Apa Villa is a seven-suite boutique hotel set on an idyllic stretch of beach in the coastal village of Thalpe south of the historic town of Galle. Hans Hofer, founder of the Apa Guides - later to become famous as the Insight Travel Guides - brought to life his vision of a perfect boutique each hideaway. The Apa villa library is filled with Hans Hofer's famous travel guides covering intriguing destinations far and wide. The suites are housed in three separate villas that incorporate typical southern architectural features of columns and verandahs, courtyards and open spaces that let the ocean breeze and fresh air in. The interiors are minimalist and contemporary with timber, steel, and glass blended furniture, cement based beds and recliners, and cooling cement floors. Caring touches such as rooms adorned with fresh flowers brought daily from his private estate at Illuketia located nearby; the warm and gentle smiles of the staff, and a child friendly environment (children under 10 are free at Apa) all add to the homely atmosphere of this quaint boutique hotel.
The three villas – Cinnamon, Cardamom and Saffron, consist of seven spacious suites and are sold in whole or part. Each suite is designed with an open-plan sleeping and living area that opens out to a verandah with spectacular sea views. One of the seven suites opens out to an enclosed private garden. In-room facilities include a/c, overhead fans, wifi internet, room service and laundry service. Baby cot is available upon request.
Cinnamon Villa: Cinnamon Villa has three spacious suites and a common lounge with a library.
Suite 1 - This is an airy corner suite with a lounge opening out to a verandah overlooking the garden and sea. Furniture consists of a double bed and single bed under one large canopied mosquito net (which is ideal for a family with a young child),dressing area with wardrobe and dressing table and ensuite bathroom with shower. Suite 1 has a connecting door and combines with Suite 2 to complete an apartment for a larger group.
Suite 2 - Situated just next door to Suite 1, the lounge area of this suite opens out to a walled private garden. Double and single cement based beds with canopied mosquito netting, wardrobe cupboard, writing table-cum-dressing corner completes this suite. The ensuite bathroom has twin vanity bowls and shower. A connecting door links to Suite 1.
Suite 3 - The largest suite in the Cinnamon Villa, this has King and Queen beds under one large mosquito and could accommodate 3 people. The suite has an interconnecting doorway that leads to another double bed with a kid’s corner and can accommodate 5 people in total. It has an en suite bathroom and terrace.
Cardamom Villa: Has two suites and overlooks the central infinity pool, gardens and sea beyond.
Suite 4 - Opens out to the infinity pool and has a lounge, bedroom, ensuite bathroom, and walk-in dressing area. The verandah has a banquette and dining table on one side.
Suite 5 – Identical to Suite 4, except that the bathroom and dressing area has a back door to the villa entrance. Breakfast and dinner are served on the verandah, which is shared with Suite 4.
Saffron Villa: Located at the far corner of the property, this villa has two romantic suites. A lily pond stands as a divider and walkway between the two suites.
Suite 6 – This designer suite is a favourite, with its own verandah overlooking the garden and sea. The suite has a double bedroom, a master bathroom with door to the garden, and living room.
Suite 7 – Though similar in features to Suite 6, this suite sits in the corner of the estate and has more privacy, giving it a most romantic appeal.
Cinnamon Villa has a common lounge area and library that can be used by all guests. Internet access is available. Endless hours can be spent in the verandah that skirts around each of the villas opening out to a garden strewn with swaying coconut trees. A long infinity pool that appears to blend with the Indian Ocean is located at the centre of the property. At its beach end is a wooden deck with astonishing views of the setting sun. Although swimming is not safe directly on the beach facing the hotel, it is possible just 400m south during the season from December to April. Meals are served according to your wish - dine in the shade of the coconut tree, on the beach deck, in the privacy of your own verandah or drive a short distance inland for a special meal at Illuketia – a private tropical garden estate. Sri Lankan curries and western cuisine is served using fresh seafood - lobster, tiger prawns and yellow-fin tuna -- and fresh fruit and vegetables harvested from the estate at Illuketia. Other facilities include wifi internet, satellite TV in the TV room, a baby sitter and trained masseur on-call that can be arranged with prior notice. The Fortress hotel located nearby in Habaraduwa has a well equipped gym and in-house spa. Guests at Apa Villas can use these facilities for a fee with a temporary membership or day pass that can be obtained from the hotel.
Why We Like It
One of the first boutique beach hotels in Sri Lanka and still packing a punch.
The journey to Apa Villas from Colombo’s international airport takes about 2.5 hours via the Southern highway. Avoid road travel and take the air taxi to nearby Koggala. If you are then heading from the coast into the hills, we offer competitive rates on a daily sea plane between Koggala and Hatton.
Location: Thalpe, Galle Coast
Style: Beach Property
No. of Rooms: 7
Key Features: Beach setting; swimming pool; restaurant; bar