“Cool, calm and collected: a restful retreat created from a historic building in the Unesco-listed Galle Fort”
In the main hotel building, you'll find 5 rooms with names revealing their former college incarnations. Head up the restored staircase and you'll find a wide shuttered gallery off which 4 of the rooms lead (but take a moment first to watch life on the street below).
The History, Geography and Arts rooms are all fairly similar: light and airy, thanks to high beamed ceilings and large windows, which to varying degrees have views over Galle. The beds are modern, raised platforms covered with silk bedspreads and cushions.
If you want to be top dog, book our favourite room: the Headmaster's Suite, also on the first floor. It overlooks the pool, but better still, you can see the Galle lighthouse from your bed. It has a kingsize double bed reached via a couple of steps, and a cosy seating area swamped with colourful cushions and daybeds which are perfect for children.
The Prefect’s Suite is in the courtyard next to the swimming pool, adjacent to the main hotel building. Decorated with rich velvets and silks, it has a large, modern bathroom with a bathtub (the rooms in the main building have showers only).
Just down the road, the Pedlar Street Wing awaits. Its 3 suites are slightly more modern in style, while polished concrete floors, and neutral décor. Not much further away is the Church Street Wing, holding 5 more suites. Though we haven’t seen these newer spaces yet, the suites' bathrooms look particularly luxurious with walk-in showers and freestanding bathtubs. Each wing has a communal living and dining space, plus a well-equipped kitchen, and all guests can move freely between the communal spaces of all 3 buildings.
The food here is excellent - it was owner Shahzad's original idea to open a restaurant, so guests benefit from his passion. Fresh ingredients are key and the food served (either in the dining room or on the veranda) is healthy, colourful and well presented.
The chefs tailor the daily menu to guests' preferences, creating spicy Sri Lankan curries, fresh seafood and Mediterranean-inspired meals according to tastes. Typical dishes include grilled tuna with capsicum, citrus risotto with garlic prawns and couscous stew with calamari, as well as imaginative soups such as green gazpacho with pomegranate seeds and coriander. While the savouries are tasty and low-fat, the desserts are sinful - slabs of rich chocolate cake and apple strudels. The wine - mainly reasonably priced options from Australia - is also good.
The chefs bake wonderful bread and croissants for breakfast. You can also choose from pancakes, fruit, eggs, yoghurt and fresh fruit smoothies.
There are no set mealtimes - simply discuss with staff when you would like to eat.
Children are very welcome by prior arrangement. There are no accommodation charges for children under 12 years old sharing a room with their parents, which can provide considerable savings.
The Headmaster's Suite has day beds which are comfortable for two children. Futons or mattress beds can be supplied in all other rooms; the large Prefect's Suite is most suitable for this.
Babysitting is available by arrangement.
Cots are provided free of charge.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
The chefs tailor each day's meals to guests and will create dishes suitable for children on request.
Parents must sign a form stating that children will be supervised at all times due to the open nature of the pool area.