Unless you have been to Sri Lanka, it’s possible you won’t have heard of the modernist architectural movement that took place here in the 20th century, or of its most famous figurehead, the late Geoffrey Bawa. Bawa had a huge impact on building design, evident here at Amanwella in so many ways.
The setting over the stunning, palm-fringed, golden bay is undeniably breathtaking and the design is unapologetically modern. Personally, I think the statement works beautifully, especially given the other Bawa projects in the area, which gives Amanwella a context, but some guests find it stark and lacking the soft touch one may expect from a beach resort.
The footprint of the hotel is generous and the various villas and common areas are very well spaced out, so much so that every suite has a view. The design, both of the exteriors and interiors throughout the property, is unashamedly modern, with the use of elegant dark beams and columns, local and aged terracotta ties, and huge glass doors and windows that remain open during inclement weather. The effect of such clean lines is to frame the natural views and bring the outside indoors.
There are few prettier bays along the Sri Lankan coast, but in common with most others, it’s not advisable to swim here unless you are a very strong swimmer. The currents can be very strong and the waves pretty large. Compensation, however, comes in the form of an enormous lap pool.