!

4

Clare Monro (Staff)

Galle Fort Hotel is bursting with charm and is perfect for those looking for a heritage hotel experience. The rooms and suites surround an internal courtyard where the pool is located, and are all pretty different in size, layout and decor. It is fantastically located for anyone looking to explore the fort. Well suited to couples or to older families.

5

Susie Reynolds (Staff)

A real gem of a hotel. Small and unassuming, very authentic and homely with oodles of colonial charm. It's a little more rustic than it's Aman neighbor and without the price tag is great value for a special stay in the Fort. It's the sort of place you leave wondering if you can make your own home look it's interiors.

Experiences

  • A Southern Blend - Visit a Tea Plantation

    It is not just Sri Lanka's Hill Country that is home to tea plantations; not far from Koggala Lake is the South Coast's very own tea plantation. See the ladies plucking tea leaves and visit the tea factory and learn about Sri Lanka's most famous export.

  • Explore Galle Fort

    While staying in the Galle Fort take the time to discover this fascinating colonial town, filled with history. Founded in 1588 by the Portuguese, the fort was subsequently occupied by the Dutch and the British, so there is plenty to explore.

  • Explore the Kapu Ela River by boat & Cycle through Rural Galle

    Enjoy a scenic and immersive tour through the beautiful countryside surrounding Galle. Your journey will take you down the Kapu Ela River by boat and then by bike across the paddies, ending with a traditional Sri Lankan meal and a lesson in hopper making.

  • Galle Cooking Experience - Food for the Soul

    During your time in Sri Lanka you are sure to dine on some soul-stirring dishes, including the traditional Sri Lankan rice and curry. Food lovers will love this cooking experience, from the vibrant market of Galle to cooking in a local village.

  • Galle Fort Tour with a Local Host

    Galle’s main attraction is the 17th century Dutch Fort. Much of the old Fort and the township still remain, within its well-preserved bastions including its public buildings, churches, the famous lighthouse and a maze of narrow cobbled streets.

  • Hopper Cooking Class at Why House

    The foodie in you will love this hands on cooking class at the beautiful Why House. A delectable Sri Lankan staple, hoppers are iconic in Sri Lanka and are delicious when served with a range of chutneys, sambols and curries.

  • Kanneliya Rainforest Trek

    One of Sri Lanka's hidden secrets, Kanneliya Rainforest Reserve is an enchanting forest reserve which is home to some incredible wildlife. Within the thick canopy, explore this wild and undisturbed scenery, accompanied by your wildlife tracker.

  • Sailing & Snorkelling Excursion

    Climb aboard a beautiful 48ft catamaran, and sail along the south coast of Sri Lanka stopping at private coves to stand-up paddle board, snorkel over colorful reefs, swim or soak up the sun while your crew take the helm.

  • Visit a Cinnamon Plantation

    Today head to Villa Mayurana, close to Koggala on Sri Lanka's South Coast. Learn about the process of growing cinnamon and the history that goes with it. Still a major export, cinnamon has medicinal values as well as being used in everyday cooking.

  • Weligama - Deep Sea Fishing

    Enjoy some deep sea fishing in the waters of the southern town of Weligama. Perfect for beginners or those more experienced at fishing, let your skipper help you catch some big game fish from sharks and tuna to marlin and swordfish.

  • Whale and Dolphin Watching by Private Catamaran

    On this full day boat trip you will have the opportunity to spot vast amounts of marine life from blue whales, false ores, sperm whales and bottlenose dolphins.

  • Whale Watching by Private Speedboat

    Spend three relaxing hours on a private speedboat off the coast in search of the planets largest mammals.

Location & directions

Galle, South Coast, Sri Lanka

Galle Fort Hotel is set in Galle's historic fort, a Unesco World Heritage site, about 3-4 hours from Colombo in Sri Lanka.

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Call us on 858 523 9000 to start planning your vacation to Galle Fort Hotel or take a look at our itineraries to South Coast

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