The Fort Printers
A true boutique hotel oozing charm. As it says on the tin, formerly a printing house (originally a private house, it has also been a school and a bank) it has been converted to provide elegant accommodation in the heart of the old city of Galle, Sri Lanka.
Your driver will deliver you to the door, winding through the maze of narrow chequerboard streets, until you reach the trademark old Morris Minor that sits at the hotel’s entrance.
Everything about this place is understated. It’s effortlessly cool. There are beautiful antiques juxtaposed against polished concrete floors. The atmosphere is intimate and the service is attentive.
Fort Printers was a printing company famous in Galle which until 2002 still employed the wooden printing blocks and wrought iron printing machines made in Leeds and London to print beautiful stationery and cards.
Transformed into an elegant small private hotel, Fort Printers originally comprising five suites but with the addition of two heritage villas in 2013, now has 13 suites, offering understated elegance and personal service in an intimate, friendly atmosphere.
The highly-respected Conde Nast Traveler magazine has said of it: ‘The jackwood floors, copper-lined rain showers, and extra long lap pool are generating a buzz among design-savvy visitors.
The narrow pool, perfectly sculpted into an old colonial era courtyard, is perfect for cooling off and the food in the restaurant is super fresh (in fact so much so, that on enquiring about some garlic grilled jumbo prawns we were invited into the kitchen to see the options for ourselves.).
The modern rooms are stripped back, minimalist and refined with the angular teak day furniture and four poster beds draped with mosquito nets. The suites, offering a tranquil sanctuary, have whitewashed walls, shuttered windows, daybeds, Tibetan carpets and vibrant Thai silk furnishings in colours evocative of a market spice stall.
Perhaps, though, the best thing about The Fort Printers is its location. Nowhere in the old city is more than ten minutes’ walk. The evocative sights, sounds and smells are all on your doorstep. And your doorstep isn’t even busy or noisy.
PRICE: Punchy but doesn’t blow the budget
RATING: Big thumbs up
Thoughts on a postcard
Chatting to Peter, the manager, late at night over a gin and tonic and hearing about real life in Galle was a behind-the-scenes insight that kept us enthralled.