Amanwella is located amid a mature coconut grove, in front of a crescent shaped beach and close to the quiet village of Tangalle. Leave stress and noise behind when you enter this resort famed for its outstanding service and impressive library, coupled with one of the quietest beaches on the island. It is easy to see how the resort name Aman - "peace" in Sanskrit and wella - "beach" in Sinhala was derived.
Amanwella boasts a bay of its own where guests may snorkel amongst the rocks or just cool off in the ocean before relaxing on their private terrace. All 30 suites enjoy views across the ocean as they climb the hillside.
You will be greeted on entering from the village road through the open, tranquil water garden. Stroll through the pavillions with only the sound of the ocean to fill your senses.
The 45 metre infinity pool dominates the central area from where you can witness the most magnificent sunsets with only the ocean between you and the sky. Above are two open grassy courtyards, separated by the library and a reflecting pool. Books on arts, culture, flora and fauna of the island will keep you interested. When you can prise yourself away, the restaurant and lounge are just opposite, creating a central comfort zone.
Local materials have been used throughout, with a mix of Kithul wood, stone and terrazzo flooring. The minimalist decor is signature Aman, with Balinese style furniture and large windows to maximise sun light. Fabrics in soft neutral tones add to the tranquility whilst music from the state of the art sound systems mingles with the sea breezes.
Located in the coconut grove, just metres from the sea, is the Beach club; an open pavillion with a wooden deck for lounging and light informal dining. End the day with a spa treatment where the soporific effect of fresh oils and herbs will be felt.
Interrupt the silence with a village walk through beach and jungle with chance sightings of monkeys, mouse deer and mongoose. Visit Galle's historic Fort just an hour away, passing the stilt fishermen en route, or head East for an adventurous safari in Yala National Park, brimming with wildlife. Fishermen on the horizon is the nearest you will get to human activity in Tangalle.
Just thirty suites share the 10 acres of beach, borderland and hillside surrounding the secluded bay. Each suite is identical in layout and design, combining contemporary style, local materials and distinctive terracotta tiles and hand-hewn stone walls. Coffee coloured fabrics, from espresso to latte, drape the bed and cover the cushions. The pool suites share the hillside overlooking the bay, ensuring complete privacy.
The Pool suites open up on both sides allowing cooling sea breezes free passage, but have air conditioning when privacy is required. The layout is open plan with floor to ceiling glass panels on two sides of the villa, one opening onto a private courtyard and plunge pool. This is best reserved for evening star gazing and champagne. Roll back the timber sliding doors on the other side to reveal stunning views out to the ocean. Laze on the many loungers or daybed on the sandy stone terrace. Dine privately here at lunch or for dinner a'deux.
The main suite combines living and sleeping, with spacious armchairs as well as the king size bed. The credenza contains a refreshments bar and the teak writing bureau contains note paper for your daily diary or your home thoughts from abroad. Sliding screens divide the bathroom from the sleeping area. Sparkling white and stainless steel bathroom suites comprise free standing twin bath and double vanity unit. The spacious shower has a 'rainfall' shower unit overhead and huge fluffy, white bathsheets are hung on bamboo poles beside the dressing room. State of the art music systems feature in all the suites.
The Ocean Suites are situated on the lower levels and enjoy uninterupted views of the coconut grove and beach. They are identical in design to the Pool suites but enjoy the close proximity to the central amenities. However, the terrace is slightly more exposed to the main pool should Peeping Toms be interested - rarely the case.
Most suites are independent but three sets of Pool suites and a further four sets of Ocean Pool Suites share inter-connecting doors onto a terrace, which is ideal for families or couples travelling together.
The restaurant is located within the central area and is open for breakfast and dinner. Perched on the hillside, it offers stunning views across the pool towards the coconut grove beach. The dining room is very atmospheric and privacy is promoted by a split level seating arrangement.
The doors open onto the flood - lit grassy courtyard, and the relecting pools sparkle under the stars. The frangipani trees cast dancing shadows as they are ruffled by the sea breezes.
The cuisine is Asian and Mediterranean with an empahasis on the local seafood. We could not experience the fine cuisine of the master chef as we visited the hotel pre-opening, however the menu looks mouth watering. View some of the choices:
Breakfast: delicious fresh juices, yoghurts, cereals, eggs, pancakes or a huge English style platter.
Lunch and Dinner: spiced chicken salad, slow roasted duck with coconut and ginger, stir fried beef, many fish dishes including king prawns, yellow fin tuna and locally caught lobster.
Deserts sound divine: pineapple crumble with sorbet, tropical fruit salad with toasted coconut, lemon, vanilla and yoghurt panacotta with passion fruit coulis.
Guests tend to dine and retire early after days in the sun and the adjacent lounge bar has a welcoming ambience for a night cap. Panoramic views of the resort accompany the best conversation and the many board games keep some guests ticking way beyond 11pm !! Pre dinner cocktails at sun down and light lunches are also served in the bar.
The terrace beside the pool provides another popular venue for alfresco diners. Simple lunches, king coconut and exotic fruit are served throughout the day. In the evening guests can dine on ante pasta and home-style dishes whilst star-gazing on the daybeds and bolsters.
Beach lovers may prefer the Beach club for lunch time snacks. A light and simple menu of Asian salads and mediterraanean classics, using local seafood cooked over a coconut BBQ. Freshly churned icecreams also help you through the afternoon.
The wine list is suitable for the menus provided. Wines from around the world are imported but the restuarant does lack the expertise of a sommelier.
Amanwella is the ideal resort in which to relax and enjoy the harmony of village beach life. When you get itchy feet, there is a variety of short ventures and day excursions available.