Villa | 5 bedrooms | sleeps 10
With its tree-fringed exterior discreetly opening onto Lighthouse Street in Galle Fort, Ambassador's House hides its generous proportions well. Step inside, however, and be amazed by the luxurious amount of space this villa offers. Comprising two buildings connected by an inner courtyard garden, the property's thick walls, many archways and ornate plasterwork provide constant reminders of its Dutch colonial origins whilst period furnishings elegantly reflect the era. Airy sofa-filled living spaces beneath soaring timber ceilings, a sound system with speakers built into the rafters and a choice of dining areas from ground to roof level certainly make Ambassador's House a wonderfully historic location for entertaining.
At one time this property was the residence of the Bangladeshi Ambassador, hence its name. Many functions must surely have been held here and the various living and dining areas are certainly grand enough to host a large group of people. Families and friends will love Ambassador's House for this reason alone but, as well as these big, social spaces it also offers many pockets of privacy for quiet, restful moments. Polished wood floors offer plenty of pottering space for toddlers, sun dappled walkways connect rooms whilst the roof terrace is easily the best place for soaking up the tropical sunshine; think lazy sundrenched afternoons, chilled beers at sunset and BBQs under a blanket of stars.
The five bedrooms at Ambassador's are also well laid out for families and groups with the upstairs two – a double and a twin – creating an ideal family suite while the three downstairs bedrooms are perfect for couples or older kids since they open directly onto the inviting, elongated plunge pool and living areas.
Ambassador's House comes fully serviced with a cook who prepares meals from a flexible suggestion menu, cleaning staff and a manager whose previous training as a tour guide makes him well qualified to advise or accompany you on trips around Galle and further afield. Galle Fort is literally on your doorstep; this fascinating, four-century-old living museum is scattered with an increasing number of boutiques, restaurants and museums that are best explored on foot.
|Size||Sleeps up to 10, 5 bedrooms|
|Access||Car not necessary|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages, Suitable for people with restricted mobility|
|Notes||No pets allowed, No smoking at this property|
Features and Facilities
|Luxuries||Private indoor pool|
|Pool||Private indoor pool|
|General||Air conditioning, TV, Wi-Fi available|
|Rooms||5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms of which 5 Family bathrooms|
|Furniture||Double beds (5)|
|Outdoors||Private indoor pool|
The Sri Lanka Southern Coast region
Stretching between Galle and Hambantota, the south coast is undoubtedly one of the most popular destinations in Sri Lanka. Characterised by historically significant fortified towns, numerous picture-perfect palm-fringed beaches, a sultry turquoise sea, swathes of iridescent green paddy fields fringed by lush green jungle, ancient Buddhist temples, expansive waterways, nature-filled rainforests and tea-carpeted hills it offers enough variety to be a destination in itself; fabulous for families, groups and couples alike. Galle is one of the region's most significant attractions for its sixteenth century Dutch fort filled with an evocatively rich collection of buildings, boutiques, museums and luxury digs that hug a peninsular to the south of town. Galle's popular beaches are better-facilitated, more developed and safer for swimming than those in and around Tangalle, but the further you travel east the more expansive, deserted and nature-filled they become. Surfing, snorkelling, diving, whale watching, sailing, fishing and kayaking can all be done along this magnificent stretch of coastline as well as cycling, walking and trying your hand at Sri Lankan cookery. Inland, the scene varies as the westerly wet zone's lush jungle interior gives way to the arid dry zone plains a little beyond Tangalle. Taking off by bicycle is often the best way to explore the hills, plains, sanctuaries and jungle whilst a boat is a must to navigate the scenic lakes and rivers that wind in between. Some of Sri Lanka's most popular national parks – Uda Walawe for elephants and Yala for leopards and bears – as well as a trio of its most accessible rainforests – Sinharaja, Kottawa and Kanneliya - are easily visited on a day or overnight trip from anywhere along the south coast.
The historic city of Galle is one of the island's biggest attractions; as once the most important port on the island, Galle's natural harbour attracted seafaring traders long before the arrival of the fort-building European colonialists who were to turn it into a flourishing market town. Galle's new town is a hive of activity where noisy traffic-filled roads overflow with frantic shoppers, and hawkers of luscious fruit, fish and vegetables loudly promote their wares. The newly created promenade beside the sea is a picturesque place to walk and contemplate the oceanic scene as fishermen, yachts and navy boats come and go from the harbour. In stark contrast to the town of Galle, the sleepy, historic fort offers serenity and calm. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, its seventeenth century ramparts, now retired, are filled with an evocative collection of period properties, intimate boutiques, interesting museums and tiny cafes whilst its nostalgic ambiance and cosmopolitan vibe further highlight its charm. The international cricket stadium, located between the old and new towns, is famed for having one of the most picturesque backdrops in the world. There's a railway station plus are plenty of banks, ATMs, pharmacies, shops, restaurants, money changing facilities and supermarkets in town.