Set in the hills overlooking the historic town of Galle, this stylish colonial house was built by a Scottish nutmeg merchant in the 1860's and was converted into a welcoming and elegant private residence by a leading interior decorator 130 years later. The property is now a small boutique hotel and considered one of the best-kept secrets in Sri Lanka. Sun House prides itself on its fine dining, its privacy, and its eclectic collection of artwork, books and furniture, all harking back to its colonial roots. And while the house is on a hill it is still only a 5-minute walk into Galle, so this is a lovely option for those wanting to be close to the action but in a quiet oasis away from hustle and bustle.
There are eight bedrooms in the house, all varying in size and style, but all come with tall four poster beds and en suite bathrooms. Rooms looks out over either the frangipani garden, mango tree garden, or the swimming pool making for beautiful surrounds, and we recommend staying in the middle category rooms for a little more space to stretch out. Or one may opt for the master suite, the Cinnamon Suite, which occupies the entire first floor of the house and comes with its own library, living room, indoor and outdoor bathroom. The outdoor bathroom has a bathtub where one can bathe under the stars or morning sunrise. The predominantly white rooms are tastefully furnished in a medley of colonial styles ranging from the Portuguese to the Dutch and British, with fun dashes of bright colour to bring character and playfulness to the décor.
Elsewhere in the property, the well-tended garden is filled with perfumed frangipani trees and a solitary mango tree with a flight of weathered steps leading to a small but exquisite pool. There is also a beautiful library furnished with over-sized sofas and huge vases of tropical foliage and flowers, giving guests lots of quiet spots to relax and unwind.
The Sun House has three restaurants; an al fresco veranda restaurant in a garden, an informal bar menu at Dick’s Bar, and a pop up restaurant, The Bamboo Bar and Grill. The food is vibrant and full of flavour, using local herbs, fruits, veg and seafood for delicious Sri Lankan cooking. The curries are a must try and come in a variety of styles. Dick's Bar is great fun and creates signature cocktails such as Arak sours and watermelon martinis. It holds regular events and wine tastings, and gives a welcome break to those looking for western cuisine with an international menu. The restaurants here have been widely praised throughout travel and gastronomy publications in recent years and should not be missed.
Rooms can be rented individually or alternatively the Sun House can be taken in its entirety as a private holiday home.
The first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it.
- Jaime Benitez, South India
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India
- Anonymous, India
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
- Leslie Siben, India
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
- Mr David Wallace, North India