We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Know what you're letting yourself in for!” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Rafters Retreat

Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 1 more site!
Save
You added Rafters Retreat to your Saves list
Rafters Retreat
Hilland Group, Kitulgala, Sri Lanka   |  
Hotel amenities
Buckinghamshire, UK
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Know what you're letting yourself in for!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2011

Our travel agent sent us here for one night on a tour of Sri lanka. They didn't mention the lack of hot water which would have put me off. On arrival there was no water at all as I discovered when I used the toilet. Our driver proved more effective at sorting this than the hotel staff did. The staff were pleasant enough, as was the owner, with whom we chatted in the evening. Apparently the rooms have recently been refurbished, which made us wonder what they must have been like. We were expecting a tree-house; what we got was more of a garden shed which seemed to have been put together by a GCSE woodwork class. It might have looked better in sunshine but we had rain. The food was fine, but we cast envious glances at the ordinary looking hotel next door.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

59 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    16
    27
    9
    5
    2
See reviews for
10
24
2
Business
0
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2011

We spent there 4 nights, it was amazing, we stayed in one of the tree-houses, it was right above the river, the view was breathtaking! There was not hot water, but we quickly got used to the refreshing showers :). We had a brand new net over our bed, so no bugs managed to creep into our sheets. The food was very fresh and tasty, and every day there was something different on the menu.
We would definitely recommend Rafters Retreat, however make sure that you negotiate the price because we ended up paying more then the other guests....

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London UK
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2011

We spent two fabulous nights here, in cabins right next to the river. The amenities are rustic but clean and beautifully apapted to the surroundings.
The food was excellent and the guys who run the place are chilled out as well as attentive.
The rafting was both exhilerating and magical as the scenery is absolutely stunning.

If you like sterile bathrooms and 'high class' hotel type box rooms in which to sleep, don't go here! But if you love the sounds and smells of the Sri Lankan countryside combined with village hospitality then stop by and chill out here for a couple of days.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
colombo
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2011

We stopped in for rafting and lunch and also got some day rooms. very rustic environment - a character of its own.

cost was very reasonable. for the rafting deal was 18usd including lunch. rooms were very reasonable for the day as well.

rafting was out of this world and can highly recommend the experience to anyone looking to do this. i would go again in a heartbeat!

lunch was traditional sri lankan food (buffet) and it was quite a delicious selection of vegetarian and 1 non veg.

plan ahead as it takes some time to do - rafting is aprx 2hrs

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Kent
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2010 via mobile

I really really wanted to love this place. I had read the other reviews and thought that people didn't 'get' it. However when we got there I was not so sure. The location is perfect , we went to sleep to the sound of the river and frogs in an open room under mosquito nets with the holes in them mended overlooking the river. The dining 'room ' is also over looking the river . They put our children in one of the drivers' rooms when one of them went into townie melt down over the very large snake in their room and so were kindness themselves. However we were surprised to find a small bin used for pooey loo roll and it's contents chucked outside our room and didn't feel there was much atmosphere. It was difficult to find out when meals were and to find out how to get a drink. On the plus side everyone was very kind even when another child's foot went through the floor of our cabin the rafting was 5 star and we wish we could have gone on the jungle walk but had no time. We got the idea that we could raft as soon as we arrived and had to wait a while , if we had had a better idea of timings etc we would have organised our time better. It is great to have an antidote to expensive hotels but the service and information still needs to be there.

  • Stayed December 2010
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2010

This place got a glowing review in a certain popular backpackers guidebook, but we were not impressed. While the location was great and jungle cabanas are a good idea, the service was poor and some activities badly run. Overall it wasn't a relaxing place to stay and we cut short our visit from three to two nights.

We stayed in a cabin overlooking the powerful rapids on the river. The room was made of bare wood, and the bathroom of stone with a "waterfall" style shower. Both the sleeping area and bathroom opened onto the river and jungle, and you could partially close it with blinds. So while the cabin was fun in the day, at night it was quite creepy and exposed - and we didn't sleep well due to creepy-crawlies.

Service was okay but the supervisor was quite slapdash, not willing to help us when we asked. Despite the claim to do all types of food you could only get Sri Lankan, though this food was okay. The owner did show us around the grounds though, which was quite interesting.

We took a rafting trip which was great fun. We had reassuring helmets and life-vests, but could also mess around and leap into the water. The rapids are not huge but are exciting anyway.

Our bird-watching walk was rubbish. Despite arranging it in advance there was no guide available - but rather than tell us they sent us out anyway. Pointless.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hertfordshire
Top Contributor
98 reviews 98 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2010

The guy who runs this is amazing, all staff were very welcoming, the rafting was great with an experienced leader with a great sense of humour! The absolutely best bit though was the lunch we had, vegetarian curries and as much as we could eat. They arranged transport for us back to our hotel and we felt well looked after and in good hands.
Didn't stay at the hotel, but saw the bungalows hidden in the trees.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to Rafters Retreat? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Rafters Retreat

Address: Hilland Group, Kitulgala, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Sabaragamuwa Province > Kitulgala
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Kitulgala
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 11
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Agoda and Odigeo so you can book your Rafters Retreat reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Rafters Retreat Hotel Kitulgala

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Rafters Retreat, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.