The Glenrock, hidden on the banks of the River Belihuloya in the southern fringes of Sri Lanka’s hill country, is one of the finest nature lodges in Sri Lanka and its escapist setting carries ever-growing appeal as Sri Lanka’s hill country grows in popularity. Here is a place which offers serenity in stirring scenery, hospitable staff who create an informal yet efficient ambience and a host of hill-country activities on the doorstep. This is very much the undiscovered hill country, yet it is more accessible than most of the region for Colombo and the west and south coast beaches which makes it a particularly attractive choice if you only have so much time to spare. Glenrock is a simple yet comfortable spot which absorbs into the beauty of its landscape. Sleep soundly with the river, and streams, gurgling in the background, watch the birdlife and the monkeys at play and give your mind and body a natural therapy. This is the sort of place part of you would prefer to keep secret.
The Garden Suite on the ground floor, the Mountain View Suite on the first floor and a Penthouse Suite (525 sq ft),reached by the same covered outdoor staircase, lie in a four-storey building with a BBQ area at the summit. Each has a private verandah with mountain views, which are often at their best in the hours after dawn. World’s End lies imposingly in the distant, high above The Glenrock. Spacious rooms have king-sized beds, wrap-round sofas, bathroom with shower and single Jacuzzi, and kitchen area with fridge and microwave.The Penthouse Suite has a double Jacuzzi and free mini-fridge items. Big picture windows allow full benefits from the breathtaking setting.
The Sathi, Sankappa and Samadhi rooms (380 sq ft) feature an open deck, for relaxing and bird watching that leads into an exquisitely furnished bedroom with king size bed and wood-panelled walls. The river flowing just below the cabana will immerse yourself in a truly hillside experience.
The River Villa (380 sq ft) has a double Jacuzzi and all the luxurious amenities blended with nature and where the downstairs have open deck with roof, private river area and even private garden facing the narrow, rocky river.
Two Jungle Suites (620 sq ft) have a feel midway between the eco cabanas and the modern suites: more spacious than the eco cabanas with bigger picture windows. There is also a River Top Suite, also 620 sq ft.
All rooms are ensuite with a/c and ceiling fan, and have satellite TV with DVD player.
Good-quality Sri Lankan and international meals can be taken in the rustic Peela Side restaurant, which invites in the breeze and keeps you close to nature. You can opt for a rooftop BBQ under the night sky or outside your cabana by the river. There is a Spa by the river and you can also arrange a relaxing massage in your own room. A small, rock-lined freshwater pool offers bathing at its most natural. Try Fish Therapy, or go fishing, stroll through nearby villages or choose from a range of hikes and jeep trips – passing some of Sri Lanka’s finest viewpoints en route. The trail to Rabbit Rock which sits below Horton Plains National Park is a particular joy for outdoor enthusiasts. Few places give you a sense of Sri Lanka’s hill country as much as The Glenrock.
Why we like it
A wonderful natural setting provides an experience of being at one with nature in the foothills of the southern highlands.
The Glenrock is close to the sleepy little town of Belihuloya. All the hill country attractions are within day-trip distance (Haputale is about 1.5 hours to the north-east) and both Colombo and the south coast beaches are about 3.5 hours away.
Location: Belihul Oya, Hill Country
Style: Eco Retreat
No. of Rooms: 8
Key Features: Riverside setting, hill country atmosphere, natural features, eco commitment