Scented with spice and sea spray, Galle is an almost tropical feeling little city, sitting on and around a little wedge of land jutting into the ocean. Before the Portuguese arrived in the 16th Century, Galle was a small village, but they quickly turned it into a major spice port, building an impressive fort - now considered the best example of a fortified port built by Europeans in South-East Asia - covering most of Galle's ocean promontory. The Dutch arrived in the 17th Century, and added to the fort, as well as building their homes and churches, so today's Galle is a beautiful mix of local and colonial architecture, and the best places to stay in Galle are among these beautiful buildings.
The, now UNESCO Heritage Listed, fort is full of bijou shops and cafes and boutique hotels. It's a hang out for writers, artists, poets etc.. And beyond that is a charming warren of streets. But this isn't just a historic fort and an old colonial port, it's very much a working administrative centre, and the city is full of real inhabitants, not just visitors and ex-pats who've been bewitched by Galle's allure.
Our pick of the best places to stay in Galle feature a restored merchant's house and an elegant 18th century mansion.
Still not sure? Browse through our list of all the best places to stay in Galle, or contact one of our friendly Gurus for advice. Alternatively widen your search and check out all our recommendations in Sri Lanka.
Elegant rooms feature capacious four posters and modern bathrooms. There is a huge infinity pool overlooking a private stretch of beach and surrounded by sun loungers and sofas. A tasty European and Sri Lanka menu is served and Ayurvedic treatments can be enjoyed at Ceylon spa. Great value.
Luxury resort with stunning Indian Ocean views on Koggala Beach. Stylish interiors feature full length windows for maximum views, and contemporary Sri Lankan furnishings. Excellent facilities include three restaurants, infinity pool and Ayurvedic spa. Perfect for beachside relaxation.
Unassuming from the outside this bijou hotel has had some high profile guests. Behind the traditional facade it's all double height ceilings and modern chic style. Lunch and dinner are tailored to your preference. But with Galle town on your doorstep you have plenty of options. A design dream!
Chic design hotel housed in this former lighthouse. Blending clean lines with design quirks bedrooms are light and bright with large bathrooms. There are plenty of hotel activities, from tennis to fishing, making it great for the whole family. Interiors make the most of unspoilt sea views.
This charmingly restored merchant's house has great hillside views. Exquisite bedrooms and suites in all-white-ethereality are the piece de resistance for any romantic. An intimate atmosphere with communal dining and lovely gardens. A hip hotel, with many accolades, ideal for completely unwinding.
Situated on the fringe of town this hotel is a tranquil hideaway. A centuries old property, decorated in a Dutch, Sri Lankan and colonial style, houses a lively restaurant great for mingling with fellow travellers. Loft suites are by far the best. A sun-dappled pool will leave you sun trapped!
Up in the tea-leaf covered hills surrounding Galle, Kahanda Kanda is a lover’s retreat. Comprised of eight private suites decorated in a luxurious and modern décor, tucked away in its lush grounds. With private dining, spa treatments and plenty of activities this is one for the hopeless romantics.
A peaceful 18th century mansion overlooking Galle. Elegant interiors decorated in rich ochres, antiques, and contemporary art with lovely gardens to unwind in. The adjoining hotel has the best restaurant in Galle. A tranquil and romantic base to explore Galle and its surrounding areas.