Galle Face Hotel

Location: Colombo & Western Sri Lanka | Sri Lanka

Price guide: £££££ Less than £100 per person per night

With 150 years of history, Galle Face is the grande dame of Colombo’s hotels. Esteemed former guests include Mahatma Gandhi, John D. Rockefeller and Mark Twain, among innumerable others. The hotel’s rich history is evident in its luxurious colonial rooms and suites and range of top-end restaurants and bars; there’s even a museum documenting its illustrious past.
Perfect forExploring Colombo in colonial style.
In the know
  • Range of top-end restaurants and bars
  • Home to the only salt water swimming pool in Colombo
  • Prime location overlooking the ocean yet in the heart of the city

Recommended for...

  • Food & Wine
  • Luxury Hotel
  • Service & Hospitality
  • Beach

Hotel Overview

Sense of place

Overlooking the seafront and the iconic Galle Front Green, the Galle Face Hotel is a landmark of the city of Colombo. Built in 1864, this grand, traditional hotel has recently been restored to its original opulence and proudly describes itself as the ‘best hotel east of Suez’.

Rooms at Galle Face Hotel

Rooms and suites at Galle Face Hotel have a colonial feel, with extensive use of wood in the flooring, doors and furnishings. The Landmark suites are slightly more modern in their design, with a stylishly muted colour palette of white, black and dark greys, while Premier rooms overlook the ocean, some from a private balcony. The Heritage suites take the colonial opulence to a new level, with neoclassical pillars and ornately carved four-poster beds.

Food & drink

The Galle Face Hotel features a range of top-end dining establishments, ensuring you won’t go hungry during your stay. At the 1864 Restaurant and Wine Cellar, you can enjoy exquisitely prepared modern European cuisine paired with an extensive menu of Old and New World wines, while traditional Ceylonese cuisine is on offer at the Verandah – the fresh crab curry is a famous speciality. More fresh seafood is on offer at the casual Sea Spray, while the Traveller’s Bar – a onetime haunt of Mark Twain and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – offers light meals and a range of teas, cocktails and other drinks. The Chequerboard is an iconic spot on the waterfront where you can enjoy a drink and gaze out over the Indian Ocean.

Facilities

The hotel is home to the only saltwater swimming pool in Colombo, in a beautiful spot overlooking the ocean – the perfect place to relax after a day’s sightseeing in Colombo. There’s also a gym with state-of-the-art equipment and training advice available on request. In keeping with the colonial traditions of the hotel, there’s a croquet lawn, and the hotel even has a museum telling the story of its rich history. There’s also a tranquil library, where you can choose from a range of books, some of which – like Arthur C. Clarke’s 3001: The Final Odyssey – were written at the hotel.

Activities at Galle Face Hotel

Alongside the myriad of activities on offer at the hotel, Galle Face’s unrivalled seafront location is prime for exploring the attractions of Colombo. Highlights of the Sri Lankan capital include the National Museum, where artefacts tell the story of the country’s ancient past up to the colonial era; the Dutch Period Museum, which in the 17th century was the residence of the Dutch governor; and just relaxing by the ocean on Galle Face Green.

Best time to go

Best time to travel

Good time to travel (but some limitations)

Travel is possible (but it’s not the best time)

Travel is not recommended

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
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  • Nov
  • Dec
Best time to go

Hotel location

Galle Face Hotel has an unrivalled location overlooking the beach in the Galle Face business district of Colombo. It’s about a 50-minute drive to Bandaranaike International Airport.

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