Of South Asia's port cities, Sri Lanka's Galle – pronounced "Gaul" - is remarkable due to its extensive maritime history, international trading links and threefold colonial domination, which led to a diverse and shifting ethnic composition. Galle's main attraction is the 17th century Dutch Fort, a UNESCO protected World Heritage site. But Galle is also the gateway to seductive sandy coves and the coastal villages of Unawatuna, Thalpe, Koggala, Habaraduwa and Ahangama. Galle's location at the southwestern tip of Sri Lanka, with only the Antarctic more than 5,000 miles beyond, ensured the prominence of the port during the early history of navigation. Not surprisingly, it became the natural focal point at the southernmost part of the Silk Routes that connected Asia with the Mediterranean. Galle also provided a relatively equidistant location for Arab and Chinese ships to converge and trade, thus avoiding much longer voyages. It had a fine natural harbour protected to the southeast by an elevated headland and to the northwest by a flat peninsular, although there were submerged rocks and lack of protection from the southwest monsoon.
From beneath the sweeping palm roof, a wide open verandah looks out across an acre of coconut and bread fruit trees, with cultivated rice paddies beyond. The bedrooms have large four-poster beds with mosquito nets and fans, with en-suite polished-cement bathrooms with cold (coolly refreshing rather than icily unpleasant) water showers. The house is staffed with a house boy and gardener. They will do the housework, laundry and shopping, but not cooking. Distressed window frames, wooden chairs and antique cupboards stylishly complement the naturally bumpy sand-coloured walls. Just off the semi-circular verandah is a cozy cushion-strewn lounge and fully equipped kitchen where a chef (on request) can prepare wholesome and hearty meals. A small kitchen is equipped with all the essentials for Asian or European cuisine and there is also a barbeque available.
Once the home of a Scottish spice merchant, this colonial house built in the 1860's has been converted into a small hotel which exudes a country house atmosphere. With 7 highly individual bedrooms, it is well known for its fine dining, its privacy, its eclectic collection of artwork, books and furniture. Perched high on a hill yet only a 5 minute stroll away from the centre of the seaside town of Galle, The Sun House offers panoramic views of the Galle and the world heritage site of Fort Galle. The Sun House has seven highly individual bedrooms. There are 3 standard rooms, 2 deluxe rooms and 2 premium suites. All rooms are filled with colonial antique furniture, dreamy four poster beds and each has an elegant bathroom. There are two beautiful tropical gardens; The fragrant frangipani ("temple tree") garden, leading to the swimming pool, and the mango garden which faces a stunning view of Galle harbour.
Jetwing Lighthouse Galle sits atop a hillock overlooking the blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Inspired by the Dutch influence in Sri Lanka, the hotel exudes a touch of history and class and offers guests exquisite cuisine, first-class service, a rich ambience and stunning locations boasting splendid unmatched views of the sea making it the ultimate retreat for a tranquil experience. Designed by the world renowned architect and Sri Lanka's best, Geoffrey Bawa, Jetwing Lighthouse, features wide open spaces combined with magnificent views of the garden and sea. Infused with Dutch colonial themes that offer guests a choice of 60 luxury rooms or a private suite, of which there are three all superbly appointed with every modern luxury, blending sophisticated elegance with unique design offering unmatched views of the sea.
High on a hill, yet within minutes of the city centre, and with magnificent views of the fort of Galle, Doornberg or The Dutch House has set the pace in redefining luxury accommodation for the individual traveler in Sri Lanka. Highly exclusive with only 4 suites this country house built in 1712 ensures complete privacy for its guests.Spacious living areas, an English tropical garden complete with croquet lawn and treetop infinity pool provides ample space for guests to find a quiet area in which to truly unwind. These luxury suites that combine absolute grandeur with the utmost comfort are filled with colonial antiques, interiors evoking a pervasive mood of stillness and warmth which is at once romantic and relaxing. Each bedroom is fully air conditioned with mosquito-net-draped 4 poster beds, luxurious silk drapes, cool polished concrete floors and stunning soft furnishings.
A hotel fashioned in the style of a powerful fortress. Rising next to the beach, the resort's walls enclose verdant gardens and water features, a spa featuring Ayurvedic treatments, a free flow swimming pool, wine cellar, restaurants, boutiques and exquisitely appointed rooms, lofts and residences. The resort's architecture forges historic Dutch and Portuguese styles with the motifs of Sri Lanka. Inspired by the Dutch Fort design, there are five distinct styles of guest rooms and residences, each creating sensual living spaces with a naturally modern twist. All are designed with either private courtyards or balconies, with views onto the magnificent gardens, water features or golden beaches out to the Indian Ocean. The suites boast of indoor plunge pools or your own private pool.