We were recently in Galle Fort, in the south west of Sri Lanka, which was a fascinating place to spend a few days. If you’re wanting to stay inside the fort walls there are a variety of hotel options from budget to very high-end. An alternative option, which we tried out and loved, is to stay in your very own renovated Dutch house in the heart of the town.
There is something really cool about wandering along the streets of Galle and then just popping in to your own house, in the heart of the old town. It feels really special.
We were staying at Fortaleza Hotel, who have 16 rooms, spread out across 5 properties in the centre of the fort. Their main headquarters (No.9 Church Street) is a traditional boutique hotel with 4 bedrooms and delightful informal courtyard restaurant and bar.
However, the other 4 old merchant building dotted around the town centre, have been cleverly renovated and beautifully refurbished into guest accommodation. There is the option to take these on room only basis (rates starting from $170 per night) but we think it’s a brilliant option to take the whole property have your own private dwelling in the heart of the fort.
No.1 Court Square is a great option for couples wanting their own space. The one bedroom apartment comes with lounge, bathroom, a balcony overlooking the main square and an master bedroom glamorously decorated. From $300 per night on a B&B basis.
We stayed in Landesi House, which was re-built in the dutch colonial style in 2012 and is exquisitely furnished with Sri Lankan art and antique colonial furniture. It’s stunning entrance leads into a spacious, floor to ceiling, living space and further lounge overlooking the garden. There are 3 generous double bedrooms. From $540 per night on an exclusive basis.
No.50 Lighthouse Street is a 4-bedroom property, with the main building having been restored to its former Dutch heritage. A contemporary extension has been built onto the rear of the property which is where the 4 bedrooms are located. All the rooms are lovely but the master balcony suite is particularly special. From $600 per night on an exclusive basis.
No. 5 Middle Street also has 4 bedrooms, which are all located on the first floor and lead out onto a balcony. The downstairs offers a fantastic living area leading out onto the garden. As with all the Fortaleza properties No.5 has been furnished beautifully with an eclectic collection of art and furniture from around the world. From $660 per night on an exclusive basis.
All the properties are centrally located and within close walk the vast array of shops, cafes, galleries and gem stores. For those who really want to experience the heart-beat of Galle these offer a brilliant opportunity to do that, from the comfort of your own (temporary) home.