In the historic port of Galle, Amangalla sits within the ramparts of the 17th century Galle Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The resort reveals the Fort's daily activity and its rich legacy, the narrow streets lined with Dutch and British colonial era buildings still in use. The buildings that comprise Amangalla date back over 400 years. Collectively the buildings have been used as headquarters for the Dutch commandeur and his officers and later as a billet for British soldiers. In 1865, the buildings were combined to create the New Oriental Hotel, one of twelve hotels at the time within the fort. As the New Oriental Hotel, the property traded for 140 years. Historically, the fortified town of Galle has been a significant trading port. More than a thousand years ago it was the essential port of call for Chinese, Persian, Arab and Indian traders. Later came the Javanese and Sumatrans, followed by Marco Polo in 1299. But it was with the arrival of the Portuguese in 1505 that a small foreign trading post was established. In 1589, when the Kandyans forced the Portuguese out of their Colombo fort, a Portuguese settlement commenced in earnest with a fort of palm trees and mud. There are four categories of accommodation at Amangalla. Ten bedrooms offer views either overlooking the garden or the nearby historic Groote Kerk (Great Church). The bedroom and separate bathroom are similar in size with furnishings including a four-poster king-size bed, writing desk, dining table, pettagama chest- all set within the original polished jackwood floors. The spacious bathroom offers twin vanities, free-standing tub, separate shower and toilet. Bedrooms range from 36 to 39 square metres. Six Chambers are located within the Church Street Wing and face the Fort ramparts. The entrance leads into the open plan room, featuring first the bathroom, followed by the bedroom and a separate sitting area. The bathroom has a large shower, free-standing bathtub, and toilet. There are four Garden Wing Chambers, three with balconies and one with a twin porch- all over-looking the treetops of the resort garden. Chambers range in size from 55sq m to 67sq m. The ten Suites look onto para trees, the ramparts of the Fort and the harbour, or the mature well-tended tropical gardens. The spacious Suites feature the original polished teak floorboards dating back over 300 years. The entry hall leads to separate bedroom and lounge area. Adjacent to the entry hall is the bathroom with a free-standing tub, twin vanities, separate toilet and shower. The bedroom has a king-size four-poster bed and arched, shuttered windows. The lounge is furnished with a chaise lounge, writing desk, dining table, planter's chair and pettagama chest. This furniture is either a property original or careful reproduction. Suites range in size from 60sq m to 80sq m. Lastly, Amangalla features The Garden House, a two-storey, 140 square metre house- with a private terrace and balcony offering treetop views- situated within the resort's gardens. The original, antique furniture of the house has been restored. At the entrance is a sitting room fitted with a chaise lounge, armchairs and coffee table. Double doors lead to the bedroom, furnished with a king-size four-poster bed, writing table and dressing cabinet. Adjoining this is a spacious bathroom, bathed in light from the pool garden outside. It offers twin vanities, a free-standing tub, toilet and separate shower. An internal stairway rises from the sitting room to the upper level, featuring a daybed and banquette. Other facilities include a pantry serviced by a private butler. Amanresorts recommends travellers combine stays at both Amangalla and its sister property, Amanwella. Amangalla, approximately 100km south of Colombo, the capital, is the ideal starting point and provides the opportunity to explore the historic Galle fort as well as the scenic and cultural attractions of the region. From Amanwella, with its tranquil setting and abundance of swimming and sun bathing opportunities, it is a two-hour drive to Amangalla.
Hotel Address:Directions to Hotel
- 10 Church Street
- Sri Lanka
Colombo's Bandaranaike International Airport(BIA) is the sole international airport in Sri Lanka and is located about 30km north of the city. Travel time between the airport and the city centre varies between 45 and 60 minutes. Car transfer between Colombo and Amangalla (2.5 hours) is US$100+ per car per trip.
The scenic countryside and quaint villages as well as the wildlife of southwestern Sri Lanka, provide further pleasant distraction. Galle Fort remains a "living" monument with a thriving community within. The inhabitants are also protected, not by the stone ramparts some 20 metres thick, but by UNESCO, which classified the fort a World Heritage site in 1988. The most enjoyable way to experience the Fort is by walking. A leisurely walk leads past the old Dutch church, the governor's house, the spice warehouses, Court Square, the Kacheri, the lighthouse and on to the sea wall and ramparts. Visit the mosque and meander down streets leading to cricket fields, the temple, and the old District Judges house surrounded by ancient frangipani trees. Climb higher to enjoy views across Galle- St Aloysius Cathedral, the Galle International Cricket pitch, and the Port. The Clock Tower faithfully marks the hour as you return to sit on the Amangalla verandah, and gaze at the world going by.
Fine Dining on Site
The Zaal- the Great Hall as it was known in Dutch times- is the entry point to the resprt and has a wonderful colonial feel with high ceilings, overhead fans and chandeliers. There is relaxed seating within as well as on the verandah facing the tree-lined street front. The menu provides light meals and snacks in the morning and afternoon tea is served daily. The verandah is the ideal place to escape the heat of the day, enjoy a tall drink and watch the world pass by. Adjacent is The Dining Room that provides an intimate setting for dining with a colonial accent. The Dining Room is furnished with period chairs and tables, crisp white linen and antique silverware, with many of the original pieces being returned to their rightful place in this room. The Dining Room serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and provides a choice of traditional Sri Lankan curry and rice and home cooked dishes.
High Speed Internet
Two computer stations are provided for guests to access the Internet in the Library.
The Pool is centred within the resort's gardens and measures 21m by 10.5m. Bordering the swimming pool is a terrace containing five shaded cabanas and a series of sun lounges. Poolside service is provided and a variety of light meals and snacks are available.
The Baths: These are contained within the lower level of the Middle Street building. Entry is to a reception hall that is flanked on one side by a long ascending arched corridor leading to five treatment rooms. There is a small relaxation area at the entrance to each of the rooms. On the other side of the reception hall are the female and male locker rooms and bath areas. Each contains a small number of lockers and a dressing area leading to a hydrotherapy and water massage pool, sauna, steam and cold plunge pool. The male area is bathed in natural light during the day and the female area looks onto a private garden. There is also a beauty treatment area and a traditional barber shop. Adjacent to the Baths and positioned in a quiet part of the hotel gardens is a combined yoga and meditation pavilion.
Rhummassala: On the southern side of the bay is this magical headland. As well as being steeped in legend- it is part of the Ramayana story- it is also home to many rare and wonderful plants, and to over 60 species of local birds, including the Asian palm swift and the black bittern. A tour with a local botanist or ornithologist, or just a quiet solitary walk to the lightning rock, is recommended. In addition, one can tour and experience a nearby rainforest. Located a 35-minute drive north of Galle is the Hiyare Bio Diversity Reserve. Within the reserve is a virgin rainforest surrounding a beautiful reservoir. The forest is home to countless plants and animals including some newly discovered species. There are knowledgeable guides available who are research fellows working within the reserve.
Sri Lanka is renowned for its tea, and within 10 minutes from Galle is the start of the low-lying tea country. There are various tea plantations carpeting the rolling hills through which visitors may wander before viewing the working factories, several still utilizing ancient machinery. Teams of smiling Tamil women work through the process of drying and producing the tea. The ideal way to conclude the visit is to enjoy a cup of tea from the plantation.
Guest Review Highlights
- - Fine Dining on Site
- - High Speed Internet
- - Pool, Outdoor
- - Spa Facility
- - Biking, Touring
- - Ecological Tourism
- - Theatre & Museums
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