Apa Villas, Thalpe


Apa Villas is a small seaside boutique hotel consisting of three separate villas. It lolls on an idyllic stretch of beach just eight kilometres from the historic town of Galle. The journey from the airport takes about four-and-a-half hours.


Hans Hofer, founder of the Apa Guides – later to become famous as the Insight Travel Guides – owns this refined villa and has brought to life his vision of a perfect beach hideaway. The villa library is filled with Hans Hofer’s famous travel guides covering intriguing destinations far and wide. The villas 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 consist of seven spacious suites, and are sold in whole or part. Each of the suites is open-plan with sleeping and lounging areas and ensuite bathroom with showers. Six of the suites open out to the front garden and the ocean beyond. One suite opens out to an enclosed private garden. Cinnamon Villa has three spacious suites and a lounge area with a library. Cardamom Villa has two suites overlooking the central infinity pool, and Saffron Villa has two romantic suites separated by a soothing lily pond with a stepping-stone walkway.

Suite 1 – Cinnamon Villa: 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. This a/c suite has a connecting door and combines with Suite 2 to complete an apartment for a larger group.

Suite 2 – Cinnamon Villa: Situated just next door to Suite 1, the lounge area of this a/c 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 – Cinnamon Villa: The largest suite in the Cinnamon Villa, this suite has an adjacent master bathroom offering extra outdoor shower. Furniture includes two double beds on a cement platform, wardrobe cupboard, and two dressing tables. This suite is nearest to the library and common lounge area.

Suite 4 - Cardamom Villa: This suite opens out to the infinity pool and the ocean beyond and has a lounge area, /c bedroom, ensuite bathroom, and walk-in dressing area. The verandah has a banquette and dining table on one side.

Suite 5 – Cardamom Villa: 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.

Suite 6 – Saffron Villa: 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 – Saffron Villa: 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. A lily pond stands as a divider and walkway between Suites 6 and 7.


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. 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. A baby sitter, trained masseur can be arranged with prior notice.

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