The River House holds many secrets, but nothing can detract from its magnificence, and inescapable, signature on Sri Lanka’s niche tourism sector.

The River House is a stunning destination experience, one that offers both privacy and luxury while never detracting from its expansive natural environment. The River House nestles quietly in a secluded inland wilderness just off our island’s popular southern coastline. This is a boutique property that seamlessly integrates its environment into the quality of living
it offers its visitors. With 5 luxuriously appointed suites that vary in size but not grandeur, amazing landscaping across 13 acres of lush countryside and panoramic views of the Madhu Ganga, The River House has something special to it, a style and substance that time cannot detract from. It is a stand-alone destination that Sri Lanka can be proud of.

25. The poolside in unison with its surrounding

Each property has a story and The River House is no different. The property was once part of the Taru Villas portfolio and rumour has it that design guru Nayantara Fonseka (Taru) bought 13 acres of bare wilderness, from which she began the labour of love that The River House
is the result of. Extensive landscaping, a stunning building with wide open spaces, sizeable semi-detached rooms and tasteful art all have survived the ravages of time to keep this property relevant. Through the lines it passed, and Taru’s magnificent legacy eventually became a valued member of the Asia Leisure portfolio of hotels. Accolades continue to pour in, and most recently The Menik Suite of the River House is ranked as one of CNN Travels “Sexy Skinny Dip Spots” around the globe. Asia Leisure continue to expand their offering and attract high end travellers. Off season lower rates for Sri Lankan residents, ensure there is opportunity for discerning Sri Lankans to immerse themselves in the combination of nature and luxury that lies at the heart of The River House and its ethos.

Taru’s lasting legacy! There is no detracting from the impact the original owner/ designer has made on this property. It remains stylish and timeless.

The Art and Objet d’Art! All over walls and open spaces stand signature artworks and unique Sri Lankan artefacts, from an old gramophone to Suni Nirmalingam’s abstract pieces, The River House has plenty to keep the art enthusiast busy.

14. Gin - garden engulfed by wilderness

The veranda’s and garden terraces! Wherever your room at The River House, open space is just a glance away. Most rooms have outdoor courtyards and private terraces, so guests can enjoy privacy outdoors as well as in.

The view from the dining room! Stunning panoramic views of the lake while enjoying a salubrious breakfast, is a sight not to be missed. The environment! It is all about the green at The River House. Nature enthusiasts, bird watches and simply people like me who need a good dose of fresh air will find rest and refreshment among The River House’s sizeable open plains.

It’s an eclectic menu that lacks identity somewhat but gains ground in personalised service. The chef is accommodating and the service is warm, which give guests the ability to decide their preference of spice and flavour. One can’t go wrong with Sri Lankan fare and I recommend the roti for breakfast but otherwise, we look forward to seeing management take a more hands on approach to the F & B offer, so that it reflects the standard of this premier destination more. Certainly the staff are old timers and delighted to accommodate, which is the Sri Lankan way.

If walks through blissful raw nature at its finest doesn’t do it for you, there’s always the mod cons of cable TV, dim lighting and powerful air conditioning. But where’s the fun in that? I would rather go for a boat ride through the mangroves or hop over to Asia Leisure’s nearby beach property for a quick sea swim. I suppose I could end my day with a pre-ordered massage in my room, if need be to pass the time. This is the perfect destination to do as much or as little as one pleases, the options are plentiful.

16. Kala Suite - imaginatively vibrant

Location, location, location indeed! While appearing to be in a deserted undeveloped nook inland, the fact is that The River House is actually 10 minutes from the beach in Balapitiya, only 30 minutes or so each way to the more popular attractions of Bentota or surf life of Hikkaduwa. The River House enjoys perfect positioning on Sri Lanka’s southern coastline.

Tel: 091 4 382473
Address: No 70,
Uthamanyana Mawatha, Welagedara, Balapitiya 80550