Galle Fort Hotel

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, South Coast, Sri Lanka
Galle Fort Hotel
  • 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 travellers

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-metre 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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Top tip:

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.

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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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