Add: 10 Church Street, Fort, Galle, Sri Lanka
Tel: +94 91 223 3388
Price: 725 USD/night and up
Visited: Oct 2017
It was such a pleasant surprise to discover that there is an Aman property in Galle, Sri Lanka, where I would be attending a wedding. Set within the ramparts of the Galle Fort, Amangalla is part of this more than 400-year-told UNESCO World Heritage Site. I immediately reserved for three nights, eager to experience living on this historical site…but a few days before departure, I received an email from the hotel saying that their AC system broke down. Uh oh.
The hotel proposed three options: 1) Move my reservation to Amanwella (stunning property, but two hours away from Galle and too far for the wedding festivities), 2) Reserve a boutique hotel in Galle on my behalf (but…but Aman!), and 3) Provide a small portable AC in the room (Is that going to work given the intense humidity of Southeast Asia?) Hmm…tough one.
In the end I decided to stay with Amangalla, and…what a charming stay it turned out to be!
Galle’s tumultuous history spans more than 400 years, and Amangalla, nestled within its fort, reflects this deep history. Built in 1684 and once used as an army command center, it was later renovated to become the New Oriental Hotel in 1865. Its last owner, Ms. Nesta, sold the property to Aman on her 90th birthday, with all but one request – that the only house on the property to be kept for her husband, who, to this date, still travels to Galle from London once in a while.
斯里蘭卡曾被葡萄牙、荷蘭、英國殖民，而安缦伽拉也體現了這數百年來的曆史文化變遷。始建于1684年的建築曾作爲殖民地駐軍的指揮部，後來于1865年被改建成了新東方酒店（New Oriental Hotel），最後一任主人Nesta女士在她90歲生日這天把幾代相傳的房産賣給了安缦集團，唯一要求是要將建築群內的獨棟別墅留給她先生Rainey（如今他住在倫敦，寒冬時都會回來度假呢）。
Despite having been renovated for modern comfort, Amangalla has retained the period charm of a bygone era. Polished teak floorboards date back to the building’s origins, and the interiors are decorated with antiques that span centuries. Inside the resort, there is also a library that collects memorabilia from New Oriental Hotel, which is fascinating to see. It is as if the passage of time has slowed down around this part of the world.
The resort is dotted with quiet, charming corners, adorned with fallen frangipani flowers at every step. Just breathing in the air seems enough to calm the mind…
Climbing the stairs up to the third floor, there is a magnificent view of the neighborng red roofs and beyond them, the Indian Ocean. The butler told me that this is an excellent spot for sunset viewing, though unfortunately during my three days of stay at Amangalla, I was either out or it was raining during sunset hours.
With only 29 rooms on site, Amangalla is the resort with the fewest rooms in the entire Aman Group. The room I stayed at, a Verandah Chamber (65sqm), is located next to the central garden and features Kingsize four-poster bed, living area with writing desk Pettagama chest, planter’s chair, and a dining table. One thing that I loved was the wooden floor, so comfortable to step on that I decided to go barefoot instead of wearing slippers.
安缦伽拉只有29間客房，是安缦集團裏房間數最少的，酒店也因此格外安靜，除了惬意還是惬意。我入住的房型 “遊廊居室“（Verandah Chamber）位于花園旁，65平米的寬敞空間內有四柱床、書桌、古董式木箱、藤木椅餐桌、儲物櫃。一般住酒店都習慣穿拖鞋，在這裏我卻選擇光腳，因爲細紋原木地板踩起來非常舒服。
Candle-lighting ceremony upon entering the room, for blessings.
A spacious patio looking out to the tropical garden.
The portable AC that the hotel provided wasn’t super cooling and was actually quite loud – fortunately I’m not a light sleeper and was able to ignore the noise. However, one of the room windows had to be open at all times for the AC vent, which means that there were bugs from the garden inside the room and I was unfortunately bit by (probably) ants on my first night, resulting in some blisters. To Amangalla’s credit, the staff resolved the situation quite well – details to come later.
Bathroom with freestanding bathtub, twin vanities mirrors, separate shower/toilet. I was a fan of the window design (allowing for some view while having a good soak) as well as of the comfortable bath towels (so huge they could devour a person entirely).
For turndown service each night, Amangalla brought me a little gift. The first night was a bookmark made from Lontar, an ancient form of paper, penciled with Sinhalese script. On the second night I received a set of vintage postcards, and a jar of tea on the third. Sweet little touches.
Stepping down from the room, there was a tropical garden a a pool, with cabanas on one side and a set of daybeds on the other.
On thing to love about this pool is that it’s not only used for swimming or suntanning, but is also a lovely location of breakfast or afternoon tea. I’m not sure if other Aman properties also have this arrangement, but anyway it was a most pleasant surprise.
Breakfast was definitely one of my favorite moments during my stay at Amangalla. The menu features a range of local Sri Lankan specialties – hoppers, string hoppers, pittu, milk rice, kolakanda…all delicous things to discover.
早餐時間應該是我在安缦伽拉入住三日最喜歡的時刻之一了。菜單上有各種斯里蘭卡當地的特色：hoppers, string hoppers, pittu, milk rice, kolakanda…其中造型可愛的hoppers特別討喜，可以原味或加蛋，連續兩個早晨都選擇了它。
Breakfast can be enjoyed by the pool, on the sun-filled patio, in the tropical garden, or inside one’s room. Wherever you choose, the staff will make sure everything’s arranged on point.
A friend staying at Amangalla at the same time got upgraded to a suite, and thanks to her I had the opportunity to enjoy afternoon tea in the comfort of her spacious living room, which undoubtedly felt more intimate than out in the lobby. It was raining on this particular day, and to be sipping hot tea along with dainty pastries with a local twist, it was pure bliss.
Looove the bathtub by the window, and the creative bath towel animals done by the butler…(the sunglasses was part of his artwork, too).
The one thing I regret about this stay in Amangalla, was that I was so busy running about for the wedding festivities that I didn’t even get a chance to try its famous Ayurveda treatment, which can be personalized to include massages, anointments, reflexology and scrubs. I did, however, manage to sneak in half an hour at the hydrotherapy suite, which contains hot and cold plunge pools as well as steam rooms and saunas. This is free for hotel guests, by the way.
Lastly, a few words on the service at Amangalla, which was thoughtful and all-encompassing. It started with an ice-cold towel and a passion-fruit welcome drink upon arrival…
Continuing with morning yoga class in the outdoor pavilion (fresh king coconut juice after class was the best).
Then, when we had to go to a nearby island for the pre-wedding party but did not want to go early with the bus, Amangalla arranged a private car for us, then called the island proprietor to make sure we got the boat ride across too.
And lastly, the bug bite incident. Waking up with two blisters on my leg did freak me out a little bit, and I immediately informed reception about this incident. During the one-hour I was at yoga class, they switched the room for me, and the hotel GM personally came by with medications. The blisters didn’t end up itching or hurting, and went away after a few days. Getting bitten by bugs certainly wasn’t pleasant, but I was satisfied with the way Amangalla resolved the problem.
After these three days at Amangalla, I’m even more of an Aman believer. Though the stay wasn’t perfect, I was still charmed by this beautiful place and its immaculate service. Can’t say that I’m planning another Sri Lanka trip in the near future, but Amangalla would undoubtedly be an integral part of my itinerary if I were to come back again to this fascinating country…
地址：10 Church Street, Fort, Galle, Sri Lanka
電話: +94 91 223 3388