The historic port city of Galle is one of the most iconic destinations in the island due to its extensive maritime history. Named as a UNESCO world heritage site, the magnificent star-shaped Fort is a whirlwind of colonial monuments, chic cafes, quaint houses, museums and quirky art galleries – that is bound to fascinate the visitor. If you happen to be in Galle, visiting the 17C Fort is like a scavenger hunt – there’s something to be explored in every nook and corner. It’s a task worthy of several days and the ideal way is staying at a hotel situated within the Fort complex. And here are the best hotel rooms in Galle Fort that afford striking views of the Fort and the sea beyond – as chosen by the travel experts of Sri Lanka In Style.
Amangalla Suite, Amangalla Hotel
Taking pride within the ramparts of the Galle Fort, the hotel you see today was once used as an HQ for the Dutch commander in the 17C and later as a billet for British colonizers. Though each room and suite in the hotel offers redefined old-world luxury for an unforgettable getaway, if you fancy sweeping views, the luxurious Amangalla suite is the best choice. This 80 sq.ft suite decked in white, oozes colonial charm – king-sized four poster bed, chaise lounge, pettagama chest, painter’s chairs and freestanding bathtub. Its arched, shutter windows filter in fascinating views of the Fort ramparts, the harbor and the neatly manicured tropical gardens.
Le Grand Apartment du Comte de Mauny, Galle Fort Hotel
Galle Fort hotel offers opulent accommodation at the heart of the Fort. Featured at the 2016 Luxury Travel Awards, Galle Fort hotel began its hospitality journey as an 18C Dutch Villa. The hotel is located on the famed Church Street of the Fort complex, has 12 elegant rooms and suites. However, our preferred room is its Grand Apartment that occupies the entire top floor of the old wing and has two king-sized bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms and private verandah. Expanding over an area of 2,500 sq.ftt, this apartment comprises of a living and dining room with a classic eight-seater table. The apartment features original artworks, antique chests and cabinets and two large Dutch period four-poster beds. The original design was by the Comte de Mauny, an Edwardian `faux noble’, and acquaintance of Oscar Wilde, who lived on the island after fleeing his wife.
Upper Suite and Upper Family Suite, Fort Bazaar
This luxurious and characterful hotel in Galle Fort used to be a merchant’s house during the colonial epoch of the island. Tiled with handmade Vietnamese floor tiles and adorned with a Moroccan styled vibrant courtyard, Fort Bazaar features 19 handsome rooms. The hotel is fronted by its colorful restaurant and bar, Church Street Social located close to the lobby which leads to the outdoor courtyard and the rooms. However, our favourite rooms are the Upper Suite as well as the Upper Family Suite – obviously with a good reason. Located on the first floor overlooking the Galle Fort rooftops and the Indian Ocean, these two suites offer the best views. The suites are quite spacious and furnished with four poster beds, a cozy couch and a table. Both rooms have a spacious bathroom each fitted with a bathtub. The Upper Family Suite is connected to an additional loft room –great for families.
The Headmaster’s, The Fort Printers
An elegant 13 room bouquet hotel sweeping across three adjoining colonial era villas in the Fort complex, The Fort Printers was once featured on Condé Nast Traveler's Hot List as one of the best properties. The ancient building has been delicately refurbished preserving its unique heritage architectural elements. The original Fort Printers property on Pedlar’s Street once housed a school, the Bank of Ceylon and finally a printing press – perhaps the hotel was named after the printing press. The Headmaster’s room, located on the first floor is our pick at The Fort Printers. With timber floors, exposed antique wood beams and soft shades, the room hits your colonial nostalgia. But the sleek wooden furniture brings a subtle touch of modernity. The room offers beautiful views of the Fort over the tiled roofs of the hotel.
Insider Tip - Some of the above hotels do not take bookings over widely-used booking platforms. However, if you book with Sri Lanka In Style, you can enjoy unbeatable deals and complimentary services. Get in touch with us at [email protected].
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