“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.
Illuketiya is set midst 10 acres of lush tropical forestry and land located 800m from the 4 km post on the Akuressa Road from the Galle-Matara main road. It is about a 3-hour drive from Colombo and about 4 ½ from the airport. You can arrive by seaplane and land in Koggala Lake just 15 minutes from Illuketiya
The beautiful boutique hotel Illuketiya is yet another designer masterpiece. It is an old estate renovated by the owner himself, the publisher of the ‘Inside guide' book series Hans Hoefer.
The estate is a haven for nature lovers with its endless gardens of rare flora and foliage. The house is a colonial estate bungalow, renovated preserving every bit of the colonial charm and adding comfort and luxury to the discerning traveler. It exhibits its own colonial luxury feel and creates a feeling of paradise and ultimate comfort and homeliness. The service offered by the discrete staff at Illuketiya is exceptional.
There are two main buildings. The main house consisting of four grand bedrooms named after tropical flowers; Hibiscus, Water lily, citronella and Lotus and the Pond house consisting of the elegant and luxury Ginger suite and Jasmine suite.
The rooms are spacious, some consisting of terraces and others large sitting areas. The suites are exceptionally elegant and offer tranquility and a sense of absolute calmness. Situated overlooking the pond and the forest garden, the suites also have breathtaking views and great for bird watching.
Dining and common areas
You can dine in the open verandah around the house overlooking the garden or anywhere in the garden. Dining is really a wonderful affair at Illuketiya, where food is served and presented beautifully with utmost care and the taste is truly divine! The food is mainly Sri Lankan and Asian.
Many of the fruits, vegetables and herbs are organically grown in the garden. The lovely floral arrangements around the villas are invariably fresh cuts of heliconias, gingers, hibiscus and frangipanis from the estate.
In-between, afternoon tea and quiet reading or writing can take place where the stylish wicker chairs and table are placed.
A water channel framing the long verandah is pleasing to the senses.
With all the seating arrangements, guests will find his or her favourite niche.
The living area is a spacious area built with a Balinise wooden roof and antique Temple doors.
Illuketia plantation is a botanical wonderland lovingly nurtured from an overgrown jungle. Mature trees, majestic bamboo groves and giant heliconias loom over flowering shrubs, creepers and blue-tinged ferns bordering the footpaths. New varieties of palm are added regularly. With so many native plant species, it is pleasant to learn that a lean tree is the much-treasured mahogany. At Illuketia, indigenous and migratory birds are a constant source of delight. The ponds are home to freshwater fishes thriving beneath the lotus blossoms and water plants.
Things to see and do
Take a dip in the pool. The pool's shallow table end is excellent for little ones frolicking in water.
Comfortable deck chairs and cushions are tempting for a snooze in the shade and complete relaxation.
The poolside looks to be the place to watch the sun descend behind the foliage while sipping our famous iced lime juice and Sri Lankan toddy cocktail.
Lovers of exotic tropical blossoms and ferns will be rewarded by the wonders of botany at every turn in Illuketia.
Some of the local plants and herbs are medicinal; others are for food. The adjacent organic rice fields that belong to the estate grow a local “red” rice breed.
Spotting a rare bird at close range from a window or catching a timid mongoose sprinting across the grass is some of the unexpected delights of living with nature.
Arrange an in-house traditional massage or if you're hoping to stay long, maybe a few interesting Yoga lessons.
From illuketia you can walk or take bicycles to a working tea factory, Rubber plantation, Pepper garden, temples
Visit an organic tea garden in Ahangama
The beautiful southern beaches are just 15mins away form Illuketia and good surfing beaches at Ahangama and Midigama are just 20 minutes away.
Take a Sri lankan catamaran trip across to Cinnamon island on Koggala Laka or a b oat trip from Galle across to Jungle beach
Take a trip to the Galle Fort, a living world heritage site