Galle Literary Festival

Where To Stay

We are delighted to be partnering with some of the area’s top hotels, many of which are kindly hosting our visiting authors, as well as providing the venues for our intimate lunch and dinner events.

Set within UNESCO-listed Galle Fort — where much of our Galle Literary Festival takes place — and dotted along the coast and Galle’s verdant interior, these are brilliant places to stay if you’re coming from out of town for the Festival. Read on for a flavour of each hotel or villa:

Galle Town & Fort

Prince of Galle

Hidden along a little side street in Galle Fort, is ideal for romantics and on-foot explorers. Choose one of six individually designed rooms with antique pieces and big, sink-into four-posters, kick back at the café or enjoy a long soak in the plunge pool. A small heritage hotel with stacks of charm.

The Merchant

In the heart of the action on the Fort’s bustling Pedlar Street, has 14 rooms clustered above a cobbled courtyard, as well as a three-bedroom villa just nearby. Interiors are fresh and contemporary, with high ceilings, a soothing cream palette and lots of natural textures. Sip cocktails at the bar or dine on Sri Lankan specialities in the courtyard restaurant. The villa is fantastic for families.

The Sun House

A charming terracotta-roofed villa set atop Lady Hill, overlooking Galle Town and the Fort. Built by a Scottish spice merchant in the 1860s, the house has been recently refurbished and now offers eight comfortable rooms and suites, as well as an inviting, leaf-framed swimming pool. A characterful base for those looking to explore Galle on foot.

Galle Fort Hotel

A heritage aficionado’s dream, with eleven grand, antique-filled suites reflecting the building’s long history through displays of 19th-century porcelain and homages to famous travellers. Savour delicious dishes after cracking cocktails at The Ropewalk. It’s also one of the few hotels in Galle Fort with a swimming pool — and a particularly beautiful one at that.


Opened in late 2023, is a striking Art Deco property on Lighthouse Street in Galle Fort. Once a merchant’s home and now a nine-bedroom boutique hotel with a hip bar, it’s a top spot for trendy design aficionados. Pick a perch at Charlie’s Bar for cocktails before heading out to explore.

The Fort Printers

 Previously a print shop and boys’ school, is now an elegantly restored boutique hotel on the corner of Pedlar Street. Sixteen minimalist rooms and suites, each named for school subjects, encircle a frangipani-filled courtyard with a refreshing swimming pool. Feast on fantastic fare at 39 Wine Bar & Bistro. An understated gem.

Fort Bazaar

A chic, 18-bedroom hotel fusing contemporary style with nods to the building’s past as a 17th-century Fort merchant’s residence. Feast on Asian fusion food at trendy Church Street Social before retreating to spacious, earthy-toned rooms with modern four-posters and big bathtubs in the candlelit courtyard.

Thambili House

Edwards Collection’s three-bedroom Galle Fort hideaway, is a historic spice merchant’s residence with antique furnishings and contemporary art pieces. Recently restored by Rohan Aluwihara, the house boasts Indian Ocean views and a gorgeous courtyard plunge pool. 

Landesi Villa

managed by Jetwing Hotels, is a lovely three-bedroom house with draped four-poster beds, cream and white textiles, and traditional Dutch-era wooden furniture. Architect Ashley de Vos and owner Stephen Labrooy have collaborated to create an elegant space which reflects the Fort’s history.


Jetwing Lighthouse

A landmark hotel with striking Indian Ocean views from many of its 85 rooms and suites. Designed by renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa in the 1980s, the hotel also boasts a splendid staircase by Laki Senanayake, depicting the Battle of Randeniwela in copper and bronze. With two swimming pools, a tennis court and a gym, this is a brilliant choice for active travellers or families. Just five minutes’ drive up the coast from Galle Fort.

Le Grand

On the beach in Galle, is known for its swish, airy spaces and impressive views of Fort and the ocean beyond. The 57 rooms and suites have a modern, minimalist feel, and there’s a gym and infinity pool for beating the heat. Follow restorative spa treatments with sundowners at the poolside bar and relaxed dinners at the two onsite restaurants.

The Chatham Collection

Has four elegant properties in Galle Fort and on Habaraduwa beach. Two of the villas will be hosting our authors, but 3-bedroom beach villas Ahasa and Sulanga, both designed by Channa Daswatte, are fabulous for families or groups of friends looking to unwind in sophisticated surroundings. Think light, airy spaces with contemporary elements and antiques from Hong Kong, where the owners have long been based.

Angel Beach Club

In Unawatuna, will delight sociable travellers and keen partygoers. Life at this buzzy beach club centres around the pool and bar, with regular live DJ nights and dancing just steps from the sea. Rooms are smart and spacious, with high ceilings and a white and pale green colour palette. The suite even has a freestanding bath.

The Fortress Resort & Spa

Promises an indulgent hotel experience, with glorious views of the ocean near Koggala. Some of the 53 classic rooms and suites have flexible spaces for families, who will also adore the infinity pool. Enjoy superb seafood or wine tastings after soothing massages at the Ayurvedic spa. A luxurious choice for the whole family.   

Skinny Beach House

 Gets its name from its narrow plot of land, cleverly utilised to make the most of splendid ocean views from two floors. Close to the tranquil lagoon of Dalawella beach, this modern two-bedroom villa is a brilliant base for families or friends, who can kick back in the sea-facing sitting room, sink into the plunge pool on the deck, or catch orange and pink sunsets from the upstairs balcony.

Rockside Cabanas

Steps from the sand at Dalawella beach, this is a welcoming little spot with a relaxed seaside feel. Wooden cabanas and suites face a sheltered reef pool where turtles glide in the shallows. Happy hour sundowners with live music are a highlight and delicious seafood dinners await just across the grassy garden. Great for families with young children.

Soul & Surf

Hosts friendly retreats right on the coast in trendy Ahangama. The eight simple, airy rooms all have uninterrupted views of the lagoon – as do the covered rooftop yoga shala and  buzzy café. Immerse yourself in the team’s top-notch surf and yoga classes, and meet like-minded travellers whilst sipping cocktails at the weekly Sunday sunset sessions – complete with beats by locally based DJs. 

The Frangipani Tree

part of the Edwards Collection, offers nine light-filled suites named for nesting turtles in three ocean-facing villas fringed by palm and frangipani trees. Set in coastal Thalpe, this seaside sanctuary has four-poster beds, polished concrete interiors and a big swimming pool. 


Why House

Nestled among lush gardens in Mihiripenna, close to Dalawella beach, is a favourite with returning guests of all ages. Famed for its warm hospitality, this ten-bedroom hotel has fabulous interiors with bold prints and huge bathrooms, as well as an excellent restaurant-bar serving cold gin & tonics and fresh, seasonal cuisine. Little ones will adore the big swimming pool and leafy grounds.

Kurulu Bay

Overlooks magical Koggala Lake, 20 kilometres from Galle Fort. A tranquil sanctuary with 14 suites and cottages bordering the island’s largest natural lake, this hideaway has a seriously cool tropical modernist feel. Expect a large swimming pool, an all-day kitchen with a strong farm-to-table ethos, and a dedicated wellness focus with yoga classes and spa treatments galore.

Boundary House

With its four generously proportioned rooms and 360° paddy field views, is a secluded spot close to Yatagala Temple. Just 20 minutes’ drive from the Fort, this expansive private villa is the ideal retreat for a laid-back group seeking infinity pool dips, morning classes in the yoga shala and fresh Sri Lankan and international fare.

Eden Villas

Offers a superb collection of unique villas along the south coast. Whether you’re dreaming of hiding away as a couple or gathering family and friends for an epic holiday celebration, you’ll find gorgeous properties for groups large and small. Design-led paddy view villas and classic beach escapes await.

Sri Mathie B&B

Set on seven acres of forest inland of Habaraduwa, has a sensitively restored antique villa at its heart. Built in 1910, the charming house is home to welcoming hosts Guy and Mary, who also run an organic farm from the property. Book one of the characterful rooms, or kick back in a cottage on the grounds. Guests share access to the jungle-fringed swimming pool, and can enjoy breakfasts featuring fresh eggs.

Apa Villa

 A peaceful six-bedroom retreat surrounded by seven acres of garden, jungle and paddy fields inland of Yatagala. White-washed guest rooms – named for plants or flowers – feature antique chests, verdant views and colourful textiles. Spot hundreds of species of birds flitting between the trees and enjoy expert-led cooking classes using organic produce from the villa’s own greenhouse and farm. 

Tanty’s Hostel

a friendly base for backpackers, with simple bedrooms and bathrooms as well as a shared space for socialising. Set in Dewata, the hostel is just two minutes’ walk from buzzy Bonavista beach, perfect for keen surfers looking to hone their skills – and a short drive from Galle Fort. 


The Galle Face Hotel

Colombo landmark, with grand guest rooms overlooking the Indian Ocean. One of the oldest hotels east of the Suez, this 1864-built edifice boasts multiple restaurants, bars and event spaces. There’s a saltwater swimming pool and a spa, too. Perfectly placed for exploring Colombo.

For alternative accommodation ideas, consider Airbnb or, both of which have a plethora of great options in the Galle area and along the south coast.