At Apa Villa, we are thrilled and honoured that you have chosen to stay
We promise to do our utmost to ensure your stay with us is more than wonderful.
Please take a few moments to browse through these notes, and get to know our beautiful seaside villa, historic Galle and Sri Lanka’s gorgeous southern coast.
We very much look forward to serving you, and we wish you a blissful time as you share this special location with us.
The Apa Villa Staff
Apa Villa/Illuketia: To savour Sri Lanka’s superb hospitality, divide your time with us between Apa Villa’s glorious beach retreat at Thalpe, and the magnificent gardens of the historic Illuketia Estate, inland from Galle. We recommend our guests make full use of our two fine properties, which are 5km from each other and connected via country lanes through picturesque villages and rice padi.
Airport Pickup: We will arrange for pick-up in air-conditioned van with reclining seats for up to six passengers at Colombo International . The mini-van drivers speak some English and will meet the guests with a card bearing a principle name at the passenger arrival terminal. The journey from Colombo Airport is about four hours direct and between three and four hours from the capital depending on traffic on one of the most busy roads in Asia. Some guests on tour with their own hired vehicle may come from other directions and in this case, we advise the driver/guide to call us ahead for directions. Depending on the hour of your flight arrival, you might wish to check into a hotel near the airport or in a Colombo Hotel for a few hours sleep. We can arrange for stopover bookings and the driver will pick you up at the hotel lobby at a pre-arranged time.
Air-Conditioning: Each room is equipped with air-con. However, we ask you to be sparing in its use and, to preserve resources, not to leave on whilst your room is unoccupied or its doors and windows are open. You can adjust the controls to find your suitable evening temperature if you wish to use whilst sleeping – we recommend 19-21 degrees with low-medium fan strength.
Babysitter: A babysitter is on call if Mum and Dad want to enjoy a night out by themselves.
Beach: Yes, it’s gorgeous and inviting but be warned - it can be dangerous. When swimming, please be very careful of the rips and undertows along this coast. We advise you to wear protective footwear - old sneakers or wetsuit booties are perfect - in the reef shallows in front of Apa Villa. There are safe and sandy family beaches 2-3km toward Galle at Unawatuna, and 2-3km east at Habaraduwa. Further afield, the sheltered coves at Mirissa and Weligama’s shallow bay are lovely spots to while away a day at the beach.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner: In keeping with our standard of
service you are served breakfast whenever you are ready. Breakfast is
included with our room rates. If you have a very early schedule, please
inform us the evening before so that we can wake you up with a tray of
tea or coffee. We appreciate if our guests decide at breakfast whether
they will have lunch or dinner at the villa so our cooks can prepare
We serve breakfast of fresh fruit, blended fruit juice, tea or coffee or milk. The main course for breakfast is the Western fare of eggs with sausages, bacon or cheese. We offer Sri Lankan breakfast specialties of plain or egg hoppers, a pancake of sort made with rice flour and coconut milk with an egg added. Hoppers have to be ordered the evening before. A favourite for breakfast is the buffalo milk curd with sweet treacle.
Apa Villas are renowned for our local cuisine using our homegrown vegetables, herbs and local rice with a daily set menu for dinner. Our emphasis is on fresh seafood cooked to Western and Oriental recipes. Special diets will be taken into consideration. Lunch is usually light snacks ordered a la carte. We serve wine, beer and cocktail with or without liquors.
Dietary requirements: If you have special food requirements, please let us know. We will ensure that your meals are specially prepared.
Environment: Surrounded by tropical flora, fauna and marine life, Sri Lanka is splendid, and we all want to keep it that way. Please enjoy and appreciate the beauty of Sri Lanka’s natural environment and leave it as untouched as you can for the benefit of generations to come.
Electricity: Each room at Apa Villa and Illuketa should have universal power adaptors available but if those provided don’t suit your various gadgets, please advise our staff and we shall assist in getting you connected. Power outages are common in Sri Lanka. Apa Villa has a dedicated generator which powers on after a few minutes. You will also find candles in your room at both Apa Villa and Illuketia.
Galle and its Fort: Apa Villa and llluketia are just 15 minutes from Galle, where you can spend the day meandering around the town and through the cloistered streets of the historic UNESCO-listed Galle Fort. Just outside the fort’s ramparts is Galle’s famous Test Cricket ground; some 3000 people – more than died at New York’s World Trade Center on 9/11/01 – perished in and around here on December 26, 2004, when the Indian Ocean tsunami broke around the fort to deluge the ground and the neighbouring bus station. The stadium is now rebuilt, albeit haphazardly, and a day at the cricket when the national team is playing is a unique experience. Our cricket-crazy staff will surely know of upcoming Test matches. Wandering down Galle’s Main Street and exploring the small shops for bargains is fun too.
Getting to the villas / Driver’s instructions: Some guests on tour with their own hired vehicle may come from other directions and in this case, we advise the driver/guide to call us ahead for directions. Apa Villas are in Thalpe, Galle area, 118 Km. south from Colombo. It is on the main coastal road between Galle and Matara, 7 Km. or 15 minutes drive South after Galle town. Apa Villa Illuketia is situated inland, ten minutes by car after Galle town. Take a left turn to the Akuressa Road on the main Matara Road and pass the 4 Km. post, turn left into a lane opposite "Walkers Building" till two white dagobas or stupas welcome you to the red gate of Illuketia.
Internet: Each room at Apa Villa is equipped with ADSL-speed internet access provided via Sri Lanka Telecom. The access is enabled via cable connections for each room, and/or wifi units in and around the rooms. If seeking wifi nodes on your device, Apa Villa’s five wifi units are called ‘apavilla’ and then ‘apavilla 1/2/3/4.’ No passwords are necessary. Illuketia is outside the country’s ADSL network but access is available via dial-up modem or USB plug-in modem.
Laundry: You will find a laundry list and bag in your cupboard. Laundry is collected by our local ‘dhobi’ and returned the following day. An iron and ironing board are available for your use in the linen room. Please ask your room attendant.
Lunch/Snacks: We offer a range of tasty snacks and light meals. Please ask for our menus. We request that you kindly place an order for lunch no later than 1100 each morning. Light snacks such as sandwiches, samosas and spring rolls are available at any time.
Library: You are in the house of a guide book publisher… The
Apa Villa Library was so neatly packed that all books survived the tsunami
wave of 2004. Feel free to browse through all books at any time during
your stay. We appreciate that you leave them behind on your departure.
The English Sri Lankan newspapers are available locally. You will find
a copy of the “Daily Mirror” in our library.
Mosquito coils: These bugs are seasonal and may emerge for a snack before sunset. We provide you with coils, and recommend you use them at dusk. Each evening a mosquito coil will be lit on your verandah, while mosquito tablets are replaced daily in the electric mat beside your bed. Your mosquito net around your bed will be lowered in the late afternoon as your suite is prepared for the evening. If you prefer your room to be left in the evening, please inform your room steward.
Reservation: Go to Rates & Booking page (click on this link), and complete the form. We will respond (usually within 24 hours) by e-mail.
Security: We have 24 hour security at Apa Villa. Our night watchmen patrol the entire villa, so don’t be alarmed.
Southern Coast: Unawatuna, half-way between Apa and Galle, is well known
for its small beachside eateries and cheap backpacker-oriented places
Koggola Lake, 5km east of Apa, is a haven for birdlife. It’s fun to take a fishing catamaran across to Cinnamon Island just before sunset.
Weligama is a small fishing town set on a beautiful curved bay, 30 minutes south-east of Apa Villa. Matara, the principal city of the ‘Deep South’ is 45-60 minutes drive south-east of Apa. It is known for its old Dutch Fort and broad corniche.
Spa/massage/gym: Our local masseurs are experienced and recommended. Please let us know 12 hours in advance to arrange a massage for you. Nearby hotels Amangalla (in the Galle Fort) and The Fortress (at Habaraduwa) offer spa treatments, for a fee. Temporary memberships or day passes to the well-equipped gymnasium at The Fortress are available.
Sunburn: We advise you to apply high protection lotion to prevent burning and sunstroke. The sun is deceptively strong in the tropics, even on cloudy days.
Swimming Pool: Our world-famous infinity pools at Apa Villa and Illuketia are maintained daily. Please ensure that small children and those who cannot swim are not left unattended at any time. There is no lifeguard in attendance.
Telephone: There are no telephone connections in our rooms. The phone
and fax number at Apa Villa is 94- (0)91- 2283320. Illuketia can be reached
by phone on 94 (0)91- 4381411 and by fax on 94 0(91)-4381410. Messages
can be taken by the staff, and left in your suite if you are unavailable.
Should you wish to make calls, please contact us at the office. International
calls are charged at RS.100 per minute. Mobile phone roaming can be expensive
in Sri Lanka, so we recommend buying local SIM cards from our office.
Tipping: You may wish to leave staff a gratuity as you leave. You can do this directly, or forward a contribution to managers Chaturi or Nilanta, who will ensure that it is divided fairly among staff.
Tours/Transport: Galle and the surrounding Southern Province has many interesting locations; historical/cultural, wildlife, and ecological. We are happy to make any and all arrangements for you. We also have our own three-wheeler ‘tuk-tuks’ for short local journeys. Ask at the office.
Towels: Bath and pool towels are provided for your use, but for the sake of the environment please re-use them unless they are soiled. Towels are changed every two days. If you require a change, please leave your towel in the linen basket. The blue-striped towels are for pool and beach use; please do not take the white bath towels to the beach.
TV/Newspapers: The English-language Sri Lankan newspapers are available locally. Please let us know if you would like a daily paper. Apa Villa’s TV room is equipped with around 65 channels of news/movies/sport/variety/cartoons/etc provided by Dialog TV. Illuketia’s TV area is upstairs adjacent to the billiard room.
Valuables: Our staff are trustworthy, loyal and long-serving, but you may wish to avail of our office safe for your valuables.
Water: It’s precious everywhere, and Sri Lanka is no different. Please use it sparingly. Our hot water is provided by solar power.
Water Sports: Fishing, coastal cruises, sailing and river trips can
be arranged through the Mirissa water sports centre. Please ask the staff
to arrange this for you. Diving and snorkelling trips can be arranged
in season at the nearby water sports centre, where instructors are qualified
to international standards. For further details, contact the office.
Please do not hesitate to ask if you need further information.