May 31, 2016

Take a Colonial Holiday in Sri Lanka

What's a holiday if you don't try something out of the ordinary? Rewind and go back to the rustics. No, we're not talking about tents and the wilderness! We're merely suggesting you go back to the 'good old days' that our moms and dads rave about. Yep! You guessed it! The lovely colonial times still live on in some awesome locations in Sri Lanka. Fancy a stay?

Try Amangalla, for instance. This is a quaint old place in the Galle Fort where the building has been renovated to include modern conveniences. The building itself was first constructed in 1864 and the majesty of the bygone era is still very much alive in the olden architecture. You should check out the rooms; they are beautiful. Full of antique furniture and little knick-knacks that will definitely make you happy, not just mom and dad!

Galle Lighthouse

The boutique hotel also offers some great views of the Galle fort and the Lighthouse nearby. The gardens are awesome and the food, divine. You should really try the place out for size; there's so much to do and see in the Fort as well, so you definitely won't be bored!

Galle Fort

The Fort is full of interesting things for a gadabout, like the little shop-lined cobbled streets to walk around in and sample the yummy food that's available in abundance. Make sure you try out places like the Pedlar's Inn Cafe, the Gelateria opposite, and Crepology for some out of this world food and dessert.

Casa Colombo Luxury Hotel

Not a fan of the long drive to Galle? No worries. Stay in Colombo but still enjoy the colonial splendor. Make your way to Casa Colombo. It's a hip place that combines a retro element with the modern. The 200 year-old Moorish mansion is a gorgeous restyled construction that is complete with exquisite rooms, majestic dining areas and a host of activity areas such as a well-stocked library and a luscious pink pool! Yes, you saw it right! A PINK Pool! And to add to that, glass sun beds on the side invite you to put those feet up and recline like royalty in the sun.

Mount Lavinia Hotel

Another well-loved option in Colombo is the Mount Lavinia Hotel- THE most known colonial-era hotel within the outskirts of the city. This stunning venue by the beach is a great place to unwind and take a dip in the pool with offerings of sumptuous buffets and tea-time delicacies. And the best thing is that you're so close to the city that there's plenty to do such as shopping, sightseeing and more within Colombo.

Galle Face Hotel Colombo

Along the same lines you also have the newly renovated Galle Face Hotel with its plush rooms and luxury amenities. Situated in the heart of Colombo's commercial district, this is a favorite among holiday-makers as it is on the beach with a great expanse of lawn-the Galle Face Green- for evening walks and a street snack or two.

Sri Lanka Map

Colonial Inspired Holidays in Sri Lanka

Since Sri Lanka is located in the pearl of the Indian Ocean and was known to be a trading hub in the 7th century. The country was known for goods which came in the shape of gems, cinnamon and elephants. With the Portuguese arrival in 1505, the country was ruled by three kingdoms. In 1602, the Dutch rule came about and made for more industrious monopolization than the Portuguese. As a result canals were built more famously in Negombo, buildings, churches and forts were erected in an attempt to overrule. 

Some of the monuments are pinned on the map above. 

The known Colonial landmarks in the country

Indeed the British did invade Sri Lanka till 1948, when Sri Lanka claimed independence, the legacy of the Dutch and Portuguese lives on in their architectural designs which are evident in Colombo, ideally at the national museum. Two of the oldest hotels in Colombo are the Galle Face hotel and Mount Lavinia Hotel which are rich in history and in architectural design where Dutch and Portuguese distinctions are evident. For a more British influence in structures, this is present in Nuwara Eliya at various tea bungalows and estates. Further down on the coastline which is known to be the colonial capital of architectural work in the country through obvious Dutch influences.

Galle fort

Fort in Galle

Originally built in 1873 by the British to sustain the influx of shipments into the old city. Initally the wall was built in sections by the Portuguese and Dutch and further elaborated on majourity by the British. 

Old City Hall

Old city Hall

The municipal building was built by the British in 1865, which may give the impression it is dilapidated but an intriguing sight to witness as you observe the likes of neighboring markets and laboring locals. 

Old Dutch Museum in Colombo

Dutch Museum

This period museum which was originally housed by a 17th century Dutch governor after which used as a catholic seminary and military hospital and post office. The building is fronted by an ever green garden courtyard. Dutch colonial furniture on display and other important artefacts and treasures. 

Wolvendaal Church

Wolvendaal Church

Built in 1749 by the Dutch, the name of this significant building derives from quite literally from the presence of Wolves, which more specifically were infact Jackals which were mistaken for wolves who used to habitat this area prior to the erection of this monument.  The asset of the church is mostly its dutch furniture

Colonial Hotels and Tours of a curious traveller

To commence the tour, it can be done so in Colombo ideally at the Tintagel which was origincally built in 1930 for a private resident who was forced to vacate by the British colony to house 100 soldiers. The property holds historical and structural importance. The assassination of prime minister Bandaranaike in 1959 took place on the verandah of the hotel. Today the property is a luxury high property which is visited for its historical value.


Tours then can move onto Kandy, which calls for a stay at the Kandy house. Built in 1804, an ancestral manor house built initially with the intention to be a palatial home to the last known chief minister of the Kandyan kingdom. Today, the property is converted to a present day smaller luxury high end mansion. This exquisite property excudes character and promise for a unique stay.

The Kandy House

Yet another signifant property to visit as it was built by Sir Edward Barnes, a known governor during the era of 1830 and 1850. Whilst conserving the british architectural design the property resonates modern day comforts to deliver on a wholesome experience. Further to the Grand Hotel, there are numerous site and bungalows to visit in Nuwara Eliya.

Grand Hotel in Nuwara Eliya

When clients proceed to Galle, a stay at the infamous Galle Forte hotel which was transformed many times from a merchants mansion, post office, bakery, lapidary and also a practice ground for amateur cricket players. The property is centrally located to visit all the key locations and forte areas in the town.

Galle Fort Hotel

What a colonial tour means to Tayafinch is a walk on history lane, and truly gaining on life experiences lived centuries ago. Sri Lanka is a destination rich with exorbitant history which cannot be covered in a single visit to the country. The initial tour will give you a glimpse of this wonderful country only to keep you for wanting to explore more. 

Cafe Restaurant and Pub

So, the next time you're in Sri Lanka, think about a colonial-style holiday. It'll be great for those who love clicking some pinterest worthy shots!