The 2007 UNESCO Asia – Pacific Heritage Award of Distinction, for heritage conservation, was presented to Galle Fort Hotel by Richard Engelhardt, UNESCO Regional Advisor for Culture in Asia and the Pacific region at a presentation ceremony jointly organized by UNESCO and the Galle Heritage Foundation.
2007 UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage Awards
“This carefully considered transformation of an abandoned historic residential compound into a stylish luxury boutique hotel has evocatively captured the spirit of place of the colonial World Heritage fortified town of Galle. The restoration has been carried out with sensitivity to the historic fabric and the surrounding urban context, retaining the buildings modest scale and street façade. The removal of unsympathetic elements has revealed the original Dutch Villa and its later English architectural Dutch influences, while the elegant interior design and modern additions have added new layers of meaning. The restoration was undertaken using local expertise and craftsmanship. The temporary adaptation of the hotel into an emergency shelter in the aftermath of the 2005 tsunami and the subsequent contribution of the hotel to the recovery of Galle through cultural tourism have demonstrated the potential of such commercial ventures to contribute to community development in an historic urban heritage context.”