Built in the 1750s by a Dutch merchant, 20 Middle Street is one of the largest villas in the Fort, with elegant rooms, lush courtyard gardens, and a swimming pool.
The present owners, Michael and Judy Green, bought the near-derelict property in 2004 and fully restored it with the help of renowned Sri Lankan architect, Channa Daswatte. Their brief was to preserve and respect the integrity of the original Dutch house, while providing all the modern comforts of a contemporary home. As a result, the five air-conditioned bedrooms are large with ensuite bathrooms, high ceilings, original teak doors, and cool terrazzo floors.
The villa is cool, airy and stylish. A large part of its beauty is in the spaces which unfold as you enter – the original merchant’s house, with two bedrooms upstairs, looks out on one side to a landscaped courtyard garden shaded by a majestic old mango tree. This links to the annexe at the centre of the property – which has two interconnecting bedrooms upstairs while the downstairs loggia is the ideal spot to sit and read, have a siesta or a yoga class. The garden extends the other side of the annexe, where there is a pool and terrace with sun loungers, beyond which is the pool house which has one bedroom on the first floor. The choice of peaceful spots to relax in is one of the highlights of the property.
The comfort of 20 Middle Street is enhanced by the friendly team who manage it. A lot of care has been taken in recruiting staff who really care about the property. The level of service, and the quality of the Western and Sri Lankan food produced by the chef, has meant that many guests return, with some staying for as long as a month. 20 Middle Street is truly an oasis in the heart of bustling Galle Fort