If you are in Sri Lanka and thinking about heading South of Colombo, you will no doubt come across the UNESCO heritage site that is the 17th century city of Galle.
Built by the Dutch in 1663 this fortified city is not only a cultural, historical centre but also home to hip hotels, great restaurants, cafes and independent boutiques. I love the fact that the town is making the most of its beautiful existing buildings whilst encouraging new design and infrastructure. There are a lot of independent shops and restaurants here which gives Galle a unique feel that is rich in art and crafts.
I was surprised at how small Galle Fort and the lighthouse was – it can easily be done in a day but there are plenty of excuses to stay for longer.
I particularly loved the KK boutique which happens to be owned by the charming George Cooper – owner of the amazing Kahanda Kanda hotel just outside Galle (which will feature in my next Sri Lankan post). Like the owner of Paradise Road he is clearly a man with a great sense of style and a great supporter of local artisans:
After consulting TripAdvisor we managed to get a table at the family-run Lucky Fort Restaurant.
We had the rice and 10 curries which I would highly recommend. It was lovely to sit here with the fans whirring being served amazing local food by a local family.
Being lovers of architecture and design, it wasn’t long before we were drawn to the revolving louvered shutters of the nearest boutique hotel which turned out to be our favourite of the 3 we visited in central Galle.
The Galle Fort Hotel is not only a stunning hotel but a great example of the restoration work and dedicated craftsmanship regarded so highly in this city.
We loved the high ceilings and cool airy sitting room. Like the the city itself it manages to be both European and exotic at the same time – a true Sri Lankan gem.
Another hotel we visited was the Fort Printers. If I had been staying longer I definitely would have liked to eat here as their lobster curry is meant to be amazing.
One of the newest hotels in Galle is the Fort Bazaar. Based in a 17th Century bazaar, this hotel has a more contemporary feel.
This must be a great cocktail spot in the evening and I loved the look of the spa.
Galle is truly unique – a great example of Sri Lankan culture, hospitality and style. A hotbed for the arts, I love the way it has embraced its diverse history but kept its Sri Lankan roots.