Our original intention was to stay within the Old Fort area in Galle but, with our initial choices fully booked, we ended up at Illuketia. And what a piece of luck that was as Illuketia is a truly magical place. The Old Fort is an easy 15 – 20 min tuk tuk ride away (the hotel staff will arrange at short notice) and so I can’t really see why you would want to stay in the Old Fort when you can spend the day there and then return to the tranquility of the lush, jungle gardens of Illuketia, surrounded by countryside and rice paddies. I appreciate some reviewers comment that Illuketia is isolated but we never felt we were too far away from anything and the feeling of peace and seclusion was a real bonus. Illuketia is an exquisitely beautiful property. We stayed in one of the Pond House rooms, a short walk through the garden from the main house and fine for 2 adults and 2 young children. Furnishings in the room were a little rustic but that sort of added to the charm. We spent many hours watching the birds, monkeys, lizards and other wildlife from our swing chair overlooking the pond. You feel as though you have the whole gardens to yourself and there is also a lovely swimming pool. If you want to be by the beach this is also no problem as they have a sister property at Thalpe, a pleasant 15 mins taxi / tuk tuk drive through the countryside, where you can spend the day and have lunch. We ate evening meals and sometimes lunch on the veranda of the beautiful main house at Illuketia. Food was excellent; the evening menu was set but there is also a good lunch menu you can choose from and the chef always accommodated with suitable meals for our children. The restaurant does not have an alcohol licence but you can easily arrange for your own beer and wine which they will keep cold for you. The staff were very friendly and helpful, both in advance of our arrival (when arranging transport) and throughout our stay. A big thanks to Meegama and the other staff for looking after us so well.
If you are looking for peace and relaxation but not too far away from Galle and the beaches, I thoroughly recommend Illuketia as it really is something different and special.
- 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