The Galle Face Hotel, Colombo
Built in 1864, the Galle Face Hotel is one of South Asia's 'grandes dames', testimony to Sri Lanka’s colonial past. Blending historical splendour with crafted modernity, the famous hotel has been recently renovated to a high standard and is an excellent base for a few days of discovery in Sri Lanka's capital city.
Originally a Dutch Villa, the property was developed by a group of 4 British entrepreneurs to become, by the late 19th century, the 'best hotel east of Suez'.
World Discovery prices are based on Superior Rooms (pictured below), which feature either queen and twin beds. A colonial feel with wonderful wood finishes give these rooms a nostalgic feeling. The 27-30 square metre rooms offer complimentary Wi-Fi, satellite LCD television, air conditioning, safety deposit box, a selection of local teas, complimentary soft drink selection and various luxury amenities.
There are several dining options. The 1864 Restaurant and Wine Cellar specialises in European cuisine, accompanied by a wide variety of old and new world wines. The Verandah offers excellent Ceylonese cuisine, and is also the venue for extensive buffets at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sea Spray, with its panoramic views of the Indian Ocean, offers an exclusive alfresco dining experience, and specialises in fresh fish and seafood. For relaxing drinks, the place to be is the Travellers' Bar; there is also the Pool Bar beside the large outdoor (saltwater) swimming pool at the ocean's edge (pictured below), which also serves light meals.