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The River House
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Reviews (207)
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All reviewsplunge poolmain buildingsri lankasister hotelfruit batsmagical placeboat triphotel boatspacious balconypeaceful settinga short tuk tuk rideour honeymoonmassive bathroombumpy roadstaff were exceptionalminute drive to the beachstyled beautifully
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164 - 169 of 207 reviews
Reviewed 7 May 2011

The River House is a very special holiday retreat. It is in the middle of a green hilly area that overlooks the river. It's very lush and the house is only quite small (5 or 6 rooms I think). When we arrived we were warmly greeted and shown to our room. It was enormous! Stylishly decorated but very in keeping with the traditional Sri Lankan colonial style. The bathroom was equally as large and we had splurged on a jacuzzi room which was a private outdoor space and a lovely indulgence. You are able to kayak on the river or take various trips. The pool, though samll, is perfectly adequate. As ever, in Sri Lanka, the staff were delightful - nothing too much trouble. The food was a little disappointing. BE WARNED: The hotel is 20km south of Bentota!

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank luandddeano
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 February 2011

My wife and i have travelled quite a lot, but the river house stands out by far as the most personalised and dedicated service we ever recieved. The staff are amazing, never saying 'no' to any desire of yours. (they could even organize a fireworks display for us overnight!!!! need I say more!!)
River House is not meant for every traveller. if you are looking for class, luxury, tranquillity, good food, great staff, a little bit of advanture then this is the place for you. From taking long boat rides to just relaxing in your private plunge pool with a book in one hand and your cocktail in the other, this place does it in style.
A special mention to the manager who juggles so many balls to ensure you have a perfect holiday.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank davidandsherrie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 January 2011

I travel to Lanka regularly so am familiar with standards throughout the island. Usually stay at the Galle Face or Park Street on arrival. My partner and I had a week after travelling in India and booked the river house through the manager at park st. The same hotel group.
The trip from Colombo is straightforward, though the cut off to the hotel is a dirt track and our driver found it difficult to negotiate.
The villa is beautiful in structure and setting. Perfect position overlooking the Sri Lankan backwaters.
Ok some words of caution.
If you decide to eat here, (and it's difficult not to as it's isolated) note that there is no chef.
You have to pre order meals during the afternoon for dinner. I guess if you decide to take the family out early then you have to order lunch and dinner at breakfast.
Our first dinner was a disaster. Mine was cold and half cooked. I asked for the chef, and a guy in a tracksuit came out and offered to reheat my plate. Meanwhile my partners meal was cold but he didn't seem to understand the custom of eating together.
That was the 'chef'
First time I have remarked on this site

Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
Thank oban_bluenose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 January 2011

I stayed 2 nights here in January. I stayed in the Kirinda room which was absolutely gorgeous (although the small walled garden off the room wasn't somewhere I would have sat out in especially given the stunning river views from the main terrace).

The main wow factor for me was the river views. So peaceful sitting looking out across the gardens and river. The hotel can organise boat trips up the river on their own boat which definitely recommend although do take lots of change as you feel you are expected to leave donations at the temples you visit and buy cinnamon at cinnamon island - none of which I had an issue with but as I didn't have any small value notes on me it ended up quite expensive! The boat trip cost me 4500 (although I was told this was a special price for residents and the actual price should have been 6000) - I was travelling alone so not sure if this is a one off regardless of how many of you go

The staff were really polite, friendly and helpful and the food was amazing. You are given complimentary tea and biscuits on the terrace in the afternoon while you choose from that evenings menu which was a nice touch. The hotel also has wifi which worked out as about 80p for an hours access

Really enjoyed my stay and was a nice place to switch off and relax.

I found it quite hard to find the hotels website - the hotel is now owned by anilana and the river house can be found through their main website

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled solo
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Thank glasgow77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2011

This was our first stay in Sri Lanka and we shall never forget it. Everything was perfect: this exclusive place is in a beautiful spot, deep in the nature and very confidential (only 4 suites with stunning views, esp the master suite with its private pool on the upper terrace! A must);
The service is also perfect with great attention to everything without being "too much".
Last but not least, the food is absolutely fantastic. This is by far the best food we have tasted during our stay in Sri Lanka (and we have stayed in many different exclusive places! ). So if you wanna have an idyllic stay on your tour, book here without any doubts, you shall never forget it!
So

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled with family
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Thank srilankatour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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