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“One of the best places I have stayed in!!!!”
Review of Royal River Resort

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Royal River Resort
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Kitulgala
Bengaluru, India
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“One of the best places I have stayed in!!!!”
Reviewed December 1, 2011

This has to be one of the best resorts I have stayed in... Its located on a waterfall with outstanding views of the forest and falls... The food was mediocre but the service (forgot the managers name) was great...
It was tough to book the place and even tougher to locate the place.. but at the end it was worth.... Unfortunately we could stay only one day before heading to Hikaduwwa..

A must for anyone planning a romantic trip to Sri Lanka and has transport to travel till Kitulgala

Room Tip: Ask for a room on the ground floor facing the river
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank drifters1981
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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75 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
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English first
Swansea
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed September 28, 2011

We’d decided to break the long journey from Galle to Nuwara Eliya, and Kitulgala, with its opportunity for white water rafting (for which I’d highly recommend Rafter’s Retreat) and scenic walks, seemed to be a good spot. I looked at quite a few places on the internet and The Royal River Resort (RRR) appeared to be an interesting and unusual option.

Booking was a bit of a problem. There was no email address online and my phone call from the UK didn’t go all that well. Fortunately, the manager of our first hotel (Mr de Silva at the Unawatuna Beach Resort) stepped in and made the arrangements on our behalf. I’ve since found out that the RRR is owned by the same people as the Plantation Hotel (in fact, that’s where we settled our bill) and, if arranging one’s own holiday, that’s the best place to contact. I can’t recall the exact price, but it wasn’t excessive.

The RRR won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. Although it’s called a resort, staying there feels far more like being a guest at someone’s private home. First impressions were mixed. Our driver, Dilhan, hated the 6.5km of pot-holed estate road and the journey from the main road is a slow one. My wife cursed me for bringing her to the back of beyond and the children weren’t happy that everything was damp and there was a musty smell. To be fair, it had rained heavily for 24 hours, the water level at the falls was right up to (and even into) the restaurant and humidity in the area must be almost 100% for most of the year. (Although there was a damp atmosphere, I never felt the place was unclean at all.)

However, by the end of the second day everyone admitted that the place had grown on them and staying there was an experience not to be missed (other guests we spoke to had similar feelings). When the sun broke through, it certainly was magical there – dappled sunlight, thousands of butterflies and birds and great to swim in the cool, fresh water pool, which was perfectly clean during our stay. Walking in the surrounding area was also lovely, especially early morning and at dusk. I asked to be dropped off on the drive up on the 2nd day about 3km from the hotel and the road is flanked with flowers, ferns and waterfalls. Above the hotel, it was easy and safe to stroll through tea plantations (although I did manage to pick up a leech – easily disposed of by one of the waiters).

There are just 4 double rooms (the 2 we occupied were spacious and reasonably furnished), a pool area and a combined bar/lounge/dining area. Two of the rooms have a long balcony that looks out over the river, with French windows from one opening onto the pool. The others (which we only saw from the outside) are above the communal rooms of the main building. I’d recommend asking for the riverside rooms if possible for the view of spectacular birds, butterflies and, a few times, the biggest water monitor (2.5m+) I’ve ever seen.

The restaurant was a most pleasant surprise. (Thankfully so, as I don’t think we’d have persuaded Dilhan to drive us up and down the estate road in the dark.). Sanath, the chef, prepared excellent dinners on both nights, including preparing food off-menu for the children. Breakfasts were also top quality and all the staff were attentive, friendly and helpful.

In summary, the Royal River Resort is not going to be to everyone’s taste, but we wouldn’t have missed magical and adventurous experience and we’d certainly go back.

Room Tip: Would recommend pool/river side rooms. Bit noisy if river in flood, but great location.
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank roberr31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed April 24, 2011

The resort is set in a beautiful natural setting, adjacent to a rushing creek framed by rainforest. The resort buildings themselves are quite visibly in need of maintenance and no longer live up to their billing as a luxury eco-resort. Our room – whilst relatively spacious, attractively furnished and with a nice view of the river and forest – was extremely musty, with mildew on the canopy of the fourposter bed. The bathroom drains were blocked, resulting the next morning in a flooded bathroom when the shower was turned on. The pool water was visibly dirty (probably algae) and not enticing at all. One redeeming feature was the friendly service and delicious cooking of the manager/chef Sanath. The narrow road out to the resort is also in poor condition – our driver didn’t want to take his car so we travelled by three-wheeler – about a half hour trip. So be prepared for this if you do stay there. Apparently it is sometimes used by bird watching enthusiasts as Kithugala is something of a bird watching centre. We did enjoy a very nice walk from the resort up a small road through a tea estate and looking out onto a forested valley and distant hills.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DrGravos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hertford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
275 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
Reviewed January 8, 2010

After a long and arduous drive down from Kandy, and then up through the rubber plantation for what seemed like an eternity we finally arrived at this wonderful hotel. It was definitely the highlight of our trip to Sri Lanka. I felt my whole being rejuvenate as I stood by the infinity pool in complete tranquility. The staff were friendly and helpful, the food was fantastic and the room was cool, comfortable and spacious. The lizard that lived in the rafters added to the ambience and the sound of the water running down the river was soothing and meditative. I wish I'd booked in for longer and one day will go back with a library of good books, my walking shoes and a better camera!

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank GerbilQueen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed October 22, 2008

Kithulgala turned out for me the best part of my trip to Sri Lanka!!And to think i nearly skipped it!!

Firstly the drive to Kithulgala from Ella was absolutely gorgeous with greenery and nature as far as the eyes could see.

I also had a very capable and excellent driver-Sampath Ekanayaka(udayasampath02@gmail.com) who reccomended i visit here n boy was i glad i did!!

The drive to the resort itself-a 6km drive through a winding road of tall rubber trees and coconut palms already set the mood!

The resort itself(i took the River view room)was in a white washed villa,with 1 side opening to the infinity pool and the other side opening to the rapids!!

The room was done in all white,with a lovely 4-poster bed-some aspects of the room could be updated to make it a complete 5 star experience-like the bathrooms,whilst very clean wasnt fancy or little touches-which can be ignored.

The room even had a fireplace !!

And what i loved most was sitting out on the rattan chairs,with a book and a coffee,listening to the soothing sounds of the water gushing over the rocks...and to my good fortune it rained heavily that afternoon which filled the river beautifully and enhanced the ambience many fold!!!

I only wish i had taken a few more books,many dvds(the room comes with a dvd player),etc!And stayed at least 2-3 nights.

The site for rafting on the Kelani is only 15-20 minutes away.

The food that the chef whipped up for me was delicious.

At the time,i was the only guest there and felt very safe.

  • Liked — The Very Romantic Feel To It
  • Disliked — Just some finer touches missing to make it absolutely 5 star but these were very very minor!
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank HappyTravelling71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Royal River Resort

Property: Royal River Resort
Address: Eduru Ella | Eduru, Kitulgala 71720, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Sabaragamuwa Province > Kitulgala
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Kitulgala
Number of rooms: 5
Reservation Options:
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