Heritage Property near Galle: Apa Villa Illuketia, Sri Lanka

Heritage Property near Galle: Apa Villa Illuketia, Sri Lanka

Grandiose Dutch estate in the woods, rich food, immaculate hospitality, peace and “We” time is what sums up our stay at 200 years old heritage property near Galle – Apa Villa Illuketia, Sri Lanka.

Apa-Villa-Illuketia, Sri lanka

After reaching the Colombo airport, we hired a cab and drove to the South coast of Sri Lanka till Galle. The distance was just 120 km from Colombo but the single road lane, non-stop chit chat with the driver, scenic landscapes, endless seascapes on one side and, comatose villages under the shade of palm trees on another side, turned the whole road trip to 6 hours. Trust us, the six hours passed away in a jiffy admiring Sri Lanka’s natural beauty.


It was almost evening when we reached Galle and our destination; Apa Villa Illuketia was further laid 5- 7 kilometers deep in the forests. As we started moving inland, the seascapes turned to lush green fields and the sound of ocean waves was taken away by birds chirping. The open blue sky turned dark by the thick canopy of swaying palm and bamboo trees.

Apa Villa Illuketia, Sri Lanka -Atrium with Pond

Apa Villa Illuketia, Sri Lanka

The Apa Villa Illuketia, a plantation heritage property is a mix of contemporary and traditional designs. It is modernized to the needs but has retained the ancient culture. The property is 200 years old; and a perfect live example of Island’s colonial past. It sits on 10 acres land and is surrounded by tropical gardens, botanical gardens, paddy fields and tea estates. So, the whole place is LUSH PLUSH with gardens and pool around. The birds and animals roam freely in the sky and on the ground. Currently, this magnificent estate house is owned by Hans Johannes Hofer, a German photographer, and owner of Travel Insight guides; Here is the link to his website for reference www.insightguides.com.

Welcome at Apa Villa Illuketia

As we reached the Villas, the porters greeted us with a warm smile and took us to the living room. The staff made us seated and handed the welcome drinks. We were awestruck by the room’s layout. The nine similar carved doors, two tier roofs with Balinese carvings, chandeliers, antique porcelains, Chinese cabinets and bamboo furniture added glamor to whole space. In the meanwhile check in formalities were completed, and we were directed to our Jasmine – Pond House Suite.

Verandah of Apa Villa Illuketia


The Apa Villa Illuketia has in total 6 suite rooms. The Hibiscus, Lotus, and Citronella are the suites in main house whereas Ginger and Jasmine are Pond house suites. Each suite has its own distinct interiors with open air shower and private garden.

As we were walking towards our Pond House suite, we were getting elated. The villa was overlooking natural Lotus pond and had a huge swing to sit and relax. The room was furnished with wood furnishings. It had a king sized ornamental bed with canopy, sitting area, plush open bathroom, shower, bathtub, upscale toiletries and enclosed private garden. The suite also has fans, air conditioner, and good connected Wi- Fi but no TV and DVD player.

Apa Villa Illuketia Jasmine suite
Source: APA-Villa-il luke tia-Sri Lanka.en.ww.lk
Pond House Suite - Washroom at Apa Villa Illuketia
Source: http://www.thevillaguide.com

There was a common open living room between Ginger and Jasmine Pond houses, hedging couches, armchairs, sun beds and dining table. It was a perfect place to dine, soak in sun and admire the exotic birds.

Common area between Ginger and Jasmine Pond House at Apa Villa Illuketia, Sri lanka
Source: http://www.hotelroomsearch.net/

The Apa Villa resort is tucked in between the tea estates and paddy fields. The huge verandahs with side seatings, all suites facing ponds, ponds covered with lotus flowers and plants, pool amidst the canopy of thick trees, flowering shrubs, and a variety of reptiles, birds make the whole place earthy, serene and close to nature.

Dining at Apa Villa Illuketia

The meals are served in the main house verandah, each time with a different setting. The Birds, monkeys, and cicadas play background music whereas the water channel runs alongside the corridor.

Verandha at Apa-Villa-Illuketia; where breakfast and dinner is served

Breakfast: is served from 7:30 am -10:30 am. It starts with a fresh juice and tropical fruits. Then the main course includes eggs, sausages, bacon or typical Sri Lankan breakfast (Pan – hoppers with or without egg, coconut milk curry and spicy sambol relish) with Ceylon tea and fresh island coffee.

Stretching before breakfast at pa Villa Illuketia, Sri lanka

Dinner:  is served from 6:30 pm -9:30 pm. It includes two – three courses of set meals. The cuisines vary from Sri Lankan, Singaporean to Seafood variations.

The in-between snacks are served till 5:30 in the evenings and one can choose these perfect cozy side seatings in the verandah with the garden views for munching.

The side seatings in Verandhas of Apa Villa Illuketia, Sri Lanka
Source: Tripadvisor

Activities & Amenities at Apa Villa Illuketia

Apa Villa Illuketia, Sri Lanka has one 25 meters long swimming pool with comfortable deck chairs enclosed in between the bamboos, tall trees, shrubs, and flowers.

Pool at Apa Villa Illuketia, Sri Lanka

Apart from this; there are many coffee table books, magazines, and novels to read and relax in the basking sun. They too have a pool table, TV room, and study room. The estate organizes cycling tours to the nearby villages, day trips to the tea estates, river trips, sightseeing to Galle and other nearby surroundings.

Sightseeing from Apa Villa Illuketia

The shuttle van runs from Apa Villa Illuketia which dropped us till the main road. From there we took the local bus to reach Galle city which was almost 5 kilometers. We explored Galle fort on foot and munched on pizza and drinks in the cafe. At the end of the day, we hired a bike at a very reasonable price for our future day’s exploration.

Galle Fort Streets: Apa Villa Illuketia, Sri Lanka
Source: Enviroreach

The second day of our trip started with a wonderful fresh breakfast, overlooking the gardens and lazing in the verandahs. By afternoon we thought of exploring the other beach towns Hikkaduwa and Unawatuna, which lies at a distance of almost 5 km and 20 km respectively from Galle. These places are famous among hippies, surfers, and divers. They too have the perfect beaches to watch the sunset. You can check here the enthralling pictures of Sri Lanka beaches.Sunset at Unawatuna- Apa Villa Illuketia

Apart from this, on the third day, we rode our scooter to see Handunugoda Tea Estate in Ahangama. It took us total 30 minutes to reach. The Tea Factory is famous because of Virgin White Tea. This tea is completely untouched by hands. The factory is a living museum and it stills operates its more than 140 years old machinery.

The Virgin White Tea Factory- Apa Villa Illuketia, Sri lanka

The others attractions nearby are:

Peace Pagoda: The peace pagoda lies on the top of Rumasalla hill and gives serene views overlooking the Panoramic Ocean. One can go hiking or by bike till the top.

Views from Japanese Peace Pagoda: Apa Villa Illuketia, Sri lanka

Galle International Cricket Stadium: The Galle stadium was used as a race course by Britishers. Since last 100 years it is being used as a cricket stadium and since 1998 it has become an international cricket stadium.

Lighthouse: The lighthouse lies at the southern end of Galle fort and it has been there since 1848.

Shopping: Shop for beautiful pearls and check for the authentication certificate.


Overall Experience of Apa Villa Illuketia

If you are looking to unwind yourself, get tranquilized and spend some romantic moments together in the lap of nature, then this is a perfect place for You! The resort and rooms are beautifully handcrafted keeping the surroundings in mind. The services are impeccable. The moment you are here, you are away from the city’s hustle-bustle and clock stops for you.

In short, the resort is a perfect combination of modernization, traditionalism, luxury, and comfort. We adored each day staying here and these memories will stay with us forever.

Swing near Pond House at Apa Villa Illuketia

The Apa Villa’s have their another property Apa Villa Thalpe located 5 Kilometers away from Apa Villa Illuketia. The property is equally stunning and is located on the sea shore. The property has seven suites, blue pool and direct access to the beaches. We wanted to spend last two days here but couldn’t get the option. So choose to laze around at Apa Villa Thalpe for a day in the pool, watching waves in the Indian Ocean. Later on, we had a sumptuous lunch here.

Pool at Apa Villa Thalpe: Apa villa Illuketia

Lunch at Apa Villa Thalpe garden: Lies at a distance of 5 Km from Apa Villa Illuketia

Contact Details:

Apa Villa Thalpe: +94 91 2283320; Apa Villa Illuketia: +94 914-381411

Email Id: [email protected]

Hans Hoefer (Owner) Mobile: +65 96196170; E-mail: [email protected]

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Heritage Property near Galle: Apa Villa Illuketia, Sri Lanka

65 thoughts on “Heritage Property near Galle: Apa Villa Illuketia, Sri Lanka”

  • This place looks really wonderful, a great place to relax and a lovely base for exploring the local area. I’m particularly in love with that double bathtub outside but protected by the canopy, that’s my idea of heaven!

  • This looks like pure magic! I’m heading to Sri Lanka next spring and I HAVE to stay here! I love the swing! Thank you for sharing this info. It’s totally on my list!

  • That pool looks lovely. What a great place to chill out. I would love to visit Sri Lanka, I’ll add this place to my list!

  • Oh, you refreshed my trip to Sri Lanka that happened nearly a decade back. To me, the swing and lotus pond were the highlights. What was your favourite?

  • Such a beautiful property! We are going to Sri Lanka in 20 days. So excited! Unfortunately we have already finished booking or we would have definitely considered staying here! Love the swing and the swimming pool!

  • This property is amazing! I love the water channels and the thought of listening to monkeys play while I have my morning coffee is irresistible

  • This looks like a really nice place to stay, I love the breakfast with the view and the swimming pool is absolutely marvelous. It would be perfect for a staycation

  • Sri Lanka is high on my list for places to visit. How incredible to stay in a property that is over 200 year old! The facilities look beautiful, and that pool looks heavenly. Keeping this in mind for when we do make it there!

  • This place looks amazing -I would love to go to Sri Lanka, very high on my list now 😀 – These Villas may be on the opposite side of my budget though but might have to try them out 😀

  • Places like this property.make one appreciate nature in such an authentic.manner. And pictures show so much beauty. lovely post!

  • There is nothing better than visiting somewhere stunning like these heritage properties but to also be welcomed by warm, friendly and attentive staff too. There have been many a time where i have stayed in nice places but the service was far from friendly. Looks like you had a great time and definitely experienced and explored all that these places had to offer!

  • What a stunning property! I love the privacy and the small, boutique feel of a 6 room inn. We went to Sri Lanka but didn’t have time to make it to Galle, which was on our list. As you mentioned, things take longer to get to thanks to the two-lane roads and lack of highways, so the extra time it would take getting to Galle didn’t fit our timeline unfortunately. I do love those hoppers though for breakfast. It a fave of mine, and there is a trendy restaurant in London called Hoppers that does truly authentic hoppers with curry, sambol, and coriander chutneys. It’s great if you ever find yourself in London!

  • I am in love with Sri Lanka and I didn’t get down to Galle. This place is incredible, thanks for the inspiration and definitely bookmarked for my next trip to Sri Lanka.

  • When I was visiting Sri Lanka few years ago we have stayed at similair property. I really liked the atmoshpere and the architecture. I think there are so many unique places and for me (hotel blogger) it’s a paradise on earth 😀


  • We really want to go to Sri Lanka and now looking at your experience it certainly encouraging us to go very soon! What an amazing villa you stayed in.

  • Wow! What a wonderful place to stay in Sri Lanka! Your pictures of the villa, especially the first one, are stunning! We love staying at old heritage properties when traveling, may it be in old villas, castles or former monasteries, so this place seems to be perfect for us! We’ve never been to Sri Lanka, but would definitely consider staying at this Villa when we go there! Thank you for sharing your review!

  • Wow. This place is exactly the kind of stays I would prefer. peaceful and unique, this heritage stay is quite charming. Definitely on my list when I visit Sri Lanka.

  • I love travel blogs, I would call your blog travel blog, nice photos your shared with us, thank you. I was last year twice in Sri Lanka, love the place

  • A 200 years old heritage property is bound to be a great experience in itself. The Apa Villa Illuketia, looks really magical. I love the decor and the fact that they have preserved traditional styles and added on modern comforts and convenience. A seamless blend of heritage and contemporary styles.

  • How well maintained! 200 years! So hard to fathom it.
    I totally loved the furniture there. The pool seems inviting too.
    Loved the place.

  • Wow ! I love this place totally! I enjoyed Galle a lot on my trip in Srilanka. I can only imagine how good it must have been to stay in a gorgeous villa like this! Will try it the next time!

  • It has been my dream since a long time to stay in a heritage property with a courtyard and do a rain dance in the courtyard. Seeing the first picture was like visualizing my dream. Villa Illuketia has awed me at the very first look. D they allow guests to get into the pool int eh courtyard? If yes, I m definitely going to get there real soon 🙂

  • What a luxurious and elegant looking hotel. I personally am not sure if I will ever get to visit Sri Lanka in the future, so thank you for showing us this place.

  • This place looks amazing! Very relaxing and enjoyable for the family or if you’re with friends. I need to definitely check this out!

  • Tha Apa Villa’s look like an amazing place to spend some days in, specially when the decor gives a heritage look. What I like is, that despite having that heritage look, the amenities provided are all modern, and the best thing is that the Villas are Instagram genic.

  • What a beautiful place!

    Was this recently, as if so I don’t seem to see any impact from the massive flooding that was recently suffered!

  • Both Apa Villa Illuketia and Apa Villa Thalpe are stunning! I love facilities that are able to retain its history and culture while still being up to date. Love the pool and that swing set over the lotus pond. It’s nice to know you guys had an amazing time. 🙂

  • The villa looks so homely and beautiful. It is a perfect retreat and reminds me of our own ancestral home in our village. I would love to stay here when I visit Sri Lanka 🙂 Will connect with you when I plan my trip

  • This place looks lovely. A dual centre stay at both properties sounds like a great option although I think the six hour journey after a flight from the Uk could be a deal breaker for me. Is there a quicker transfer option, like an helicopter?

  • I love Sri Lanka and particularly enjoyed Galle and Geoffrey Bawa’s house. This villa looks like the perfect place to stay and I’d be curious to see it’s coastal twin. Definitely worth checking out

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