Located on one of the narrow streets in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the old Galle Fort, the Galle Fort Hotel is in the perfect setting from which to explore this historical town and its surroundings. Originally built in the 17th century this mansion has been transformed into a chic boutique hotel, but which still retains the atmosphere of a long lost age.
The dining room and inner Verandah are reserved for in house guests and it is here that the delicious cuisine overseen by Christopher Ong may be lingered over. Menus are created from whatever is the freshest produce available daily in the local markets, with seafood and fresh fish enhanced by the addition of herbs spices and Thai curry pastes.
From the hotel it is easy to explore Galle Fort with its old winding streets in which the houses, churches and official buildings are all reminders of its colonial past. Walk around the ramparts, maybe sit and watch a cricket match in the ground far below. Journey through the old gate into the hustle and bustle of modern Galle, visit the vibrant markets or venture further to one of the sandy beaches along the coast.
Return to the Galle Fort hotel and join the outside guests who gather with residents on the front Verandah to enjoy the ambience while sipping cocktails and listening to music playing softly.
Each of the 12 beautiful rooms and suites differs slightly in design, but all are very spacious, have the finest linens, fabrics and amenities and are furnished with a mixture of Chinese and Sri Lankan antiques. Three garden rooms have king size four poster beds, Italian fittings in the gallery bathrooms and French doors leading to a private parterre garden. The Four split level Loft Suites have a spectacular atrium rising above the staircase which links the elegant ground floor sitting room to the romantic bedroom upstairs. Each has a private Verandah, furnished with colonial style furniture and an inner courtyard, filled with light and framed with ancient tiles and palms. There are also five wonderful themed suites; The Blue & White Porcelain suite with 6 metre high vaulted ceilings and huge Dutch shuttered windows, the Cheng Ho Pavilion an exquisite split level suite, named to commemorate the visit of the Admiral Cheng Ho to Galle in 1406 it has a magnificent antique carved Chinese Opium bed, downstairs the two storey outdoor bathroom has 36ft columns with a huge waterfall shower. Featuring two king size four poster beds; a cosy sitting area which opens up as a balcony and with furnishings made from the rarest tiger satinwood the Library Suite is perfect for small families. The wonderful Grand Apartment, part of an original design by the eccentric Comte de Mauny, featuring fifteen foot high lime washed ceilings, teak floorboards and windows with their original shutters; it occupies the entire top floor of the old wing. With two bedrooms and a private full length colonnaded verandah, it has to be one of the most stunning suites in Sri Lanka. The self-contained Mews Suite benefits from its own private entrance and courtyard garden. The ground floor houses a king size bed and large granite shower room, while upstairs a mezzanine level has a single bed, making this suite ideal for families.