“Fresh and contemporary hotel with a Moorish vibe and superb food, mere footsteps from Galle Fort’s historic sights”
The Church Street Social is one of the best restaurants on the south coast, and attracts day-trippers, locals and hotel guests alike. As for the unbeatable location: Galle Fort's sprinkling of museums, churches, temples, boutiques and cafés are literally steps away.
- We loved the fresh individuality and stylish interiors; there's nothing else like it in Galle Fort
- The Middle Eastern food is exceptional, inventive and varied
- Both the restaurant and bar are air-conditioned, which we relished, and you can also dine in the open-air
- Romantic yet family friendly; a clever mix
- Priced very well considering the hotel's beauty, and rates include breakfast, afternoon tea and early evening mocktails
- The pool is not yet open (tricky local licensing laws)
- The hotel is also waiting for its liquor license, but you can BYO
- Expect some daytime road noise, but the nights are quiet
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- Restaurant & bar (open daily)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Outdoor Pool
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Bicycles Available
- Complimentary afternoon tea
All rooms and suites have Balinese four-poster beds, cable TV, coffee machines and contemporary Scandi-style furnishings. The Bazaar bedrooms flank either side of an alfresco courtyard and come with ensuite shower rooms. Those on the upper floor are a little more private. To the rear of the courtyard are the Banyan bedrooms, whose smaller interiors are compensated by tiled balconies or terraces. Both Bazaar and Banyan bedrooms can be interconnected with another bedroom to form the Family Suites.
We stayed in an Upper Suite, on the first floor of the hotel, opposite the library lounge. It was incredibly spacious and private, with a kingsize bed, a lounge beneath soaring lime-washed ceilings, a dressing area, and a beautiful ensuite bathroom with a rain shower and tub. Folding doors led onto a rooftop street-view balcony.
- Air conditioning
- Coffee / tea making
- Coffee maker
- Cots Available
- DVD player
- Extra beds
- Ipod dock
- Safe box
- Satellite TV
The Church Street Social's menu draws upon Middle Eastern flavours for dinner, alongside an all-day menu of international dishes using sustainably sourced produce. Standouts include 16-hour slow-cooked lamb, zesty tagines, hearty local curries and heaped sharing platters of seafood and cured meats. In-house guests can dine in the air-conditioned dining room, which is also open to the general public, or more privately in the courtyard or beside the pool.
For lunch we tried the pomegranate and quinoa salad, followed by a delicious sous vide pork tenderloin with apple yam puree. We couldn’t resist a dessert and opted for a divine coconut lime éclair with toasted coconut crumble. Dinner was terrific, too. Between us we tried the kingfish ceviche, the Peking duck rolls, the lamb tagine, the Balinese chicken and a sweet vanilla tart. All were excellent.
If you can tear yourself away, there are numerous restaurants in Galle Fort. Staff can advise.
- Children's meals
- Coffee / tea making
- Coffee maker
- Restaurants nearby
- Room service
- Wind up and down the Fort's café- and boutique-flanked lanes then end up on the ramparts for sunset. Or opt for a private tour with a local guide, which will give you a fascinating insight
- Take a cookery lesson from The Church Street Social's amazing chefs
- Treat yourself to gems from one of the Fort’s renowned jewellers, or try your hand at Sri Lankan mask making with a local artist
- Explore the inland scenery on a guided bicycle tour, winding through the quietest back lanes. Or travel upriver by kayak
- Enjoy a tea-tasting session in the Fort with Withered Leaves, or make for Tittigala where you can wander through a lowland tea plantation, take a tour of the factory and sample a cuppa
- Take the train to Bentota to visit 2 magical gardens: Geoffrey Bawa’s expansive Lunuganga and his brother Bevis’ more low-key Brief
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Art classes
- Boat trips
- Cooking classes
- Historical sites
- Museums / galleries
- Private guided tours
- Scuba diving
- Shopping / markets
- Traditional cultures
- Whale watching
Families are warmly welcomed and there's various accommodation to suit. The 10-seater cinema is designed to keep kids amused, and young ones will also enjoy the pool. Travel cots are complimentary; there's a small surcharge for extra beds (2-12 year-olds).
Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)
Family friendly accommodation:
The 2-bedroom Family Suites have interconnecting kingsize and twin bedrooms (shared shower bathroom). The Upper Family Suite has a kingsize bedroom and a mezzanine floor with twin beds in its living room so is ideal for older children (shared bathroom with separate tub and shower). A baby monitor will stretch from the restaurant to the Upper Suites.
- Travel cots
- High chairs
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Kids' menu including pizza, pasta and other international options.
Kids Activities nearby:
- Walking around the ramparts
- Watching local cricket matches
Families Should Know:
The hotel is set on a few different levels and outdoor space consists of a tiled courtyard and timber deck; there is no lawn or garden.
- Airport: 3 hours' drive (or a 25-minute air taxi from Colombo)
- Shops: on the doorstep
- Hospital: 2km (Hemas, a private hospital)
Fort Bazaar is set in Galle Fort in Galle, on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka.
Colombo Bandaranaike (147km away) is the closest international airport – click on the links below for a list of airlines serving it.
From the Airport
It takes about 3 hours by car to reach Galle from Colombo - the hotel can arrange transfers but many people catch the Sri Lankan Airlines air taxi service to nearby Koggala Lake instead; from here you can pick up a taxi to Galle.
Staff can arrange a tuk-tuk or a car with a driver for day trips.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.
More on getting to Sri Lanka and getting around
- Colombo Bandaranaike 147.0 km CMB
- Beach 3.0 km
- Shops 0.2 km
- Restaurant 0.2 km