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Galle Fort Hotel

Galle Fort Hotel, Galle, Sri Lanka

Our rating: Medium

This charming hotel enjoys an enviable location within the ramparts of Galle Fort, a World Heritage site. The building itself is a beautifully restored colonial villa dating back to the time of the Dutch East India company in the 17th century. Its huge rooms, situated around a courtyard with a lovely pool, are lavishly decorated with unique period furnishings. Each of the 14 rooms is different; some are split with the bed on a mezzanine level and a seating area below. On the top floor, a huge two bedroom suite with a sitting area would be ideal for a family or two couples.

In 2007 the Galle Fort Hotel won the coveted UNESCO Award for 'Outstanding Conservation Achievement' - where the Hotel's restoration was described by the award committee as "A carefully considered transformation of an abandoned historic residential compound into a stylish boutique hotel has evocatively captured the spirit of place of the colonial world heritage fortified town of Galle. The restoration has been carried out with sensitivity to the historic fabric and the surrounding urban context, retaining the buildings modest scale and street facade."

Its enthusiastic owners confidently assert that their restaurant serves the best food in Sri Lanka, and it would be hard to contradict them. Dinners here are an experience, the menu is likely to include Thai, Malayasian and Vietnamese dishes prepared by local staff who have been meticulously trained on overseas visits.

Free yoga sessions are held every morning on request or in the evenings if you prefer a long lie in the very comfortable beds. A house masseur is also available offering Thai and Swedish massage.

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    Alternative places to stay nearby

    Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favourite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.

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    Experiences while staying here

    The following activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences of the area where you’re staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident’s eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can also suggest outdoor pursuits and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the traditions of the area’s inhabitants.

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      Your guide will take you into the walled area of the town which consists of narrow streets lined with European style buildings, traditional churches and small shops selling lace and jewelery.

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      Sri Lanka is becoming one of the most successful places to see both Blue and Sperm Whales, which can be found off the island's southern coast.