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Galle,  South Coast


The fortified town of Galle has always been a significant trading port occupied by many nationalities. The Fort remains a 'living' monument, protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site since 1988.

Amangalle is an amalgamation of buildings dating back over 400 years, used successively by the Dutch, then as a billet for British soldiers, then to create the new Oriental Hotel which traded for 140 years during which time it was the home of generations of the Nesterboer family.

Purchased by Aman in 2002 who have restored many of the original features eg. the colonial pillared frontage, the Victorian parquet flooring, the Dutch great hall with its Burmese teak floor, grand piano and spiral teak staircase.  The traditionally clad, though rather morose, doormen are very quick to help with bags or offer an umbrella to Fort shoppers.

Galle Fort is a rich, cosmopolitan, largely Muslim community of small hotels, restaurants, shops, government offices and all the minutiae of daily living.  The narrow streets are bustling with bicycles, people shopping and collecting children from school.

Amangalle provides a perfect base for exploring the rich local history, whilst the scenic countryside of the south west is within easy reach.

After or between your sightseeing there is ample opportunity to relax in their famous library and reading terrace. An extensive range of books, CD's and board games is available and computers are cleverly hidden in old, clerk's desks. The walls and corners are filled with delightful memorabilia from the Nesterboer family.

If you wish to 'chill', check out the gardens and 21m swimming pool. Shade is provided by 'ambalanas' (ancient resting stations) or cabanas, or sun bathe on a lounger and snack on a variety of light meals brought promptly to your side.

For serious pampering you should visit the Baths where you will find hydrotherapy and the water massage pool, sauna, steam room and cold plunge pool. Highly skilled therapists use spa massage and apply ayurvedic knowledge, and the garden features a yoga and meditation pavillion with classes 3 times a week.

Amangalla is a super location for a wedding with a variety of service available. See the things to do page for further ideas.



   Child Friendly
   Swimming Pool
   Fine Dining


There are four categories of accommodation at Amangalla, all with air conditioning and ceiling fans. Each wing leads from the 'Zaal' or Great Hall.  The grand staircases transport you back in time and the wood pannelled walls are filled with art - old and modern. However, the rooms have a simple and airy feel. The bathrooms are modern and though bedroom furniture is Dutch colonial style, there is a comfortable realxed feel in contrast to the grand manner of the main hotel. The furnishings are in soft pastels and the beds dressed with beautiful Indian linen decorated with ancient Coromandel coast designs. The attention to detail in the bathroom is no exception with a range of complimentary toiletries scented with orange and pepper, hand made in Galle.  Each  room has the services of a butler to attend to the guests' individual housekeeping needs.


These are on ground level, overlooking the garden or nearby historic Groote Kerk (Dutch church), offering a large combined sitting and sleeping area. Bedrooms have four poster king size beds, desk, dressing table, chest and  dining table set on a polished jackwood floor. Three garden rooms have French windows opening onto the gardens. Adjoining bathrooms are large and contain twin vanities, a free standing tub, shower area and toilet.


Six Chambers are within the Church street wing and face the ramparts, and four in the Garden wing.  The first have a bedroom, separate sitting area and bathroom with tub and shower; a four poster kingsize bed or twin bed arrangement and elegant writing desk, tables and chest on gleaming teak floors. The Garden wing rooms are similarly furnished but also have a shared balcony or porch, overlooking the tree tops, where guests can enjoy breakfast tea and the newspaper. 


Choose your views here from para treetops, the Fort and harbour or the tropical gardens. The spacious suites enjoy the original, polished, 300yr old teak floors, running through entry hall, sitting area and separate bedroom and ensuite bathroom. The sitting room is furnished with antique (or careful reproduction) writing desk, dining table, chest and planters' chair plus chaise longue for the end of the day. The bedroom has a king size four poster bed and huge, arched, shuttered windows.  The suites are the only rooms able to accomodate an extra bed for a child. Off the suite lobby is a modern bathroom complete with a modern suite.

The Garden House

A two storey building in the resort gardens, featuring a private terrace and a balcony with leafy tree- top views.  From the entrance you walk into the sitting room, comfortably furnished with elegant, restored furniture. Double doors open onto the bedroom  furnished with a four poster king sze bed, writing and dressing tables.  The adjoining light, spacious bathroom offers twin vanities, free standing double tub, toilet and shower.

An internal stairway rises from the sitting room to the upper balcony featuring a daybed and banquette. Your private butler has the facilities of an adjoining pantry.  


The Zaal or great hall is awesome, with its soaring ceilings, and overhead fans masked by stunning chandeliers. The piano takes centre stage and a pianist plays each night for the surrounding guests. The huge teak doors open out to the verandah where you may enjoy light snacks in comfortable ratten chairs.

Inside is the dining hall complete with Burmese teak floor and numerous round tables inlaid with beautiful mosaic patterns. Dinner has the ambience of a truly grand affair, with attentive, white gloved waiters hovering around the period chairs and tables which are heavy with antique silverware; yet the cosmopolitan guests with their linen dress and casual chat, ensure the atmosphere does not become too pretentious. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served here, though the experience may be best kept for dinner.

The menu is traditionally Sri Lankan curries, with some home made dishes and international options.

Weddings: This is a wonderful setting for a sophisticated wedding. A Christian ceremony may be held at the Dutch Anglican church next door, followed by a reception in the dining room or set around the gardens.

New Year, both Western and Chinese, are real party times, but early booking is advised to secure your chosen accomodation and a place for dinner.

Things to do & local tips

  • Walking the Fort - the most enjoyable way to cover all the nooks and crannies- almost too numerous to list : include the old Dutch church, spice warehouses, the lighthouse, the ramparts at sunset. Stroll at dusk and watch the locals fly kites, play cricket and indulge in ice creams.
  • Galle Town - sprawling and rather dirty but colourful displays of fruit in the bustling market.
  • Rhummassala - a magical headland on the southern side of the bay.  Research the Ramayana legend and enjoy the many rare and beautiful plants and 60 species of bird.
  • Village life - rural Sri lanka is minutes away. Beyond the noisy Galle Road are rice paddies and coconut estates where time seems to stand still, and tempting antique shops and puppet museums which often require the purchase of an extra suitcase or shipment home. Be careful, as tropical wood may  develop splits in drier, centrally heated houses. 
  • Temples- Buddhism is very visible in the gentle demeanor of the people and the proliferation of temples. Visit where you wish, with respect, and you will generally be made welcome.
  • Yatagala- 200 year old rock temple accessed by 200 steps. A spiritual place visited by many pilgrims on Poya days.
  • Tea - a 20 min ride from Galle delivers the tea country. Visitors may wander through the plantations and the working factories. Handunugoda estate produces the only uncontaminated white tea in the world. Top production is only 20kilo/month so don't miss buying a sample to take home.
  • Rainforest- Hiyare Bio Diversity reserve, a 35 min drive north. Virgin rainforest surrounding a beautiful reservoir. Countless plants and animals including newly discovered species are pointed out by research fellows who will act as guides, but beware of leeches and take thick socks and trousers.

Weddings at Amangalla

Amangalla and the Fort can provide an array of venues for weddings depending on the number of guests and  the style of service wished for.

The resort provides the perfect base for  an intimate  couple or for up to 60 guests and the hotel request a minimum 10  room nights for a wedding ceremony which may be taken by the couple exclusively or as a combination of family and friends staying also.

Anglican church  where father Fernando can hold a simple ceremony in this old staned glass church. Both parties must be Anglicans and recommended by their priest/vicar at home. A blessing service is possible for followers of other faiths.

St Mary's Catholic Cathedral located on the hill top overlooking the Fort can offer a catholic ceremony only.

Civil ceremonies within the hotel garden pavilion or larger poolside ambalama gardens can be arranged and conducted by the Registrar.

Celebrations are always tailored to the guests requirements but some ideas are as folows:


 Fort tour  and Champagne Cocktails After the ceremony, we arrange a traditional bullock cart to take the bride and groom around the Fort.  The guests can gather on the verandah of the hotel for canepes and mango bilinis and await the couples return. Kandyan dancers and drummers will announce and lead the couple to the poolside.
 The Reception

 The reception/ private dinner can be held on the lawn beside the pool or  in the shade of the tambili trees. At night the courtyard is magical, lit with lanterns and rice lights strung between the trees. Champagne, flowers, decorations and wdding cakes can all be arranged in keeping with the style of the hotel. Evenings can be filled with entertainment for guests including jazz band, dance performers, fireworks.



 Private settings for 2-50 guests can be accommodated. The tables are decorated with white linen, lotus bowls and chimney candles. Oil lamps are dotted around and twinkle from the trees. A bamboo flute muscian, jazz , DJ, firework and traditional dancers can all be arranged. Menus are discussed with a minmum budget.


 Wedding Night  The Garden House overlooking the pool courtyrard is perfect for a wedding couple.

Wedding Cakes (traditional fruit cake / carot cake/ chocolate and orange cake/ Galle layed fresh fruit sponge cake) : priced in accordance with guest numbers