We stayed at Apa Villa Illuketia, after 3 nights at their sister hotel in Thalpe. Originally we were unable to get 5 nights at Thalpe, so Chathuri recommended 2 nights at Illuketia, which we decided to do.
Well we are pleased we got to enjoy the best of both worlds, Thalpe being on the beach and Illuketia being 5km inland. You cannot compare these 2 properties, as they truly have 2 different feelings, Illuketia being peaceful, with an older charm in the jungle, versus Thalpe being more modern by the beach. When I originally booked Chathuri was managing both properties, she is now based at Thalpe and Illuketia has a new manager since Feb 2013. It was lovely to have some of the same staff that we met at Thalpe, as they work between the two.
We were transfered from Thalpe, so transport there was straight forward, I would recommend getting Hotel transport so you don't get lost, as it is a hidden gem.
We stayed at the pond house, in the Jasmine room allowing plenty of room for us and our 6 year old daughter. Our daughter loved seeing all the wildlife, over the 3 days we were there we saw, mongoose, monitor lizard, guana, water snakes, cows, monkeys and their babies and plenty of birds, fire flies, squirrels and more.
Again like Thalpe, food was amazing, and the staff always willing to help, we were looked after by Sumith majority of the time otherwise Dominica was always great when Sumith was unavailable.
We met the new manager, he was extremely friendly, and was never too busy to chat and took time to farewell us when we left.
You must come here if you enjoy a slower pace, nature all around, this is what makes this place special, if you are looking for 5 star and a busier time, this may not be for you. It was perfect for us to unwind, and get away from the rush of today's world.
Getting transport from here to Unawatuna was easy by tuk tuk, we had an afternoon at the beach there, for us it was refreshing to come back from the hustle and bustle of the beach, and enjoy the peace at Illuketia.
My advice would be mix it up with a few nights at each of these sister hotels, you won't be disappointed, be prepared for some peace, beauty in an original setting.
If I had one thing to say for any improvement, would be to add some more color and fragrances to the pond house rooms & bathrooms this would bring the rooms alive even more. I never saw the rooms in the main house, but I gather they were smaller.
Thank you to the team at Illuketia, for making our trip special, we would definitely return.
- 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