Luxury hotel holiday Fort Bazaar Galle

The Fort Bazaar is housed in a beautifully restored 17th century townhouse, set right at the centre of the historic Galle Fort. Stay for a few nights as part of a touring holiday around Sri Lanka, to taste both the high-standard of luxury afforded by the idyllic rooms, the bustling liveliness of the popular restaurant, and the infectious atmosphere of the nearby streets and markets. This boutique hotel's dose of culture is combined with peaceful tranquillity in the courtyard, Z Spa, and swimming pool, ensuring that all guests are able to experience the best of both worlds.
Included in your Expressions holiday
  • Accommodation in a double or twin room on bed and breakfast
  • Scheduled flights with Sri Lankan Airlines
  • Transport by private car with driver-guide
  • Concierge service and Expressions Holidays regional helpful hints
  • Optional room, board and flight upgrades. Details on request

Luxury bespoke holidays and tours to Fort Bazaar, Galle

Fort Bazaar is an enchanting small luxury boutique hotel in an excellent location in the Dutch Fort. The delicious cuisine and superb spa facilities make it an ideal spot to recuperate from the bustle of Galle.

Facts in brief

Official star rating Small luxury boutique

Location In the centre of the Dutch Fort at Galle, ten minutes' walk from the Clippenberg Bastion and the Old Slave Quarters

Closest airport Bandaranaike International Airport

Distance from airport 96 miles

Hotel facilities and services

Church Street Social, Z Spa, Swimming pool, Library, Cinema, Courtyard with alfresco dining.

Complimentary

Minibar soft drinks, Afternoon tea, and Evening cocktail with some room types.

Out and about nearby

The main attraction of your stay in Galle will be the Fort itself. Walk around the outside walls along the seafront to take in some of the most impressive views in the city, stopping off at the lighthouse, Flag Rock, and the water holes. For an informative introduction to the history of the place, visit the Maritime Museum and the Historical Mansion Museum, both of which sit just beside the harbour. In Galle proper, trace the pattern of mosques and temples that adorn the streets, and enjoy the sandy beach and green spaces. Outside of Galle, perhaps visit the less developed Unawatuna, the idyllic Jungle Beach, the fishing village of Thalpe, or Ratgama Lake. Fort Bazaar can help you organise a bike or walking tour of the Fort, tea estate visits, boat cruises to see dolphins and whales (seasonal), tickets for a game at the cricket grounds, and shopping trips in Galle.

Sports nearby

Water sports including Surfing and Scuba-diving, Whale and Dolphin watching boat trips, Walking, Hiking, Cycling, Fishing, Sailing.

Holiday price guide Sample prices are per person based on two people sharing a Bazaar bedroom for 7 nights

From about

£1,850

Holiday Code EXH1901

The prices displayed here are a guide only. Each holiday price will be tailor-made at the time of booking to reflect all actual costs including up-to-date special offers.

Luxury bespoke holidays and tours to Fort Bazaar, Galle

The Fort Bazaar has enough character and traditional style to blend seamlessly with the quaint older buildings on Church Street. Before its renovation, the boutique Fort Bazaar had lain empty and derelict since the 1950s, bereft of its former Dutch charm. The restoration, which began in 2006, soon returned the building to its former glory and introduced such delightful additions as balconies over Church Street, the swimming pool, and the spa. Hints of Middle Eastern style are artfully merged with a neutral palette and large airy windows to complete the contemporary feel. The focal point of the Fort Bazaar, however, is the central courtyard. This secluded stretch is lined with cushioned benches, tables and chairs, and is overlooked by the balcony-paths that link the private entrances of the upstairs rooms. Pink flowers contrast the olive green of the arched window frames and balcony railings, and crooked trees break up the white-washed walls. Inside, the Church Street Social Restaurant, reminiscent of a European pavement café, specialises in flavourful fusion dishes inspired by the blend of cultures that the fort has seen throughout history. This has quickly become a hub of social activity in Galle Fort, with a vibrant, authentic atmosphere fuelled by the enthusiasm of the local residents. The serene palette and plush furniture of the guestrooms helps to regain more of the sophistication that this 17th century townhouse once had; woven headboards, striking cushion designs, and sleek, monochrome bathrooms come together to create a feel of modern luxury; and the bright rugs, colourful food, and small carved iron lanterns add an effortless touch of exoticism. During the day, sit back and watch the life of Galle Fort unfold around you, walking down the historic streets and taking in the culture. Live up to the hotel's name by shopping for gems in Colombo's markets, picking up quirky souvenirs and marvelling at the colour and fragrance of the food stalls. Visit the recently added Z Spa and the 15m swimming pool to unwind at the end of the day, before spending the night in your tranquil room and then moving on to another of Sri Lanka's beautiful hotels. The Fort Bazaar is a beautiful, high-quality hotel in an area that cannot be missed on any tour of Sri Lanka.

Room descriptions

Fort Bazaar has 18 rooms with high ceilings, air-conditioning, minibar, and modern amenities.

Bazaar Bedroom
Banyan Bedroom with private terrace or veranda
Family Bazaar Bedroom with interconnecting double and twin rooms
Family Banyan Bedroom with interconnecting double and twin rooms and a private terrace or veranda
Upper Suite with private balcony and views over the fort
Upper Family Suite with interconnecting Upper Suite and extra bedroom, with private balcony and views over the fort

Holiday price guide Sample prices are per person based on two people sharing a Bazaar bedroom for 7 nights

From about

£1,850

Holiday Code EXH1901

The prices displayed here are a guide only. Each holiday price will be tailor-made at the time of booking to reflect all actual costs including up-to-date special offers.

Luxury bespoke holidays and tours to Fort Bazaar, Galle

The journey and how you get there

For a holiday to The Fort Bazaar in Sri Lanka, our clients fly to Colombo, usually with Sri Lankan Airways on a direct flight from London Heathrow (or with Emirates from other UK airports via Dubai). This hotel is 2 hours and 20 minutes' drive from Colombo airport and is either a stay in its own right, in which case you will have a car transfer to the hotel and back, or it is stayed at as part of a tailor-made touring holiday with a driver-guide, in which case the hotel is usually approached from Tea and Hill Country to the north or from Yala National Park.

Additional information

Children: Family and interconnecting rooms are available on request at point of inquiry.

Holiday price guide Sample prices are per person based on two people sharing a Bazaar bedroom for 7 nights

From about

£1,850

Holiday Code EXH1901

The prices displayed here are a guide only. Each holiday price will be tailor-made at the time of booking to reflect all actual costs including up-to-date special offers.

Luxury bespoke holidays and tours to Fort Bazaar, Galle

About Galle and south coast

A stay in Galle and southern Sri Lanka uncovers a world of historic Dutch forts, beautiful beaches and fishermen fishing on stilts, where sleepy villages lie hidden in palms behind the wide sandy bays and sheltered coves. The further east you go, the less populated and the more naturally wild and remote the landscapes become. The lush inland forest reserves in the south-west contrast sharply with the arid south-eastern national parks of Yala, Uda Walave and Bundala, where wild elephants and migratory birds flock around the water ‘tanks’ and where leopards and sloth bear have been known to roam. Between December and April, the south coast is popular for whale and dolphin watching, in the waters off Weligama Bay. Galle, on the south-west tip of Sri Lanka, is a reminder of the Dutch presence on the island. The new town may have the usual urban bustle, but the Dutch Fort, built in 1663, retains a timeless air. Constructed by the Dutch East Indian Company as a fortified town, Galle Fort is a UNESCO world heritage site which is still intact with a thriving community living and working within its walls. You can walk along part of the ramparts with views out to sea on one side and the famous Galle cricket ground on the other. The region around Galle is fascinating and incredibly beautiful with its rainforest reserves and indigenous wildlife, as well as fishing villages and palm-fringed, sandy coves. We have selected hotels in Galle and along the South Coast which are ideally located to visit the many places of interest in the area. These hotels include Jetwing Lighthouse, a classy hotel designed by Geoffrey Bawa; The Fortress, an outstanding deluxe resort hotel; Amangalla, a splendid colonial-style hotel; Kahanda Kanda, a small and elegant countryside hotel; and Taprobane Island, a private island retreat.

Highlights of Galle and the south coast

Fascinating Galle has plenty to offer the visitor: Galle Fort – UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the few living fort cities in the world; Walk around the ramparts of Galle at dawn or at sunset; Arts & crafts shopping – jewellery, lace, rush & reed, home décor, furniture, antiques, batik and boutiques; The Dutch Reformed Church; Galle Literary Festival in January; National Museum; Maritime Museum in the Dutch warehouses of Galle Fort, just re-opened; Galle Markets; Galle Cricket Stadium; Hot-air balloon ride (December to April); River boat trip. A little way inland from Galle/Koggala: Hiyare Nature Reserve (volunteering possible); Kottawe Nature Reserve; Kanneliya Forest; Samakanda (organic farm, visit, walks and lunches available upon request); Village life bike rides; Handicrafts in the villages e.g. lace-making, rush & reed, woodcarving; Yatagala Temple. On the way from Galle to Yala you can enjoy: Stilt Fishermen; Cinnamon plantations; Unuwatuna beach; Martin Wickramasinghe’s house – museum (literary and 20th century life); Koggala Lake; Hinduangoda White tea factory and estate; Lace-making – Weligama, Dickwella; Surfing – popular surfing beaches from Unuwatuna to Mirissa; Weligama Bay; Coastal villages and fishing harbours; Whale Watching and Dolphin Watching (from Mirissa); Diving (from Mirissa); Deep-sea fishing trips (from Mirissa); Provincial town of Matara (Dutch heritage – fort and church); Dondra Head and Dondra Lighthouse; Kudawala Blow Hole; Mulkirigala Buddhist temple (inland); Uda Walawe National Park and Elephant Transit Home (inland); Sea Turtles laying their eggs on the beach, usually February to July (Rekawa Turtle Project); Kalametiya bird sanctuary; Bundala Nature Reserve (bird-watching mainly); Yala National Park; Kataragama – centre for Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim pilgrimages; Tissamaharama - ancient ‘tank’ and dagobas.

Cultural highlights of Galle and the south coast

There are many places to visit in Galle and the area along the south coast of Sri Lanka. In Galle itself, Galle Fort is home to a national museum housing Dutch and Singhalese exhibits of historical interest as well as a newly-opened Maritime Museum, a lighthouse and a 17th century Dutch Reform Church. The narrow streets within the Fort are fascinating for their architecture, lined with official buildings, shops and old town houses, some of which have been converted to stylish villas and boutique hotels. Outside the ramparts, Galle functions busily as a provincial town and port - brightly painted fishing boats line the shore and there is a lively market area with a whole pavilion dedicated to fish. Galle and the surrounding villages are full of artisans – lace makers, jewellers, woodcarvers, painters and people making things out of coir, rush and reed. The National Crafts Council has a centre by the old entrance to Galle Fort and there are plenty of small shops selling crafts, jewellery and antiques, as well as a few designer boutiques. Slightly further afield, there are numerous beautiful beaches and fishing villages including Thalpe, Unuwatuna, Matara, Koggala, Weligama Bay and Tangalle, as well as a number of National Parks with plenty of wildlife.

Festivals in Galle and the south coast

January: The Galle Literary Festival - this 4-day festival brings together Sri Lankan and international authors from around the world for writing workshops, talks, exhibitions and more at various locations in Galle. Past guests have included Vickram Seth and Gore Vidal. July: Unuwatuna Perahera - a 7-day festival commencing on full moon day. Matara/Dondra Perahera - with dedications to Lord Vishnu. Kataragama Esala Festival - a 10-day festival when pilgrims give penance to the Hindu war god, Skanda. July to September: Kite flying on the ramparts of Galle

Climate in Galle and the south coast

The average temperature on the South coast is 32° C with 65% humidity, though it is cooler and more humid in the west, getting progressively hotter and less humid the further east you go, especially the east of Tangalle. The evenings are a little cooler and the coasts enjoy sea breezes. Rainfall is experienced mainly during the south-west monsoon from May to August. The ‘calm’ season is December to April, when the seas are general calm and there is little rainfall. Whilst the sea appears calm out of the monsoons, there are still undercurrents and riptides.

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