This cosy house on the southeastern corner of the fort, within sight of the slender white British-built lighthouse, Point Utrecht Bastion and a swimming beach, is amply reflective of the hybrid nature of this historic colonial port town.  The main portion of the house, and indeed its layout, reflects the 18th century Dutch period whilst the gorgeous stained glass windows and rear two-storey extension date to the late 19th century British era.  Many of the fort’s impressive houses have been restored and transformed since the millennium, and 79 Leyn Baan Street follows suit; the house was modernised fairly recently with a contemporary kitchen and bathrooms, comfy furnishings and essential mod cons all added.

Despite this, No.79, with its two double bedrooms and bunk room, has an intimacy unlike many others in the fort.  For many years this was the British owner’s first home and it is filled with a treasured collection of antiques and artefacts sourced from her sojourns around the world, including beautiful Indonesian textiles, Sri Lankan timber stags heads, artwork and brass tinder boxes.  Book-stacked shelves and a cupboard brimming with board games further serve to give the house a family atmosphere and homely fullness.  Although outdoor space is limited, there is a rear courtyard and a fabulous roof terrace attached to the romantic first-floor master bedroom with sun deck, dining pavilion and sea views.

This is a self-catering house and it comes with a daytime maid who keeps everything clean and tidy (as well as an efficient management team on call 24 hours a day).  The kitchen is equipped with all the basics for self-caterers however there is an abundance of cafes and restaurants within the fort for dining out, as well as many atmospheric heritage buildings, chic boutiques, gelato parlours and museums to explore.

Location


The house is located between Leyn Baan and Rampart streets in Galle Fort, just 30 metres from the southeastern lighthouse-spiked Point Utrecht Bastion, ramparts and a swimming beach.  Residing temporarily in this historic Dutch- and British-era house, you will join the glittering ranks of merchants, traders, colonialists and foreign nationals who have all left their indelible mark on this historic UNESCO heritage seventeenth century Dutch Fort.  Listen from the rooft terrace for the mosque’s call to prayer or the chanting from the Buddhist temple; Galle Fort is home to temples of three religions whose devotees all live in peace and harmony with each other.  The fort is a wonderful place to explore as you wander down narrow streets and ponder the colonial architecture; delicate fretwork, magnificent columns and never-ending red-tiled roofs.  The wide grassy western ramparts are a five-minute stroll from your doorstep and offer the perfect respite at sunset.  There are also a couple of interesting museums showcasing the fort’s rich history as well as plenty of boutiques selling handicrafts, delicate lacework, glittering gems and other evocative souvenirs.  Restaurants and cafes for coffee-stops abound.


Galle Town 1 km
Unawatuna 6 km
Wijeya Beach 6 km
Koggala (Air Taxi) 15 km
Handunugoda Tea Factory 22 km
Weligama 29 km
Mirissa 36 km
Tangalle 55 km
Colombo 131 km
Bandaranaike Airport 157 km

About Galle


The historic city of Galle is one of the island’s biggest attractions; as once the most important port on the island, Galle’s natural harbour attracted seafaring traders long before the arrival of the fort-building European colonialists who were to turn it into a flourishing market town. Galle’s new town is a hive of activity where noisy traffic-filled roads overflow with frantic shoppers, and hawkers of luscious fruit, fish and vegetables loudly promote their wares. The newly created promenade beside the sea is a picturesque place to walk and contemplate the oceanic scene as fishermen, yachts and navy boats come and go from the harbour.

In stark contrast to the town of Galle, the sleepy, historic fort offers serenity and calm. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, its seventeenth century ramparts, now retired, are filled with an evocative collection of period properties, intimate boutiques, interesting museums and tiny cafes whilst its nostalgic ambiance and cosmopolitan vibe further highlight its charm. The international cricket stadium, located between the old and new towns, is famed for having one of the most picturesque backdrops in the world. There’s a railway station plus are plenty of banks, ATMs, pharmacies, shops, restaurants, money changing facilities and supermarkets in town.


About South Coast


Stretching between Galle and Hambantota, the south coast is undoubtedly one of the most popular destinations in Sri Lanka. Characterised by historically significant fortified towns, numerous picture-perfect palm-fringed beaches, a sultry turquoise sea, swathes of iridescent green paddy fields fringed by lush green jungle, ancient Buddhist temples, expansive waterways, nature-filled rainforests and tea-carpeted hills it offers enough variety to be a destination in itself; fabulous for families, groups and couples alike.

Galle is one of the region’s most significant attractions for its sixteenth century Dutch fort filled with an evocatively rich collection of buildings, boutiques, museums and luxury digs that hug a peninsular to the south of town. Galle’s popular beaches are better-facilitated, more developed and safer for swimming than those in and around Tangalle, but the further you travel east the more expansive, deserted and nature-filled they become.

Surfing, snorkelling, diving, whale watching, sailing, fishing and kayaking can all be done along this magnificent stretch of coastline as well as cycling, walking and trying your hand at Sri Lankan cookery. Inland, the scene varies as the westerly wet zone’s lush jungle interior gives way to the arid dry zone plains a little beyond Tangalle. Taking off by bicycle is often the best way to explore the hills, plains, sanctuaries and jungle whilst a boat is a must to navigate the scenic lakes and rivers that wind in between.

Some of Sri Lanka’s most popular national parks – Uda Walawe for elephants and Yala for leopards and bears – as well as a trio of its most accessible rainforests – Sinharaja, Kottawa and Kanneliya - are easily visited on a day or overnight trip from anywhere along the south coast.

Our review   Overall Rating: 7.00


There are few homes in Galle Fort that feel as homely and as eclectic as this one.  79 Leyn Baan Street is a long house, stretching between two streets, but the configuration makes it feel very intimate.  Rooms are filled with interesting books, including many coffee table tomes on Sri Lankan architecture and design, one of which features the house itself.  Those looking for an informal home-from-home in the fort will love it here.

It is obvious that this is a family house – there is a kid’s bunkroom on the ground floor and a cupboard brimming with board games and toys – however hazards like the courtyard pond and a steep master bedroom staircase mean that we wouldn’t recommend it for children under 10.  What 79 Leyn Baan Street suits best are decadent couples looking for a private, personal and unpretentious retreat in the fort.

A trusted daily housekeeper cleans and helps in the kitchen, and the management company is on call should you need further assistance (they can also arrange for a chef to cook at the villa for a reasonable daily charge).  But the fort’s plethora of cafes and restaurants are less than a 10-minute stroll away so there’s no shortage of options for lunch and dinner.  Guests will also be kept company by Ruby, the house’s friendly dachshund.   A second entrance at the rear of the house provides nippy access to the ramparts and the little beach beyond.

Rooms

Bedroom:  3
Sleeping Capacity: 6
Location:  South Coast


Bedroom 2- Guest Room Queen
Bedroom 3- Bunk Room Bunks
Master's Bedroom 1 Queen

Staff

  • Babysitter (Extra)
  • Chef/Cook (All meals) (Extra)
  • Housekeeping (Full time)
  • Masseuse/Spa Therapist (Extra)

Key Amenities

  •   Internet (WiFi)
  •   TV (Satellite/Cable)

Other Amenities

  • Air-con (Bedrooms)
  • Baby Cot (On Request)
  • BBQ
  • Bed Linen
  • Board Games/Toys
  • Book Selection
  • Ceiling Fans
  • DVD Library
  • DVD Player
  • Equipped Kitchen
  • High Chairs (On Request)
  • iPod Dock/Speakers
  • Laundry Service (Extra)
  • Main Dining (6 persons)
  • Oven/Hotplates
  • Safe
  • Towels
79 Leyn Baan Street
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