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Galle Face Hotel

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Highlights

- Scenic beachside location
- Historic building with tours available
- Well located for exploring Colombo

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Overview

This grand and elegant hotel is situated on the Colombo seafront. It’s so-called because it lies opposite the Galle Face Green, an expansive oceanside public park and the city’s largest open green space. Built in 1864, the hotel prides itself on being one of the oldest east of the Suez Canal and retains many of its original features and fixings. It’s been lovingly maintained over the years and was last renovated in 2015, so it’s just as glorious now as it was back when it first opened. Though it’s very much an historic hotel, it’s been fitted with all the modern conveniences today’s travellers need for a relaxing and comfortable stay.

There are 156 guest rooms at the Galle Face Hotel, all of which have plenty of amenities and have been specially designed to showcase the hotel’s unique heritage. Some of the rooms offer views of the Indian Ocean, and some have their own private balcony. Amenities that are available in all types of guest room include air conditioning, a complimentary minibar, a selection of local teas, a flat-screen TV with a selection of pay-TV channels and Wi-Fi. Children are welcome, and a babysitting service is available for an extra charge.

There are plenty of on-site facilities to make use of. Galle Face is home to the only salt water pool in Colombo, which is open daily. The library houses a wide range of books, as well as some board games, while the croquet lawn is where many hotel guests enjoy playing croquet while sipping on Pimm's, one of the hotel’s many traditions. Visit the museum to see pieces of memorabilia from throughout the hotel’s history, and be sure to visit on Tuesdays or Thursdays for a guided tour by the hotel’s historian. The historian also conducts tours of the hotel, informing guests all about its rich history and fascinating architecture. Those wanting to explore Colombo and further afield can get in touch with the hotel’s expeditions team, who can arrange all sorts of bespoke tours, day trips and expeditions to many of Sri Lanka’s top tourist attractions.

At the hotel there are three restaurants, two bars and a gastropub. There’s a good variety of dining options available: the 1864 Restaurant offers contemporary Sri Lankan cuisine with locally sourced ingredients, while seafood is on the menu at the European-style Seaspray restaurant, and over at The Verandah, guests can enjoy a range of international cuisine in an al fresco setting. Both the Pool Bar and The Travellers’ Bar offer refreshing drinks and wonderful views of the ocean.

Suggested Itineraries for Galle Face Hotel

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 500 reviews

(5.00/5)

  • It was FANTASTIC! Beautifully organised, everything worked like clockwork. We agreed that we had the best support team ever (and we have experience) - all delightful, very professional and nothing was too much bother.

    It clearly couldn't have been a better route, such a wonderful mix of landscapes. And plenty of acclimatisation time. Nonetheless, I was glad of my summit oxygen.

    Kit excellent. Double good mattresses made for most comfortable trek camping ever. Tents v good. Mess tent pretty windproof, which was vital for enjoyment. Best camp loo ever!

    My favourite day was Shira Cathedral. Amazing.

    MissingWilliam M reviewing Kilimanjaro Lemosho Route on 15 April 2020

  • Hi Lisa,

    The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.

    Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)

    Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!

    Best regards,
    Woan Chyi

    MissingWoan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019

  • Driver-guide: Very punctual, except for pick up for airport when he was delayed by >30 mins due to road closures. Vehicle very clean and well maintained- plenty of water and supplies of clothing for religious sites, tissues, postcards etc. Very good at understanding what level of conversation we wanted. Happy to stop for paracetamol, supermarket etc. Took us to signal box at railway since we were early (which was very interesting)

    The Walawwa: Lovely place to arrive at and get a bit of rest. Great pool, lovely rooms and food etc. Peaceful oasis so close to town.

    Wilpattu Camp: Wonderful food- really enjoyed trying lots of new things in excellent surroundings.Felt like the place had not been visited much recently (which I don’t think it had due to the terrorist attacks) so our safari guide had been brought up from another park and did not know the park too well- it worked out well though and we saw all the animals we hoped to see so no complaints on that front. We did feel that we should have been told about extra things we could have done- when we commented on the great food on final day we were told that they could have done a cookery demo for us, but it was too late at that point. It worked well for us but clients should probably know that they are likely to have multiple wildlife in their tents (eg frogs)- didn’t bother us at all, but others it might do. We were given a questionnaire to fill in at the end whilst all the staff were standing around, which wasn’t ideal as you felt a bit of pressure! Felt really well looked after here!

    Water Gardens Sigiriya: Beautiful suites with plunge pools- quiet and peaceful with lovely big swimming pool. Food good

    Jungle Beach: Beautiful location on beach. Rooms good. Food a bit limited I would have liked a bit more variety ideally.

    Camellia House: Lovely location- beautiful views. Food OK but service below average- our food orders were wrong a couple of times and even pre-ordered food was delayed. Tea factory tour was only an hour and that was the main reason to be here. It was interesting but quite brief seeing it was the main attraction according to our itinerary. Also, we were taken there in a minibus which didn’t have seatbelts on all seats and was quite smelly- not up to the standard of the usual transportation. Rooms were described as having panoramic views- one did have amazing views but the other one definitely didn’t.

    Galle Face: Lovely old hotel- but it did have some problems (leaking ceiling and ‘smuts’ coming out of air conditioning.) Weather very bad (spectacular storms). It was a shame the street food tour couldn’t take place but totally understandable given the weather, however we enjoyed our dinner here and free drinks/canopes!). Good choice at breakfast.

    MissingPippa R reviewing Sri Lanka Highlights - Classic on 30 September 2019

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