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“Would not accept agoda and staff were the rudest I've ever met”

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Apa Villa Illuketia
Ranked #12 of 23 Hotels in Galle
Reviewed January 31, 2014

After turning up with my agoda booking and asking to drop my bags off, due to having to go to galle hospital to pick my wife up who had broken her back... I was turned away with the rude staff stating they would not accept my agoda voucher.

I was made to wait outside with know help or anything... I have never been treated so badly and if they think that is 5 star service they are mistaken.

Please everyone be carful booking here and if you dare, please phone ahead as I would not want you turned away too.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank mark w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ApaVillasGalle, Owner at Apa Villa Illuketia, responded to this reviewResponded February 5, 2014

It is regretful that Mr. Mark W from London was caught in between the non-compliance of his booking agent and our management.

Mr. Mark W’s booking was made the evening before and we had immediately informed Agoda that the booking cannot be accepted as there was no room available.
Nonetheless, the guest turned up despite our immediate action to Agoda and when we explained the situation, he accepted without any dispute.

Our staff at hand was never rude to Mr. Mark W and we believe that the customer should have queried his booking agent first and foremost.

We are sorry that Mr. Mark W’s wife was with a broken back. He did not mention this to us.

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Reviews (133)
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49 - 55 of 133 reviews

Reviewed January 21, 2014

I booked a Waterlilly room in this hotel in December and payed for 9 days in advance more than 1700 USD. I maked it from Agoda site and booked a room since 5 of January till 14 of January. When I book it there was plenty of photos of beach, big rooms so I was sure that the hotel on the beach because there is no such category of room on hotel's site (waterlily). Then I arrived there is no transfer from the hote althouth I asked for it so we have to get taxi and had a long journey to hotel. Then we call to hotel there is no answer on our rings. Then we arrived on it (5 of January) we found out that the hotel is on jungle, the room is very small, dark, without TV and frigo, with a little bad and the destination to the beach is more than 5 km. While we were staying in hotel heavy machinery worked near our window for the whole day! So I have to check out on 6 of January at 12:00. I informed General Manager of Appa Villa (Mr. Ranjan Pathiranage) of my urgent check out but he refuse to get my money back. By the way I didn't received any papers from Apa hotel because their refusal. That's unacceptable situation and so I payed for 8 days just for satisfaction of management of the hotel.
By the way I didn`t recieved any e-mails form hotel for all my requests. I`m absolutelly sur the the hotel doesn`t deserve Trip Advisor reward!

Dmitry Rozhkov

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Dmitry R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ApaVillasGalle, Owner at Apa Villa Illuketia, responded to this reviewResponded February 5, 2014

Mr. Rozhkov checked out of Illuketia abruptly after one night's stay on Jan. 5 saying that he had expected a beach resort instead of being our inland plantation estate.
He cited viewing photos of the beach and had expectations of staying on a beach villa presumably Apa Villa Thalpe, our sister hotel. He moved out to another hotel in Unawatuna and demanded a full refund.

We are completely baffled by Mr. Rozhkov's unrealistic demand for payment for what is basically his failure to understand that Illuketia is not a beach villa. The fact that he booked under the Agoda web site with the descriptions and photos provided by Agoda shows his lack of understanding of what he had paid for.

We suggest that Mr. Rozhkov take this matter to the booking agent Agoda and retrace his steps on how he came to the unfortunate mistake of an inland plantation estate (not a jungle) instead of a beach villa.

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Reviewed January 1, 2014

This place is something very special. The gardens are stunning and the pool is beautiful.
The Waterlily suite is very small but to be honest, unless you are staying for a week, this place is not about the room, since you will spend time in the gardens, by the pool and on the veranda rather that in your room. So the Waterlily suite is fine if you are just here for a night or two.
This place will suit someone that is looking for piece and quiet away from the beach and someone that wants to relax in a beautiful colonial style house. Go for a walk along the rice fields which is truly stunning.
We had the Singapore crab dinner which was great.

Room Tip: The Waterlily suite is very small but to be honest, unless you are staying for a week, this place is...
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Flickey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2013

This hotel is a paradox as the service is not great and the manager was non existent
But for the setting and rusticness of the whole experience the value for money is still great
And you just cant get a 5 room hotel with such a large beatiful garden for this value
A 6 star resort with 3 or 4 star service
Food though is reasonable
Just a paradox on the service to the setting
It is well away from the beach but at least two nights here

Room Tip: We had the best room It has the outside varandah
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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Thank John v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 1, 2013

Well, this is not really a hotel in the traditional sense. It has all of six bedrooms. The bedrooms are not exceptionally large as well, although the verandah's more than make up for it. We stayed in two of the rooms in the main building. But staying here is not about your room. This is a royal home with stellar grounds.

This is one of those places where you can stay for many days on end, simply to unwind and relax. You get your self books to read an enjoy nature.

There is a lovely swimming pool in the grounds that will work phenomenally well. The food is simple and tasty. But is is very fresh since most of the ingredients came from the gardens. The fruits and vegetables were excellent.

You can do day-trips to galle and the beach from here and take in the local sights and sounds. Personally, I don't think there is much deep cultural tourism that you can do in Srilanka. The golden triangle is much touted, but I can find exceptional history and culture in Tamilnadu and many parts of India that are far deeper and exciting. Srilanka is a nice place with nice people that offers a great opportunity for easy vacations.

What you cannot expect in this resort like in a five-star hotel
a) TV
b) Bathtubs & spa
c) Gourmet Food
d) Gym

This is a grand villa residence where you can simply unwind and have peace. We stayed here in Dec 2011

Room Tip: The pond rooms might work better if you want to be away from the main house
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank NR S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2013

No amount of pictures or photoshopping can give you the real naked-eye view of the beautiful property that is - Apa Villa Illuketia. Everything about this place is absolutely stunning. We just got back from a lovely holiday in Sri Lanka and we stayed here for 3 nights (too less). We got to meet the lovely Cynthia (the owner) who was so lovely and hospitable. We had some lovely conversations and shared an enormous and absolutely scrumptious, fresh seafood dinner on one of the nights - crab, massive prawns and a grilled fish with an assortment of sauces. The dessert was to die for - chocolate mousse with passion fruit pulp - wow! Thanks Cynthia for arranging the crab for us!

We stayed at the Pond House, which is a little walk away from the main house. It overlooks this gorgeous pond with a whole ecosystem of its own! My mother was a little daunted by the prospect of staying away from the main house because Apa Villa is literally in the middle of no where.... but one night, a good night's sleep, listening to the music of the night put her heart at rest. The mornings were so lovely... with the 2 resident birds, plethora of insects, monitor lizard and chameleons.... My daughter who is 2 was absolutely enthralled by everything she was seeing and hearing.

Our room was big - with a massive bed and an outdoor-indoor bathroom (quite interesting). The bed was super comfy. I wish they had more seating in the room and a bathtub in the bathroom (they do have the room for it!) would be absolutely perfect.... oh and a little fridge would be a great addition too.

Try the Sri Lankan breakfasts - with hoppers and curry. Don't miss the curd and treacle! The breakfast fruit platter was also delightful with a different assortment everyday. Yummy mixed fruit juice and proper coffee!

We had such a great time... we're getting withdrawal symptoms. We also visited the sister property - Apa Villa Thalpe, which is by the beach. I guess, it's each to his own... but I preferred Illuketia to Thalpe - more to do, more to see...

I can write a whole essay but I will stop. We loved this place and the people there made it all the more special. The manager, Ranjan too great care of us and Cynthia gave us recommendations on where to shop, eat etc at the Galle Fort. Will be returning again!

Room Tip: Stay at the Pond House for a little more privacy. The main house is lovely too. The Waterlily suite...
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank fazzyk416
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singsong, Owner at Apa Villa Illuketia, responded to this reviewResponded October 27, 2013

It has been a pleasure to have your family of three generations as guests at Illuketia and we thank you profusely for all the glowing things you mentioned about your stay. This is the high point of being in the hospitality business that we welcome our guests as we would our personal friends.
The exchange we have had with each and everyone remains with us forever, and indeed, some guests have kept up the relationship with visits to our home base in Singapore and by email messages.
We also welcome your comments on certain needs in the suite at Pond House and we will provide the shortcomings to ensure that guests thereafter will enjoy the comforts in every way.
Please keep in touch and we look forward to your next visit to Illuketia with your family members and certainly, when you are in Singapore, it will be my duty to welcome you to my home country.

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Reviewed October 19, 2013

we stay for a weekend on a quick break in October, what a find! It's only 15 minutes form Galle or 20 minutes from Unawatuna by cab/tuk-tuk and seems a whole world away. Tucked away off the main roads in a idyllic estate which features a philosophers walk, pond, gorgeous pool and amazing flora and fauna. Excellent personalised service with a smile! the place is owned by Cynthia and Hans and you can tell right away it was meant to be a personal vacation home at the beginning. we booked the Pond House which is a little away from the main house and overlooks a lush tropical pond! would recommend for anyone wanting to do Galle or Unawatuna and looking for something different and personal.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Anahat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singsong, Owner at Apa Villa Illuketia, responded to this reviewResponded October 27, 2013

Thank you Anahat for your kind review. You are right that we treat Illuketia as a beloved estate with a heavy dose of our personal taste and lifestyle so that guests are there not only for a room but an environment of mature trees, Zen-inspired sand garden, water channels, vegetable and herb nurseries and fruit plots. Not to forget the wildlife that choose to inhabit the estate and provide us with moments of awe and respect for nature.

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Additional Information about Apa Villa Illuketia

Address: Illuketia Watta | Wanchawala, Galle, Sri Lanka
Location: 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: $117 - $254 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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