*amanwella, Sri Lanka

march 019
written Alban E. Smajli

Distinct Contemporary Design

Amanwella ́s setting is a scenic country standout arranged on a hillside above a pristine curved bay shared with fishermen and their jewel-hued boats. 

ground plan, Amanwella Ocean Suite  (c) Tim Jahn, le mile studios

ground plan, Amanwella Ocean Suite
(c) Tim Jahn, le mile studios


This contemporary all-suite complex touts 30 spacious, calming, and uncluttered villas that are constructed from timber, stone, and local clay tiles. To the west, wild palm trees sway in the wind above a sandy grove backed by thick tumbling vegetation while to the east, great boulders seal the shoreline. Sri Lanka ́s Buddhist temples and impossibly green tea plantations make this island one seriously photogenic place that acts as a melting pot for landscapes, cultures, animals, and activities. Whether you ́re up for the scenic railway travels, wildlife safaris, hiking different world-heritage destinations, or simply traveling the island for leisure, Sri Lanka fulfills every traveler ́s desire. 

The Amanwella luxury resort is situated on Sri Lanka ́s sun-baked south coast on the sleepy fishing town of Tangalle and is the perfect hideaway and home base to explore all that Sri Lanka has to offer. The resort is fabulous with the little touches: large tropical fruit bowls, pretty frangipani blooms, delicious and freshly baked coconut cookies, high quality publications that showcase all the destinations AMAN serves, and gifts for their guests to make their stay meaningful. 

King-size beds belong in airy rooms with high wooden ceilings while floor-to-ceiling sliding glass windows and tropical-inspired sliding wooden doors on either side let the sunshine and the sound of the waves pour in the interior. Details unique to the resort include quasi-modern massive living rooms with dark kithul wood furnishings and a taupe colour scheme. There is no television in any of the suites, instead there is an undiluted view on the 800-metre beachfront and coconut grove to enjoy from the terrace while being serenaded by the sounds of peacocks as the refreshing breeze brushes your skin. The bathroom is a vast space with a large free-standing tub, a separate tropical shower, and thanks to the sliding doors, it even provides direct access to the pool for spontaneous dips that comes with a day bed for afternoon naps. 


Amanwella has embraced a stripped back aesthetic that lets the idyllic surroundings take centre stage. A perfect place for meditation, morning yoga lessons, or a daily cup of black tea are what Sri Lanka is famous for. Inspired by the celebrated Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa, the resort flows effortlessly within its environment, keeping their guests’ experience as original and authentic as possible. Also, the properties blend seamlessly with the surroundings to maintain balance and harmony. The hue of the exterior walls perfectly matches the sand encompassing the resort and the simplicity of its streamlined design all transition harmoniously within the open airy spaces. Kerry Hill found inspiration in sharp angles and almost-monumental proportions from past century architecture. The lines of design exude very strong modernist influences. 

The main restaurant is a simple pavilion-style linear building, located just above the resorts ́ 47-metre-long infinity pool and adjacent to the bar with outdoor seating and sweeping views. It basks in heavenly sunset panoramas during dinner time and proffers an international fusion menu that combines fine dining and focuses on Mediterranean and Asian cuisine with plenty of traditional Sri Lankan dishes like egg hoppers or curries.

The sheets of glass on the facade of the bar next to the restaurant reflect the tropical sky and strong sun on the outside and ensure a great view from the inside. 

The resort allows its guests to unplug and try out Ayurveda experiences, relax on sun loungers on the outdoor banquette, and dine privately on the al-fresco culinary treatments. Its pace is seductively slow and invites everyone who is searching for comfortable and peaceful moments to observe the waves of the turquoise Indian Ocean.

The Amanwella is an unadulterated island-paradise bliss.