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“Unique and quirky boutique hotel”
Review of The Sun House

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The Sun House
Ranked #14 of 24 Hotels in Galle
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 14, 2014

We had an excellent stay at The Sun House. I like the fact that it's away from the quite touristy Fort area (about a fifteen-minute walk, I'd say) and it's in a very quiet and secluded part of town.

We had a standard room that opened out on to the main veranda. Whilst a bit small, both my wife and I loved the quirky and homely decoration. A thermos of cold water was provided, along with mosquito spray, incense, maps and various magazines to read. Nice touches all. The shower set up was a bit strange though, and often the whole bathroom got quite wet. Something for management to look at maybe.

We had dinner one evening which was fine (the prawn starter was especially good), but not amazing. I also felt that cocktails were a little overpriced at 800LKR++. Breakfast was excellent, and I loved the fresh coffee, fruit salad and chilli eggs!

The staff were very friendly and were willing to talk or leave you alone, depending on your preference. I sometimes think that service was just a bit too casual though, though perhaps that is part of this place's charm.

Overall, I don't think you'll regret choosing The Sun House!

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank jamesc23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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76 - 82 of 176 reviews

Reviewed April 2, 2014

My husband and I chose to spend my 40th birthday at the Sun House during a two week trip to Sri Lanka. I had come across the Cinnamon Suite in a travel magazine, and I fell in love with the idea of passing a milestone in a big, colonial house with an outdoor bath tub!

The location of the Sun House is perfect: it's out of the noise and traffic of Galle but within a 10 minute walk to the Fort. It is in a quiet neighborhood, and it's hilltop location means that it gets some lovely breezes in the afternoons.

The hotel itself is a beautiful, old building with lots of charm and character. But with "old" come some slight nuisances: no air conditioning, geckos, and banging shutters on a windy night. But on the whole, this is a relaxing place to spend a few days while in Galle. If you can book it, definitely get the Cinnamon Suite...it's what takes this hotel from nice to memorable. The suite has such a charm to it, and we absolutely loved the whole feel of the place. The sitting room was full of really interesting books, and it was the perfect place to have (many) excellent gin and tonics before dinner. The bedroom was large and airy and equipped with a very good fan to keep cool at night. The bedroom had twin sinks, so there was plenty of space to keep all of your toiletries. And the bathroom was the best: a great shower right next to French doors so that you feel as if you are outside but have absolute privacy. And definitely take advantage of the outdoor bathtub at night!

The pool area was good only for a quick dip to cool off: the garden can be a bit buggy, and there is no real breeze to speak of. Also, it needs to be cleaned more often throughout the day as leaves and plant material can make the pool feel/look very dirty.

The food at the hotel was good but not great. The menu is limited, and non-fish eaters may get bored with the chicken option. Breakfast was very good, both Sri Lankan and Western options.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment in an overall very good stay was that the management was not more helpful when my husband got in contact with them via email regarding my birthday. I had booked the room, but he emailed a few weeks before our arrival to try and arrange something special for my 40th. The management's only suggestion was to attempt to move us across the street to their sister property, The Dutch House. No other attempt was made to acknowledge that we were spending a special day at the Sun House. It's just a bit of a shame, and overall our impression was that the management of the property was perhaps a bit too relaxed.

Room Tip: Get the Cinnamon Suite!
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Rebecca M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 26, 2014

From beginning to end it was perfect! The staff, so helpful and pleasant. The location, perfect for seeing Galle. The history of the home with all of the memorabilia, so interesting. The meals were Excellent!! Really gourmet. Our breakfasts (that were included) were made to order, couldn't have been better. And the rooms had everything to make our stay perfect. As I said, it was so very hard to leave. If I ever get back to Sri Lanka it will definitely be at the top of my list for places to stay.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank jhp619
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 23, 2014

I really enjoyed my stay at the Sun House. I felt immediately at home and comfortable there. There is a beautiful sitting room full of all sorts of quirky things, as well as books and games you are free to borrow. It is near enough to Galle Fort to stroll down, but equally easy to get a tuk tuk back up the hill and lovely to be out of the hustle and bustle.

The staff are welcoming and helpful and the food was delicious. The house margarita is not to be missed and the bar delightful.

We had the deluxe room at the far end of the side garden with a beautiful bathroom and an open air shower and the room was full of homely touches. There is a generous and trusting spirit to the whole place, I loved it and would definitely go back.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank claret1954
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 1, 2014

My wife and I drove down to Galle for the day last Thursday and, after spending the afternoon in Galle Fort, we headed up to the Sun House for dinner. The staff (and owner) could not have been more welcoming, the House itself is charming (we were also shown around the Dutch House next door, which is stunning) and the kind of place you just want to kick off your shoes and relax with a good book. Dinner was first class (both food and service) and the Lion Beer was served at the most perfect temperature. We're definitely going back and will stay over next time!

Room Tip: The Cinnamon Room is fantastic, and we also like the corner room, which had an outside bathroom
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Muscat-Makora
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 16, 2014 via mobile

I highly recommend this property. Nicely decorated rooms with friendly and helpful staff. The property is 10 min walk from Galle Fort and we enjoyed the peaceful surroundings. Had dinner there and it was just great food. I loved the open shower that i had on the deluxe room. This property has character and is a true boutique property. Yes it is over priced but wanted to treat my girlfriend for valentine and our end of trip and at the end money well spent. Breakfast was great also. So yes staff are not trained like typical five star chain hotel but why do we care when they are that friendly. You cone here for the boutique experience not for a chain experience and this is what i liked being used to chain hotels myself working in the hotel industry i wish service was more that way!!!

Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
2  Thank duduhouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2014

Having a travel itch that needed scratching, I set off for Sri Lanka and Galle for a long weekend over the Chinese New Year period. I picked The Sun House per a recommendation from a friend who has lived and traveled extensively in Sri Lanka.

Galle is one of those up and coming places that wound up on a couple of travel hot lists over the past few years that seems to have weathered the sands of time and the massive influx of tourists that can come and overwhelm a place (slightly more than a million tourists visit Sri Lanka annually from my understanding; a small number for a large and diverse country like Sri Lanka). That’s one of the positive things that Galle has going for it: it’s quite balanced in that it doesn’t have throngs of tourists yet still has an “off the beaten path” feel to it with adequate tourist infrastructure at the same time. It’s a charming place in all honesty. You don’t have massive chain hotel resorts (sans a handful in the area), so boutique B&B type of places or renting a villa is the way to go.

The Sun House –and its sister property the Dutch House- sit up on a hill a short 3 or 4 minute tuk tuk ride from Galle Fort. Due to its location, it is possible to get a good view of parts of Galle from the side gardens of the Sun House given its vantage point.

Upon arrival, checking in was super quick and efficient (pretty much “here’s your room key” and off you go). I was given the parrot fish room which was on the first floor, with the main door off the main courtyard. As I booked the place sort of last minute, this was all they had available due to a wedding that was being held at the Dutch House next door. The room was nicely done up in a colonial style and very clean. Bathroom was large and spacious as well, with a modern/colonial vibe going on.

Cleanliness was not a problem as I found the room very clean and also well appointed for the setting. Since I got the last room, I was stuck with two twin beds which didn’t bother me and I surprisingly got a good night’s sleep both nights I was there. Mosquito nets are provided and I HIGHLY recommend them when sleeping. One of the drawbacks about The Sun House and the property is that it can get buggy; insect repellent and/or long sleeve clothing is recommended out of your room. An electronic mosquito repelling machine is also provided in the room which I suggest running. I fortunately didn’t have too much problem with mozzie’s in the room; but I found them coming in through a vent in the bathroom so I kept the door to the toilet shut as much as possible. Also sitting at the restaurant was another area that I found to be buggy (see my other review on the restaurant and the good food this place has).

The grounds of the property are quite lovely: they whisk you back to an era in Galle’s history that’s rich in stories and architecture. You can easily pass the time relaxing by the pool (a small plunge pool really) or sitting in the library reading a classic book.

The service at the Sun House is great; they know you by name pretty quickly and can arrange anything for you and are quite pleasant. I had no agenda whatsoever when I got to Galle and planned all my journeys to the coast, tea plantation and whale watching from the front desk. They have a guide book with recommendations on food, shopping and tours that are placed within the room that helps for quick and efficient planning. And for airport transfers, easiest thing to do is to book it through the Sun House – it’s roughly the same price if you tried to book it on your own and they take all the hassle out of setting it up. I actually had the same driver for the entire time I was there (tours, airport transfers, etc.) and he was fantastic.

There are a few drawbacks about the place besides the bugs and mosquitoes. It can get quite loud in the evenings depending on the room you have: I was near the kitchen and could hear them at night although I was so exhausted it didn’t bother me. There also wasn’t a real “safe box” in room; there was a cabinet door with a key that locked but I didn’t feel that was safe to leave my passport or ipad in. There is a safety deposit box in the front office as an alternative from my understanding.

If you are looking for something boutique in Galle, then look no further than The Sun House. Just bring some mozzie repellent!

Room Tip: Try to get a room on the second floor of the house.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled solo
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2  Thank SQ452
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Sun House

Address: 18 Upper Dickson Rd, Galle 80000, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Galle District > Galle
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Romantic Hotel in Galle
#11 Luxury Hotel in Galle
Price Range: $196 - $307 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Sun House 4*
Number of rooms: 6
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Also Known As:
The Sun House Hotel Galle
The Sun Hotel
Sun Hotel Galle

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