As we trailed Sri Lanka’s southern coast on our way from the Yala National Park to Galle we could not miss the opportunity to stay at Amanwella. After all, this beachfront resort is managed by Aman, which we count among our favorite hotel brands.
Surrounded by swaying coconut palms and sculpted into a hill that tumbles down to a golden-sand beach, this modern-looking property represents a singular vision from the Australian architect Kerry Hill.
Hill looked to the celebrated Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa for inspiration, the author of the “tropical modernism” movement. These inspirations can be found in the sharp angles and almost-monumental proportions of Amanwella, so prevalent in the architecture of the past century.
In stark contrast to the resort’s organic setting, where wild palms sway in the wind and waves crash on the wide beach below, the lines of architecture show the clearest evidence of the quasi-monumental modernist influences.
Spread out amid a mature palm grove, Amanwella’s contemporary suites enjoy a secluded jungle setting, and some benefit from beautiful views towards the sea.
The pleasant interiors are set in sand-and-teak tones and finished with pared-down furniture. They feel exclusive and inviting. Thanks to the floor-to-ceiling sliding doors, the open-plan bedroom and bathroom spill onto a spacious balcony in front and an enclosure at the back, filled with a plunge pool.
The private vibe of our suite made it our preferred place to hang out, but this atmosphere is present in the entire resort. With only twenty-seven rooms spread across a wide area, it never feels crowded here. This is fundamental to the Aman experience, and Amanwella does it well.
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Taking a stroll on one of the prettiest beaches we’ve seen in this part of Sri Lanka is a pleasure on its own — even better if there is a good destination on the far end. The club, on the other side of the bay, provides an alternative venue for chilling out and it’s a good place for a light lunch. It’s just one more thing that makes Amanwella’s location such a nice beach retreat destination.
That said, there is much to explore outside of the resort’s luxury bubble. With the location near the remote town of Tangalle, the hotel is not far from a couple of National Parks. Safari drives can be easily organized and the experienced guides can track elephants, crocodiles, and birdlife — and at the Yala park, guests can hope to spot the elusive leopard. Then out in the sea, between December and March, there is a chance to see blue whales, sperm whales, and spinner dolphins.
Categories: Aman Resorts, Barefoot luxury, Beach resorts, Culture & heritage, Family vacation, Honeymoon, Luxury resorts, Modern design, Quiet location, Relaxing vacation, Romantic, Spa, Tropical vacation,
Number of rooms & suites: 30
Rate per night: From $786 USD
*The rate is only approximate and is based on our own independent research, at the time of writing. We cannot guarantee the rate in any way.Check room rates and book
The name Amanwella takes its inspiration from the Sanskrit word meaning “a peaceful beach.” This quite aptly reflects the vibe of this elegant, minimalist resort located on the southern edge of Sri Lanka.
The beach is really lovely — wide, quiet, picturesque. It's one of the definitive selling points of Amanwella (did you see our photos on Instagram?)
The arresting sea views steal the show, especially from the beautiful main swimming pool and the restaurant area, facing west. The place provides a beautiful venue for breakfasts and afternoon cocktails and is the best spot from which to admire the sunset spectacle
The guest suites are in some ways the best thing about this hotel — especially the ones looking out to the beach. We loved the airy interiors, with floor-to-ceiling sliding windows, shaded by rattan panels. The open plan makes the living room feel one with the beautiful bathroom in which a standalone bathtub is a centerpiece
Faithful to Aman's toned-down aesthetic, both exteriors and interiors here are designed to be simple and uncluttered. This contributes to creating an exclusive atmosphere and is exactly what we want from a beach holiday
Delicious à la carte breakfasts (served until 11 am) in the restaurant overlooking the beach — or even better, in the privacy of our suite's terrace
In comparison to other Aman beach resorts, Amanwella is among the least expensive Amans. While still not exactly cheap, the resort lets to try out the Aman experience for everyone with a tighter budget
A good idea is to combine Amanwella with a stay at its sister property in Galle, which we also stayed at. Amangalla, set in a heritage building in the heart of the Galle Fort is essentially a city hotel that offers an experience entirely different from that of a beach resort. Highly recommended!
Author: Travel+Style. Last updated: 18/01/2020
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