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Amanwella February 2019 - finally !!

Amanwella February 2019 - finally !!

Old Feb 21, 19, 4:15 am
  #1  
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Amanwella February 2019 - finally !!

Amanwella

Map| 1 Review | 100% Recommended

Amanwella

Amanwella, Bodhi Mawatha, Wella Wathura Godellawela, Tangalle , LK

Amanwella February 2019 - finally !! Galla too :) (58 Photos)

Amanwella

 

Hopefully this will be posted in the correct forum . The first attempt disappeared . Will post in parts just in case ..

Will be reviewing Amangalla along with Amanwella .

Preamble

 

We are thrilled to be here after numerous attempts since opening . After the delay due to the regional unprecedented disaster 15 years this Boxing Day much has been done . That event , the tsunami , during Wella ‘ s pre opening and which affected the people here deeply saw AMAN help opening Wella in various capacities even as the property was affected . So being here now gives us an understanding of the grave situation and how the current team here was impacted .

As Sean is overseeing Sri Lanka AMANs , and not too soon either , us coming here to stay and catch up in person with an “ old “ GM & now friend , is good timing .

Arrival ; and transfer from Galla

One of the tuk tuks at the porch , usually one waiting , thankfully as it is hot during the day

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The main pool with sweeping views 

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After a fairly smooth almost 2 hours drive from Galla on smooth roads , we turned into a laterite track which seems to be what it is in these parts . We were welcomed by Sean F who was here part of the day till night , new to Asia but not Aman Pantelis K ( GM ) , Guillermo V ( EAM AMAN Galla & Wella ) along with some team members here .

Had a quick look around mainly above before riding a tuk tuk to our suite for check in .6BD3B851-0F7B-4155-8B61-6169E036E4A5.jpe

This way to the 3 series , where one suite was being used as a spa suite

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Check In

Was as usual Aman smooth in suite . Shown around as layout is a bit different from our usual Amans .

Room

 

Entry to our suite area was down a few steps towards our plunge pool , actually more wading if one is tall . Suggests one be alert when returning in the night or entering after one too many .

The Plunge pool

Entry is on the left , glass panels on the right are the shower & bath area 

If one is brave , try enter the pool from the bath tub area .

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Reflection of the almost Super moon from the entrance 

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From pool day bed area by suite sliding doors .

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Super moon 

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Plunge pool catching the sun . Leave the wood panels open and / or the glass doors , so that the views towards the ocean side , mainly the coconut trees can be seen .

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Suite 

At night 

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With mosquito net down for the night 

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Enjoy the view during the day

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With view of plunge pool day bed

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Balcony / Terrace

Lovely to sit outside watching the waves , coconut leaves swaying , hearing them rustle and feeling the sea breeze  

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Lounges & table / chairs to relax while admiring the predawn  / dawn & dusk colours 

Sunrise

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It is worthy to note the AC is superb . A new system has since been installed since Londonjetsetter ‘ s stay a couple years back .

Very relieved , Sean had advised us to delay our visit because of my need for cool . We currently also have 4 / 5 buckets of ice in suite .. :)

 

Bath area

 

Wish it ‘ s layout is more like Puri , Kila & even Nusa / Tokyo which has more room for hanging clothes . Somewhat impractical .

The shower is behind the door between the hanging bath towel and hat

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The WC on the opposite side has a view through the floor to ceiling glass panel .

The area in between are the shared area where we hang our clothes .

Something more generous like in Amans mentioned would have been nice especially for longer stays ..

A luggage area is below that ..

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Dining

 

There are 2 main dining areas - Terrace & Beach Club - light lunch & dinners .

The Terrace

Outdoors for breakfast or dinner 

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View of other side

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The sunken bar , note the Bawa influenced design 

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 One view at night with full moon 

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Part of the Beach Club , there were single guests staying 6F9D038D-FE08-4BCF-8161-E362159414B4.jpe

Special meals / menus are held at the Beach Club with cultural shows weekly . A lobster special was on a couple weeks back .

As in all Amans , dining can be anywhere within reason on site ;)

We have been ensconced in the library as it has AC :)

Our meals have been surprisingly good . The current Chef , Shantha P , is enthusiastic and innovative . He has been meeting us daily and customising off menu meals - seems like his forte . Excellent curries , etc including desserts .

Gallery & Library

The only air conditioned parts in the main area are both the Gallery & Library - with similar elongated layouts .

The Gallery has a spectrum of  local as well as imported goods . Some items are produced by local women for a charity , also other local crafts and gems . Beautiful sarongs along with practical items for ones stay .. sneakers , swimwear , ..

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Close up showing thehand woven sarongs , ..

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Part of hanging brass humming bird 

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The library has a range of reading material from coffee table books to some foreign language ones . Also board games .

At the far end in the photo , is a table which is not normally there but set up for our meals :) This also seems to be like a passageway to the Terrace , a cool alternative ;)

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A rather comfortable spot to lounge in too & view the coconut trees through the glass door . Just beyond is where the musicians are in the evenings .

Activities & such

 

 

The onsite activities include complimentary sessions on most mornings .

These include yoga , mixed martial , water aerobics , etcetera 

 

The aqua aerobics is twice weekly and an hour long ! Seems that class size has ranged from 5 to one .

There were 4 of us on Tuesday and Friday / today ‘ s was like a private class ;)

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Views during & after class , Wella beach lounges in the distance

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Off site there are various options :

There is Wella ‘ s “ pontoon “ on Lake Mawella , nearby in Dickwella . Very shallow with somewhat brackish water .

This was an enjoyable way for birdwatching & spotting monitor lizards in the water .

The pontoon , spot the Wella one ;)

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Some of our snacks

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There is a monitor lizard swimming in the distance & note the huge flying foxes roosting - hanging from the branches , egrets , herons , pelicans , ..

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Home to roost

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Then there are various national parks within 2 hours drive to view elephants , birds & potentially leopards .

We had comfortable vehicle for our safari .

Our breezy picnic spot by this enormous watering hole

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Thankfully no crocodiles but numerours water water buffaloes in the distance and numerous birds including eagles .

For birds , we saw changeable hawk eagles , chestnut / green / blue tail bee eaters , etcetera 

Then there were deer , 2 types of monkeys , ..

 

 

 

Service

While the staff are all too ready to please , however language issues often fail them .. ( but you must have an idea what a demanding AMANjunkie I am / can be just to try service limits ;) ) ..

This can be hilarious or more likely frustrating .

Otherwise , there is a team around who really comprehend & will back these up :)

Attending English classes are now not an option , these have been conducted by Instructors brought in by Wella for years . The situation became rather dire through the years ..

This is the poorest part of the country and unlike rest of Sri Lanka , English is not taught in schools .

So while we applaud AMAN ‘ s stand to hire locally , the challenges posed are not to be sniffed at . Perhaps , PTSD too from the tsunami ?

Note the stack of towels as requested & unusual coconut tree trunk .

While the towels were correct , the milkshake ordered were not , wrong ones were presented twice so had them sent back so that the Chef or one of those with better English can understand what happened & correct one  brought to me .

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Like by the pool .. see photo shown in activities section .

Just a couple of easier to illustrate examples . When it is not messed up , they do wonderfully .

The rather young and relatively new to the area management team passes with flying colours .

The team went over and above . What we have come to assume at AMANs really .. but seems less at many with new regime  .

Odds & ends ..

 

There is no gym or spa / wellness centre - the latest AMAN fad ( never thought this term would be used at Amans :( )

 

With the activities offered , fresh air / sea breezes and the terrain , a gym is really unnecessary . Why come and be cooped up instead of relying on what is naturally available ? ;)

Just try walking on the beach , perhaps you are one of those ultra marathoners and choose to run it ..

Swimming in the large pool with a view or taking part in the twice weekly complimentary aqua aerobics sessions is highly recommended .

If you choose to swim in the sea .. the 4 / 5 life guards always on standby indicate something . Speaking from experience , they are professionals indeed :)

Think there are bicycles if you have time , but may want to walk up & down to your suite if into fitness ..

Now , the spa suite ‘ s location depends on occupancy levels . It is any one of the suites ‘ converted ‘ with a spa bed .

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Treatments can also be enjoyed in the privacy of one ‘ s suite .

There is enough land for a Wellness Centre ! But getting villas built may take precedence .. we shall see .

 

Afternoon Teas

Served daily on the Terrace 

Ours were wonderful , enjoyed in the cool of our suite . An array of cakes , pastries .. even an all chocolate one especially for us . 

If only photos were permitted here ..

 

No AMANjunkie T shirts in Sri Lanka yet - one of the less pressing on the agenda .

Location

 

As we know , AZ is intuitive and has an eye to choose the best spots in unexplored territory . A trail blazer who is appreciated and well respected by many of us . Where Wella is is no less .

This south coast position with sweeping views of the wide bay is rather spectacular . With the new road , is a pleasant less than 2 hours journey by comfortable AMAN SUVs from Galla , unless one is tempted to stop along the way ;) .

And see the moon setting over the Wella beach !

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The well trained staff from the area often get poached by newer hotels in the area .

So at least , CSR albeit unintentional , is happening in this aspect too .

Beach

 

Not sand like Pulo but the sand is quite soft to walk on , sort of “ sink into “ type which makes walking very good exercise .

Not gently sloping like Puri ‘ s either , rather steep gradient .

Main Wella areas in the distance , so from the main pool and Terrace , this wide beach can be seen .

Best appreciate the beach & views rather than swim in the sea . Note the colour / colours of the flag , amber and red in the photo & during our stay .

Swim in the pool !

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Roots of the coconut trees just in front of the loungers & provide some traction down a short drop to the beach proper .4819A340-C3CA-4461-AB76-1E2B906FEB77.jpe

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Part of the beach from our suite , note the double sun loungers

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Pool

 

Loved the swimmable pool with a view .

See the hawk ?  There was a brilliant kingfisher too watching us from above & at the edge of the pool .

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Perhaps another one can be added . Kila has a few so there is potential for more here , higher up though !

Where new pools can be added upslope ?

Moonset

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Sunset 

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Ample options :)

This will a welcome addition to the pools in the suite , which are great for cooling off but not swimming . 

Overall

Pleased we heeded Sean F ‘ s advice on when to stay . We were excited when he moved from N’oi ! He had suggested we hold off especially since he has understanding of our idiosyncrasies including super cool AC - our suite did well - 16 C.

Not only is the new AC system in place :) , the laterite driveway was redone among other improvements . More will be worked on this summer .

If one is looking for a relaxing tropical beach holiday with spectacular scenery away from it all and wonderful service , this is the place to come .

From the warm welcome to fond farewell - proper Aman ways being upheld .

All reading this should make tracks to Wella ! - pair with Galla . The roads are decent now .

The stay has also been an eye opener to another Commonwealth country & her mores ..

Amanwella February 2019 - finally !! Galla too :)

Would you like to write a review on the Amanwella?

No, thank you.
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Old Feb 21, 19, 4:37 am
  #2  
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A proper Aman welcome.
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Old Feb 22, 19, 6:48 pm
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Originally Posted by Aventine View Post
A proper Aman welcome.
Yes , indeed ..
Even at about 2 am at Galla sans Sean

Then on our return , a special Chef indulged us by cooking up a storm - last minute request as we were chatting and I forgot to email Sean / mention on arrival - all within an hour ! What can one say
A true Chef & an Aman veteran !! Need more like these veterans at Amans

The Wella TR is taking awhile to complete , we shall see .. Plus editing does not work smoothly , still trying to rectify , cannot rearrange segments for improved flow . FT has to improve on it .

May start on Galla ‘ s soon ..



Last edited by FlyerEC; Feb 25, 19 at 12:18 am
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Old Feb 24, 19, 1:29 am
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Thanks for the review. I *loved* Wella and would gladly return any time. We had villa 1 and it was splendid...
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Old Feb 24, 19, 7:27 pm
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Happy to hear a positive review! Another fabulous review by FlyerEC. You got some really nice shots of the whole resort. Thanks for taking the time to post this, very informative.
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Old Feb 25, 19, 6:58 am
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Originally Posted by 1readyset2go View Post
Happy to hear a positive review! Another fabulous review by FlyerEC. You got some really nice shots of the whole resort. Thanks for taking the time to post this, very informative.
Originally Posted by Fliar View Post
Thanks for the review. I *loved* Wella and would gladly return any time. We had villa 1 and it was splendid...
You are very welcome , Fliar & 1readyset2go , thank you ; et al .

If I can figure out non red eye flights , will return soon too in not so hot months
Will check with Sean F , Pantelis K , Guillermo V .. for other scheduling updates . Will Wella Villas happen these couple years or .. ?

Trying to complete & sort Wella TR / photos .. still cannot edit the way it is intended to flow
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Old Feb 26, 19, 6:45 pm
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Lack of English is a bit worrying, no?

For the cost (1k USD/night if I remember correctly), I would certainly hope that the staff would understand requests, regardless of how well-intentioned the staff is.

we are still undecided whether Sri Lanka will be on the upcoming RTW honeymoon trip. Service seems to be a bit too rough around the edges for price. Locale is undoubtedly beautiful...
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Old Feb 26, 19, 6:48 pm
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Originally Posted by Cityflyer10 View Post
Lack of English is a bit worrying, no?

For the cost (1k USD/night if I remember correctly), I would certainly hope that the staff would understand requests, regardless of how well-intentioned the staff is.

we are still undecided whether Sri Lanka will be on the upcoming RTW honeymoon trip. Service seems to be a bit too rough around the edges for price. Locale is undoubtedly beautiful...
Don ‘ t get me wrong though . They speak English alright and there are those who are truly fluent !
Suppose should not be putting them on the spot with tricky “ technical “ questions - assuming all Commonwealth countries have English like their first language if not second

Service was almost flawless

Amanwella is one of the reasons I will return to Sri Lanka .
( Also since we did not have time for Tea Trails , what we preferred was unavailable .. )
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Old Feb 26, 19, 7:46 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyerEC View Post


Don t get me wrong though . They speak English alright and there are those who are truly fluent !
Suppose should not be putting them on the spot with tricky technical questions - assuming all Commonwealth countries have English like their first language if not second

Service was almost flawless

Amanwella is one of the reasons I will return to Sri Lanka .
( Also since we did not have time for Tea Trails , what we preferred was unavailable .. )
Speaking as somebody who loved Sri Lanka I would say that Tea Trails was a disappointment. We will definitely go back to Sri Lanka and definitely not stay at Tea Trails. Nor would I readily recommend it unless you rent all of one house.

I am am encouraged by your thoughts on Amanwella however. We loved Amangalle and were disappointed to miss Wella.
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Old Feb 26, 19, 9:18 pm
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Originally Posted by ridefar View Post


Speaking as somebody who loved Sri Lanka I would say that Tea Trails was a disappointment. We will definitely go back to Sri Lanka and definitely not stay at Tea Trails. Nor would I readily recommend it unless you rent all of one house.

I am am encouraged by your thoughts on Amanwella however. We loved Amangalle and were disappointed to miss Wella.
Thanks for your views / the information . Was consoling myself that the Tea Trails are similar to those in Malaysia in the 60s , have you been ? May not bother then . Looking forward to what they will be adding at Wella


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Old Feb 26, 19, 11:16 pm
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Thank you for the nice review of Amanwella. We went about 6 years ago and really enjoyed it. We loved the beach, and really liked our room with its view to the ocean. We thought the placement of the private pool in the entrance was a bit strange , but really enjoyed the property. The service was not quite as good as the Indonesian Amal’s but everyone tried hard and we had a great time. We also loved Amangalle and Tea Trails. Tea Trails is not really a luxury property but well worth a visit if you get the right accommodation. It is just a great experience I would not have wanted to miss. My suggestion would be go there first, and then follow it with the better accommodations.
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Old Feb 26, 19, 11:28 pm
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Originally Posted by Larkin View Post
Thank you for the nice review of Amanwella. We went about 6 years ago and really enjoyed it. We loved the beach, and really liked our room with its view to the ocean. We thought the placement of the private pool in the entrance was a bit strange , but really enjoyed the property. The service was not quite as good as the Indonesian Amal’s but everyone tried hard and we had a great time. We also loved Amangalle and Tea Trails. Tea Trails is not really a luxury property but well worth a visit if you get the right accommodation. It is just a great experience I would not have wanted to miss. My suggestion would be go there first, and then follow it with the better accommodations.
Thanks Larkin , you are welcome . That pool placement is odd but I think it is where it is to cool things down
Always try to do better , best last .
Will figure out when we next visit & which at Tea Trails to stay if we do go . We have visited Cameron Highlands with tea plantations ( like annually in the ‘ 60s ) & similar in Malaysia & the Tea Trails seem like the colonial style plantation bungalows we are accustomed to too .. if really really cool , will be more enticing . The Malaysian ones are affected by global warming & not cool any more ( to us anyway )
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Last edited by FlyerEC; Feb 26, 19 at 11:38 pm
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Old Feb 27, 19, 12:43 am
  #13  
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Wonderful review and great photos too - especially loved the sunset ones.

Also great to see yourself and @vienna-resident in Hong Kong!
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Old Feb 27, 19, 12:52 am
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Something about the photos gives me that old Aman vibe. @FlyerEC

Thank you for sharing as always!
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Old Feb 27, 19, 1:08 am
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Originally Posted by chinmoylad View Post
Wonderful review and great photos too - especially loved the sunset ones.

Also great to see yourself and @vienna-resident in Hong Kong!
Originally Posted by Aventine View Post
Something about the photos gives me that old Aman vibe. @FlyerEC

Thank you for sharing as always!
Thanks chinmoylad & Aventine , always appreciate your inputs too .

chinmoylad , likewise - perhaps more of us at an Aman next time

Yes , Aventine , more than a bit of relief

Getting on with Galla TR
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