“An old Dutch merchant's house beautifully restored with just 4 suites, in the hills above Galle Fort”
The Dutch House has 4 suites with a classy, colonial décor of subdued ochres and browns, enlivened by splashes of modern art and heritage prints.
The largest is the Ball Room, situated at the farthest end of the 'U'. This is where Sting stayed and it's suitably grand, with rich red and green fabrics and an ornate candelabra. Its high ceilings and huge oak doors make it feel slightly like the inside of a church.
The V.O.C, named after the Dutch East India Company, is a similarly impressive suite with a private veranda. Its use of white linens and cream furnishings creates a light, airy feel.
The elegant Blue Room, accessed via the main lounge, has sweeping views of the croquet lawn and the pool beyond, while the Yellow Room opens onto the veranda at the base of the 'U'. These rooms are slightly darker than the others, but their blue and yellow silks and period furniture create a warm feel.
All rooms have four-poster beds, mosquito nets, air conditioning and CD players, and lead onto a private sitting room with sofas and writing desks. The ensuite bathrooms are spacious and fitted with showers and claw-footed bathtubs.
Breakfast, served whenever you want, can be a full English with eggs, toast and marmalade, fruit shakes and tea, or fresh fruit platters, preserves and traditional Sri Lankan hoppers.
The staff can also prepare light lunches and snacks throughout the day. As with breakfast, you can eat in the garden, on the veranda, by the pool or in the privacy of your room.
Evening cocktails are served in the bar/library, before guests head over to next-door sister property The Sun House, renowned for some of the best food in Sri Lanka, for dinner. Meals are prepared by the resident chef and mix Western and Sri Lankan influences – dishes might include seafood with a lemongrass and ginger broth, tamarind-glazed Mahi-Mahi with tomato and pumpkin salad and fresh cocunuts with pineapple pancakes for dessert.
Three times a week there is also a Sri Lankan dinner party with spicy curries using local ingredients.