Amangalla: A timeless retreat in the heart of Galle

ByAndrea Thompson

June 18, 2024

Amangalla, a beacon of heritage in the heart of Galle Fort, Sri Lanka, is a hotel that exudes historical charm and timeless elegance. Built in 1684, the building originally served as the headquarters for Dutch commanders and staff.

It later transitioned to British hands before becoming the New Oriental Hotel in 1865, catering to European travellers of the 19th century. In 2005 the hotel was rebranded as Amangalla, part of the Aman Resorts.

The interior decoration of Amangalla is a tribute to its colonial past. Classic overhead fans, antique tables, and silverware set against linen tablecloths create a dining experience reminiscent of a bygone era.  The Zaal (the Great Hall) retains it legacy with high ceiling fronted by a veranda that faces the street lined with trees.

With only 31 rooms and suites this luxurious hotel offers an intimate experience.  The rooms are a blend of colonial grandeur and modern comfort, featuring high ceilings, original wooden floors, and four-poster beds.  The suites have been designed by combining several smaller rooms keeping the history of the hotel but ensuring comfort for the guests.

The facilities and amenities at Amangalla cater to the ultimate comfort of its guests. Nestled within 200-year-old exotic gardens, the tranquil swimming pool area features private shaded cabanas. Guests can indulge in personalized treatments from an on-site Ayurveda specialist, and enjoy The Baths, a spa equipped with treatment rooms and hydrotherapy suites.

Amangalla is  a living museum that offers a window into the soul of Sri Lanka.  Its unique location is within a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the service as you would expect is beyond exceptional.