We stayed at Amanwella over the Christmas and New year period 2006/2007 and had a wonderful time. The setting is very peaceful and serene and you can literally escape from it all.
We had a suite on the hill which was a lot more private, and we would recommend those, rather than the beach villas – they have a bedroom and then a separate dressing and bathing area with roll top bath and separate shower. At the entrance, you are met with a plunge pool, which is wonderfully refreshing after a hard day at the beach!! There is also a lovely balcony which faces the sea, and you can hear the waves crashing onto the beach (these are large waves, and quite noisy during the night – but hey, it’s the beach!)
Raymond and Janet are the managers, and are the most fantastic people who drive their team hard to provide outstanding service. They are very visible, not like most hotel managers who sit in their office, and they make sure that your every need is catered for. Most evenings, we got a small present, like a wooden carving, and a handwritten note from Raymond and Janet wishing us the best for the following day, from the ‘Amanwella Family’. This is just how it felt – it is more like being invited to stay somewhere rather than actually paying for it!! Their team are just the most helpful people you will ever have the benefit to meet. These guys are very hardworking and absolutely fantastic – another plus for this resort.
The food was nice, but simple, with not much choice, but you can ask the chef for any dish and they will do their best to prepare it for you for dinner. Once we knew this, we readily asked for changes to suit our Western palettes!! During the day, lunch is mainly served at the beach club, which serves freshly caught fish through to burgers and chips, all served with the best service, a large smile and the sound of the waves.
On an evening, there is not much to do but for us this was ideal – we literally played cards, and then went to bed to re-energise for the hard slog on the beach. We also took a DVD player & DVDs with us which came in quite handy for the evenings.
Venturing out of the resort is pretty limited, but is worth it to see what life is like in the surrounding area – we went to a local wildlife park to see the elephants – it is marvellous to see that they are trying their best to force through conservation. There are also talks during the evenings in the reosrt – and if you are lucky enough and go at the right time of year, you may be able to go to see the turtles hatching on a local beach.
The location is wonderful, but if you find it difficult to get round, there is quite a walk from your room to the restaurant and numerous steps all over the resort – but for most people this is the best way to walk off those extra pounds from your meals!!
Downsides: The journey from Colombo is arduous. Luckily we caught the Air Taxi – the one and only plane that was working from Colombo, which meant 40 minutes by plane rather than the 6 hours in the car done by most other people. The Sri Lankan government really do need to invest in their infa-structure and I would agree with the comments before about probably doing another resort further up the coast and then making your way down to Amanwella - it would be ideal.
Another downside were some of the other guests. Please come to this resort if you are nice and are not rude to the staff!! They will bend over backwards for you, but do not need to be sworn at – as some friends of ours overheard!!!
We went from here to Tea Trails in the Cultural triangle for 5 nights. It took 6 hours by car, so again, you need to think about onward journeys.
All in all, I would recommend here for a relaxing ‘get away from it all’ time and do nothing but laze by the sea and have gloriously relaxing evenings with a slow drink. Perfect.
(just a note on the scoring - we would have marked this a 5 out of 5, but then we went to Tea Trails, and the setting and food were possibly one notch higher, which was difficult! But we have compared the 2 and hence have marked this a 4 out of 5)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in a mature coconut grove fronting a crescent-shaped beach, Amanwella is a seaside resort offering 30 contemporary suites, each with private plunge pool and terrace. The resort's suites are linked by pathways along a landscaped rise with beach and ocean views. Guests can relax on the expansive terrace surrounding the main pool or on the sand beach. The seaside town of Tangalle is nearby and a short stroll will reveal village life and Sri Lanka's diverse flora and fauna. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Amanwella Hotel Tangalle
- Amanwella Resort Tangalle