Blending into a palm-shaded terraced hillside above a crescent-shaped bay on Sri Lanka’s southern coast, The Amanwella at Tangalle has been described as “the ultimate beach resort hotel”.

It was inspired by celebrated Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa, famed as the ‘father of tropical modernism’, in this case by using regional materials—stone, wood and clay—to blend with the surrounding landscape.

Each of the resort’s 30 luxury suites, which are reached along pathways that wend down to the sandy beach, have magnificent Indian Ocean views and a spacious terrace.

The full Amanwella experience is reinforced by an infinity pool that provides stunning panoramic views across the bay, and a split-level restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows and a discreetly cozy bar.

Conde Naste Traveller notes that “Amanwella celebrates its high-end, sea-front future … interiors are fantastic and they all have massive glass walls, private plunge-pools and terraces with uninterrupted sea views.

“These completely open-plan spaces are furnished with items crafted from sturdy kitul wood, while oversized bathtubs are perfectly placed and sized for sunset gazing à deux.”

Fresh fish and seafood

Much of the Amanwella’s well-deserved reputation rests on the quality of its cuisine, with fish and seafood delivered fresh every day by local fishermen. Locally-grown produce features prominently on the menus at both the Restaurant and Beach Club.

Swimming in the ocean, which can sometimes be rough and somewhat treacherous, is safe in season, and there are many opportunities to enjoy glimpses of the wildlife and biodiversity of the surrounding area.

Health and wellness are a prime focus for this spa resort, with facials, massages and body treatments featuring natural products made with ingredients made from the huge variety of herbs, plants and flowers found in Sri Lanka.

Abhyanga massage is one of the spa’s specialities, a traditional warm-oil ayurvedic treatment that helps eliminate impurities from the body, a therapy that begins with a gentle and reviving head massage.

A beach-front yoga platform is the setting for sunrise sessions catering to all abilities, while private yoga and guided meditation are available throughout the day.

The beach itself is the ideal backdrop for activities including surfing, diving, snorkeling, whale watching and fishing, and the jungle-clad coastline and nearby Yala and Udawalawe national parks and Bundala Bird Sanctuary are havens of wildlife and biodiversity.

A particular treat is a visit to the nearby Rekawa Turtle Conservation grounds to watch giant turtles lay their eggs by moonlight.

Check out the Amanwella website here.

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