Just before I was about to embark on my birthday trip to Sri Lanka with my equal half, a little bit of research led me to the website of the resort I would be checking in — Amanwella. On its website the phrase— ‘No request is too great and no detail too small’, caught my attention making me even more eager to spend time at the lovely beach hideaway— Amanwella, located in the pristine South coastal town of Sri Lanka, Tangalle. It did live up to the adage on its portal and indeed I found luxury, hospitality and warmth in every detail of this resort.ROOMSThe boutique beach retreat has 30 suites and you can choose from garden pool suites, ocean hill suites or ocean pool suites. Our Ocean Pool suite opened to a terrace with sweeping views of the sea, featured a private plunge pool, a sumptuous bathroom and a master bedroom. The design ethos of Aman intact- minimalistic and contemporary. The details included — amenities not done in small plastic bottles but big dispensers making conscious travelers like me smile, indigenous materials used for interiors and lots of privacy.FOODAmanwella doesn’t go overboard with its food and restaurant options but is for sure an epicurean’s delight. We gorged on local delicacies— hoppers for breakfast and curries for lunch at its all day dining - The Restaurant. At night we had dinner at Beach Club , the beachside restaurant where waves lent the beautiful background music and we sand kissed our feet while we binged on fresh seafood. Beach Club is ideal for a romantic dinner date or lunch with the most beautiful and breathtaking view of the Indian ocean.Food lovers can also opt to visit local markets with the Amanwella’s chef to discover more about the ingredients or can grab a meal at a local Sri Lankan house where authentic curries are made in clay pots. The staff at Amanwella will help you do all this and more, remember their motto— No request is too great!BEYOND ROOMSPool: The 150 metre-long infinity pool at Amanwella is what holiday dreams and Instagram feeds are made of. Most of our time in Tangalle was spent at the resort hopping from our private plunge pool to swimming pool to the beach. If you are a water baby you wouldn’t have much reason to step out of this haven.Spa: Two of the suites house the intimate spa that offers a sleek menu that would work for a quick massage. Ayurveda is what I had recommend if you are in Sri Lanka. Post sixty minutes of Abhyangam, their speciality, I was renewed and ready to board my flight next day to India. It did make first few days of the hustle in my hometown easy as it had a calming effect on my body and mind.Library: My favorite place to spend time at Amanwella was the library, that was well stocked, brightly lit and also doubled as the indoor gaming room. Aman Resorts design philosophy can be felt in every nook and corner of this resort, including the library. It is one of the most chic libraries I have spent time at.Things to do in TangelleJust 90 minutes from Amanwella is the Udawalawe National Park where you can find herds of elephants, kingfishers and hornbills, water buffalo and crocodiles lazing in the river. A bliss for wildlife lovers, Tangalle is the offbeat destination that should be on your wish list in the coming year!Tangalle also offers surfing and snorkeling in its azure waters and you catch the sight of whales too. The abundant natural beauty of Tangalle is quite inviting. Then there is culture and you can immerse yourself in activities with the locals like pottery.Even though, Amanwella is a destination in itself that is sure to transport you to a dream-like world. Add it to your bucket list!FAST FACTSTangalle is a three hour drive from Colombo airport. Sri Lanka offers free visa on arrival to Indians. Sri Lankan Airlines is your safest bit with ample direct connections from main cities.
It was dusk when we were approaching Amanwella and I was awoken by the driver to view the scenery. All around us, we were surrounded by lush tropical rainforest which led to a gravel road which then opened up to a pebbled courtyard; finally revealing the entrance pavilion to Amanwella.It was like my very own Bohemian Rhapsody, I was mesmerized; but for me, my most magical nights were those falling asleep listening to the summer raindrops falling and landing softly upon my terrace floor and the hills beneath. Was it the rose petals in my pre-arranged bath the evening I returned from safari? Was it the mini fridge filled with Toblerone and Ferrero Rocher? Was it the gourmet Italian meals made precisely to my liking? Was it the private candlelight dinner on the beach with only an orange crab passing by as my evening guest? Was it the intoxicating scent of the Frangipani trees as I strolled past the courtyard? Was it the gift from the Amanwella boutique? By and large, I could not pinpoint only one thing that was making this stay so exceptional. It was, simply put: Aman hospitality.I will never forget my days at Amanwella but one that particularly stands out in my memory is the day I went on safari. We saw gorgeous wild peacocks and some divine birds but not many other animals until… There was a moment of stillness, when we were in the open topped safari Jeep and nothing was to be seen.All of a sudden, I heard a rustling in the surrounding jungle foliage and in an instant a baby elephant gently popped out. I had tears in my eyes just looking at him, so innocent, so calm and even now, as I remember back to the moment, my heart warms up with nostalgia. But he was not traveling through the jungle alone, right after that baby calf, his giant parents, tusks and all, came right out, protecting their infant and began charging at us. I ducked like a little girl caught in the middle of a dodge ball game on the elementary school playground as the driver of the Jeep sped off as the elephant mother and father raced after us.It was like a scene straight out of The Jungle Book and I am bemused by every instant of it. Memories like this remind me that my greatest joys are attained through such priceless photographs engrained my mind as eternal postcards. It was a close to my time at Amanwella and time to say goodbye to the staff who had become like family. Sri Lankan’s are some of the most hospitable people in the world and combined with Aman’s embodiment for service, it is a match well made. Such cosseting can go to one’s head but alas, isn’t that what sumptuousness is all about? It had been almost a week in Sri Lanka, when I was surprised with an extravagance so opulent, I want to go back right now and do it all over again. An encore it was to another installment of The Dutch House Collection. But wait. It was like nothing you or I have ever experienced. Prime Ministers have lounged here. Kings and queens have holidayed here. Aristocrats have summered here. Presidents have played here. Writers have created masterpieces here. The rich & famous have wed here. Wealthy honeymooners spend their post-nuptial days here. This, in all its resplendence, is what only a hopeless romantic could conjure up. And it was just that. It is the work of art of Count de Maunay-Talvande.
Amanwella is set within a coconut grove facing a crescent moon shaped beach in Tangalle on the southern coast of Sri Lanka. Each of the 30 suites here are bungalow-villa style with their own plunge pools, crisp white linens (very signature Aman) and terraces facing the beach.Designed by Sri Lanka’s famous architect Geoffrey Bawas, Amanwella, is clean and contemporary; completely in contrast to it’s sister property Amangalla in Galle. And though nothing for me could match the essence of old world beauty that won me over at Amangalla, Amanwella had many offerings of its own.