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.
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."
When to visit
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.
Galle Fort Hotel is set in Galle's historic fort, a Unesco World Heritage site, about 3-4 hours from Colombo in Sri Lanka.
10-hour 45-minute direct flight to Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo. From Colombo airport it about a 3-hour drive to Galle Fort Hotel.
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.
Cycling Tour outside Galle
Spend half a day cycling through the beautiful Sri Lankan countryside outside Galle.
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.
Jeep Safari at Yala National Park
Enjoy a jeep safari to Yala National Park, the most famous National Park in Sri Lanka.
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 colourful 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.
Walking Tour of Galle Fort
Go on a walking tour of Galle with a local resident / guide.
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 Cruise from Mirissa
Go on whale and dolphin cruise in Mirissa in the months of December to March.
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.