Looking at the villa’s façade from the outside, on atmospheric Middle Street in Galle Fort, it looks no different to its neighbours; a pillared veranda, a pitched roof and an imposing double front door. Step indoors however, and although the impressive proportions of the building mirror many of the stunning Dutch-era houses in the fort, this one has a completely different feel. The front building dates from 1789 and retains much of the character of the past despite its contemporary interior, whilst the back wing was only finished in 2012.

It is this juxtaposition between the old and the new that makes 5 Middle Street unique.  This, and the use of rammed earth in the construction of the new wing, whose design aesthetic is the handiwork of architect Raefer Wallis, an award-winning green architect based in Shanghai.  This sustainable building technique uses a combination of earth, granite dust, iron oxide pigments and cement and its muted rainbow hues are undeniably eye-catching as you look upon it from the rear garden veranda.  Teak louvered shutters and panels in both the new building and on the upstairs mezzanine floor of the original building provide a link between the two eras.

This is a family house and is very well equipped for children of all ages. It has four bedrooms, of which two are doubles, one a twin and the fourth a bunk room that can sleep up to four children.  Kids DVDs and games, plus a paddling pool and a staff team happy to keep an eye on the youngest members of the family, enhance its suitability for families.  The in-house chef’s range of dishes (all provisions on guest account) rivals many of the Fort’s restaurants.


Galle Fort is a truly magical place to stay.  As a temporary resident, you will join the glittering ranks of merchants, traders, colonialists and foreign nationals who have all left their indelible mark on this seventeenth century Dutch Fort.  Without having to step outdoors you become part of living history, as every house is a heritage monument. Listen from your window for the call to prayer from the mosque or the chanting from the Buddhist temple;  Galle Fort is home to the places of worship 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 at the colonial architecture; delicate fretwork, magnificent columns and never-ending red-tiled roofs.  The wide grassy western ramparts where there’s often a cricket match being played, 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 0.50 km
Unawatuna 6 km
Dalawella 8 km
Koggala Lake 15 km
Hikkaduwa 19 km
Handunugoda Tea Factory 21 km
Mirisa Beach 36 km
Tangalle 80 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: 7.50

5 Middle Street is a great family friendly base in Galle Fort that distinguishes itself from the crowd by its eye-catching design.  The rammed-earth pillars and walls of the rear wing, combined with innumerable teak shutters, louvered panels and smooth timber floors, piqued our interest.  This house might not suit purists looking to stay in a more typical Galle Fort house, however it will inspire anyone interested in innovative architecture and sustainable building techniques.

All of the bedrooms are on the first floor and the living/dining areas on the ground.  That this is a family house shows; a children’s bunk room, kids bicycles, a paddling pool, DVDs and games and a layout that involves the staff of three (the kitchen is incorporated into the open plan living and dining areas), enabling them to keep an eye on the youngest members of the family.  The formal lounge in the cavernous front living/dining room isn’t quite as comfy (sofa space is limited) as the built-in open-sided lounge off the garden, and chairs are limited in the TV area. 

The villa chef has worked for over 20 years in kitchens across Sri Lanka and has a good repertoire of dishes, many of them fish- and seafood-based.   We enjoyed our meals, tucking into fresh tuna with coconut beans and pilaf rice for dinner followed by home-made sorbet.  There are plenty of restaurants in Galle Fort, just a few minutes walk away, and a few of our favourites include Fortaleza, the Galle Fort Hotel, Crepe-ology and Pedlars Inn Café.   You can roam the Fort’s atmospheric streets and ramparts, and there are many little boutiques within its walls.


Bedroom:  4
Sleeping Capacity: 10
Location:  South Coast

Bedroom 1-Master Suite King
Bedroom 2-Master guest room King
Bedroom 3-2nd Guest room King/Twin
Bedroom 4-Children's Bunks


  • Babysitter (Extra)
  • Chef/Cook (All meals)
  • Housekeeping (Full time)
  • Manager
  • Masseuse/Spa Therapist (Extra)
  • Security
  • Service Staff
  • Shopper

Key Amenities

  •   Air-con
  •   Internet (WiFi)
  •   TV (Satellite/Cable)

Other Amenities

  • Baby Cot
  • Bed Linen
  • Book Selection
  • CD Player/Stereo System
  • Ceiling Fans
  • DVD Library
  • DVD Player
  • Equipped Kitchen
  • Generator
  • Hairdryers
  • High Chairs
  • iPod Dock/Speakers
  • Laundry Service (Extra)
  • Main Dining (10 persons)
  • Microwave
  • Motorbikes/Scooters
  • Oven/Hotplates
  • Printer
  • Towels
5 Middle Street
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