Apa Villa Illuketiya, Galle, Sri Lanka

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Historic Illuketia is one of Sri Lanka's most storied plantation houses. Just 5km from Apa Thalpe and Galle, the expansive house is almost 200 years old, a living reminder of the island's colonial past. Thouroughly modernised but retaining its ancient flavour, Illuketia boasts four suites in the main house and the two in the adjacent Pond House, overlooking a lotus lake. The property sits on 10 acres of sumptuous tropical garden and padi fields. Tea estates, Sinhalese villages and charming country lanes cluster close to the estate so be prepared for a unique cultural experience but never compromising on comfort.
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Apa Villa Illuketiya Accommodation

Hibiscus
The master bedroom is sited in a corner with its own private balcony looking out over padi fields and the village lanes. The spacious bathroom is decorated with Turkish tiles.

Breakfast
Always prepared when you are ready. Standard menu of seasonal cut fruits and chilled juices. Ceylon tea or locally grown coffee. Eggs as you like it with fried bacon or sausages. Must try buffalo milk curd or yoghurt topped with palm sugar treacle. Order typical Sri Lankan breakfast a day before. All pancakes, breads and jams are home made.

Lunch & Dinner
Illuketia’s cuisine works on availability of fresh produce combining the clever use of local herbs and spices. Best described as Eastern dishes under Western direction though our signature Sri Lankan garden curries is the best. Fish, shrimp, squid and lobster are caught hours ago. Meats are delivered from reputable suppliers. Vegetables and greens are plucked from the organic nursery plots. Our kitchen is noted for its desserts, cakes and cookies. Lunch is usually snacks, toasted sandwiches or salads. Order dinner, a three- to four-course menu, in advance. Our vegetarian meals are excellent. Outside guests are welcome. Cooking classes on our dishes on request.

Lotus
Possibly, the largest room with a view to tea hills beyond. Original paintings of Southeast Asian scenes reveal the owners’ trampling grounds. Stylish colour scheme matches the hand-painted lotus bedspread.

Citronella
Though smaller, the suite is compensated by a private garden terrace to the side of the house. The en-suite bathroom has a large closet and shower and twin vanity basins. Air-conditioning is available.

Waterlily
The most intimate room has a charming four-poster bed, a Dutch-style cabinet and antique mirror stand. The view gazes down the heliconia walk.It has an en-suite bathroom with shower. Ideal as a single room.

Ginger
King size double bed on a raised platform. Bathroom is part garden, part indoor with tête-à-tête bathtubs. Bedroom is air-conditioned. Sister room to Jasmine.

Jasmine
Two queen size beds under one cozy mosquito tent on a raised platform. Entrance from the living room, another door opens to the verandah and pantry. The bathroom has a walled-in garden. Jasmine is air-conditioned.

Apa Villa Illuketiya Facilities

Illuketia plantation is a botanical wonderland. Tall trees, majestic bamboo and giant heliconias loom over flowering shrubs, creepers and ferns. Fruits, vegetables, rice and herbs are organically grown in our garden. Our daily floral arrangements are fresh cuts from the plantation. At last count there are 156 bird species, 556 tropical plants, 20 mammals, pond fishes and a variety of reptiles, land monitor lizards and frogs living discreetly within the boundaries.

Illuketia’s 25-meter long (75 feet) swimming pool lies a distance from the main house. Comfortable deck chairs and cushions are placed on the lawn. The poolside is the place to watch the sunset.

See an abundant variety of exotic tropical blooms and ferns at every turn. Some local plants and herbs are medicinal or used as dyes; others are food for humans and the wildlife. The adjacent rice fields produce our organic red rice. We use traditional methods for pest control and propagating.

Grandstand for the garden and ponds outdoor. Breakfast is served in one corner while dinner is laid out facing a different setting.Find your strategic place for afternoon tea and quiet reading or writing. A water channel runs alongside and calls of birds, monkeys and cicadas provide background sound.

Nine matching carved temple doors and a two-tier roof with Balinese carvings allow air to circulate freely. Giant bamboo furniture, lacquered Chinese cabinets, antique porcelains, chandeliers and paintings from Indonesia are personal touches of the owners.This is the grand room for weddings and other events.

All bedroom suites radiate from the central ornamental pool. Come monsoon, the downpour cascading into the pond is a dramatic splashy display.

Upstairs room above the kitchen area stores a collection of travelogues, art and history tomes, novels and magazines in English, French and German. Great views from here. Open to guests.

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