We stayed at Apa Villas with out two children for Christmas 2012 for just over a week. We'd been looking forward to our trip for over eight months and had read numerous reviews about several properties in the area but settled on Apa due to the location, setting and offer we received from the manager, Chathuri (who had been really helpful and efficient with our email correspondence). Christmas hikes the rates up considerably but we negotiated down from $350 dollars a night due to booking so far in advance.
Since returning from our trip I've wondered whether we just had bad luck but I've read several mixed reviews on Apa and for the money we paid it just wasn't that great.
The good points: The location is stunning, serene and sat right on the beach. The pool is gorgeous, set underneath palm trees within the lawn grounds. Each room facing the sea has it's own table outside so breakfast is taken on the terrace with the sound of waves in the distance - amazing.
Not so good points: The room was quite tired looking and in need of updating. The A/C rattled and leaked water (the leak was fixed the next day when we mentioned it) The bathroom was outside (we knew this before) but it was more of an up-market shed with loo and shower added - not the epitome of high-class luxury as the hotel would have you believe. For three nights we had no hot water despite raising the problem each time. We were given a bucket of luke-warm water as an alternative on the second night. On the third night Chathuri suggested we use the staff shower - we were thankful but didn't understand why this wasn't offered on the first night.
The food was average and varied wildly. Some days it was good, others awful and given the price not good value at all, especially when compared with the standard and variety on offer elsewhere.
The staff were friendly but service was haphazard, sometimes waiting 30minutes to find a menu/drink when the hotel was empty - each guest has a bell outside their door which you ring to alert staff, allegedly. It rang but we're not sure who was listening!
There is a tuk-tuk service which we thought was complementary but was charged to our bill on departure.
Had the cost of the hotel been significantly less I wouldn't be writing this review but the hotel just didn't offer value or match up to the price tag. It's a real shame as with a few changes here and there I'm sure it could be wonderful.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- We have three distinct stylish bungalows facing the beach front and swimming pool. All rooms except for Cinnamon Suite 2, face the ocean and lovely coconut fringed ground. Cinnamon 1 is linked to Cinnamon 2 garden- facing suite through an adjoining door, ideal for a family with several children or a group of friends. Cinnamon 1, 2 and 3 have exceptional one double bed and one single bed sleeping arrangement under a giant mosquito net. Suitable for a couple with child. Cardamom 4 and 5 are located in the centre a few steps to the lovely pool. Each suite has a separate sitting lounge indoors and outdoors. Saffron 6 and 7 are the most luxurious suites with its own sitting lounge and private verandah. Both suites are separated by a walkway across a fish pond. All bedrooms are air-conditioned and with ceiling fans in all areas. The beach in front is not swimmable but good enough for dips and long strolls along the shoreline. We are about 15 minutes from Galle town and same distance to our sister villa Illuketia inland plantation mansion. Recently refurbished with new cushion covers and in-room coffee or tea service. Our revamped day and dinner menus are prepared by our experienced chefs. Meals are served in the privacy of your own verandah space. Our English-speaking staff will look after guests and their children with warm, friendly service. No one can resist sitting or lounging on the wooden deck and sandy ramps facing the eternal ocean, sunset or rising moon. Just what is needed for a relaxing holiday. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Apa Villa Thalpe Hotel Galle