5.0
Excellent 230 Reviews
Jetsetter Approved
This Hotel meets our standards
This hotel meets our standards, but we haven't stayed yet

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

Amenities

  •  Babysitting
  •  Bar
  •  Free WiFi
  •  Parking On Site
  •  Pool
  •  Restaurant
  •  Room Service
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
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Overview

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

Reviews

5.0 Excellent 230 Reviews
disappointing
Reviewed 7 days ago

very disappointing! starting with the mosquitos in our suite due to no glass or any other barrier on the bathroom windows, to bad english speaking staff, not to forget bad customer service. We ordered a medicine to the hotel and we had no local currency in cash; they did not accept to pay and charge it on the room. Not helpful at all!

Favourite Hotel EVER!
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We really cannot recommend this hotel enough. We were lucky to stay her for 3 days as part of a tour of Sri Lanka for our honeymoon, and we will definitely be back.

Even though our room wasn't ready on arrival (our flight landed very early), we were given another room to nap in and freshen up.

The hotel in general was peaceful, and not in a very touristy area so felt authentic and very luxurious.

We stayed in the amazing Gin Room with a jacuzzi on the terrace. The room was huge and full of old world charm. The cinnamon oil scenting the room made it feel exotic and decadent. The staff couldn't help enough, and really made the experience special.

We were treated to a candle lit dinner on our final night, with our favourite crab curry (it's so good, ask for it!) and the radish side which Chef prepared specially as I loved it so much!

I honestly can't recommend this hotel enough, I really wished we had stayed here longer. My new husband is still under strict instructions that we're to go back as soon as possible.

Wonderful stay at River house
Reviewed 1 month ago

We stayed at the River house in October for 3 nights and we had an awesome time there. Staff was so super friendly. Especially with Amal, the chef! He cooked the best fish curry we had during our time on Sri Lanka. One morning we asked if we could look over Amals shoulder when he prepared his curry and the staff built up a whole kitchen in the garden to give us a cooking class! Also the manager takes care of his guests 24/7 and is super helpful and friendly.
The hotel is always clean and the surroundings remembered us of being in a paradise. Thank you for everything!
Niklas & Lara

Luxury stay
Reviewed 2 months ago

Amazing... calm and quite place for relaxing. Love the location closs by the madu river and of course you can do madu river safari from here.
Pool is so clean and cute you will never feel like its enough... foods too are tasty and so large rooms with luxury look.
Amazing...
Special thanks to Mr. Hashan front office manager for being so flexible and friendly with each and every guest.
And of course thank you Chef and Sanjeewa.
All the best.

My home away from home
Reviewed 2 months ago

From the moment we reached the hotel until we left, every second was amazing. The smell of Cinamon oil from the moment we went into our room was so wonderful.

My husband and I did not want to leave. This was truly our most relaxing and enjoyable holiday. The staff was excellent. We felt as if we were at home. We stayed in the room upstairs and had some of our meals + tea there.

The Manager Hashan was very helpful even before our arrival and during our whole stay. The assistant manager as well was very friendly and accommodating.

The food was amazing, thank you Chef Amal for everything.

No words can express how enjoyable our stay was due to both the staff and the beautiful rooms and views.

I will definitely be going back and recommending it to everyone I know.

Thank you all for making my trip with my husband unforgettable.

My only recommendation to the hotel would be to make the stairs a little less slippery for future guests- i almost fell 2 times.