It’s not often that classic architectural form is associated with the Aman group of hotels, more renowned for their sleek minimalism. But Amangalla, in Sri Lanka’s 2,000-year old maritime fort of Galle, is a shrine to Dutch colonialism and charmingly reminiscent of the original Oriental Hotel that stood before it.
Today, many of the authentic features remain, including the original wooden flooring, a grand staircase and 400-year-old stone steps in the lobby. An emerald hued pool with private cabanas set in a high-walled, sun-dappled courtyard is a modern touch.
Rooms run off the corridors behind enormous antique teak doors with arched windows and free-standing baths. The upper floors have a seating area overlooking the town; a place to sip late afternoon cocktails and watch the sun dip over the terracotta-tiled roofs of the fort and out to sea.
Or you could always take a roadtrip down south to sister resort Amanwella in remote beachside Tangalle – all concrete, stone and glass in contrast – for a dose of Aman-style luxe brutalism at its best.
Words: Gina Johnson