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Galle Face Hotel
Colombo

After undergoing a 30-month long refurbishment, more than 150 years after its debut, the iconic colonial Galle Face Hotel has emerged with an air of romantic faded elegance. One of the oldest in Asia (established in 1864), the historic property is perfectly located in the heart of Colombo overlooking the scenic Arabian Sea and is renowned for its flag-lowering ritual at sunset accompanied by bagpipes. We suggest enjoying this ceremony on the checkerboard terrace with a Pimm’s or G&T in hand for a memorable welcome to Sri Lanka.

The North Wing’s 72 rooms and suites have been completely re-imagined for the 21st century; with striking new interiors and classic mahogany furnishings in the bedrooms, and stylish marble en-suite bathrooms. Some offer views across the ocean, meaning you can enjoy beautiful sunsets as well as the gentle crashing of the waves from the comfort of your own room, while others face the green, which comes alive in the evening with food stalls and energetic locals especially during the weekend. The South Wing has 84 rooms overlooking the hotel’s impressive saltwater pool to the Indian Ocean beyond. While these are simpler in style with their tasteful green walls and delicate lace details, these rooms and suites offer more space and a quieter atmosphere. Our favourites are the Premier Ocean Balcony rooms and the Junior Suites.

There are a number of sophisticated restaurants and bars to choose between here, depending on whether you are tempted by traditional or contemporary cuisine from Sri Lanka or abroad. We highly recommend dining alfresco within their verandah restaurant during your stay, either for breakfast or for afternoon tea. Other facilities of this hotel include a spa by L'Occitane, a fitness centre and a large swimming pool. Also, there is a library, an onsite historian and even a museum featuring classical silverwork, the 1935 Standard Nine that was the Duke of Edinburgh’s first car and stylish monochrome portraits of past famous guests (Mahatma Gandhi, Pope John Paul II, Che Guevara and DH Lawrence to name a few).

You can expect a warm welcome here and whilst the service can be slow and somewhat chaotic from time to time, there is no other hotel in Colombo that has quite as much charm or character.

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The traveller sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.
G. K. Chesterton

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
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
Ampersand’s preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet booking age. They were a delight to deal with!
- Mr David Wallace, North 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
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
I thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, 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
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

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