Reviews and Quotes


Above: 'Living in SriLanka'
Photos by James Fennel, text by Turtle Bunbury THAMES & HUDSON, 2006
ISBN 13-978-0-500-51287-6
ISBN 10-0-500-51287-6
(Apa Villas on pages 106-111 and 174-181)

Above: 'Inside Asia'
Photos by Reto Guntli, text by Sunil Sethi
Taschen GmbH, 2004
ISBN: 3-8228-1441-5
(Apa Villas on pages 140 to 151)

Above: 'Sri Lanka Style'
Photos by Dominic Sansoni, text by Channa Daswatte
ISBN 13-978-0-79460060-0
ISBN 10-0-7946-0060-3


“Thank you for making our stay so special. We felt like royalty on our early honeymoon: invigorated by the sea, relaxed by the pool and charmed with the yummy food.”
21 November 2005. Sall & Jeff

“What an amazing place – calm, tranquil and a complete oasis of relaxation.
Delighted to be the first guests to stay her after the Tsunami and grateful for the feeling of welcome that you and your staff gave to us. Our best wishes for the future.”
9 October 2005 Evans

“Thank you for so much for everything you have done to make our honeymoon a wonderful experience we will always hold close. Your attention to detail and sense of style.
Here’s an abridged list of our favourite moments of the past three days:
- Fireflies in the mosquito netting of our bed
- - Swimming in your glorious pool at night under the stars
- World class dinners – the ginger lemongrass soup is one of the best dishes I have ever had
- Cinnamon shampoo an experience in itself
- Pond House swing overlooking the lotus garden
- Dining with Galle’s high society – an extraordinary case of characters
- Countless thoughts of tossing it all and staying permanently
- - this is truly a magical place. Thanks again.”
23 September 2005 John & Victoria Stubbs

“Quite simple, Apa Villa is a slice of heaven beside the Indian Ocean! Thank you for a perfect stay.”
Heley & Guy, London UK.



“Can't say enough about how wonderful APA Villa is!
We were planning on only staying for four nights, but had such a wonderful time that we extended our stay for another four.
The staff is extremely helpful and kind. The rooms are beautifully furnished and well maintained. The food is the best I've had on vacation anywhere. Don't miss the fresh lobster, crab and jumbo prawns!
If you need a place to completely relax - this is it.
...Now we just have to figure out when we can make it back”
March 20, 2006 A TripAdvisor Member, London, UK

“Arrived at the Apa Villas, Thalpe on 27th October after 6 months of 7 day weeks, completely exhausted and depleted. We left 5 days later renewed, restored and refreshed. Just six suites in a garden facing the ocean . Total peace and harmony. Comfortable and stylish, without being pretentious. Looked after and pampered in every single way possible. Didn't even need to choose the food at night - they find out what you don't like and then come up with a wonderful meal every night with no effort whatsoever. Nicky sees to it that everything is running smoothly and the staff are so sweet and discreet. Being a monsoon sea we didn't dare go in but the pool is outside your terrace and plenty big enough to build up some lengths over a few days. If this is what you need to set you up for doing some sight-seeing on this paradise island, or even help with some re-building down there - Apa Villas is the place for you. Apparently there are times when there are lots of children and times when there are no children, so find out whichever suits you first. Some of the time we had the whole place to ourselves and other times there was very interesting company.
Sri Lanka is wonderful and the sooner we all go back the sooner these devastated people will feel that life can be normal again. If you want to donate to re-building, Wherever The Need, a charity in Bath England is getting some great work done and putting people back in houses again down in Matara.
I couldn't find a posting on the site for Apa Villas in Thalpe, that's why I've put it on the Illuketia site - perhaps you can set their own site up for them.
20 November 2005, A TripAdvisor Member, Cornwall, England

“We stayed in the Appa Villa in Sep 2004 and we cant think of anything bad to say about this place. Its in a great quiet location. The rooms were really nice. Thinking about it of the 4 days we spent in Galle 2 of the days we didn’t leave the hotel at all. There is no TV in the room but there is a library and beach on your doorstep. The food was great, the chef usually came to see us at lunch to ask what we wanted for dinner and we often opted for the fresh seafood.
I don’t know about Club Villa but the Appa villa is really nice.”
27 September 2005 Ilan, London. Forum




“Surrounded by slender coconut palms, Apa Villa Thalpe, 8km from the UNESCO-protected fort city of Galle, on the southwest coast several hours by car from Colombo, features three bungalows – evocatively named Cardamom, Cinnamon and Saffron – and a 12m pool overlooking the sea. That pool is so beautifully sited that it made the cover of high-circulation US-based Conde Nast Traveler magazine in July 2004. Also near Galle, Apa Villa Illuketiya is a plantation-style house with four suites (plus the additional Jasmin and Ginger suites in the petite and lotus-surrounded Pond House) on a vast garden estate planted in the 1880s.
The area suffered some damage during the Boxing Day tsunami and owner of the Apa properties, Hans Hoefer, founder of Insight guidebooks, says, "For a week, Illuketiya was turned into a refuge for our guests and 50 more island visitors."
Bungalow chic

Converted colonial accommodation in Sri Lanka is full of atmosphere and priced to please, writes Susan Kurosawa
03 September 2005, The Australian

“Since I have a long way to go, I break journey at Unawatuna to have a quick lunch at Apa Villas, the beach property owned by Hans Hoefer, who till recently, was publisher of Insight Guides.

Apa Villas is perfectly placed for those who want to escape the city and yet be close enough to experience the sights of a part of this magical island. Hoefer seems to have got his formula right. The airy beach property looked after by a British couple, is as friendly as a large home can get. The rooms are remniscent of the British era with all comforts, built in a style befitting the tropical life of monsoon rains and incredible sunsets. Fully modernised, each villa is designed to take full advantage of spectacular views across the Indian Ocean that pounds onto the beach.”
The Hindu Sunday Magazine, 2003.

“The best thing about the villa, however, is its surroundings. Cicadas, birds and silver-haired monkeys have made the adjacent tropical gardens their playground while further afield, spice and rice fields disappear into the distance” - The Independent UK.











Quotes from our guestbooks

April 2005

“Thank you all for a wonderful, however, short break at this fantastic villa. The hospitality and delicious food was appreciated. Good luck to you all and keep “blackie” in the comfort he is used to!”
-Vivien and Eric Carter
Mcrecambe, United Kingdom


October 2004

“Illuketia is an ideal place for artistic inspiration. Thank you Management for a more then perfect weekend.”
-Indra, David, Tom and Maya


October 2004

“We had a wonderful time, enjoying the views, the gardens, the food, and the incredibly friendly and helpful staff. And of course the Management’s ever-present helpfulness.”
- Jeff Lunitead and Debbie Shaipe


November 2004

“I came to chill out and did, that goodness you can’t get toddy in London otherwise life would be one long siesta. I’d recommend this place for anyone of a weird disposition”
- Mark Graborski


November 2004

“Paradise: idyllic escape… Illuketia and Apa Villa were both intimate and an out of this world experience. Being a part of nature within a beautiful home is special it feels very personal which is the magic behind the place. From the hearty smiles of the staff, to exquisite cooking, my soul feels rested and refreshed. Thank you Management.”
- Hana


January 2004

“We arrived to the sounds of a Farinelli playing, entered a courtyard that takes one’s breath away and spent the next two days taking in every variation of green in the paddy fields and trees around us. The staff spoiled up silly – the food was fantastic. There are many visions of paradise – this marvelous home is the best one.”
- Rahul Jacob


December 2006

“We are sad to be leaving this oasis of relaxation after 2 weeks touring Sri Lanka. We Will take home many enriched memories of Apa Villa: the rolling surf of the ocean, the delightful setting and not least the discrete yet excellent service offered by all the staff. Thank you all with every good wish for 2007”
- Janet and Derek Boult


March 2007

“To the management and staff of the delightful Apa Villa’s! We couldn’t have asked or dreamt of a more perfect location and atmosphere for our beautiful wedding and following honeymoon! The whole experience was a dream in paradise, with every wish catered for. We now have the most sparkling memories to begin our married life with, and the best excuse in the world to return to Sri Lanka and Apa Villa for future anniversaries! Thank you so much for everything”
- Kim and mark Norton (Newly-weds!)


November 2003

“Please can I come again? This time for much longer, to relax in the space, the shade, the lovely people… and the sound of waves at night. Heaven…”
- Lisa Geiger


April 2004

“What a fantastic way to finish our Sri Lanka tour. Only shame is that we only had 2 days – next time we will be back for much longer”
- Meg, Mimi and Claire


November 2005

“There are not enough stars to do the justice in the name of Apa Villa. This is our paradise on earth and the happy memories will last forever.”
- Jemma and Steve Wylie


October 2006

“Many hotels and villas accept children but my little tribe of 4 have been welcomed with such open arms and wide smiles it has made Apa Villa a wonderful family destination”
- Paul and Lizzie Hudson


January 2007

“To everyone at Apa Villas, thank you all so much. We have enjoyed our stay here enormously. It is the most wonderful setting, a dream holiday. The staff have been exceptionally attentive, pampering to our every wish, which with eight children in our party is one mean treat!”
- David, Dlu, Henrietta, Hugo and Rory Church


January 2007

“Watching the fishermen at the sunset over the sea – a memorable experience.”
- Annie and Nick Dosh


March 2007

“To everyone at Apa Villa, Please don’t change anything - it is perfect, a beautiful setting, wonderful food, charming and friendly staff we have been treated like royalty.”
- Natasha and Toby Greig


March 2007

We have adored every second of our time in paradise
- Anne and Charlie Spear


November 2005

“…A slice of heaven on earth…”
- Brad Former


July 2006

“We are very surprised to find such a ‘home’ so far away from home! We didn’t need any excursion of trip to make: everything we need was here, beautiful nature (birds, monkeys, flowers, butterflies, fireflies). Excellent service nice people and very good food!”
- Henk and Jacqueline Bosman


March 2007

“This is an unbelievably beautiful place. Enjoying the cooling pool and sea breeze, great for children as well. Thank you so much.”
- Rog, Rie and Ryan


April 2005

“Thank you is not enough. We have had the perfect holiday. The beach, food, and nature: a true paradise.”
- Ken and Chris