Luxury hotel holiday Tamarind Hill Galle

On your tour around Sri Lanka, stop for a few nights at Tamarind Hill in Galle. Inspired by its former resident, a British Admiral, Tamarind Hill is filled with maritime and aristocratic style, and has an unapologetic confidence towards its opulence and grandeur. During the day, explore the historic and famous Galle Fort, visiting the boutiques, markets, museums, and monuments, and soaking up the lively culture of southern Sri Lanka.
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 Tamarind Hill, Galle

Tamarind Hill is an exclusive small luxury boutique hotel in an excellent location within walking distance of the Dutch Fort. Comfortable, colonial-style accommodation, serene garden and pool and spa facilities make it an ideal haven from the bustle of Galle.

Facts in brief

Official star rating Small luxury boutique

Location Northern outskirts of Galle, near the coast.

Closest airport Bandaranaike International Airport

Distance from airport 98 miles

Hotel facilities and services

Spa, Restaurant, Bar, Lounge, and Courtyard.

Complimentary

Wifi

Out and about nearby

Take a River Safari on the Gini Ganga to see the wildlife on the river banks, including the tropical birds and monkeys, or go fishing with a local expert to learn the Sri Lankan methods. Very near by is the Kovila Godella Temple, which is the site of a 400 year old Bo tree. Visit the famous historic Galle Fort and walk around the outside walls along the seafront. Stop off at the lighthouse, Flag Rock, and the water holes. For an informative introduction to the history of the city, 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, visit Unawatuna, Jungle Beach, the fishing village of Thalpe, and Ratgama Lake. The top of Rumassalla Hill provides some of the best views on the island. Wander the estate and sample the teas of Handunugoda.

Sports nearby

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

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

From about

£1,650

Holiday Code EXH1902

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 Tamarind Hill, Galle

A colonial structure with more than a hint of opulence, Tamarind Hill is a stunning luxury addition to any touring holiday around Sri Lanka. Classed as a boutique hotel, Tamarind Hill's 12 rooms have a pervading sense of privacy and intimacy, with a decorative theme inspired by its noble former status as the official residence of the British Admiral of the Peninsula. Arrive at the hotel and be greeted by its stately white-washed façade, adorned by manicured plants and atmospheric lighting. Inside, characteristically Sri Lankan dark wood takes prominence, with solid wooden doors and carefully carved archways leading you through the hotel. Comfortable lounge areas are comprised of plush armchairs, old-worldy coffee tables, and plumes of flowers, which cultivate a subtly 'English' touch. Bedrooms are deliberately and confidently grand, with four-poster beds, antique armoires and screens in the suites, and gentle, golden lamp-light. This theme continues into the restaurant, which is filled with 18th and 19th century aristocratic glamour. Seafood dishes and traditional grills, infused with locally grown spices take pride of place on the menu, aiding the atmosphere of the hotel. After dinner, enjoy a glass of specially selected wine in the slightly more modern bar, or sample fine Ceylon teas in the lounge, which looks out into the grassy central courtyard. Before departing Tamarind Hill, try some of the wellbeing treatments on offer at the spa, each of which is inspired by the teachings of the Sri Lankan 'Weda Mahaththaya,' or 'village healers'. Tamarind Hill pays attentive tribute to Galle's maritime and colonial history in the range of carefully designed facilities available, the intricate framed drawings on its walls, the regal feel, and the antique, original furnishings. A few nights at this boutique hotel will add a new texture to your Sri Lankan touring holiday.

Room descriptions

Tamarind Hill has 12 rooms with air-conditioning, LED television, minibar, safe, tea and coffee machine, turndown service, rain shower, and Ayurveda inspired toiletries.

Crayford Room
Admiral Suite with original furnishings, clawfoot bathtub, and private balcony
Captain Suite with original furnishings, clawfoot bathtub, and private balcony

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

From about

£1,650

Holiday Code EXH1902

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 Tamarind Hill, Galle

The journey and how you get there

For a holiday to Tamarind Hill 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 30 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.

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

From about

£1,650

Holiday Code EXH1902

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 Tamarind Hill, 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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