No. 39 Galle Fort
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A holiday here includes
Located within the walls of a 17th century UNESCO World Heritage Site, three-bedroomed No. 39 Galle Fort offers space, privacy and plenty of old world charm. Ideal for families and groups of friends looking for a warm and welcoming home-from-home right in the heart of this historic ‘living citadel’, trendy Galle Fort’s iconic landmarks are mere footsteps away.
Stately yet cosy, nostalgic yet current, this immaculate property elegantly blends the charm of the past with 21st century comforts. The breezy terraced house is hugely spacious; the timber vaulted ceiling of the living room alone towers almost 10 metres above the burgundy-hued daybeds and the three-metre-long dining table. A friendly staff team – including a cook – attends to guests, ensuring they make the most of their comfortable surroundings.
No.39 Galle Fort dates back to the 17th century but was extensively renovated in 2008. The house is arranged across two floors encompassed by a walled courtyard garden sprouting tropical plants and boasting an alfresco dining area. Many features, such as the wide archway in the living room, the high vaulted ceilings and the heady mix of antique and custom-made furniture, hark back to the Dutch colonial era. The sumptuously dressed beds and cushioned daybeds, along with the well-equipped kitchen, mezzanine TV lounge and iPod dock delightfully complement this heritage home.
Tucked along Lighthouse Street in Galle Fort, on Sri Lanka’s south-west coast, the house provides easy access to the many iconic attractions of this historic locale. Although your cook will prepare daily breakfasts and other light meals on request, the fort is also dotted with a growing number of restaurants, cafés, bars and ice cream parlours to explore and sample. And within a fifteen-minute drive of the fort are palm-fringed beaches, idyllic lakes and fascinating temples.
Inner Galle Fort location
Airy and very spacious
Historic heritage house
Close to the test cricket stadium
Restaurants and shops nearby
"We had a great time having you as our hosts. You made us feel like we are in a 7 star hotel (Dubai style). As we write these words, you are being missed, until our next visit.
Real time availability
- Early bird enjoys up to 15% discount when booking 120 days in advance.
- Last minute bookings enjoy up to 15% discount when checking in before 16-Jul-2019.
- Expansive, open-plan, fan-cooled living space with lounge area and elegant teak dining table for 10
- Fan-cooled mezzanine snug with daybeds, a 32-inch flat-screen TV and DVD player
- Refined reading room with twin rattan loungers and a ceiling fan
- Courtyard garden laid to lawn and edged by palms, torch ginger and floral vines
- Semi-alfresco veranda with daybed and planters chairs overlooking the garden
- Privately situated on the first floor of the house
- King-sized four-poster bed, Dutch almirah and side tables
- Folding doors onto private balcony with garden and rooftop views
- Modern ensuite bathroom finished in terrazzo
- Located on the ground floor of the house
- King-sized four-poster bed, Dutch almirah and side tables
- Folding doors onto private terrace with garden/courtyard views
- Terrazzo-finished modern ensuite bathroom
- Situated on the ground floor, just off the living room
- Antique queen-size bed and matching antique cupboard
- Views of Lighthouse Street beyond wide folding windows
- Tiled galley-style bathroom with shower
No. 39 is located mid-way along Lighthouse Street, in historic Galle Fort, just 150 metres from the grass-topped western-facing ramparts and a further 200 metres from the town’s famous international test cricket stadium. The fort is a world heritage site and dates back over 400 years; a walk along its narrow cobbled streets reveals the fascinating hybrid architecture of three colonial eras – fretwork-fringed and pillarred Dutch abodes, British-era monuments, ochre-hued spice warehouses and interesting museums showcasing the fort’s rich history. There are many restaurants and cafes, as well as boutiques selling handicrafts, delicate lacework, glittering gems and other evocative souvenirs. Within 15 kilometres are a selection of mesmerising beaches, tranquil lagoons and historic temples.
Things to do
No. 39’s villa manager has a wealth of information about nearby places of interest and will help arrange transport and make any bookings required. In the meantime, here is a taste of the many and varied activities on offer within reach of the house:
- Explore! Galle Fort is on your doorstep and a wander along her atmospheric lanes and grass-topped ramparts is very rewarding. On your hit list should be the Amangalla Hotel, the Maritime Museum and old spice warehouses, the Law Court Square, the slender white lighthouse and Flag Rock to see kamikaze sea-jumpers in action. The western-facing ramparts are the place to be at sunset. For more insights, take a guided tour.
- Look for the Colin-Thome gravestones in the famous Dutch Reformed Church – the owners of No. 39 are part of an original Dutch Burgher family from Galle and their great uncle and aunt are buried in the graveyard of the church (hint: look to the right of the entrance).
- Aside from sightseeing, Galle Fort is gaining increasing notoriety as a place to shop and dine. Popular shops include Mimimango for exotic clothing, Stick No Bills for nostalgic vintage posters, Barefoot for vibrant handlooms and Sithulvili for painted timber boxes. Barista is a popular coffee stop and Living Room a boutique-cum-bar, which feels like an Aladdin’s Cave. Pedlar’s Inn Café is a reliable, sociable spot, as is Fortaleza and Amangalla, both with bars. Don’t forget to stop off at the Pedlar’s Inn Gelataria for Galle’s best ice creams!
- Pamper yourself in one of Galle Fort’s relaxing spas; favourites include the serene Galle Fort Spa for contemporary treatments, and Amangalla’s The Baths, for hydrotherapy and traditional yet luxurious Ayurvedic treatments. There are one or two fish spas in the fort too!
- If you’re lucky enough to be in town for an international cricket fixture, make for the test stadium, or for a more unique view, sit on the front ramparts and watch from on high.
- To explore Galle’s hinterland in more depth, take off on two wheels on a guided bicycle adventure with Idle Tours; trips take you along the quietest back lanes and paddy bunds, and through villages, farmland and forests, ending up at the beach for sunset.
- If you’re after some beach time, head to Wijeya Beach (8km), a popular expat hangout with a lovely beach and tranquil lagoon that’s great for swimming (and for families). Alternatively, make for Talpe Beach Club (11km), which serves up delicious food and drinks beside the sea, and has a swimming pool if you don’t feel like braving the ocean.
- Galle is also home to lowland tea estates – at the Handunugoda Tea Factory (21.5km) you can tour the estate (which also makes expensive white tea) and enjoy a tea tasting session.
- Koggala Lake (16km) is a meandering waterway fringed by cinnamon plantations, village communities and thick jungle where you can take a boat ride or visit a spice garden.
- If you’re in town between November and April, it’s whale and dolphin watching season; boats depart either from Galle Harbour or the pretty harbour in Mirissa itself (34km). Out of season, take the youngest family members to the turtle hatchery at Habaraduwa (13.5km).
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