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“A beautiful old house in a wonderful garden”

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Apa Villa Illuketia
Ranked #11 of 23 Hotels in Galle
Certificate of Excellence
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
100 reviews
84 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
“A beautiful old house in a wonderful garden”
Reviewed 21 March 2012

Over breakfast on the verandah we spotted a changeable hawk eagle, fire breasted woodpeckers, scarlet minnivets, barbets, and many others, Illuketia is a veritable bird watcher's paradise. The garden and pool are magnificent. We had been warned to watch out for the mosquitoes- but frankly we experienced no problems. The pool is quite lovely.
The house itself is full of character and very comfortable. We ate at Illuketia one evening and one evening at Unawatuna- the food was good. Service was efficient, although perhaps not as warm as at other Sri Lankan properties at which we stayed.
A trip into Galle Fort takes about 20-25 minutes by tuk-tuk, similarly to Unawatuna. Originally we booked to spend 5 nights at Apa Villa, Thalpe and then switched to spend the first 2 nights at Illuketia- we are very pleased that we chose to do this.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank johnwalker1954
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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131 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (42)
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Moscow
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 March 2012

Don't let the pictures fool you on their web site. This place is way more beautiful. We only stayed there one night, but it was fantastic. We got there early and spent the whole day just relaxing at the pool, enjoying the walks in the garden and the food.

We were there with a 10, 7 and 5 year old. We probably could have spent three days there, but after that, the kids would have been bored. We didn't do any trips from Illuketia, but I understand that there is a tea factory nearby and some other things to do. We just stayed on the property since we didn't have a lot of time.

The place is very relaxing, so if your kids are very rambunctious, you probably wouldn't make too many friends.

I highly recommend it for its relaxation, pool, and food.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ken W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 March 2012

A few kilometers from town in a lovely garden setting. Monkeys, birds and monitor lizards all around the place.
The rooms are classy, central courtyard with fountain is very italian style and the main lobby area very cosy. Food is great and the

Staff are warm friendly, welcoming and helpful.

Overall a really great stay

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank miktangoog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 March 2012

Magical. Quiet. Perfect.

This hotel isn't in Galle -- it's a 15 minute tuktuk ride away -- but that shouldn't stop you. (The hotel organizes the tuktuks, which are very easy.) The grounds are absolutely lovely, peaceful, magical. We ate a delicious breakfast while watching monkeys overhead. We arrived home from dinner and drank wine and whiskey on the porch, while listening to the frogs croaking away. After checking out the next day, they told us we could come back after our long day at the beach and shower! So unnecessary, yet so kind! They were wonderful. This was a very, very special weekend.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Caroline263
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
tunbridge wells uk
Level Contributor
118 reviews
85 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 February 2012

The villa is set up high above really lovely grounds which make sitting out on the surrounding terrace having breakfast in the mornings magical. The evening meal was also served on the terrace and was excellent as was the service from the staff.
We and our friends were in the Pond House and the downside was the infamous (see earlier reviews) Jasmine Suite with its massive honeymoon bed from Bali. What a struggle to climb up and get in to bed from the bottom and then crawl up to the top! Funky but so impractical especially if you have to get up in the night and have arthritic knees! Also, the room was dark even with the shutters open. The upside was sitting on the swing outside the rooms and watching a fascinating variety of birds flying in and out of the trees and the large monitor lizard sunning itself on the bank. Note: we were told that the management planned to change the bed!

Room Tip: Get a room in the main villa until the Bali bed is replaced
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank mungoandmaria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denmark
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 February 2012

We have stayed at Apa Villa Illuketia twice within the last months, and it is a beautiful place with a warm and welcoming staff. We much enjoyed hanging out on the terrace overlooking a wonderful garden and taking in the peace and quiet of the place. The villa is an old plantation house, which has been reconstructed quite ingeniously and with great taste. In the garden we have seen a great variety of birds and also the giant squirrel and several mongoose. The property is surrounded by rice fields, some of them run by the owner of Apa Villa, small villages, and a buddhist temple, which adds to the experience. With only six rooms and a 15 minute drive up the hills and away from the beach, it is a place best suited for couples or friends, whereas families with children are probably better off at the sister hotel Apa Villa Thalpe. The food is excellent, and most guests tend to stay for dinner in the evenings.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank SiljeKamille
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nevis, West Indies
Level Contributor
21 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 February 2012

Sadly we only stayed one night, all that was available at short notice early January.

We had the Jasmine Suite which was one of two in a lovely building by a lily pond in the beautiful rain forest gardens. Other suites are in the main house where there are grand public rooms and verandahs.

WiFi was painfully slow at times due to the remote location of the hotel.

The bed in the Jasmine Suite is a museum piece, must have been made for royalty, embellished with massive gilded carving (base, walls and canopy), magnificent to look at but not very practical in use! No access from the side of the bed, only from the foot, and the mattress, a climb of approx. 4ft above the floor, was just OK, but the least comfortable of all I encountered in Sri Lanka. The other beds in this hotel are probably more conventional/comfortable (I took a peek at one!). We also stayed at APA Thalpe and the beds there were excellent.

This is a place for calm and whispering, listening to the sounds of nature all around.

All the plus points in other reviews are fully justified and I must make special mention of the gushing and plentiful hot water supply.

Next time, I would book well ahead, for at least a week, and I would avoid the regal bed for a longer stay.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Nevisowner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Apa Villa Illuketia

Property: Apa Villa Illuketia
Address: Illuketia Watta | Wanchawala, Galle, Sri Lanka
Region: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Galle District > Galle
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 Romantic Hotel in Galle
#6 Family Hotel in Galle
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Apa Villa Illuketia 3.5*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A villa hideaway with five suites set in 12 acres of garden and ponds. A luxury that our guests can discern on arrival. Only 15 minutes from Galle town, going to Illuketia is a return to nature and plantation lifestyle. The splendid mansion with original wooden temple doors, carved window frames and Oriental-style furniture is drawn out of a traveller's journal. A swimming pool in the far end of a lush garden allows a dip while watching birds and monkeys at close range. Three differently styled bedrooms are placed around a courtyard fish pond in the main house and two other suites are located in a separate Pond House. Each room varies in size and outlook, with its own walk-in wardrobe, sitting area indoor or outdoor. The Hibiscus Suite is considered the master room with a long private balcony lined with cushions and facing tall jack trees and rice fields. There is a separate walk-in wardrobe and en-suite bathroom. The Lotus Suite is aligned long and spacious with a walk-in wardrobe and en-suite bathroom. Windows look out to a water channel and flowering trees. The Citronella Suite is cozy and comes with a dining table and chairs in a private open-air verandah. It has its own wardrobe and en-suite bathrooms. All rooms are air-conditioned with additional ceiling fans and power points. The villa serves organic rice from its own rice fields, fruit, herbs and vegetables from the garden. Apa Villa's Sri Lankan Curry Rijstafel Dinner is all-time favourite among guests.. Apart from this, there is All Day menu of snacks, light meals and tea service. Evening meals are from an A La Carte with our stewards serving in the traditional sarong and tunic outfits. Booking for long-term of Pond House and whole villa welcomed. Illuketia and its grounds is ideal for weddings, anniversaries and birthday celebrations or groups with special interests like bird-watching, workshops, mahjong, painting and photography. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Apa Villa Illuketia Hotel Galle
Apa Hotel Illuketia

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