The River House

Location: Southern & Southwest Coast | Sri Lanka

Price guide: £££££ £100-£200 per person per night

The River House is a stylish boutique hotel on the banks of the Madhu Ganga river in Balapitiya, a coastal town near Bentota in south-western Sri Lanka. Created by a fashion designer, it features quirky design elements while remaining tasteful and traditional, and its handful luxurious suites are the perfect base from which to explore the coast, countryside and river scenery on your doorstep.
Perfect forAdventurous couples wanting to a stylish boutique retreat on the southern coast.
In the knowA boat trip on the Madhu Ganga is a fantastic way to experience the serene natural landscapes of this region and the rich diversity of wildlife which inhibits them.

Recommended for...

  • Hideaway
  • Chic Design
  • Setting & Views
  • Peace & Quiet

Hotel Overview

Sense of place

Surrounded by acres of tropical gardens and backing on to a stretch of beach, The River House’s setting encapsulates the serene beauty of rural and coastal Sri Lanka. As the name suggests, it also sits on the banks of the Mahdu Ganga river, a beautiful setting for an afternoon boat trip.

Rooms at River House

The River House was created by a fashion designer, and is stylish and unique while remaining tasteful and traditionally Sri Lankan in its design. In the 5 suites, ceilings are high, walls are a fresh white and furnishings are in beautifully carved dark wood. The walls are decorated with beautiful Sri Lankan fabrics, and unique artworks and design features which are different in each room. The opulent Menik Suite has its own plunge pool and private veranda, while the Gin Suite has a private garden and Jacuzzi.

Food & drink

Eating and drinking here is characterised by flexibility and the attentiveness of the staff, who will see to your every whim. At breakfast, there’s a range of fresh and cooked options, and a choice of Continental or Sri Lankan options – the latter including curried dishes and hoppers (coconut pancakes). At lunch you’ll have the choice of a simple but extensive range of pastas, sandwiches and salads. Dinner, though, is where the food here really comes into its own: rich Sri Lankan curries, alongside pan-Asian and international dishes, whipped up from fresh seafood and locally sourced vegetables.


The hotel has a beautiful pool, next to a shaded pavilion and surrounded by trees, which is a great place to while away an afternoon. The hotel also has access to a nearby beach, which is usually deserted. There’s no spa, but Ayurvedic massage treatments can be enjoyed by arrangement in the privacy of your suite. Guided yoga classes are also available, either in the gardens or on the riverbank.

Activities at River House

The hotel has its own boathouse from which Madhu Ganga boat trips depart. If you’d prefer to explore alone, kayaking is a great way to experience the river at your own pace. The nearby town of Ambalangoda is far less touristy than Hikkaduwa and is a great place to experience rich traditional culture; this area is famous for its elaborate masks and ‘devil dances’, said to drive out spirits which bring illness.

Best time to go

Best time to travel

Good time to travel (but some limitations)

Travel is possible (but it’s not the best time)

Travel is not recommended

  • Jan
  • Feb
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Best time to go

Hotel location

The River House is located approximately 2 hours’ drive down the coast from Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo. 

Stay at The River House on these trips

More places to stay in Southern & Southwest Coast


call us on 020 7337 9010 to start planning your perfect trip

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