Galle has a remarkable history which extends to ancient times. The Galle Fort was built initially by the Portuguese and then by the Dutch East India Company (VOC). The financing techniques and legal doctrines developed by the VOC basically created the modern commercial world- the world’s first `stock exchange’ was created in Amsterdam to enable trading in VOC shares. The VOC was one of the pioneers of the globalized world we live in. It is the unique achievement of the Lighthouse Hotel that it evokes so effectively that rich and complex history of trade, colonialism and conquest, largely due to Geoffrey Bawa’s superb architecture and Laki Senanayake’s striking sculpture.
On this occasion I was especially impressed by the professionalism of the staff members I dealt with Ms Dersika, MsThilini and Mr Manoj. They made it clear to me that repair work was being done in the hotel and that I might be disturbed if I wanted to stay in the Fa Hsien suite which has been nicely refurbished. They also offered me a discount. I took the risk, because of the stunning views from that room of the surging seas below–I’d be happy to spend the entire day on the balcony- and because I thought I could take refuge if needed in some other part of the hotel, the lower pool or the spa, or the upper terrace next to the bar, all pleasant areas. The disturbance proved to be minimal, but I appreciated the honesty of the staff and their concern to be open about the situation. Further they explained what I thought were discrepancies in my bill clearly and politely, and I realized that I had been mistaken and they were right.
Mr Chamila, the butler, was superb, both unobtrusive and yet unfailingly helpful when needed. He also found my iPod which I had left behind and which was kept safely for me until I retrieved it. He is a huge asset to the hotel because he monitors guest needs and quickly remedies any failings of the other staff, some of whom seem new.
The transport services provided by the hotel are expensive. I wish I had negotiated with the tuk-tuk drivers outside the hotel, specifying what sort of vehicle I wanted-they could organize air conditioned cars if needed. Car services offered in the Fort also seem cheaper.
The rice and curry with crab is a bargain at less than Rs. 1000.
Joining the people of Galle on a stroll at sunset on the ramparts of the Fort is a memorable experience.
- Also Known As:
- Jetwing Lighthouse Hotel
- Jetwing Lighthouse Galle
- Jetwing Lighthouse Hotel Galle
- Lighthouse Spa
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A distinctive landmark that stands along the Galle coastline, Jetwing Lighthouse blends minimalistic elegance with splashes of sophistication set amidst breathtaking ocean views. Designed by famed architect Geoffrey Bawa, this luxurious hotel lets you indulge in the finer things in life as you travel back in time and explore Sri Lanka’s colonial past. ... more less
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