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The River House

Balapitiya, Bentota, Sri Lanka


  • A boat trip on the Madhu Ganga is a must and can be arranged by the hotel (there's a private boathouse). Expect to see water monitors, kingfishers, eagles and monkeys, as well as the Sri Lankans who live on some of the sixty-four islets going about their daily business. You also visit a working Buddhist temple and a small cinnamon garden (a little touristy, but interesting if you haven't seen it cultivated before)
  • Take a kayak on to the river and explore on your own
  • Explore the seven acre garden with a bird-watching book - many colourful species are prolific here and you could forego a trip to the rainforests!
  • Nearby Ambalangoda is great for antique-hunting, and you can visit a workshop to see skilled craftspeople creating masks. There is also a centre for Sri Lankan dancing
  • Spend the day on the lovely beach at Bentota, where you can swim, surf or sunbathe
  • If you prefer more secluded sands, head to the hotel's near-private beach in a small nearby cove
  • Have a soothing Ayurvedic massage in your suite
  • Relax by the beautiful pool, or in the shade of the pagoda

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Bird watching
  • Boat trips
  • Kayak/canoeing
  • Plantlife/flora
  • Swimming
  • Traditional cultures
  • Wildlife viewing
Save to favouritesPrintMailThe River HouseSri Lankan fashion designer Taru certainly had a knack for choosing the best waterside location when she created The River House. Set on the banks of the broad Madhu Ganga river, this slick and stylish hotel lies amidst 7 acres of tropical gardens, which are alive with colourful birds and chattering monkeys. With beautiful views and space to breathe, it's stunningly secluded. The 5 huge [r:SL037:suites] are uber-generous and mix contemporary style with Sri Lankan touches. Forget shabby-chic, this is grown-up design on a grand scale; you'll find individual slate plunge pools, vaulted ceilings, enormous bathrooms with polished concrete floors and kingsize beds covered with intricate Indian bedspreads. This is more like a luxury private villa than a hotel, and it's as peaceful as it gets.

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