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Amaloh by Jetwing

Amaloh by Jetwing

By Juliet Coombe

Amaloh by Jetwing is situated in the heart of the old fort city of Matara, where during the colonial period the Sri Lankan aristocracy would gamble everything they had on the throw of the dice. Here you can meet living legends and enjoy island hospitality to the full in the simply stunning new Amaloh Villa by Jetwing, a name that is a mixture of the Sri Lankan owners two children’s names, Amaya and Lohan, a brother and sister combination, whose name is incorporated into the logo along with the beautiful national flower, the blue water lily, which can be seen through out the villa hotel complex.

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On arrival one is greeted by staff in Island batik designer printed uniforms and a stone Ganesha that overlooks the spacious property built on bare land making it one of the nicest places on the coastline to have a wedding or special celebration. Talking to the owners you realise this is an amazing experiment in their own quirky and original design ideas and wonderful use of colour and bold interior taste, that reflects their time in Australia, with its wide open spaces and their rich cultural backgrounds, involving several very interesting disciplines that range from cattle farming to teaching.

One of the major draws to the place is the magic of having a small uninhabited island to go to at any time of the day, but for breakfast in a nothing beats it. Afterwards you can snorkel with the turtles both green and red. Twitchers feel it is birding paradise as less than a kilometre away in a boat, or on a jet ski for those who want to get there quicker, you can see over 35 varieties, some nesting along the banks.

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The property is only 7 kilometres from Mirissa whale central during the season and a great place for nightlife and island drumming. You can also surf 2 kilometres away at Turtle Point one of the top five surf spots in Sri Lanka or go and see the abandoned fort, crazy shopping precinct or for a early evening jungle trek go in search of the extremely rare Red Loris.

For trail blazers there is a waterfall stream walk half an hour away where you can spot the national butterflies or you can just hang around the azure 20 metre pool and enjoy or chill out in one of the ocean view rooms with contemporary Sri Lankan art by Sanjewa, Aruna, and Gupta whose themes, include traditional dancing and exotic colours of the island, making the rooms inspirational spaces to be in and ones that are extremely hard to leave.

An old Jaffna door is used to perform the ceremonies that are held at the front of the property, where the water laps away at the rocks below the sandline and has a breathtaking 180 degree view that takes in the island, surrounding beautiful coastline and breaking waves just out to sea. The ‘bay’ in between is never very deep, and the water warm and calm, making it very safe for children and there is some great snorkeling to be done on the reef there.

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The owners fell in love with the location just short of five years ago as it was quiet and the sea is not rough due to the rock breakers about 150 metres from the shore, creating a kind of protected bay. Like them I feel it is a perfect place to break a trip on the way to or from Yala to Galle Fort and enjoy a casual fine dinning experience with their wonderful chef Sashika, who has spent 13 years in Milan so his Italian food is as fantastic as his Sri Lankan dishes.

On my table the colourful serviettes, turned into princess like shoes, made me feel like someone would turn up at any moment to claim one of them as their own. So if you want that Robinson Crusoe experience, combined with the magic of the orient, where service is of the highest level due to Brigitte’s brilliant management style, then this is the place to be. A place where you will meet legendary characters and I predict it will also be a legend in its own lifetime with its unique funky and as well highly functional design styles.