TEL: 0203 880 8585

Fort Bazaar

Sophisticrats, Glitterati and Hipsters

PRICE: Punchy but doesn’t blow the budget

RATING: Wow factor

The new kid on the block, the Fort Bazaar opened in Galle, Sri Lanka, in February 2016. It had an excellent pedigree, coming from the same stable as The Wallawa, a colonial manor house near to the airport which is an oasis of tranquillity before or after a long flight. And to serve your best interests, we were amongst the first through the door.

After our exhaustive enquiries (involving much exploring, eating and drinking and blissful sleeping) we came to the somewhat inevitable conclusion: this place is just brilliant.

The décor is atypical; it’s not the predictable blend of colonial and the vernacular but rather draws influences from the Middle East, noticeable from the moment you enter from the street and step onto cool Moroccan floor tiles on the hotel verandah.

The Fort Bazaar is refreshing in every sense, from the waiters wearing Converse shoes, jeans and lightweight linen shirts to the air-conditioned restaurant and bar (as we write, it’s the only hotel in Galle with an air-conditioned restaurant).

The rooms, decorated in the trademark muted green, are superbly designed with four-poster beds, storage for even the most over-enthusiastic packer and beautiful bathrooms. The courtyard terrace is delightful, bedecked with colourful Middle Eastern scatter cushions and small circular hammered metal tables. The only drawback is that it doesn’t currently have a pool but, hey, you’ll almost certainly be out and about in the fort.

Yonder Insight

Have dinner at Church Street Social. The hotel’s own restaurant is a treat. Not only will you enjoy refreshing aircon whilst dining but the menu introduces modern flair and creativity which you may not find elsewhere.

On your doorstep

Take a stroll out of the fort and into the new town. Head for the bus station to see daily life in Galle, with the street food sellers and hustle and bustle. The samosas at the small stand opposite the Colombo highway bus stop are superb.

Thoughts on a postcard

An early evening moment of calm in the tranquil outdoor terrace was our opportunity after busy days on the move to Facetime home and catch up on life.

Thoughts on a postcard

An early evening moment of calm in the tranquil outdoor terrace was our opportunity after busy days on the move to Facetime home and catch up on life.

Start planning your tailor-made holiday

Speak to one of our expert Escapologists who help guide you and give you the inside track

Call an Escapologist 0203 880 8585

Fort Bazaar: the map

Alternative accommodation in Galle and the southern beaches


Formerly the fabled New Oriental Hotel, now magnificently reborn as an Aman hotel, the Amangalla Galle is a sumptuous blend of colonial opulence with contemporary minimalism. Teak floors, antiques, views of the fort and tranquil gardens in the heart of a bustling city.

Frangipani Tree

Occupying one of the best spots on Thalpe beach, on SL’s South Coast, with a seascape to die for. Sleek and minimalist interiors and just nine suites with four-posters and rich linens. Amazing fusion food completes a formula that oozes quality.

Kahanda Kanda

Occupying a hillside tea plantation of 12 acres with stunning views, Suites are a striking blend of antiques, contemporary fashion and custom-designed fabrics. The Kahanda Kanda resort restaurant is amongst the best on the South Coast.