“Soulful 5-bedroom B&B in historic Galle, with colour-infused interiors, a convivial vibe and welcoming, in-the-know hosts”
Henri and Koki have a fascination for all things hen-related (kikili is Sinhalese for chicken), and the 5 bright and cheerful rooms are named after their favourite breeds. All are air-conditioned doubles adorned with Indian bedspreads, vivid local textiles, colourful artwork and freshly cut flowers.
Orpington, the light and airy front bedroom, is everyone’s favourite, although its windows open onto the communal roof terrace so it isn’t always the quietest. Second-largest is Plymouth Rock, whose bijou bathroom is compensated by a lovely private terrace. In the middle, and opening onto the main guest lounge, are Wali Kukula (where we stayed) and Faverolle, similarly sized rooms with four-poster beds. Further along the hall lies Silky Bantam, the most petite room, which comes with a smaller bed (and a cheaper price tag) than the others; known as the ‘Friend’s Room’, this intimate space is ideal for single travellers, though it can fit 2 people at a squeeze.
All rooms have plenty of amenities, including writing desks, big wardrobes with lots of hanging space, free WiFi, a choice of foam or feather pillows, bathrobes, beach towels, and Spa Ceylon toiletries. The ensuite bathrooms have showers only, but there’s a communal powder room with a tub off the hallway, which all guests are welcome to use.
The lush front garden is where most guests dine and imbibe; a communal round table takes pride of place under a vibrant pink parasol on the lawn. From here you can wander directly into the dining room (with a well-stocked honesty bar), which is separated from the sky-blue kitchen by a wide countertop bar. Meals can also be served on the roof terrace.
A generous breakfast spread is laid out every morning, with delicious homemade muesli, fresh tropical fruit salad, thambili (king coconut juice), and local buffalo curd with kithul (palm honey) for drizzling. There’s also bread for toasting, Marmite or exotic fruit jams for spreading, and hot dishes (bacon and eggs in our case) served by smiling staff. Sri Lankan breakfasts are also on offer, although you’ll need to order the night before. They comprise string hoppers (steamed rice-flour nests), egg hoppers (crispy bowl-shaped pancakes), tasty local curries (fish, dhal or potato) and fiery pol sambol, a mixture of grated coconut, chilli and lime.
Tea and cakes are served every afternoon, and lunches and dinners are available on request; the cook works until 5pm, but will prepare an evening meal and leave it in the kitchen ready for you to reheat. House specialities include curry, lasagne, a delicious fish pie and homemade ice creams.
If you want to eat out, there are a few good restaurants in Galle. Our picks include The Sun House just up the road, and Fortaleza in the fort.