Galle is a special little pocket of Sri Lanka, a UNESCO World Heritage site recognised for its Dutch colonial beauty. Located on the coast, a couple of hours South of Colombo, this historic area has become a hotspot for tourists and local holidaymakers. Needless to say, there are plenty of hotels to choose from, ranging in price and style to suit every budget.
The recently opened Fort Bazaar is a hotel that will satisfy and stun any traveller. Found in the centre of the historic town, the Teardrop Group have transformed a grand 17th century Dutch mansion house that was once a private residence for a wealthy family. The hotel is based around a quiet courtyard filled with beautifully-scented frangipane trees, and in one corner stands an impressive 150 year-old Banyan tree. With additional extensions the hotel now has 18 bedrooms, a small spa, restaurant and bar. They are also beginning work on an outdoor swimming pool and intimate cinema space.
The rooms are split into various types: Bazaar are the simplest; Banyan include a balcony; Family Suites can be created by booking interconnecting rooms; and there is one Upper Family Suite, split over two floors with a spacious living space and two bedrooms. All the rooms are decorated in the same style, dominated by shades of off-white, concrete grey and a subtle ‘Monsoon Green’ paint colour. It is a simple but sophisticated look which encourages a calm and relaxed atmosphere.
We were in a pretty Bazaar Room (Number 17), a double room with separate bathroom. It was extremely comfortable for our one night stay, with a luxurious bed and thoughtful touches throughout. When you are not enjoying the comfort of your own room, there are plenty of other charming spaces in the house to enjoy… I loved the library room and the shaded courtyard, where a complimentary afternoon tea is served each day.
The hip Church Street Social restaurant and cafe is a popular haunt for guests staying and visitors from outside of the hotel. We spent a few mealtimes here, enjoying a hearty brunch of ‘Egg Hopper Florentine’, fruit platters, pastries and ‘Cinnamon French toast’. It was a feast of colourful and flavoursome food. Caffeine fans will be pleased with the high quality coffee on offer from “Whight and Co. Ruby Harvest”. The freshly ground Ceylonese beans are 100% Arabica, organically grown in Sri Lanka and single origin. Tea, freshly made juices and mocktails are also available. In keeping with much of Galle, the hotel do not serve alcohol, however guests are welcome to bring their own without corkage charge.
From the a la carte lunch and dinner menu at Church Street Social you can choose from a wide range of Sri Lankan and international dishes. I recommend trying the Cadju Nut & Green Pea Curry (one of the Teardrop Group’s signature dishes), a mild and creamy vegetarian dish with a fragrant and nutty flavour. For dessert we enjoyed the light and palate-cleansing Chilled Mango & Papaya Crumble.
Stylish, thoughtful and affordable I can see why Fort Bazaar Hotel is becoming popular with guests of every age. It is the perfect Sri Lankan retreat for rest, relaxation and recuperation while exploring the busy Galle Fort area.
More information and book a room at the Fort Bazaar Hotel here.