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“Good hotel in a superb location” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Kithulgala Rest House

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Kithulgala Rest House
Kitulgala, Sri Lanka   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 4 Kitulgala B&B and Inns
Winchester
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“Good hotel in a superb location”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2012

The location, overlooking the river to the forest beyond is what really makes this hotel. We arrived early on a Sunday morning and by mid-day the river was packed with locals enjoying themselves, washing, swimming, playing drums and creating lots of noise and atmosphere.
We took the canoe ferry across the river to the forest reserve, which is a birdwatcher's paradise, with the rare Serendib Scops Owl amongst the species we saw.
The food was good with lots of choice, room was a bit shabby in places, but who cares about that at such a great place. We'd go back anytime!

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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58 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
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English first
Panadura, Sri Lanka
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2012

Stayed in an air conditioned room at the Kithulgala Rest house on a Saturday night. Booked the rooms in advance through Ceylon Hotels Corporation that owns the inn. No online reservation facility's offered yet so had to visit the CHC office at the Galle Face Hotel to make the booking.

The rest house is about 37km down the A7 (Avissawella-Hatton-Nuwara Eliya) highway. When travelling from Colombo, be ready to turn off to the right after the 36th kilometre post since there are no prominent signboards giving directions to the rest house; which makes finding the turn-off a bit difficult. All the signs we found seemed to be hidden from plain view.

The rest house is by the side of the Kelani river. Across the river is a forest reserve that's said to be a bird watcher's paradise. It is safe to have a dip in the river - but watch out for the water level. You can also experience crossing the river in an oruwa - a long, narrow canoe manned by a single paddler and built to carry about 6 standing people. For a dip or boat ride, the best time is between 8am-9:30am as it gets very crowded (too crowded) after that.

The rooms were very spacious and had amenities such as cable TV, mini-bar (which, for some reason, wasn’t turned on in our room), full-sized clothes cupboard, and private relaxing area at the entrance to the room. The bed was comfortable. No safe to keep valuables. The bathroom was a disappointment. A water heater was available for hot water. But the washbasin taps had areas of rust on them and so did the washbasin. Also in our room there were big vents in the bathroom wall for ventillation. Unless the bathroom door's closed, it'll give a view of the inside of the room to anyone from outside - something to definitely watch out for. We got to know that the inn will soon be closed for sometime for renovation so hopefully these problems would get fixed.

Food was good. The meals offer sufficient variety as well. Service was also very good.

The Kithulgala Rest House is not a five-star getaway. But it definitely is a very affordable, scenic and comfortable place to lodge in Kithulgala.

Room Tip: Only 4 rooms at the Kithulgala Rest House are air-conditioned,
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2012

We had a marvellous time here. The rooms were clean and good, the food was nice and the price was very reasonable. We also enjoyed a super session of white water rafting and body rafting which was such a buzz. Definitely a place I'd like to visit again some day.

Room Tip: Ask for one near the water.
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2012

I've read the other reviews here, and I don't recognise this place from them - perhaps the reviewers had forgotten which country they were visiting. This is an absolute classic place to stay - like stepping back in time. The large bar and restaurant serves as a lovely place to mill about and drink in the tremendous view across the river to the forest beyond. All the fixtures and fittings are period piece and perfect - cane chairs, woodblock floors, ceiling fans, teak roof. The rooms were very comfortable in my opinion - they are mostly not air conditioned but have very efficient ceiling fans and doors opening out onto the wide river terrace with the same great view over the river.

Food is buffet style, and lunch is popular for non-resident groups, but dinner is relaxed and uncrowded. Staff were exceptionally helpful, even in this country where good service seemed the norm. Highly recommended.

Room Tip: Rooms from 1 to 14 are the ones with the excellent river views, although ceiling fans rather than ai...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2012 via mobile

Great location and nice airy restaurant. Rooms a little tired but staff try hard.

  • Stayed February 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Melbourne, Australia
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2012 via mobile

The rest house is located on the river bank and was the site of the filming of the movie "bridge over the river Kwai". The rooms without air-conditioning are on the lower level and have a great view over the river but are in need of updating/better maintenance (e.g. The cupboard doors in my room were kept closed by a wad of serviettes). Hot water was limited to a trickle and there were constant blackouts while we were there. The air-conditioned rooms don't have as good a view but might be better inside (unsure).

  • Stayed January 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2011

Our tour company recommended this rest house to break the journey between Dambulla and Bentota. It was a great choice geographically. The rest house (which is State run) is superbly located at the junction of two beautiful rivers and is in a cooler hilly area, surrounded by tea and rubber plantations.
The building are quite beautiful and are set in a large and attractive garden. This place could so easily be a magical stay - the vast lobby and restaurant overlook the river and are full of colonial charm. The rooms have could be wonderful as they also have marvellous views. Sadly, the potential is completely unfulfilled. Instead the facilites are run down, damp and mildewed, the menu is mostly unavailable (although the one rice dish on offer was quite good) and the mosquitos run rampant at night. What a waste!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Kithulgala Rest House

Address: Kitulgala, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Sabaragamuwa Province > Kitulgala
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Kitulgala
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 19
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Also Known As:
Kithulgala Rest House Hotel Kitulgala

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