Colo­nial Clas­sic

A Unesco World Her­itage site, Galle Fort was built by Dutch colonists in 1663. The quaint cob­bled streets are now lined with trendy bou­tiques, cute cafes, stylish ho­tels and hip art gal­leries. There are plenty of spots that tell the city’s history— mu­seum

Hong Kong Tatler - - Life Travel -

Spa pick Vis­i­tors to Sri Lanka will quickly be­come fa­mil­iar with the deep-green brand­ing of the lo­cal luxury Ayurveda brand Spa Cey­lon. There are out­posts of the spa in hotspots across the is­land as well as fur­ther afield, and many of the coun­try’s finest ho­tels use its fra­grant prod­ucts. The bou­tique and stand­alone spa in Galle Fort are per­fect for pick­ing up body and bath items, as well as home aroma blends with a true Sri Lankan iden­tity, en­riched with lo­cal in­gre­di­ents such as aloe vera, car­damom, gotu kola, san­dal­wood, co­conut, ylang ylang, lemon­grass and cin­na­mon. If you have time, in­dulge in one of the spa treat­ments, whether it’s a full-body Kandyan ri­tual us­ing pre­cious min­eral crys­tals from Cey­lon, or a sim­ple but equally re­ward­ing and re­ju­ve­nat­ing foot mas­sage to soothe tired mus­cles. spacey­lon.com ot­pho­tel.com

Lunch Love In the heart of Galle Fort, Church Street So­cial is the restau­rant at the Fort Bazaar, a new bou­tique ho­tel cre­ated by the guys be­hind Sri Lanka’s pop­u­lar colo­nial manor house The Wallawwa. It has an eclec­tic menu of Western, Mid­dle Eastern and Sri Lankan dishes. Don’t miss the mezze plat­ter, in­spired by the history of the orig­i­nal build­ing, which was once home to a Moor­ish spice mer­chant and has been lov­ingly re­stored for the 18-room ho­tel. En­joy an in­dul­gent lunch in the cool, tiled en­vi­rons of the main restau­rant area or al fresco in front of the ho­tel, watch­ing the hus­tle and bus­tle of Galle Fort pass by. teardrop-ho­tels.com

Stop & Shop Oc­cu­py­ing an old colo­nial town­house on Church Street in the heart of Galle Fort, the Stick No Bills poster gallery was es­tab­lished soon af­ter the civil war ended. A re­mark­able ar­ray of vin­tage and retro-style posters show­ing Cey­lon’s hal­cyon days of travel, tea, surf and film pro­duc­tion is to be found down­stairs, and a se­lec­tion of an­tique maps up­stairs. It’s the per­fect spot to stop by and pick up a post­card to send home, or to choose a vin­tage-feel poster or genuine an­tique me­mo­rial for your wall to re­mind you of the good times spent in this won­der­ful is­land par­adise. stic­kno­bill­son­line.com

Bou­tique Stay A per­fect base from which to ex­plore Galle Fort and the colo­nial history of south­ern Sri Lanka—not to men­tion the lo­cal con­tem­po­rary arts and crafts, and the cin­na­mon and tea plan­ta­tions—is the Owl and the Pussy­cat, a re­cent ad­di­tion to Mi­hiripenne Beach. Or re­turn af­ter a day out in the surf, at the nearby tur­tle con­ser­va­tion space or on a whale­watch­ing boat to this quirky home away from home. It fea­tures fun, sparky de­sign through­out, a tran­quil swim­ming pool, a draw­ing room in which to un­wind, a re­lax­ing mas­sage tent on the lawn and an ex­cel­lent cock­tail list that’s per­fect for in­dulging your­self on the seafront to the hyp­notic ac­com­pa­ni­ment of the lap­ping of the waves.

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