“Step back in time to when the British Empire ruled the world... Explore, relax and indulge in this beautiful, tranquil retreat”
The Sun House has just 5 rooms and 2 suites, all with white walls, tiled floors, four-poster beds and the odd splash of vibrant colour that's deliciously cooling against the blue sky outside. Everything is spotlessly clean and fresh.
The "most beautiful room in the world" - the Cinnamon Suite - takes up the whole of the first floor. An airy triumph of simple and elegant colonial design melded with local style, it has its own sitting room, a private library and a balcony looking out over the jungle to the sea. There's also an indoor shower room, and an outdoor bathtub where you can soak under the stars. It is, however, the only room without air conditioning. The newer of the 2 suites, the Dumas Suite, has a separate living room, a bathroom with a tub and shower, and a balcony with views of Galle's tropical hinterland.
The 5 bedrooms are arranged around the mango garden. The 2 Deluxe Rooms, named Hibiscus and Araliya, are larger than the Standard Rooms (Sun & Sky, Kingfisher and the twin Parrot Fish), but all feature air conditioning, mosquito nets and comfortable beds with fine, crisp linens. Some bedrooms also have a writing desk - handy for those inspired by their surroundings - while Hisbiscus has an outdoor shower framed by tropical plants. Coral and handmade soaps are placed in the ensuite bathrooms, and blossoms are scattered around the bedrooms by staff.
The cuisine at The Sun House is renowned as some of the best in Sri Lanka. Meals can be taken in the dining room, on one of the verandas, or in the garden under the mango tree. As there is a live-in chef, guests are invited to discuss their culinary needs each morning.
As with the décor, the food seems to tread an invisible line between paying homage to the Sri Lankan surroundings while catering to the Western palate. The dinner menu changes daily, but always consists of a starter, a main course and a choice of desserts, all made with local ingredients. We tucked into Thai-inspired coconut curry, chili-roasted Mahi-Mahi with a lemongrass sauce, and spiced panacotta with roasted pineapple. There are also a few Mediterranean recipes such as tomato and basil salad and beef skewers.
Breakfast too is a mix of Western and Sri Lankan, with string hoppers, sambals and local tea alongside fry-ups, muesli, fresh fruit, toast and coffee. All the options we sampled were delicious, and we loved the signature chilli eggs. You can even tuck into a morning curry if you order it 24 hours in advance.
Light lunches are also available - we tried a tasty potato omelette with a rocket salad, but if you just want a quick snack, a fruit and cheese plate can be rustled up on request. And a simple menu of soups, salads, pies and afternoon teas is on offer at Dick’s Bar, which has a refined yet relaxed ambiance and a range of cocktails, fine wines and liquors.