We have just spent a couple of nights at Amangalla - a very sympathetic conversion of an old Colonial era hotel in Galle, Sri Lanka. The interior is filled with antiques; our room was huge, with a large balcony overlooking the gardens and a lovely roll-top bath and separate rainforest shower in the bathroom; the staff were fantastic and the service is incredibly personal (everyone remembers your name and you never sign for anything!). The gardens are lovely and there is a great pool and spa complex. The food was excellent. This was our second stay at an Amanresorts property and it was well up to standard. Room rates are high but other prices (food, spa treatments etc) were surprisingly reasonable.
Galle Fort itself is, as others have commented, a UNESCO world heritage site - a small town contained within the walls of an old Dutch fort, subsequently administered by the British. It is fantastically atmospheric - lots of old buildings, many of them converted into nice places to eat or shop; a very laid-back vibe. Wrong continent, I know, but it reminded me of Cartagena as depicted by Garcia Marquez. We spent a very pleasant day wandering the streets and ramparts, with a short excursion into the neighbouring newer town, which was pretty hectic by contrast. I am not sure we would have been able to occupy ourselves for much more than a couple of days in Galle itself, but the hotel sells itself as a good base for other activities in the region - whale-watching in Mirissa, nice beaches nearby - and no reason to doubt them.
Definitely worth a visit - the long drive from Colombo was more than justified!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- In the historic port of Galle, Amangalla sits within the ramparts of the 17th-century Galle Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Named after the Sanskrit word for 'peace' and galla, the Sinhalese word for the town of Galle, the resort reveals the Fort's daily activities and its rich legacy. Offering views of the resort's 200-year-old gardens and of the Fort and harbour beyond, Amangalla provides for the leisurely exploration of this historic trading port and the surrounding countryside. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Amangalla Hotel Galle