Illukketiya Full of character, charm and wildlife. For those of you who wish to do nothing, but enjoy everything. A nineteenth century landmark preserved by locals for its revered surroundings. Located just 10 minutes inland from Galle, Illuketia is a gardeners' paradise. A tranquil and secluded haven of plant and birdlife ensures a truly relaxing holiday. Set within 7 acres of landscaped gardens and surrounded by paddy fields, the main villa stands high on the hill looking down to the lily pond and the 'Pond House'. Owned and most recently restored by Hans Hoefer, designer and founder of the 'Insight Guides', but run by British 'Nicky Harrison' who embellishes the design with her exquisite interior décor and sensitive hospitality. An organic vegetable and spice garden welcomes you at the gate and provides the excellent culinary delights. Streams flow, garden galleries exhibit and lilies hug the sun in this serene setting. The 2 colonial style villas are filled with relaxing sitting rooms, contemplation pools, pillared verandahs and enough books and magazines for a lifetime.

Explore the local villages and wildlife by bike and identify your sightings from the many bird books in the villa. Music, books, board games and billiards will stimulate the mind as you lounge on the mezzanine balcony, reminiscent of a 'seraglio'. 'Illuketiya' is a sanctuary allowing you to forget the world you have left and allow the 5 discreet, efficient, staff to pamper you.

Distance From Colombo : 132 km
  • Laundry Service
  • Maid Service
  • Room Service
  • Cots Available
  • Fine Dining
  • Organic Products
  • Wine Selection
  • Personal Chef
  • Dining Room
  • Dining Arrangement
  • Vegetarian Options
Positive :
* Breakfast tea as the sun glistens through the treetops.
* Take a dip in the 75ft infinity pool or drift off to sleep in the pond boat to the sound of diving kingfishers, cooing jungle fowl and flutter of the Ceylon Flycatcher.
* Delicious food inspired by a local chef, created from produce grown on the estate.
Negative :
* Illuketia's charm is its rural setting away from the coast, but it's only 30 mins in tuk tuk to beach.
* Mosquitoes are plentiful and in the garden in the peak season.
* Python (pet one) living in the hotel premises.
* Probably a lot of other types of snakes as well living in the area surrounding the hotel.
Activities :
* Complimentary bikes are available to explore the local villages and temples. The estate is best explored on foot.
* Spa
* Galle is just a 30-minute tuk tuk journey away and is full of history, ramparts, galleries, bazaars and cosmopolitan restaurants.
* Closest beaches are in Unawatuna. Diving and snorkelling in the reef are excellent but the beaches are narrow and crowded. Private jungle beach should be sought out.
* Bentota is one hour away by car with excellent beaches and a plethora of water sports and boat trips on the river estuary.
* Safaris, gem mines and stunning Bawa Brief Gardens are all a pleasant day trip.
* Ambalangoda, (20 minutes drive) is full of antique shops and mask/puppet museums.
  • Highly recommended by Conde Naste Traveller and voted best plantation house by The Independant 2004.
enquire now