Tag Archives: Ceylon

The hotels of Galle & Colombo, Sri Lanka

29 August, 2015
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Srilanka_Chips1.The crockery at the Amangalla hotel in Galle still carries the hotel’s original name, New Oriental Hotel.
Srilanka_GalleFort_Flowers2.Purple lotuses wake and sleep like the guests at the Galle Fort Hotel.
Srilanka_GalleFort_Entrance3.The lourves that line the entrance of the Galle Fort Hotel sway.
Srilanka_DecoWhite4. Hotel Deco on 44 in Galle ads some modernist sparkle to the city.
Srilanka_Prawns5. The good thing about Sri Lanka’s luxury hotels is that one can afford a meal or two at them, unlike Bombay’s luxury hotels. Here are the Za’atar Grilled Tiger Prawns at the Amangalla in Galle.
Srilanka_GalleDrink6. A drink at the Galle Face Hotel in Colombo to recover from the pestering touts and gem salesmen across the city.
SriLanka-GrandOrientalHotel7. The facade of the Grand Oriental Hotel on York Street in Colombo.
Srilanka_OrientalProblematicThe sculpture facing the Grand Oriental Hotel, of a young native boy pulling a pipe totting European saheb, should be removed. Srilanka_Postbox8. The post box at the entrance of the Grand Oriental Hotel, that should stay.

Furnishings: The hotels of Galle & Colombo

Sri Lanka.

The grand and boutique hotels of Sri Lanka retain their colonial flavour. Their names, advertisements, signage, the brief tours offered by the hotel management, all suggest that there is a comfort with and a utilisation of the colonial past.

It is these grand and boutique hotels that form the bulk of the higher end hotels in the cities. What could be described as Sri Lanka’s ‘national hotels’, the resort hotels designed by the renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa, are mainly located on the fringes of main cities or in small towns near main cities, like The Blue Water Hotel in Wadduwa near Colombo and the Jetwing Lighthouse on the edge of Galle.

This landscape has meant that cities in Sri Lanka remain conspicuously colonial while the powerful, private, modern architecture of the independent nation stands like fortresses in the outskirts.

Our third and final post in this guest city series will be on The Dutch Burgher Union in Colombo, which reminded us of Bombay’s Ripon Club.

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Welcome to the wonderful world of Galle Fort, Sri Lanka

27 July, 2015
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SriLanka_ChurchExterior2 1. The Dutch Reformed Church (1755) on Church Street.

SriLanka_WhiteDeco2. Hotel Deco on 44 on Lighthouse Street.

Srilanka_DecoPink3. More Art Deco to dekho .

SriLanka_ChurchExterior14. Strolling past one of the quieter though equally curious streets.

Srilanka_FortCars5. The entrance to the Maritime Archeology Museum on Queen’s Street.

Srilanka_MuseumInterior16. A model of the Avondster which sank in the Galle harbour over 300 years ago. The ship wreck was excavated in the 1990s and several of the artefacts that were found on the site are displayed in the Museum.

Srilanka_CourtExterior7. The view from the Fort’s ramparts.

Srilanka_MuseumExterior8. Whizzing past Front Cross Street in the judicial district.

Srilanka_FortWithAuto9. Everyday traffic through the Fort walls of the settlement.

Infrastructure: Galle Fort

Galle, Sri Lanka.

Galle is arguably the best example of a fort city in the world today with functioning court houses, a post-office, schools, houses of worship, homes, hotels, museums and shops, all located within the walls of the fortified settlement.

Galle Fort is reminder of what Fort Bombay would have looked like if the colonial government had not demolished the fort’s ramparts in 1863-64, to pave the way to create an open metropolis, and the government of Maharashtra had paid attention to conserving the architectural beauty of the precinct.

Our next post in this guest city series will be on the hotels of Galle and Colombo.

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