The Riverdale Villas and Restaurant is located adjoining the factory premises of a distillery. The main building which houses the restaurant, sits on a mediocre garden with sparse greenery, reminded us of a typical budget “banquet hall” in Sri Lanka, and kept us guessing on the proximity to (or existence of) the river and the mangroves which is said to border of the property.
The lovely rustic wooden walkway, which is the approach to the villas, the river and the mangroves, (from behind the main building) is built between two warehouses of the distillery. Our villa was spacious and very comfortable with a view of the mangroves. The interior of our villa was modern, with a wall-mounted flat screen TV, artificial-red stained wooden furniture, and plastic potted orchids, in contrast to the rustic wooden walkway and sun-deck outside, which blends in perfectly with the natural surroundings.
While we seemed to be the only resident guests that weekend, our arrival (despite prior reservation AND advance payment) seemed to be a surprise to the front office staff and only the electrician who came to check on a minor connectivity issue on the DVD player in our villa, seemed to have his act together.
The description on the website as an eco-resort is deceptive; the hot water supply to our en-suite bathroom was via an electric geyser rather than solar energy (which is the case with other eco friendly resorts in Sri Lanka), and the kitchen used about two dozen paper napkins cover each in-room-dining-tray sent to us rather than using stainless steel plate covers which other hotels use for in-room-dining. While The Sri Lanka Tourist Board has approved the restaurant as “A” Grade the meals on our paper-napkin-covered-plates were, at best, average.
Perhaps, on a longer holiday, the leaky (but brand new) shower cubical which flooded the entrance to our bathroom, the occasional blare of the river boat-tour guide’s voice over the megaphone and the four different people that your call to the front desk gets transferred to for a simple request for some milk, would have made the stay a tad unpleasant. However, our one-night stay was enjoyable and we have considered going back for another short stay, just for an opportunity for a clandestine nocturnal skinny dip in the private plunge pool!
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- Also Known As:
- Riverdale Eco Resort Sri Lanka/Aluthgama