I’m guilty of being a thalassophile through and through. Hence, early on I’d planned for my stay with Amanwella to take place in the middle of my Sri Lankan trip – for fear of going too long without the beach. Amanwella is managed by Aman, known as one of the most exclusive and ultra-luxe resort chains in the world attracting the elite clienteles, royalties and A-list celebrities. Aman hotels are renowned for their discreet luxury, breathtaking locations off the beaten path, locally inspired architecture and set amidst some of the most diverse natural and historical landscapes. Each welcomes guests as if to the home of a close friend, instilling a sense of peace and ultimate privacy.
Amanwella is located amidst 37 acres of coconut groves set along a private 800m fine brown sugary sand beach. This crescent bay beach was one of the most beautiful I’d set foot on along the whole southern coast. Part of the Amanwella charm is in its remoteness, turning off from the main road of Tangalle, you’ll drive past fields of lush greenery and rural homes before being greeted by Amanwella’s entrance. It’s hard to imagine the size and magnificence of Amanwella, until you are lead through the gates and one is greeted by a trail of coconut trees before arriving to a lobby that I thought could only exist in my linear dreams.
How to get there
Amanwella is a 3 hour drive from Colombo Airport; not much of a journey since most major sights require a similar travel time. Alternatively, guests can arrange for an air taxi to Dickwella, followed by a 20 minutes drive to the property. I’d traveled easily to Amanwella from my previous accommodation near Weerawila Bird Sanctuary, just 1.5hrs away.
Contemporary with a modern-inspired minimalism, Amanwella takes its inspiration from the work of the late modernist architect Geoffrey Bawa – who was among the most influential Asian architects of his generation and is the principal force behind what is today known globally as ‘tropical modernism’. Throughout the resort and in the suites, the consistent theme is one which features open spaces, clean architectural lines and the use of earthy colour palette. The overall visual look is unified but comfortable, stylish, and calming – something consistent through the Aman’s signature aesthetics.
Located on a hill, 27 suites line the property above the coastlines of the Indian Ocean. These terracotta roofed contemporary suites feature hand-hewn stone walls and terrazzo floor, with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors and lattice panels on both sides. One side opens to the entrance courtyard with a private plunge pool and lounge area, and the other to an expansive terrace with cushy twin loungers, a dining table and chairs, and views of coconut grove, beach and ocean. Inside, the room is spacious with a king sized bed, indoor lounge area, and wooden sliding doors to partition the room from the bathroom. All suites are identical in layout and the Ocean suites offer the most indulgent sea views.
A 47 metre infinity pool looking out to the enthralling scenery of coconut groves and crescent bay, is great way to start or end the day with a dip in the pool as you watch the sky light up a kaleidoscope of colours. Just above the pool deck is the main area where you can find the main restaurant looking out to the pool and beach; serving up Asian and Mediterranean cuisine. Next to it, the Lounge Bar is a spot you can have drinks, complimentary afternoon tea, lunch and dinner. An alternative spot for dining is by the Beach Club where guests could dine at for lunch and private dinners to oceanfront views. Complimentary yoga classes are conducted every Tuesday and Sunday. Unfortunately, I’d happened to stay outside these days and missed out on a class. Otherwise, I was sure that it would have been a relaxing experience to have a guided class by our expansive terrace listening to the sounds of the crashing waves. So instead, I went for an Abhyanga massage (said to be an Amanwella speciality). The resort lacks a spa center and one of the ocean views suites was converted into a spa room for my treatment. After spending long days of creating content all around Sri Lanka, it was certain a treat that I needed and I dozed off almost immediately.
Every night after turn down service, little surprise gifts awaited me in the suite. The first night, I’d received a box of Blue Earl Grey tea in an Amanwella labelled tin box. The second night, I’d received a printed scrapbook of recipes of cocktails and Sri Lankan dishes. Upon my departure, I was handed a last surprise- a coconut shell candle. Finally, when I arrived at my next accommodation, I unloaded my carry-ons to find two yellow leather luggage tags from Amanwella. These turn down gifts were a delightful surprise at bedtime and such a memorable way to look back on my stay with Amanwella. For bookings and more details on Amanwella, you can go here.