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Piswig
Freiburg

A very special place

Review of Amangalla
5.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 14 May 2024
I have stayed here twice and absolutely love this hotel. The entire building is stunning and like a „living“ museum. The rooms are beautiful with very comfortable beds and great views. The spa is very good and the complimentary hydropool-session is such a treat. Aman properties are of course well known for their excellent service and Amangalla is no exception. Starting with a very warm welcome by the GM, to extensive housekeeping, the over the top pool service (loungers being prepared for you, sunscreen, mosquito-repellent, little treats and water are not just provided but being brought directly to you), service during the meals, to a very nice goodbye - it is all there! Karan, the new GM is very nice and doing an amazing job. Everyone was great but I especially want to mention Kasun and Damminika who took really good care of me.
I can absolutely recommend staying here and I will most definitely be back.
Date of stay: May 2024
Room Tip: If you are a light sleeper, book a room facing the courtyard
Trip type: Travelled solo
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
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Karen Merrick, General Manager at Amangalla, responded to this review
Responded 15 May 2024
Dear Piswig,

Ayubowan!

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on Amangalla with future guests and so very happy you felt connected to the house and the people in it. It is a magical place packed to the brim with history as well as historical references from the past - which we are honoured to be the custodians of this very important Sri Lankan house.

Life is about connections and we want our guests to feel that Amangalla is an extension of their own home and showcase the respectful and joyful way they would look after dear friends if they were visiting that home.

We are delighted you felt a sense of place and hope we can welcome you back to the house in the future.

warmly,

Karen on behalf of Kasun, Damika and all of the Amangalla Santi

Karen Merrick
General Manager
Amangalla
Kmerrick@aman.com

This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Reviewed 29 April 2024 via mobile

Wonderful hotel in the heart of Galle Fort. Aside from the beautiful colonial setting, the best part is the service. It is not mechanical, but delivered efficiently and friendly. They really want you and invest into you to ensure you have the best experience. Would love to visit again.

Date of stay: April 2024
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank YauBaby
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Karen Merrick, General Manager at Amangalla, responded to this reviewResponded 7 May 2024

Dear Yau Baby,

Ayubowan!

Thank you kindly for the lovely review and so kind of you to write this. We are delighted you felt connected to the property and it was everything you hoped for and more.

We look forward to welcoming you back to the property in the near future.

with gratitude on behalf of all the Amangalla Santi,

Karen Merrick
General Manager
Amangalla
kmerrick@aman.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2024

From the moment you pull up to the gorgeous Amangalla, just up from the centuries old church upon which the street is named, you are transported back in time to an era through the grand entrance. We were welcomed by the wonderful Karen Merrick General Manager and the absolutely impeccable Pathum. After a lovely refreshment and a tour we were shown to our room, which was just beautiful. Words actually fail me in terms of the feeling one has... We live in Dubai where the standards in hospitality are at times impossibly high, and we have traveled and stayed at many high end hotels over our years, but the memories of our stay at the Amangalla will remain forever. Thank you so much to ALL of the Amangalla team, which I wish I could name every single person, you made our all too brief stay something so incredibly special.

Date of stay: March 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank FellowTraveler485411
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Karen Merrick, General Manager at Amangalla, responded to this reviewResponded 7 April 2024

Dear Emma S,

Ayubowan!

Thank you kindly for the warm review and it has brightened the day for everyone on reading it and we are filled with gratitude for your kindness.

Life should be about connections and in both of our Sri Lankan properties the teams try to think about what takes our guests closer to 'Peace', which is not only our name but our guiding principle.
They and we strive daily, as Sri Lanka awakens again for visitors to enjoy this magical island and explore the four corners to enrich their lives with such diverse experiences and offerings. This is also the reason we hold these two very special and yet completely different properties as part of our portfolio.
Life should be about experiences and we are grateful to have been part of yours and for you to have been part of ours, adding to the richness and history of our house here in the fort and we are grateful for you allowing us to be part of your life story.
Warmly and with gratitude,

Karen on behalf of Pathum and all your Amangalla Santi

Karen Merrick
General Manager – Amangalla
kmerrick@aman.com

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Reviewed 7 March 2024

Quintessentially Aman.

1. A gorgeous, historic property that - like Amans in Venice, Beijing and Siem Reap - balances the comforts you expect while maintaining its vintage setting. AC is nice and strong in the rooms, WiFi works great.

2. Intuitive service, remembering your preferences from one day to another, staff seeming to pass our favorite dishes along to the chef so they appear in another meal.

3. Excursions are outstanding - we chose the Roti dinner which has lots more than Roti on the menu and is something we will never forget. We also did the Geoffrey Bawa tour which took us to Lunuganga as well as other properties he designed in Bentota. It was a great day away from the Fort. We also had lazy days by the pool which is a great way to pass time.

4. Food - outstanding! A good balance of traditional Sri Lankan cuisine and western food. They were debuting healthy and vegan options on our last days in town. The chefs are very curious for your feedback.

5. Strong management - the GM is seasoned, affable and eager for feedback and added to the thoughtful touches throughout our stay. There are a number of employees who have been on board since Aman took ownership as well as many new employees eager for experience.

Amangalla is very different from Amanwella in terms of experience, and so visiting both properties in one holiday is a great idea. These were Aman number 14 and 15 for us, and both properties reflect exactly what it is that has made us repeat Aman guests.

Date of stay: March 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Michael W
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Karen Merrick, General Manager at Amangalla, responded to this reviewResponded 9 March 2024

Dear MW,

Deeply grateful to have been chosen on your Aman journey and that the connection you felt to the property and people was everything you hoped for and more... especially as you were with us for several days.

I know the Amangalla Santi are very grateful for your kindness and for the trust shown in their service.... as you know the ethos of Aman is to welcome guests to our properties, the same way we would welcome guests to our home. With care, compassion and a genuine eagerness to look after - we are delighted you felt this and thank you for the trust.

We look forward to welcoming you 'home' to your next Aman and also hope we can welcome you back to this one... it would be our joy.


warmly and with gratitude,

Karen on behalf of all the Amangalla Santi

Karen Merrick
General Manager - Amangalla
kmerrick@aman.com






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Reviewed 4 March 2024 via mobile

We fell in love with Sri Lanka during a one week visit and Amangalla is part of the reason why. We stayed at both Aman properties in the country, and while we preferred Amanwella overall for its staff and quieter, more laid back atmosphere, we surely would have regretted missing the history, quality of spa treatments, unique experiences and general refinement that sets Amangalla apart from other hotels we’ve stayed at. If you can book a package that includes both Amans here, we highly recommend that you do so.

Strengths:

The garden house where we stayed is absolutely beautiful, extremely spacious, and offers a very large and private wraparound balcony to watch wildlife and enjoy a drink. We found very little online in terms of video or images of this room category, but we expected a lot, and were disappointed in no way whatsoever.

The food may have been even better here than Amanwella, which is saying quite a bit.

Some of the activities offered, though not all, are certain to stay in our memory a lifetime. In particular we recommend the roti private dinner experience and the cinnamon plantation visit. The tea plantation visit, on the other hand, was not a good fit for this calibre of hotel.

Area for Improvement:

Though we were generally quite happy with the level of service we received, it did not quite match up to our experience at Amanwella. For example, we had to remind folks here on a few occasions that we are vegetarian, despite making it very clear ahead of time and on arrival that we are indeed. It should be noted, however, that Amangalla is completely able to accommodate a vegetarian diet both from the menu and off.

Room tip: The Garden House more than met our expectations. Be sure to book a private dinner.
Date of stay: February 2024
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank jzemore1
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Karen Merrick, General Manager at Amangalla, responded to this reviewResponded 6 March 2024

Dear jzemore1,

we are elated that you enjoyed both our Aman properties in Sri Lanka, as you identified they offer quite different experiences and staying at a combination of both is a perfect way to experience the Southern Province.

Glad that you loved the Garden House, it's a little gem of a residence with it's upper and lower lounge offering a contrast of vintage spaces in keeping with the historic positioning of the main house.

Thank you for the notes on the service, there is no reason you should have to re-mention your dietary preference as a residential guests, apologies for this oversight and glad the cuisine made up for this.

As we come out of the high season and up for air a little, we will be reviewing all experiences for our guests so thank you for helping us understand which ones you enjoyed and which need reviewed as everyone's choices are a little different.

we wish you wonderful and everlasting joy filled memories of both the properties and hope one day we can welcome you back to Amangalla


warmly,

Karen Merrick
General Manager - Amangalla
kmerrick@aman.com

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Reviewed 2 March 2024 via mobile

This is undoubtedly a beautiful property crammed with amazing history. Lovely rooms, grand public areas, a decent size swimming pool surrounded by cabanas and beds and a great location by the city walls. This is the sixth Aman we’ve stayed at. Dinner was very good indeed; they have a super experienced chef although we found the gazpacho far too spicy to the point we couldn’t eat it. There is Tabasco in it and we joked with the chef that the sous chef must have emptied the bottle in! Service was generally excellent throughout the whole property.

There were a number of little niggles. The room a/c was showing 24.5 degrees at night despite being set at 22 degrees and never going lower. (We were advised that the 20 year old a/c does not go lower than 22). After lots of fiddling by the team the second night was definitely cooler. The safe malfunctioned; hard soap wasn’t replaced in the shower; we were offered cocktails and canapés as a benefit but told we couldn’t have a gin and tonic or whisky instead by both our butler and waiter until management intervened; a half eaten mango was left in the room; at times the room service was too obtrusive with someone in our room to service it around five times+ a day which is great but a little over the top; the prices are Aman with a glass of mango juice at breakfast comIng in at just under £10 etc.

We found our beautiful room noisy; not because of the hotel but because of lots of surrounding noise from the town and further afield. 5.30am prayers from the temple woke us up on Day 2 which we totally get; there were late fireworks in the evening; often rather a lot of noise from the street. This a busy noisy little town; don’t stay here if you want tranquility and peace.

When going into the restaurant on our first night many of the tables carried reserved signs, possibly for non resident guests who are an important source of business for the hotel; in my view Aman needs to handle this better. Perhaps they should reserve the best tables for hotel guests first and foremost or leave one side for residents. Overall these are all small things but they did affect our experience.

However what we both felt this property lacked was something intangible but the source of our delight at other Aman properties. It’s that ‘thing’ (AMAN DNA perhaps) that allows Aman to charge double or so above Mandarin Oriental, Four Seasons etc. where we normally stay. This place lacked the calmness and tranquility of Luang Prabang and Bali; it missed the generosity of spirit and warmth of all the other five properties (although Karen was lovely); it didn’t have the peace & professionalism and slickness of a busy hotel like Aman in Courcheval.

Sadly Amangalla struck us like just another beautiful hotel, generally well run in a fabulous building. I don’t know if Aman as it expands can keep its soul and I don’t know if our experience was atypical. But nickel and diming over for instance a gin and tonic rather than a cocktail is NOT Aman’s style. There are many luxury properties in and around Galle; I’m not sure I would necessarily recommend paying the premium to stay here. Come here for dinner or afternoon tea by all means.

Room tip: A/C doesn’t go below 22C (72F) If you tip make it general at the end of your visit not individual as it encourages predatory behaviour
Date of stay: February 2024
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank tim503s
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Karen Merrick, General Manager at Amangalla, responded to this reviewResponded 2 March 2024

Dear tim503s,

Thank you for sharing your experience, as discussed in person, it's always helpful and always our mission to move forward and hold our hand up when we get it wrong.

Delighted you enjoyed the cuisine overall, the Chef Shantha and his team have just added a new menu with more comfort food, more fish and as much local produce as we can bring in from Sri Lankas gardens. Apologies on the odd experience with the Gazpacho and glad it was resolved.

Thank you for sharing the niggles and sorry some of them disturbed your enjoyment. I think it's very fair of you to mention that we are in the Fort and as it's considered a living museum, filled with people homes, business's, hotels, boutiques, religious buildings and schools it's as you mentioned a town... vibrant with colour and life.... quite different from our sister property Amanwella, in the deep south, or perhaps the tea country.

I am so sorry for the cocktail and canape inclusion verses the G&T and as you know I have addressed this personally with the members of the team involved.... unpicking some old habits and creating that sense of ownership and empowerment is something I am working towards.

My apologies again for the niggles and thank you for giving me the opportunity to help correct them and caring so much about our legacy.

warmly and with gratitude,

Karen on behalf of all the Amangalla Santi

Karen Merrick
General Manager - Amangalla
kmerrick@aman.com

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