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.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“A secluded and peaceful retreat.” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The River House

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 3 more sites!
The River House
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Balapitiya
Certificate of Excellence
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
44 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“A secluded and peaceful retreat.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 10, 2014

This small hotel offers outstanding service in a beautiful location, great cooking - and good opportunities for birders!

We were here for two nights in April. Our room was beautiful and very private - a lovely place to unwind after five weeks of travelling. The staff could not have been more friendly - nothing was too much trouble.

The dining area on the terrace gives wonderful views over the river - not that you'll spend much time looking because the food here was the best that we had had throughout our time in Sri Lanka. This chef has real command of sauces and dressings - to say nothing of fish and shellfish.

And for a birder? Well, we saw an Indian Pitta, Asian Paradise Flycatcher and a Black Headed Oriole, amongst a host of others....

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Ama2012374
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RiverHouseBalapitiya, Asia Leisure at The River House, responded to this review, April 15, 2014
Ayubowan!

Greetings from Asia leisure family

Dear Ama,First of foremost we would like to thank you for your stunning review and its reflects how much you have enjoyed your stay with us. Its a honor to receive such awesome compliments with-regards the food and the service. We are thrilled that we have played a major role to make your vacation unforgettable.Hopefully all your recommendations will help for all the birders to choose their dream destination. We look forward to welcome you back to our corner of paradise in near future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

152 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    125
    18
    5
    1
    3
See reviews for
26
94
5
2
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (42)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Sevenoaks
Level Contributor
30 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 17, 2014

Very secluded villa in jungle setting but only a short tuk tuk ride from the beach and coastal road. They have a larger sister hotel on the beach where the facilities are available at no extra charge, so it is possible to experience two very different locations on one stay.

The staff are very friendly and I was very pleased to be taken on a local excursion by the manager as it was quiet that day. The food is fantastic and on my third night they specially cooked me a whole red mullet which they showed me on a platter in the morning fresh from the market prior to cooking. At dinner they had specially decorated the table with the most beautiful flower arrangements which was breathtaking.

My room was amazing and very private. The pool is surrounded by trees with Paradise Flycatchers swooping around. Ideal for people who don't want to get frazzled and like to relax in the shade. Not so good for sun worshippers but then the sister hotel would provide a good sunbathing venue during the day. The lounge is virtually open air and extremely comfortable. The old fashioned caned sun loungers in the pavilion by the pool are just about the most comfortable I've ever tried.

Overall a great choice for the West Coast and away from tourist traffic.

Room Tip: Kirinda Suite is very ample size with private garden and a short hop from the pool which makes pre-b...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank GreenHippoSevenoaks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RiverHouseBalapitiya, Asia Leisure team at The River House, responded to this review, March 19, 2014
Ayubowan!

Greetings from Asia leisure team.

We are extremely happy to see another happy guest review in the world largest travel site and Thank you for sharing your positive feedback during your stay at Hotel river house. We will ensure best of service and attention at all times. As you mentioned we do have three existing properties in southern coast and another property will be opening very sooner. As an extra service we allow our guests to visit the other sister properties and utilize some of the recreational facilities at no extra cost. However guests need to communicate with the management ,in case if they are curious to explore the "southern hospitality" at our sister hotels.

We are thrilled to hear that you have enjoyed the local excursion , farewell dinner and specially the flower arrangement . All your compliments motivate us to ensure that our valued guests are always the priority when it comes to service delivery.

We would like to thank you once again for giving us a golden opportunity to serve you and look forward to welcome you back at our corner of paradise.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cusco, Peru
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 23, 2014 via mobile

I am originally from Sri Lanka and come to SL every 1-2 years. We stumbled upon this place looking for a 2-day trip not too far from Colombo, our base.

The manager, Sudarth and lead Butler, Eril were really really welcoming and friendly. They really took to our 7 month old daughter and made us feel at home.

The place itself is amazing. 5 incredible rooms each with unique features and beautifully designed. Our room had amazing views of the Madu River, a private garden and an outdoor jacuzzi.

The food was outrageously good - some of the best Sri Lankan curries I've had - and I've had A LOT! On our last night Eril and co arranged a lovely candlelit dinner just for us.

All in all - we didn't want to leave. Would throughly recommend this for couples especially but also families and anyone looking for some R&R.

Thank you Sudarth, Eril and everyone else for a really memorable stay!

Nilanga, Joanna and Ava.

Stayed February 2014
Helpful?
Thank NilangaFernando
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RiverHouseBalapitiya, Asia Leisure team at The River House, responded to this review, March 10, 2014
Dear Mr.Fernando,

Ayubowan and warm greetings from Asia Leisure family.

Its such a honor to reply for your lovely comments and We are glad that you have enjoined your stay to the fullest. We, as a team very Proud to hear that our staff have matched your every needs promptly and politely.

All your compliments will be shared with our team and we all look forward to welcome you back to River House in your next visit in Sri Lanka.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Level Contributor
44 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 16, 2014

We arrived at The River House after being on the road for 3 weeks exploring the north central region, east and southern beaches.

This was the perfect end to our road trip. The property was super quiet, calm and gorgeous. Lots trees, water views, birds, flowers etc.,

The rooms/suites were enormous, very well appointed with pretty much everything you need, great service, superb food and excellent service.

The rooms we stayed in had a jacuzzi overlooking the river. The manager, Sudath, went out of his way to make sure we had everything we need. Amazing place.


Tip: When using the main pool, ask the staff to switch off all the lights and just enjoy the night sky and animal sounds around you. Fabulous!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank LocalMachang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RiverHouseBalapitiya, Asia Leisure Team at The River House, responded to this review, February 25, 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you so much for your lovely comments. We are pleased to hear about your good experience with us.

In relation to the service and food we are happy that it was found satisfactory. Thank you for the lovely statements on our staff and food which you had seemed to enjoy to great extents, the fact that you were able to feel so comfortable is indeed a huge honor.

Your special appreciations towards the staff will be conveyed without fail.

Thank you so much for the lovely comment and we look forward to seeing you again at The River House Hotel soon.

Thanking you,
Asia Leisure Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hanoi, Vietnam
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 9, 2014

We had 2 nights at the River House to end our trip to Sri Lanka. The place is amazing. It's on beautiful grounds on the edge of the river but only a few minutes drive from the beach (which you can access through its' sister hotel).

There are only 5 rooms so even when it's full its quite. All of the rooms are beautiful (we had a look at them all).

Food is great. Breakfast is a choice between traditional Sri Lanka and Western. Dishes are huge. Lunch and dinner are a variety of top-class choices, with great wines to go with.

Service is second to none. All the staff members go out of their way to make your stay amazing. They really are a talented bunch, even going out of their way to set up a candle-lit dinner under the stars on my partner's birthday.

We really had an amazing time. Would definitely recommend.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank RSD101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RiverHouseBalapitiya, Asia Leisure Team at The River House, responded to this review, February 16, 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you so much for your lovely comments. We are pleased to hear about your good experience with us.

In relation to the service and food we are happy that it was found satisfactory. Thank you for the lovely statements on our staff and food which you had seemed to enjoy to great extents, the fact that you were able to feel so comfortable is indeed a huge honor.

Your special appreciations towards the staff will be conveyed without fail.

Thank you so much for the lovely comment and we look forward to seeing you again at The River House Hotel soon.

Thanking you,
Asia Leisure Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
richmond uk
Level Contributor
30 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2014

idyllic location, great rooms with fantastic views of the lake or gardens (a couple with own jacuzzi), wonderful vegetarian and prawn/chicken curries, fabulous pool, attentive staff, AND a very helpful manager. I've run out of superlatives! I can't recommend this boutique hotel enough. IF you are a lover of authentic Sri Lankan cuisine, this is the best - THANK YOU CHEF JAGATH!!! And not forgetting Carith and Eril!!!! Our waiters from heaven.

Room Tip: Pick either of the rooms with jacuzzi and lake views. But all the rooms are very nice.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank henryboxer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RiverHouseBalapitiya, Asia Leisure Team at The River House, responded to this review, February 16, 2014
Ayubowan!!!

Thank you for this review. Glad to hear that we were able to make your stay with us, a pleasant one. We intend, in giving our guests the privilege of indulging themselves in nature and will definitely pass on your kind words to the Chef and his team.Thank you again for sharing your experience with us and we hope to see you again soon!

Best Regards,
Team at Asia Leisure
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas, United States
Level Contributor
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 7, 2014

We spent the majority of our honeymoon trip at the River House this year. Having never traveled to Siri Lanka before we were a bit nervous about the trip.. Needless to say it was a wonderful and memorable trip owing in large part to the wonderful and serene calm of the River House.

The River House is a small Boutique Hotel (only 5 rooms total) located on the shore of a Siri Lankan river near the southern coast about 2 Hours south of Colombo - We arrived early and tired from our 10 hour flight from Turkey and early morning train ride from Colombo (We had opted to not use the hotels pick up service from the airport) -The staff of the hotel, led by their experienced Manager Sudath were exceptionally attentive and kind, offering us a delicious juices and a lovely temporary room while our honeymoon suite was prepared (as we had a arrived a few hours earlier than scheduled)

Our stay over the next few days was luxurious and relaxed -this is the perfect spot to get away from it all, with the calming noises of the jungle and airy colonial style suite rooms with Mohagany wood Furniture and a colonial inspired South Asian decor. . Our upstairs suite had a wonderful balcony and in-room plunge pool -along with high airy ceilings (AC and ceiling fan were used in december as it is still warm in this climate)-as for the plunge pool it was not a heated pool but it was very refereshing after a warm day walking and taking in the sights of the nearby town and river tour (highly recommended)

The staff was very attentive, this is a small hotel so one gets to know the staff quite well over your stay..we ate almost exclusively at the River House, sometimes in our room and sometimes downstairs in the open air dining area. The food was great, with both Siri Lankan and Western Options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The entire stay was well priced for a luxury resort, and wifi was available in our suite and hotel..

On our last night -The staff setup a lovely complimentary honeymoon dinner on the balcony, with candles and a delicious meal..

In all highly recommended

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Ahmed K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RiverHouseBalapitiya, Manager at The River House, responded to this review, January 13, 2014
Dear Mr.Ahmed,

Compliments of the season!!!

Thank you so much for taking the time, to write this lovely review. We are glad to hear about your pleasant experience with us. Thank you for selecting The River House and we hope to see you again soon! We wish you both all the very best for a great future!

Warm Regards,
Team at Asia Leisure
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Balapitiya
2.1 mi away
Shinagawa Beach by Asia Leisure
1.7 mi away
Calamansi Cove by Jetwing
Calamansi Cove by Jetwing
#2 of 5 in Balapitiya
4.5 of 5 bubbles 111 reviews
18.3 mi away
Tamarind Hill by Asia Leisure
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
11.2 mi away
Vivanta by Taj - Bentota
3.6 mi away
Heritance Ahungalla
Heritance Ahungalla
#1 of 2 in Ahungalla
4.5 of 5 bubbles 3,365 reviews
13.1 mi away
Aditya
Aditya
#1 of 26 in Hikkaduwa
5.0 of 5 bubbles 574 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to The River House? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about The River House

Property: The River House
Address: No. 70 Uthamanyana Mawatha | Welagedara, Balapitiya 80550, Sri Lanka
Phone Number:
Location: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Balapitiya
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Balapitiya
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The River House 4.5*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The River House is an artistic escape of sheer seclusion on the banks of the Madhu River. Surrounded by tropical wilderness, this is a place of romance and sensuality. Each of the five luxuriant suites speak an imaginative language of design and are a sanctuary unto themselves. Private gardens that encase your suite and jacuzzi's with an overhead waterfall are more to enjoy. The Menik Suite is ranked as one of CNN Travel's '21 Sexy Skinny Dip' spots around the globe for its private plunge pool for two. You will truly treasure how this place will make you feel. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Hotels.com, Priceline, Agoda and Jetsetter so you can book your The River House 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:
The River House Hotel Balapitiya
The River Hotel
The River House Sri Lanka/Balapitiya

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing