Le Grand Galle

Le Grand Galle Claimed

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Le Grand

Whenever we feel like we need to escape the crazy pace of life in Colombo, there is a place a hour and a half’s drive away that transports you in to a world of grandeur, history and old world charm. The UNESCO heritage site that is the Galle Fort holds many wonders for any type of traveler, and every time we visit there’s something new to experience. In fact the city of Galle itself is a continuously evolving culture attempting to find a bridge in between its rich historical heritage and the modern world.

 

Combing these two aspects in a perfectly curated setting lies Asia Capital’s latest luxurious holiday destination, Le Grand. As its name suggests everything is about grandeur in this scenic location. Le Grand stands majestic on an alcove just outside the ramparts of the historic Galle Fort and opens up to the Indian Ocean on one end with its own natural pool protected by a series of rock formations and screw pine bushes. The vast, lush green garden slopes down in to the natural pool giving the building a look of being set upon a hill.

 

Southern hospitality is at its best from the time you set foot in to the lobby of the Le Grand with cool towels and a choice of welcome drinks from Iced Coffee, fresh Passion Fruit Juice and Lime and Mint Soda to choose from. Check-in was as cool as the gentle breeze that flows in from the Oceanside to the large open space that doubles as a waiting area.

 

Le Grand boasts four types of rooms in addition to the largest number of suites and we were ushered in to ours by a friendly young man who took the trouble of explaining the features of our room in detail. The room itself overlooking the infinity pool, the ocean and the ramparts was tastefully decorated with a predominance of earthy brown hues that gave quite the relaxing feel to the room. With complimentary Wi-Fi, cable TV and the most high-tech toilet we’ve seen in a while leaving the room was not an option had it not been for having to explore the rest of the property and the great city of Galle beyond. We could seriously just curl up under the comfortable covers, order 24-hour room service and watch reruns of TV shows all day long!

 

But then it was necessary to take a plunge in Le Grand’s famed infinity pool, relax in the bubble pool under the purple dusk as the sun set and sip on mocktails prepared by the skilled bartender at “Tide”. The pool bar also has one of the most interesting menus with blue liquid inside that dances to the tunes of the waves when moved around. The scenery was breathtaking as the purple hues of the sky turned darker and the stars came out to twinkle. Unfortunately for us who would’ve loved to lie out there on the pool beds watching the constellations, the heavens opened up which meant we had to head back in.

 

The rains did have its advantage though, as warm Japanese-inspired seafood dinner awaited us at Le Grand’s fine dining restaurant “Blue”. Built on top of one of the natural rocks that dotted the landscape, this restaurant takes its namesake very seriously from the shades of blue in the cutlery and crockery to the mellow music that softly plays in the background. The open kitchen where the day’s freshest catch gets prepared to perfection is a treat to watch while also catching a glimpse of the distant lighthouse flashing its solitary beam warning the ships afar of the dangers of venturing too close to shore. The entire experience was dreamy to say the very least with the low lighting and the candle-lit tables adding to the allure. We sampled everything from freshly-made Sushi Rolls to Tempura and Nigiri, Ramen and more until we had our fill of fish. Our entrée was a definite highlight served in what resembled a mini paraffin lamp, as was our desserts which clearly had a lot of thought and love being put in to presentation.

 

We awoke the next morning to the bright sunlight peeping its way through the curtains and beckoning us out of peaceful slumber. Although rising up was an ordeal a fully-equipped gym and a soothing spa treatment awaited us. The “Shirodhara” oil treatment was as relaxing as one can get. The controlled drip of medicinal oil on to the center of your forehead and the skilled hands of the masseuse made you forget all the troubles in the world and drift off to a place of Zen. Le Grand also has a steam room and Jacuzzi at its spa which we opted out of due to time but were told are quite extraordinary.

 

Breakfast was another grand affair at the all-day-dining restaurant serving up the best inter-continental and local wares. The added gesture of baking bread right before your eyes and having it served to your table by an ever-smiling young lady was as delightful as every bite of the warm, bread itself. Lots of cheese, cold cuts and pancakes with every type of sweet topping you can think of (Imagine Chocolate Sauce, Butterscotch Sauce, Powdered Sugar, Maple Syrup and Chocolate Shavings!) made up for a not-so-healthy breakfast. But then who really cares when you’re on holiday right?

 

We’ve heard before of “Breakfast in Bed”, but Le Grand does their version of a breakfast tray floating in your own personal plunge pool. A tray laden with fruit, bread, cheeses AND champagne is delivered to your pool to enjoy while taking a relaxing dip before heading back to the hustle and bustle of Colombo.

 

When in need of a perfect escape from the mundane, Le Grand has it all planned out down to the most minute detail. This is what makes holidays memorable. The perfection is in the detail.

 

So here’s our rating…

 

Location ****            (Easily accessible and minutes away from the town center!)

Ambiance *****        (Excellent interior designing and cozy atmosphere!)

Service ****              (Service can be a lot better!)

Food ***                    (Food was presented well but could be a bit more fresh!)

Overall ****

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