Nestled amidst the lush greenery of the wet zone rainforest is Palmstone, a six-bedroom hotel near Kitulgala, and one of the most luxurious in the area. Famous for the water-based adventure sports it offers, and for being the stunning backdrop of the award winning movie ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai’, Kitulgala offers both relaxation and adventure for those who seek the pleasures of both worlds. The hotel is close to Belilena, which was once inhabited by a lost generation of Sri Lanka 12,000 years ago.
Inspired by contemporary design, Palmstone Retreat is open-plan: the reception area follows onto a lobby then a dining area, where you can hear the sound of a waterfall nearby and look out over the turquoise-blue pool and manicured garden.
The six-bedrooms are located walking distance away from the main building, immersed in the untamed wilderness.
There are two types of rooms at Palmstone Retreat – Nelum and Araliya. Both rooms are expansive and complete with elegant furnishings, including a king sized bed, a vanity table that doubles up as a desk and a TV. Both the Nelum and Araliya can be converted to family rooms by adding extra beds to include two children when required. The bathrooms are spacious, with twin washbasins and rain showers with hot and cold water. There is also complimentary Wi-Fi.
The Nelum Suites are furnished with a Jacuzzi, whereas the Araliya Suites have a steam room and a private plunge pool. All rooms have a separate seating area where guests can relax and enjoy the secluded surroundings. Smoking is prohibited inside the rooms, but guests can smoke in the public area.
In terms of dining, guests can select dishes from the menu or, if there’s something particular you want, you can speak to the chef and make a special request. Guests take their meal at the main dining area, at the deck near the waterfall, or in the privacy of their rooms.
The other facilities at Palmstone include a large swimming pool, an entertainment room with a pool table, TV and DVD player, and a comfy sofa to lounge about on and play some games. Guests are free to bring their own liquor if required as the hotel does not offer liquor.
Why we like it
Kitulgala has few accommodation options so to find a contemporary, minimalist retreat hidden away is quite a surprise
Palmstone Retreat is a small luxury hotel surrounded by lush wilderness in central Kitulgala, 95 kms from Colombo. The hotel is located 7 kms from the main road in Kitulgala. The access road is a winding gravel path, so it takes around 45 minutes to get to the hotel.