Excellent 243 Reviews
Jetsetter Approved
This Hotel meets our standards
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What We Love

  • Huge suites start at 797 square feet
  • Choose to dine anywhere on the grounds
  • Suites are decorated with artworks
  • Kayaks, motorboats and tuk-tuks are all available to hire at reception

What To Know

  • Free WiFi
  • The library is stocked with books and DVDs
  • In-room massages are available (on request)
  • Children are welcome, but this is more of a couples hideaway


  •  Babysitting
  •  Bar
  •  Free WiFi
  •  Parking On Site
  •  Pool
  •  Restaurant
  •  Room Service
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Intimate riverside retreat in southwestern Sri Lanka with huge suites, a secluded pool and an eat-where-you-like dining concept

The Lowdown

Set on seven acres of tropical garden on the edge of the Madu River on Sri Lanka’s southwest coast, the River House is an intimate five-suite hideaway. The suites are huge, starting at 797 square feet, and they feature vaulted ceilings, Sri Lankan artworks and kingsize beds topped with delicate Indian fabrics. The cavernous bathrooms have concrete floors and sizable showers. Cool off in your private pool in the Plunge Pool Suite (Menik Suite), which also features stunning views of the Madu River from a private balcony. The open-plan restaurant serves Sri Lankan specialties, but the beauty of this property’s laid-back vibe is that you can choose where you want to dine within the grounds; pick a nook below a palm tree or a spot by the river, and a candle- or lantern-lit table will be waiting for you. There’s no spa on-site, but in-room treatments are available, and the hotel can provide kayaks, motorboats or tuk-tuks to explore the area.

In the Area

The 400-year-old Fort Galle, built by the Portuguese and then fortified by the Dutch, is about an hour’s drive away. Take a daytrip to Udawalawe National Park to spot elephants, wild buffalo, deer and leopards; the variety of wildlife rivals the savannah reserves of Africa. A little farther afield, Yala National Park is home to the world’s highest concentration of leopards. A visit to the Handunugoda Tea Factory, a traditional low country facility that produces some of the best silver tips, is not to be missed. The Madu River is a designated wetlands area and a top spot for birdwatching. Take an early morning boat trip for the best viewing opportunities.

How to Get There

The River House
No. 70 Uththamagnana Mawatha
Balapitiya, 80550 Sri Lanka


5.0 Excellent 243 Reviews
One of the best places I've ever stayed
Reviewed 6 days ago

I don't write many reviews however I had to review this wonderful place as it really did offer astounding service, value for money and comfort. If you're travelling as a couple we would recommend the plunge pool room where you can enjoy as much naked seclusion as your heart desires, however even if this room is not available on your chosen dates there is so much to offer and nothing is ever too much trouble. The guys put on incredible last dinner for us and created a cake in honour of our forthcoming baby! Definitely get the seafood platter, the jumbo prawns are sensational!

Beautiful Seclusion
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We stayed at the River House 3 nights, beautiful boutique hotel with only five rooms, we stayed in the plunge pool room which the morning sun came directly into with wonderful views.

The food was superb and the chef would personally come and see us every meal to ask if we enjoyed the Sri Lankan cooking. It was my wife’s Birthday and the staff produced flowers and a cake which was a lovely surprise.

Beautiful hotel with warm friendly staff and will definitely stay there again on future trips.

Stunning hidden gem
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We came here for our honeymoon in July and were treated like royalty from the minute we arrived right until the minute we left. Stunning, idyllic setting tucked away from the main streets, right on the Madu River, complete tranquility listening to the Sri Lankan wildlife. We had the room with a jacuzzi - which was completely worth the small extra cost and made the whole experience extra luxurious. The staff were brilliantly attentive but never overbearing.

We took advantage of the river cruise, stopping off at one of the island temples as well as the cinnamon forests. Throughout the rest of our time here we also had a couples massage, yoga by the pool, and the best bit - going to the local markets with the chef to purchase ingredients for a cooking lesson later that day.

The food here was incredible. The breakfast curries were amazing, but we also had the option of an English breakfast too. The eating of meals while looking out across the river will stay in our memories forever. The amazing staff also arranged a candle lit meal by the pool which was stunning, along with the chef making us a special ‘Happy Honeymoon’ cake.

All these little gestures from the wonderful staff just made our honeymoon an unforgettable experience and I would love to come back again ASAP!

This was our honeymoon destination
Reviewed 1 month ago

I had already visited the place with a group of friends last year in 2017 and it was managed by a different travel company back then.
Asia leisure have done a marvellous job with improving an already great boutique hotel.
I immediately booked the hotel for the 1st hotel in our honeymoon tour and we both immensely enjoyed it.
I love the view from the plunge pool suite(menik) and my wife loved the private pool experience.
Everything was very clean and the bed was huge.
The service was impeccable and the staff were very attentive to our very need.
We had all our meals in the room at our own leisure and it was good.
We did not use the general pool but it looked nice.
The scenary in general vicinity is very stunning and we loved walking near the lake.
Overall 5/5
I recommend this hotel for a couple experience rather than a group or family trip.

Reviewed 2 months ago

Lovely quiet hotel in substantial beautifully kept gardens overlooking river. Room - we had Gin - was great - and huge! Staff perfect - could not do enough for us.

Took hotels guided boat trip down the river - superb.

Would not hesitate to return. Highly recommended.