You’ve probably come across this unique building in the Galle Fort and wondered what it would be to see the inside of it. Well, I had the distinct pleasure. And I’m here to tell you all about it!
A little bit of history
Originally an 18th century Dutch mansion, the Fort Printers was once a mansion, then a school and eventually, a traditional printing company. This is where the inspiration for the rather unique name of the hotel has come from. I immediately fell in love with the aesthetics of the place. The Galle Fort is and will always be one of my favorite places on earth and having always preferred the old world charm over the modern soulless things, I couldn’t help but fall in love with The Fort Printers. So much character, so much charm!
Ambiance & architecture
It is very interesting to note that no two rooms at the Fort Printers is the same. The reason being, inside the Galle Fort, being a UNESCO World Heritage site, it is forbidden to change the structure of the buildings and therefore, the entire interior of the hotel has been structured around the 18th century structure. This blew my mind.
The interiors are a delightful mix of the old and the new, with elegantly themed, soothing color tones that reflected finesse at every turn. There are so many beautiful nooks and crannies, perfect for winding down with a cuppa and a book.
We were assigned the Head Master’s Suite which was a room that had 03 levels, owing to the fact that the hotel has been built around its original architecture. This is a beautifully spacious room that had a massive bathroom, a separate seating area over looking the lighthouse and the sea beyond.
Did I tell you about the unique bar area? This bar area, specifically is special in that it is made from recycled brass from a shower room (the Headmaster’s Suite, the room that we occupied) and the only word I can think of to explain this piece is “resplendent”.
The Fort Printers also has an extensive bar menu and I can guarantee that you will definitely enjoy a beautiful evening or two having a few drinks and nibble at this elegant space.
The Fort Printers is also one of the very few hotels within the Galle Fort that has a swimming pool. And the pool area is one of my absolute favorite places with that ‘je ne sais quoi’ of old world charm coupled together with a sense of absolute languid opulence. Framed with frangipani trees and greenery, on afternoons, the light hits the poolside in a certain way that everything becomes bathed in this warm golden glow. If dopamine was a place, this would be it. I could see myself lounging here on lazy afternoons, contemplating on how beautiful life is.
You have a number of options for breakfast including Sri Lankan and we opted for the fruit platter, homemade granola, Turkish eggs and the Sri Lankan breakfast which were all excellent (really loved the fish curry served with the Sri Lankan option as well as the Moroccan eggs). I loved breakfasting by the beautiful poolside which had all the feels 🥰
Dinner at The Fort Printers 39 Bistro & Bar blew my mind. Here’s what we had.
🥓Crispy pork belly with miso & herbs – starting with a masterpiece, this looked and tasted exceptional. The miso added a salty umami to the pork belly and cut through the beautiful fat like a hot knife to butter, the herbs adding an explosion of freshness to the dish. Beautiful
🌮Mahi mahi fish tacos – the fish was so flavorsome and the accompaniments made it all come together so beautifully that we found ourselves polishing off the tacos at record speed
🥦Roasted cauliflower with ajo blanco and curry leaf oil – this really blew me away. That cauliflower was roasted to perfection and that ajo blanco was just 👌 perfection. So creamy, silky and provided a bit of flavor that raised the curry-kissed cauliflower to a whole other level. The pomegranate seeds added a pop of flavor that elevated the whole dish. A must try when you’re here
🥙Moroccan lamb tangine – my absolute, absolute, ABSOLUTE favorite was this melt-in-the-mouth flavor bomb of a Moroccan lamb tangine, served on a bed of couscous. This is perfection in itself. A combination of tangy in a symphony of fragrant spices without overpowering that wonderful gamey flavor of the lamb at the same time cooking it to melt-in-the-mouth perfection. I’d cross oceans for this, so what’s a trip to Galle, just to have this again?
🍰 Flourless chocolate cake with homemade ice cream – everything about the Fort Printers is absolute decadence. This chocolate cake was also the same. So rich and so, so devilishly good!
🍨 Passionfruit pavlova – I’m not a sweets person but this beautifully delicate pavlova ticked all the boxes. Delicate, melt-in-the-mouth, decadent at the same time, dainty, this is my idea of a perfect dessert.
Oh I’d go back to this place for its food in a heartbeat!
Whether you are staying at the hotel or not, I would highly recommend for you to pay a visit to the 39 Bistro & Bar at the Fort Printers and treat yourself to an exquisite meal.
Fort Printers carries the quaint old world charm that I’m so enamored with about the Galle Fort. However it is the beautiful marriage between the old and the new, the subtle touches of absolute elegance at the Fort Printers that takes my breath away.