Kikili House is an absolute labour of love. Owned by Hen and Koki, Kikili means “Hen” in Singhalese, and Kokila means “Cockerel”, so it all comes together in an adorable melange of colour and quirk. It's a pretty great place if you're a solo traveller, with lots to read and a charming dog called Bob who mysteriously appears whenever it's meal time.
Ambience & Rooms
With a sweetly kooky "hen" theme running throughout the hotel, and photos of the owners and their friends and miscellaneous memorabilia from all over the world, it feels like every bit of the house has personality. I personally loved the heaps and heaps of books in nooks all over the hotel, even inside the rooms. These ranged from great contemporary fiction to travel guides and biographies.
It was really the little touches that made the place, like the cute little tote beach bags they gave us, or the bathrobes, or the thoughtful bottles of mosquito repellent. It just all felt very homey and thoughtful, like I was visiting a hip and laidback grandma. The rooms themselves were quite spacious and comfy. There are 5 A/C rooms in the house, each with an ensuite bathroom and plenty of unique decor and personality. We stayed at the Orpington.
There's also a lot of open space utilized, with a garden area perfect for breakfast, and a balcony perfect for evening tea. The house feels very cosy and quiet despite being a negligible 5 minutes from the busy Fort.
The staff seemed to consist of a few quiet yet friendly Galle locals and the manager, Bryony. She helped us settle in, showed us about the property, introduced us to the features of the house, and even set us up with some Galle guides (not that we needed them, Fort veterans that we are at YAMU). We felt very warmly welcomed and taken care of.
A special shout out to a young man (I think his name was Ashan). We'd gotten back from dinner/drinks at the Fort at about midnight, only to find that our room door was sealed shut. The lock was malfunctioning, and we were locked out and sleepy. We managed to get his attention, and the poor chap tirelessly attacked our door for the better part of 30 minutes before cleverly deciding to go another way and break into the room by unscrewing the metal grill on the windows, climbing in, and unlocking the door from the inside.
Best part? This happened again the second night, and we went through the whole process again. This time I was armed with a bottle of prosecco which made the waiting heaps more fun. I was just genuinely impressed by how dedicated and uncomplaining he was – proper Southern service.
We just had breakfast at the House, but it was big enough to be called brunch. There were a few options to choose from, like Lankan breakfast or Continental with eggs any way we chose. I tried both a cheese omelette and their special, the chillie fried eggs. The omelette was alright, but the chillie eggs were very interesting, with lots of crunchy texture created by the cubes of onion and capsicum lining the bulls eye. The bacon they came served with was vastly overcooked but didn't bother us too much.
The star of the show was actually the fresh juices. The first morning it was a lovely passionfruit (easily the best fresh passionfruit juice I've ever had), and the second morning it was papaya and lime, also lovely. There was also some funky kurakkan nut bread, which appeared to be freshly baked and very tasty.
There was also an honesty bar/fridge that was a great idea – a well stocked fridge, from which you're free to take what you wish then pay at the end of your stay.
Spending two nights in Kikili House started to feel like home. Everything you may need is already provided, so it genuinely feels like you've settled in there. It's also very casual and welcoming, so you enjoy walking in and out at your own convenience. I found the service and ambience very cosy and warm, making Kikili the perfect accommodation if you're doing a Galle session. We also hear they host some fun events like sushi nights or cooking lessons, so be sure to check ahead!
Here's a bonus photo of Bob sniffing my sarong for bacon. He's actually much fatter but he knows how to angle himself for the camera.