The Lighthouse in Galle is an iconic hotel. We can say that it's reputation is well deserved. Even their cheapest rooms (Rs. 18,000, roughly) are really nice and the location, architecture, service and food are all really good. It's a reliable splurge.
Lighthouse juts into the ocean just before Galle town. It has a beautiful view and from most of the rooms and the public spaces, stunning sunsets. The best view is perhaps over the pool, which our room (314) overlooked.
Lighthouse itself also has wonderful architecture, being a Geoffrey Bawa hotel. There are the classic traits of being open to nature, having rocks and stuff built in, and long, beautiful corridors.
It's a beautiful hotel. The location is also excellent since it's near Galle Fort, which has so much going on in terms of restaurants, shops, etc. You'd need to drive or take a tuk into the Fort, but once there it's completely walkable.
The rooms are wonderful but, as usual, we never got a proper picture. The Deluxe Room (Rs. 18,000) is the cheapest available (this was a local rate and a bit off-season, FYI). It has a balcony with aforementioned stunning views, TV, big bed with duvet, and a lot of nice extras - like free coffee and tea, a safe, an iron, a nice writing table overlooking the ocean.
The true measure of a hotel is the bathroom, and this bathroom is quite nicely designed. There's a tub in the center, shower to the right and toilet to the left. It's quite a big bathroom, as big as some hotel rooms I've been in.
We actually didn't really eat here besides the breakfast which, as you can see, was sparing. They had a good selection - bacon and eggs, hoppers, healthy choices, etc - but we just weren't that hungry. The thing about Galle is that there are really good restaurants in the neighborhood, some better than Colombo, and we did most of our eating out, mainly for review purposes.
If you look at the older review of Lighthouse you can see how their fine dining options are (tl;dr - good).
Jetwing (the company that runs Lighthouse) is one of our favorite hotel chains. They actually practice an environmental/local ethos and you can feel it in their hotels, including here. Lighthouse service is of international quality, but it's also distinctly local. We actually went as a holiday so no one knew we were reviewing the place, and they were all super nice and professional. It's a well run ship.
The ambience of Lighthouse is default lovely because Bawa designed it and it has cool art like the Laki Senanayake sculpted staircase above. It's also in a great location, plus they take care of the grounds pool, and rooms really well, so we like it.
Personally I really like my house (and bathroom). Lighthouse is one place that we actually felt bad leaving. The hotel is really connected to its location so you feel quite comfortably wrapped in the sunset and beach. Truly an iconic hotel.
Try the pan-seared tuna. Go for a walk on the ramparts. Have a bubble bath.