On the South West coast of Sri Lanka, the fortified town of Galle has been a significant trading port, where in the 17tth century the Dutch built a fort. Amangalla is an integral part of this fort. Narrow streets are lined with houses and the community within is a bustle with daily life. Along with bullock carts and bicycles people socialise and shop. Laughter chatter and gossip abound within the rampart walls. Once home to the New Oriental Hotel, Amangalla is a beautifully restored historic house now full of antiques, rich mahogany furniture and with staff who will see to your every need
The elegant Dining Room is often alive with the buzz of conversation from ex pats. The starched white tablecloths, sparkling silver, polished teak floors and ceiling fans will all evoke memories of the colonial past. Classic Sri Lankan dishes are complemented by European and Australian favourites.
Just outside the hotel, the most enjoyable way to experience the Fort is by walking. A leisurely walk leads past the old Dutch Church, the Governor’s house, the spice warehouses, Court Square, the Kacheri (town hall), the lighthouse and on to the sea wall and ramparts. Visit the mosque and meander down streets leading to cricket fields, the temple, and the old District Judge’s house surrounded by ancient frangipani trees. Climb higher to enjoy views across Galle – St. Aloysius Cathedral, the Galle International Cricket pitch, and the Port. The Clock Tower faithfully marks the hour as you return to sit on the Amangalla veranda, and gaze at the world going by.
Later in the day, business done, the townsfolk gather on the ramparts to promenade, talk, play cricket, fly kites, and kiss under umbrellas as the tropical sun goes down.
After a day spent exploring return to the large swimming pool, a cool respite within the established gardens. Amangalla also offers indulgent experiences at the spa; “The Baths” Choose from Ayurveda which uses a natural approach to healing or indulge in a Balinese massage which uses long strokes and acupressure to create a blissful and beneficial experience. No matter which is chosen guests will leave with the body restored and the mind soothed.
The 25 suites are decorated in tasteful colonial style with glorious antiques, from Para Mara four-poster beds to pettagama chests, and high quality reproductions on polished Burma teak floorboards that shine on after 300 years. The bedrooms, chambers and suites offer a variety of views from Galle Fort itself to the hotel’s mature gardens. The bathrooms, in hardwood and white, are genteel and comfortable, with an ample armoire, twin vanities beneath large wooden mirrors, free-standing bathtubs and shower rooms. The two-storey Garden House, situated within the lush frangipani scented gardens, is filtered with natural sunlight and features a collection of the original antiques.