First, C and G had different opinions. C rated it 4 and G 5. We went with the higher rating in fairness to the hotel and because, overall, it was an excellent stay. As well we waited for awhile to see if our opinions changed - they didn't.
The hotel has been refurbished to a high standard throughout with large common areas decorated in a quasi-colonial feel; the rooms retain that feel and are spacious. Please note that we did not have TV - don't know if this is standard for all rooms. There was a large shower recess and a free-standing bath. There was a separate lounge area but not lounge, simply two chairs. Air-con and fans worked fine. Lighting was okay, if unduly fiddly. There is no elevator.
There is a good library with mags, books and historical documents relating to the Hotel. There is a spa area that can be booked with massages and Ayurvedic consultations by payment. The pool area is clean with comfortable gazebos.
Dining and drinking is quite good for quality and cost BUT, once again, the culinary aspirations of Sri Lankan hotels exceeds their delivery. The food was no better than a brasserie standard. This probably reflects the Hotel's predominantly english-speaking market. Breakfast had a good range of options, lunch was similar with the Ayurvedic lunch very tasty. Dinner was sensibly restricted to a couple of options but, as already noted, not particularly memorable. The drinks list was actually reasonably-priced and the local arrack was enjoyable.
Perhaps the highlight of the Hotel is the service. Staff were not just friendly, but genuine and we always felt they wanted to make our stay enjoyable. This is most likely attributable to the charming and effective management of the English manager, Olivia. Along with all guests We were fortunate to be invited to the annual celebration of the Hotel's opening which is for the staff and she showed in her interactions with her local staff that she has set a high standard for the Hotel. We felt welcomed and always "at home" - including cold face towels when we came back from a walk.
C's minor issues were: the Hotel is a wonderful building in an uninteresting location because Galle Fort is ( at least for me) dull. A lot of the area is being refurbished, shopping is predominantly jewellry stores and views are hardly spectacular. There are no beaches nearby and so walks aren't really interesting. Galle Town is not that exciting either. Clearly Amangalla is a resort but not in a really great location. Wi-fi is dreadful - I did a connectivity test and download speed was .11 mbps (Sri Lanka average 2.91 mbps ranked 138th by Netindex.com). We had internet speeds 3 to 8 times faster in Kandy and Colombo respectively. Given that we had no TV, getting internet news etc was a bit slow. Finally, given the cost of a room I really object to paying for breakfast - I would think that a standard brekkie of fruit, pastries and coffee for $10 wouldn't break the Amangalla profits.
Finally, the many additional local taxes made the bill much higher than we expected. It would be better to have an inclusive price as was done in the other places we stayed at.
- 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