Galle Face Hotel
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.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
- Leslie Siben, India
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
- Jaime Benitez, South India
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
- Mr David Wallace, North India