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Galle Fort Hotel

Galle, Sri Lanka

Press Reviews

The Times, November 2010
"This 11-room hideaway has a calm that attracts writers - including Paul Theroux and Alexander McCall Smith. The interiors have an elegant traditional look, with four-posters draped with white chiffon. The popular restaurant serves Chinese-Thai food. There's a small swimming pool."

The Telegraph, May 2010
"The menu at the Galle Fort Hotel departs from Sri Lanka’s curry culture in a welcome way. A crisp okra salad made with thinly sliced tomatoes and pink onion dressed with lime juice and pepper, is startling in its simplicity. Normally served as a side dish, it is something I could happily feast upon on its own. Enormous prawns, marinated in kecap manis (a sweet, dark soy sauce), plus ginger and garlic, are timed perfectly on the grill, retaining enough juice to make diners’ chins shiny; wok-fried dishes fill the atmosphere with spicy smells; steamed rice arrives on the table piled high in china bowls. Dinner finishes with a variety of sorbets: pastel balls in glass bowls made from local fruits and herbs such as king coconut and lychee, pineapple and mint, mango and lime.

Ingredients are bought from locals, with special trouble taken to buy only from fishermen who deliver the freshest specimens."

The New York Times, March 2010
"The southern town of Galle is the coast’s biggest draw. The city feels more European than South Asian, owing to the fact that its center — a jumble of quaint gem shops, cafes and guesthouses — sits within the weather-beaten walls of a Dutch-built fort.

After dining on crab cakes in the colonial Galle Fort Hotel, stop by the ramparts to watch kids dive Acapulco-style into the Indian Ocean."

Conde Nast Traveler (US), November 2008
"Within the walls of Galle, an ideal base for exploring the south, there [is the] standout Galle Fort Hotel, an old merchant's mansion that was transformed by a young Dutch couple into a comfortable and moderately priced 11-room hotel."

The Sunday Times, September 2008
"For colonial chic on the cheap, the Galle Fort Hotel - owned and run by an Aussie film producer with stage-set looks to match has gorgeous boutique doubles."

The Independent, January 2007
"...the Galle Fort Hotel is a cool conversion of a 17th-century Dutch merchant's house with a laid-back vibe. It's the sort of place that means to detain you - and nearly made me miss a plane."

Guest Ratings


Guest Reviews

Reviews are only from people who have stayed there and booked through i-escape.

  • “Loved our time at Galle Fort. After a morning spent exploring Galle we generally returned to the hotel to spend time enjoying the beautiful pool, and later those great Galle Fort signature cocktails. Breakfast also very good.”
    , Australia (25.04.14)

  • “We stayed in the Admiral suite which was perfect for us. Two adults on bottom floor and the kids (10 and 12) on the balcony. Great to be close to the pool. The room was lovely, shabby chic. However, the floor of the upstairs bedroom was just (beautiful old) timber and the person staying upstairs kept odd hours and walked around in shoes a lot and played his music in the small hours, we had fairly broken nights. The breakfasts were to die for. Try the kurd. Oliver, the manager, was very helpful on arrival. It is pricey here, but beautiful.”
    , Singapore (11.04.14)

  • “Fantastic hotel in great location. We had a warm welcome although we arrived well before check in. The staff did their upmost to make us comfortable and to turn the room around early . Lovely shaded garden and pool area , really cannot fault our stay.”
    , United Kingdom (12.03.13)

  • “We really enjoyed our stay at this hotel but felt it could have been even better if:
    1) the hotel was better maintained. We stayed in the porcelain suite and there was a large damp patch on the wall.
    2) the waiters could have been more attentive to our needs. We had to chase them for attention sometimes.
    3) we had been given some complimentary nuts or nibbles with our cocktails.
    Little things make great hotels and unfortunately this hotel missed out on these details.”
    , United Kingdom (01.03.13)

  • “The breakfasts were poor, though lunch and dinner excellent.”
    , United Kingdom (26.02.13)

  • “The room was just beautiful and the service sublime. The food was not at all up to the hype though. Plenty of great places both in the fort and the main part of town.”
    , Australia (11.01.13)

  • “A very nice hotel in the heart of Galle. We had a very pleasant time over there.”
    Louis, France (04.07.12)

Save to favouritesPrintMailGalle Fort HotelGalle Fort is a spellbinding mixture of Dutch, British and Sri Lankan history and architecture, with fewer than 200 homes inside its 17th-century ramparts. Now one of these is a hotel – and what a hotel it is. Antique four-poster beds, wooden shutters, wide verandas and a colonnaded court evoke its former life as a gem merchant's mansion. Owners Karl Steinberg and Chris Ong have added a boutique pool, a choice of yoga and beauty treatments and 11 [r:SL015:bedrooms and suites] which mix contemporary décor with quirky nods to the building's past. The hotel also draws crowds to its sociable café-restaurant, where new arrivals and local regulars mingle under high ceilings and grand archways. Karl flits easily between them, offering excellent Chinese-Thai [i!!cuisine] and friendly, first-name advice. If he's not too busy he'll even guide you around the fort next morning or prepare a cocktail after your sunset meander along the historic walls.

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