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20 Middle Street

It doesn't get much better than 20 Middle Street boutique hotel in terms of location, history, integrity of the refurb and the level of taste. Set in the very heart of Galle Fort with views over the 17th Century Dutch Reform Church, this private townhouse is one of Galle’s classiest and best preserved properties... as yet, it is a relatively undiscovered gem.

Originally built as a home for a Dutch merchant in 1750, the arched front veranda and balustrades added by the English in the 1800s make for a handsome and grand exterior and pay homage to a bygone era. The interior decoration is smart yet understated, with terrazzo floors, original teak windows and quality fittings and furnishings. Sweeping staircases, high ceilings and elegant antiques characterise this property, which has plenty of seating areas in which to relax – choose between shaded terraces on the ground floor or bask in the sunshine on the rooftop terraces. Better still, rest in the sheltered gardens surrounded by the smell the frangipani and Jurassic ginger flowers, and take advantage of the beautiful plunge pool that sits within the greenery here.

There are wonderful staff to look after you at this guesthouse, including chef, Preethi, who is skilled in cooking both Sri Lankan and Western cuisine. The team is very flexible to guests’ needs and are happy to set up dinners in the Verandah, on a big table in the Zaal, or on the Loggia in the Annexe Building for the best views.

Luxuries including a well-stocked library and hi-tech entertainment facilities abound the hotel; from a games room with pool table and flat screen television with surround sound to speedy Wi-Fi throughout the rooms and communal areas. While the valuable antiques and artwork lining the walls add special touches to the neutral colour scheme, they also mean that guests must be over 12 years old – making this boutique hotel ideal for couples after a peaceful retreat, especially honeymooners. Set amidst the town's gentle bustle, this hotel has a soothing atmosphere, so if you are after some buzz we recommend popping over for an Arak Sour at the Amangalla's terrace bar nearby, the waterhole for the glamorous Galle scene.

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When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money.
Susan Heller

I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India
Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
We have been on expensive and luxurious holidays in the past, but the service and communication Ampersand has provided has far exceeded those offered by other agencies.
- Susan Ford, India
Ampersand’s details preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet/direct booking age. Shalmali was a delight to work with – before and during our trip.
- Mr David Wallace, North India

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