What’s the story?
With six Sri Lankan properties and counting, Teardrop Hotels cherry-picks storied buildings and transforms them into charm- packed boutique hotels – in this case, a 17th-century merchant’s house within Galle’s UNESCO-listed fort complex.
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A pared-back, contemporary ode to Ceylonese heritage, from its copper pendant lamps to vintage travel posters. All 18 guest rooms come with four-posters, while the Upper Suites have bi-folding doors onto a terrace, and deep free-standing tubs to bathe in. Extra points for the jaunty “Ring for Champagne” button, and lack of so-not-chic plastic (it’s all reusable metal straws and filtered water in glass bottles here).
A network of narrow, pedestrian-friendly lanes lined with chilled-out cafés and craft shops, Galle makes the perfect easing-in (or final winding down) spot on a Sri Lankan grand tour – thanks to the new highway, it’s only two hours to Colombo airport. Absorb the layers of Dutch, Portuguese and British rule wandering the town’s ramparts, from lighthouse to cricket ground, taking in old spice warehouses and churches.
It’s easy to while away the afternoon curled on the shaded courtyard’s giant cushions, among potted palms and patterned tiles – time this for the daily complimentary tea and biscuits (3.30–4.30pm).
After breakfasting on traditional egg hoppers in the brasserie-style at Church Street Social, you’ll see why booking a cookery class with resident spice-wizard Chef Mohan is essential. After shopping for fresh fish and bizarre-shaped veggies in local markets, he shows how to whip up a feast of delicately spiced curries (from cuttlefish to green mango) and coconut sambals.