I got a few recommendations to watch the sun set over the water while in Colombo, with the Galle Face hotel being the apparent venue of choice. So around 4pm, with nothing else in my plans, I set off to Galle Face to grab a drink and write while I waited for the sun to set.
As soon as I saw the entrance of the hotel, I knew it was grand. Very traditionally posh, the kind of place where you’d expect there to be place settings with more than 2 utensils and butlers who knew exactly which side to serve you on in order to be truly classy (at least, I was previously told that there is a difference? Should have asked one of them to confirm). I felt like I was going to be judged big time with my explorer garb (and all I brought were quick drying shirts/pants and hiking shoes, so absolutely nothing that says “posh”).
But when I walked into the lobby (yep, posh), there was no one around. There was a staircase leading up to rooms, an array of beautiful couches, and no real reception desk to speak of. I’m sure they have security cameras, but seriously – I could have strolled in, pocketed a vase (that’s “vass,” of course, not vase as in “face”) and meandered back out. And the wifi – fast, unsecured, AND unpassword protected. What is this magnificent place??
The lobby opened up to the back, where there was a gorgeous terrace and pool side bar.
I found myself a table, ordered a fancy schmancy cocktail, and settled in to wait for the sun to set. With the beach off to one side and the hotel on the other, I felt like I wasn’t in Colombo any longer. Being surrounded by predominantly middle-aged white people, who seemed to be Gale Face’s primary clientele, probably also contributed to this feeling.
As sunset approached, more and more people filled up the terrace, and a live acoustic band came out to serenade us with light rock.
And the moment we were waiting for:
To be honest, the sunset itself was fairly average, maybe because of the cloud cover at the horizon. But that ambiance? On point. 10/10. What a classy but surprisingly unexclusive hotel. Next time, I’m wondering if anybody would actually stop me if I brought a swimsuit and took a dip in the pool… Anyway, no matter what, please don’t ever password protect your wifi!
The acoustic band on the terrace post-sunset: