After two nights surrounded by backpackers in Ella and a less than memorable stop in Udawalawe my partner and I were ready for some proper luxury. Our tour operator had talked up this property as a definite highlight of our 10-days in Sri Lanka; it was certainly the nicest army barracks that I’ve ever slept in!
First impressions count, and didn’t disappoint. While our bags were moved to our room we were each offered a hot towel and cool beverage to refresh ourselves. What immediately struck me was how quiet the hotel was; for all we know it was fully booked, but we hardly ever saw anyone else. That this once-barracks-now-boutique-hotel was located in a once-garrison-now-tourist-enclave might have something to do with that.
We were booked in a standard double room, which gave us plenty of space and an enormous four-poster bed. We found the mattress too soft, but others might prefer it. The only drawback to the room was that because it faced both the courtyard and the walkway directly outside we had to keep our window shutters closed pretty much all the time.
The bathroom was similarly spacious and the open shower area provided lots of natural light from above. It would have been great if our bedroom had a skylight as well…
Restaurant & Food
With all the other dining options in Galle we didn’t take any dinners here, but we did enjoy two breakfasts—which were served in a small dining room in the front of the building. Pro tip: if you’re early risers like us, do your fellow guests a favour and request that the ceiling fans be turned on; otherwise you and everyone else might find it too humid to enjoy that morning coffee.
The restaurant’s coffee, by the way, is glorious. After four days of instant dreck elsewhere on the island I was overjoyed at the prospect of a decent Americano. Someone at another table ordered a cappuccino, and seemed similarly thrilled.
Breakfast was a set menu that included fresh fruit, juice, a selection of pastries and a choice of main dish. Baked goods are clearly a strong point of this hotel; smaller treats also served with the complimentary afternoon tea, and are no less tasty.
During our stay we also treated ourselves to massages at the in-house spa. I went for a Thai foot massage; not sure how authentic it was but I was served pastries afterwards so no complaints!
Galle is a great place to visit but can be very busy, with tourists, tuk-tuks and the occasional car all sharing the narrow streets. In contrast, The Fort Bazaar was for us an oasis of quiet luxury. Although we didn’t spend a lot of time there we were always happy to return after a day of exploring. It’s definitely worth a visit.
Book your stay here: Fort Bazaar