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Iconic Galle Face Hotel Showcases “Best of British” Heritage As England Cricket Team Tours Sri Lanka

Historic Colombo hotel reflects on 154 years of history, including visits from English cricket captains, leading celebrities and even royalty, and invites guests to explore its rich cultural heritage…

The Galle Face Hotel, which opened in 1864 and is one of the oldest hotels east of Suez, is celebrating its “Best of British” heritage as the England cricket team visits Colombo for a two-month tour of Sri Lanka.

This iconic and historic waterfront hotel, which is testimony to Sri Lanka’s colonial past and independent present, was first launched as a hotel 154 years ago by four British entrepreneurs. It has proudly retained its ties with the UK ever since, and cricket is a key element of this legacy.

A trio of former England cricket captains – Douglas Jardine, David Gower and Michael Atherton – are among the many celebrities to have visited the hotel, and the iconic outdoor Chequerboard previously hosted informal cricket matches when the England cricket team stopped in Sri Lanka during their sea voyages to Australia.

The Chequerboard was also used to receive Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II when she visited Colombo in 1954, and the Cadillac car used to transport The Queen during this tour is still owned by The Galle Face Hotel’s chairman and owner.

“Sri Lanka’s British heritage is woven into the fabric of The Galle Face Hotel. Since the hotel was launched in 1864 as a luxurious meeting place for the ladies and gentlemen of the colonial era, it has been frequented by many leading figures in British society, including Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, former James Bond actor Sir Roger Moore, and most recently Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, who stayed at The Galle Face Hotel in January 2018,” commented Robert C. Hauck, General Manager and Area Vice President of the Galle Face Hotel.

“Just as Sri Lankan tea is an intrinsic part of British culture, the quintessentially British sport of cricket has been adopted as Sri Lanka’s national sport. We are delighted that the England cricket team is touring the country again this year, and anyone interested in the historic ties between the two countries should visit The Galle Face Hotel. Our museum features the first car bought by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and the Traveller’s Bar has hosted many great explorers from a bygone era. If our hotel could speak, it would have many stories to tell!” Mr Hauck added.

The England cricket team is touring Sri Lanka throughout October and November 2018, playing a series of One Day Internationals and Twenty20 matches across the country. The tour will conclude with a keenly-anticipated three-match Test series in Galle (6-10 November), Pallekele (14-18 November) and Colombo (23-27 November).The Chequerboard was also used to receive Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II when she visited Colombo in 1954, and the Cadillac car used to transport The Queen during this tour is still owned by The Galle Face Hotel’s chairman and owner.

“Sri Lanka’s British heritage is woven into the fabric of The Galle Face Hotel. Since the hotel was launched in 1864 as a luxurious meeting place for the ladies and gentlemen of the colonial era, it has been frequented by many leading figures in British society, including Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, former James Bond actor Sir Roger Moore, and most recently Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, who stayed at The Galle Face Hotel in January 2018,” commented Robert C. Hauck, General Manager and Area Vice President of the Galle Face Hotel.

“Just as Sri Lankan tea is an intrinsic part of British culture, the quintessentially British sport of cricket has been adopted as Sri Lanka’s national sport. We are delighted that the England cricket team is touring the country again this year, and anyone interested in the historic ties between the two countries should visit The Galle Face Hotel. Our museum features the first car bought by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and the Traveller’s Bar has hosted many great explorers from a bygone era. If our hotel could speak, it would have many stories to tell!” Mr Hauck added.

The England cricket team is touring Sri Lanka throughout October and November 2018, playing a series of One Day Internationals and Twenty20 matches across the country. The tour will conclude with a keenly-anticipated three-match Test series in Galle (6-10 November), Pallekele (14-18 November) and Colombo (23-27 November).

In addition to England’s leading cricketers, The Galle Face Hotel has played host to many other legends of the sport over the years, including Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Donald Bradman, Wasim Akram, Imran Khan and Jonty Rhodes. It is also traditional for croquet to be played in the lawns of The Galle Face Hotel, and arrangements can be made for guests to experience this activity during their stay.

Alternatively, guests can simply unwind and enjoy a glass of Pimm’s on the hotel’s oceanfront terrace; The Galle Face Hotel was the destination for the first ever overseas shipment of this classic British summertime drink. Then at the end of each day, the hotel’s traditional sunset flag-lowering ceremony features a traditional bagpipe escort.

For guests following the England cricket team’s 2018 tour of Sri Lanka, or any other visitors with an interest in Sri Lanka’s rich colonial heritage, The Galle Face Hotel has created a special promotional offer this winter. Rates start from just $190 for a Premier Ocean View with Balcony Room. To book your stay at this iconic hotel, please contact reservations@gallefacehotel.net.

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