The River House is an exquisite five-bedroom Sri Lanka boutique villa set on a hillock sloping down to the tranquil Madhu Ganga (river). Spread over seven acres of lush tropical gardens, a short hop from the west coast, it is a haven of style and tranquillity. The main house is perched on a grassy hillside, whilst the broad Madhu Ganga flows along beneath. There are few more entrancing holiday locations in Sri Lanka than this: thoroughly escapist; truly magnificent. The main house consists of four beautiful suites, whilst the fifth is located downhill by the river. Designed by Sri Lankan lifestyle designer Nayantha Fonseka, the villa is inspired by traditional South Asian designs and makes imaginative use of endemic Sri Lankan woods, such as kitul and jak fruit. Antique furniture blends with hand-carved reproductions based on traditional designs. Ample rest areas, inside and out, make use of rattan sofas, easy chairs, and tapestries, carpets and drapes from India, Thailand and Indonesia. This is the ultimate property to finish or start any journey to Sri Lanka and is ideal for a restful break or romantic honeymoon. The River House can be booked per room or as an entire villa.
There are five suites each opening out to a veranda with spectacular river or garden views. Rooms are furnished with king-sized beds and have sitting and dining areas. All rooms have a/c, overhead fans, flat screen TV with satellite channels, DVD player, coffee/tea facilities, mini-bar and safe. The stylish ensuite bathrooms have h/w showers. Suites come with butler’s hatches for guests who do not wish to leave the comfort of their room.
Menik Suite: One of the two master suites – spans the entire upper floor of the villa. This large suite has wide open-air terraces and its own private plunge pool that looks out over the Madhu River.
Walawe Suite: The second master suite, Walawe stands apart from the villa, in the gardens close to the river. It is a sensuous and seductive suite, with a wrap-around veranda and open-air Jacuzzi with overhead waterfall.
Gin Suite: Located in the main villa, this spacious suite has a semi-private garden and a private outdoor Jacuzzi complete with overhead waterfall.
Kirinda and Kala Suites: These two adjacent suites are smaller yet stylishly furnished with king-sized beds and open out to private, enclosed gardens providing much privacy.
There is an in-house library with books and DVDs. Meals are served at the open-sided dining area on the ground floor, in the gardens, or in the privacy of your own suite. Meal times and menus are flexible here, with each dish prepared to your liking. Tasty Sri Lankan and western dishes are on offer. Cocktails and wine is also available. Other facilities include: IDD telephone; Wi-Fi; board games, and room and laundry service. The sprawling gardens with meandering walkways are scattered with ferns, orchids, and plenty of fruit trees that attract numerous birds. The River House is popular amongst bird watchers as well due to the many rare species that can be spotted here. An infinity swimming pool rests in seclusion on another part of the hillside, with its own changing hut. The sun-kissed beaches of Bentota are only 5km away.
Why We Like It
We love the sense of space and privacy wandering down the large gardens to the broad banks of the Madhu River
River House promotes energy and water-saving while also encouraging guests and staff alike to separate their waste. Menus can be accessed via QR codes, and the hotel readily provides information on how guests can be more responsible as travellers.
The River House, as the name suggests, has a riverside setting in Balapitiya on Sri Lanka's west coast. The journey from Colombo’s international airport takes about 2 hours.
Location: Bentota, West Coast
Style: Boutique Hotel
No. of Rooms: 5
Key Features: Riverside setting; quirky rooms with unique, luxurious features