We are back from our Sri Lankan Odyssey- 10 days, 6 towns, 3 provinces and I have to admit, by the end of it, I was sort of wanting to get back home :) But I fell in love with Sri Lanka- it's like a juxtaposition of Kerala and Goa, only much cleaner! And I have so much to share about all our experiences there, that I don't know where to start :)
But the designer in me loves pretty things, so let me start with some eye candy- The Fort Printers Hotel, Galle. Galle fort is a 16th century Dutch fort and a beautiful example of colonial architecture. It's a living fort and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's quaint, beautiful and has made the list of 'my favourite places in the world' :) We stayed at The Fort Printers Hotel... it was love at first sight when I came across it on Agoda, and we stayed in a bunch of smaller guest houses, just so we could afford 2 nights here :) (it's a little pricey)
So often when we see a hotel on the net, the reality doesn't live up to the expectations... but in this case it surpassed them! By now you all know I love heritage architecture, and this place has been adapted so lovingly and sensitively by owners, husband and wife, Dorine and Shahzad, to create an amazing experience. See for yourself...
I really liked everything about our stay at the Fort Printers... the location, the building, the decor, the atmosphere, and the hospitality extended to guests... Owner Dorine personally takes guests around the hotel and escorts them to their rooms, all the while giving them a brief history of the hotel. She explained to us the difficulty in renovating an old building- the restrictions involved and the constant need for maintenance.
The food here is also really great. We had a lovely candlelit meal here one evening. I had the ceviche with avocado and mint and it was divine! So if you happen to visit Galle, at least drop in for a meal here. They also bake their own breads and we enjoyed these at breakfast with some delicious homemade mixed fruit jam... going to be trying to figure out the recipe... so major experiments going to be happening in the kitchen :)
The staff here is very friendly too. One evening we had a really fun chat with one of the guys who worked there. The Champions League was going on and we got down to talking about cricket. (everyone in Sri Lanka loves talking about cricket!) I mentioned that my favourite player was MSD and he excitedly told us that Dhoni is very popular in Sri Lanka... as is Virat Kholi, especially after the way he destroyed their bowling during the 2012 series :)
There are 3 buildings which make up the Fort Printers, two that adjoin one another and another across the street. The original printers building is done up in old world, colonial style, while the newer wings are very contemporary and Bawa-like in style.
So even if you aren't staying here, visit and take a look around this lovely old building and the way it's been restored and revived :)
[All images by Shalini Pereira- please do not use without prior written permission]