The southern city of Galle is famous for the Galle Fort, an outcrop of land surrounded by fortified walls, full of quaint hotels, shops and streets for wandering around. Galle spreads inland from the Fort and is a great place to spend a few days, soaking up the sun and taking walking tours. There are plenty of large hotel chains in the area, but the best way to experience Galle, the fort and the beaches is by staying in one of the many boutique hotels.
The Taru Villa on Rampart Street has only four rooms in a 19th Century English Merchant house. All have modern amenities and gorgeous antique decor. The master suite has a beautiful bathroom with a tub overlooking the fort and the ocean. Four-poster beds and wooden armoires take you away to another era. The garden has a pool to lounge by for a lazy afternoon.
The Galle Fort Hotel was originally a Dutch mansion, and has been saved from ruin and neglect. Awarded the Asia Pacific Heritage Award of Distinction by UNESCO in 2007, the Galle Fort Hotel astounds guests with its impressive architecture and marvelous mix of old and new. It is inside the Galle Fort, right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the up-and-coming tourist quarter.
This 250-year-old manor sits on the outskirts of the Galle Fort. The manor has belonged to Sri Lankan aristocrats and to the British Admiral of the Peninsular and Orient Steam Navigation Company. Throughout the years, this manor has been a symbol of nobility. Now refurbished as a boutique hotel, Tamarind Hill has 10 rooms with four-poster beds and beautiful antique furniture. Bathroom amenities are inspired by Ayurvedic medicine, to soothe and relax the senses.
Modern lobby in the Fort Bazaar | Courtesy of Fort Bazaar
The Forth Bazaar in the heart of Galle Fort is a refurbished antique house that boasts a central courtyard and large archways. The very stylish rooms and spaces welcome visitors to relax and unwind in a clean-cut atmosphere that will make anyone want to stay a little longer. The Fort Bazaar is part of the Teardrop Hotels family, and is one of the favorite boutique hotels in the Galle Fort.
The Mango House hotel has seven unique bedrooms in an a Dutch colonial villa. Once a cinnamon factory, the villa has been lovingly restored and decorated in a fresh, modern Asian style. The entrance boasts a gorgeous garden with mango trees, palms and a beautiful lounging lawn. The Mango House is a green hotel, and tries very hard to protect the environment by cutting down on plastic and using solar energy.
Perched on a hill only five minutes from Galle city center, The Sun House has views over Galle. From the property you can see the beaches and the fort. The Sun House is the refurbished home of a Scottish spice merchant, built in the 1860s. There are 17 unique rooms and the famous Dick’s Bar on-site. The Sun House is famous in the area for the delicious Sri Lankan breakfast.
Amangalla is part of the Aman Resorts hotel line, and it doesn’t disappoint. The manor has 28 rooms in a building dating from 1684. The spa is particularly special in the Amangalla, and highly recommended. The secluded pool behind the main house is a good addition. The Amangalla is right in front of the famous Galle lighthouse, and is a sight to behold.