Coastal Basecamp

Galle Fort Hotel

Galle, Sri Lanka

Prices From: $206

"Take one ancient walled fort town, a sprawling 17th Century merchant's house and two stylish Aussies with a flair for food and interiors and you have the perfect colonial meets Ceylon chic bolthole. Set on a narrow street where auto rickshaws and cycles vie with the ocassional linen upholstered Ambassador ( from the Aman resort up the road) the Galle Fort Hotel conjures up a lost era, when Somerset Maugham blazed the traveller's trail. Think whirring fans and cocktails on the terrace, served by serene sarong clad staff. The enormous guest rooms, decorated sparely with impressive Sri Lankan and Chinese antiques are clustered around a shady courtyard where pink frangipani petals confetti the pool. Front of house is former television producer Karl Steinberg, while fellow Sydneysider Christopher Ong oversees the kitchen, turning out sensational Straits Chinese food. Luscious three course dinners are astonishingly cheap, with a just opened private dining room displaying Ong's impressive porcelain collection."

The 13 rooms and suites combine imposing Sri Lankan antiques with a pared-down style that is both cooling and soothing. Choose from the Cheng Ho Pavilion with a 19th-century-style Asian carved opium (day) bed and double-storey outdoor bathroom with plunging waterfall shower, or a loft suite with private verandah. Le Grand Appartement du Comte de Mauny, occupying the entire top floor of the old wing, is particularly swish, featuring two ensuite bedrooms, with the mosquito net-swathed four-poster bed dressed in handmade cotton sheets and separated by an enormous salon-cum-dining room.

The hotel's public areas are dotted with outsized artefacts from an impressive collection of blue and white porcelain. Elsewhere, antique offering plates are piled with mounds of pomegranates, and ceramic urns are crammed with torch-ginger flowers. Staff are friendly, attentive and expert multi-taskers. One minute the devastatingly handsome in-house masseur, Lasanthe, is dispensing an expert Thai massage, the next he's serving drinks at dinner.

The hotel owes much of its charm to its location, sequestered on one of only a handful of narrow streets in a fort ringed by walls 20m thick and atop a small south-facing promontory skirted with coral reefs. Visiting in the '70s, Paul Theroux described the "rufous gold" of the luminous sunsets and the "palm-scented ocean".


Region: Asia - South

Nearest Airport: CMB

28 Church Street
Fort Galle
Sri Lanka


Breakfast Breakfast

Day Tours Day Tours

Hiking Trekking Hiking Trekking

Wildlife Wildlife

Fishing Fishing

General Information

- For safety reasons we are unable to allow children under 12 years of age to stay with us in the Hotel without prior agreement.
- We do not have triples.
- Additional bed $25 per day for a child over 12 only and only in a suite.
- Rates are in US dollars and are subject to a statutory levy of 17.25% and a service charge of 10% (includeded in rate).
- March 31st - April 14th is Easter 2007, December 18th - January 8th is Christmas/New Year and the cricket all attract a 25% supplement and minimum 3 days stay.
- Cancellation less than 14 days before booking will result in a 100% cancellation fee.
- Half board is $24 pppd
- Full board is $34 pppd

Cancellation Policies

- Cancellation less than 14 days before booking will result in a 100% cancellation fee.
- If cancelled 14 days prior to arrival, amount will be refunded in full.