Scrolling through beachy spring break albums on my social media feeds this week has me reminiscing (and missing) my February travels. Last month I shared my stay in Bangkok, but I actually visited four countries while I was away (because why not spend your whole trip on a plane?) Just kidding, I am glad I got to see SO much during a short period of time. This week I’m taking you Inn Lovers to Sri Lanka! Aside from the stunning coastal towns and welcoming culture, I LOVED the unique properties everywhere we turned. Come with me as I explore The Fort Bazaar in the historic town of Galle.
You may be thinking that Sri Lanka seems like an odd choice for a vacation, and in recent past, you would have been right! After 26 years of conflict, the Sri Lankan Civil War ended in 2009. The country has been recovering since and building its tourism numbers along the way. Since 2009, tourism has increased by 300%, and it was easy to see why after visiting cities like Galle. The narrow streets are lined with art galleries, restaurants, and boutiques. Dogs and roosters wander freely and school kids all hold hands leaving class as they walk along Galle Fort, built by the Portuguese in 1588!
We ventured along the streets and wandered through most of the properties we passed, including the Fort Bazaar, a boutique property on Church Street. You enter through a breezy front porch with artsy tables and then enter a secluded lobby where a bar and private room are off to either side. All of these properties almost felt like you were walking into someones home, where you can wind down a hallway and discover a hidden bar or art room.
We continued through the lobby to an open-air seating area that had a “distinctly middle eastern” design. I was taking a picture at every step, not just for this blog, but for my own design inspiration. Everything felt so fresh and modern, but you could still see the cultural influences. It was so beautiful.
The far end of the seating area led to an amazing courtyard, connecting all the rooms, but also providing a private outdoor space below. There were couches, tables, stools, and even candles hidden in cutouts in the walls lining the courtyard. And the greenery was incredible, we all sat down for a few minutes and just stared around us! My friends had to drag me away to our dinner reservation, but I think you’d all agree with me after seeing the photos!
And the rooms were no different, clean lines, unique art, and of course, more outdoor space. And the food, it was some of my favorite from the trip. The authentic dishes were a lot of lentils, fresh veggies, and hands down the best bananas I’ve ever tasted…but the flavors in these simple dishes were so memorable. I’ll have to start practicing some Sri Lankan dishes myself, but I know it will never be the same!
I’m not sure if I’ll be lucky enough to make it back to this beautiful country, but if any of you have the opportunity, take it! It’s a trip I will never forget.