A stay at Amangalla, tucked within the walls of the old fort in galle, is like a step back in time - ideal for those seeking a combination of history and luxury.

A gorgeous colonial building built in 1684 to house the Dutch governor and his staff, the hotel maintains many original features combined with impeccable decor, fusing antiques with crisp modernity.


You soon surrender to a pace of life from  an era gone by: afternoon tea, cocktails at sunset on the veranda and an evening stroll along the sea wall.

Galle Fort is bewitching, its streets lined with old houses and buildings, with a bustling local community. The newly revamped Dutch Market is now home to a succession of chic restaurants and shops.

Don't miss the opportunity to get your beloved to buy you some gems - Galle is the place to snap up sapphires and aquamarines.

After a day exploring the fort, it's bliss to return to the stillness of Amangalla's pool area, with its shaded rest pavilions and staff waiting to attend to your every need.

GO: Elegant Resorts (www.elegantresorts.co.uk) offers seven nights from £2,855 per person. Includes flights and transfers.

WOW FACTOR: The chef will give you a private cooking lesson on request. Starting with a trip to the local market in the morning, you'll learn how to cook a traditional Sri Lankan curry using the freshest of ingredients.

FLIGHT TIME: 10 hours, 30 minutes