Luxury hotel holiday The River House Balapitiya

The River House is a boutique residence nestled in tropical gardens by the River Madhu. A charming hotel, the abundant original features blend easily with more contemporary comforts. Perfect for naturalists, there are plenty of opportunities for bird watching whilst the hotel can organise kayaking and boat trips. Make sure to explore the rainforest and cinnamon plantations or even take a day trip to Galle. A good choice for short stay as part of one of our touring itineraries of Sri Lanka.
Included in your Expressions holiday
  • Accommodation in a double or twin room on bed and breakfast
  • Scheduled flights with Sri Lankan Airlines
  • Transport by private car with driver-guide if part of tour or private car transfers only
  • Concierge service and Expressions Holidays regional helpful hints
  • Optional room, board and flight upgrades. Details on request

Luxury bespoke holidays and tours to The River House, Balapitya

The River House Balapitya is a stylish 4-star boutique villa with priceless river views. A tranquil, intimate ambience, ideal for romance and for small groups of family and friends. You can book individual suites or the entire property.

Facts in brief

Official star rating 4 star boutique

Location In the countryside, 10-minutes' walk from the beach. Approximately 25-miles from Galle.

Annual opening All year

Closest airport Colombo

Distance from airport About 3 hours by car

Hotel facilities and services

Flexible and varied meal service, Swimming pool and pavilion with loungers, In-suite Ayurvedic massage available, 7 acres of riverside estate and tropical gardens, Beach access on the south-west coast.

Chargeable watersports

Non-motorised watersports such as Canoing and Kayaking.

Out and about nearby

Madhu river and lagoon, Boat trips on the river Madhu, Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery, Mask-making in Ambalangoda, Dance school, Cinnamon plantations, Tropical forest and village life, the south-west coast, Local markets.

Sports nearby

Watersports at Bentota, Surfing, Snorkelling and Diving in Hikkaduwa.

Holiday price guide Sample prices are per person based on two people sharing a Garden room for 7 nights

From about

£1,620

Holiday Code EXH977

The prices displayed here are a guide only. Each holiday price will be tailor-made at the time of booking to reflect all actual costs including up-to-date special offers.

Luxury bespoke holidays and tours to The River House, Balapitya

Set in seven acres of riverside estate and tropical gardens, The River House Balapitya offers a relaxing holiday location surrounded by the unspoilt natural beauty of Sri Lanka and handy for exploring the island's south-west scenery and coast. Offering priceless views of the River Madhu, this ex-private residence has been beautifully restored and extended to provide spacious lounges, covered terraces and 5 luxurious suites. The interiors feature original craftsmanship of wood, stone and polished cement, seamlessly blending contemporary comfort and antique splendour. Each suite at The River House has a private garden or terrace and bathrooms that epitomise Sri Lankan chic. The Gin and Menik suites also boast magnificent stone plunge pools or tubs. Four of the suites are in the main house whilst one is in a separate little house in a romantic setting by the riverside. A friendly and professional team of staff serve meals at any time that suits their guests, on the River House veranda or in the privacy of their own suite, wherever they please. An opening in the forest at the edge of the garden reveals an idyllic swimming pool and pavilion with sun loungers, a perfect spot to relax and admire the towering jackfruit and mango trees. The River House can organise boat trips, kayaks and canoes - the river Madhu is a haven for naturalists, bird enthusiasts and anglers and great for watching village life unfold along its banks. There is plenty more to do nearby such as walking in tropical forest and through cinnamon plantations, visiting Galle, a turtle hatchery and the mask-makers of Ambalangoda. The River House can also provide access to beachfront facilities on the coast, which is only a few miles away.

Room descriptions

The River House has 5 bedrooms, all with Air conditioning and ceiling fan, Mini-fridge, TV/DVD, En-suite bathroom.

Garden Room Kala Suite or Kirinda Suite. The bathroom opens onto the private garden.
Gin Suite A large suite. Has a semi-private garden and river view, a private outdoor shower and plunge tub with jets.
Menik Suite or Walawe Suite Spacious, romantic master suites. Private plunge shower/but with jets, lounge terrace and views.

Holiday price guide Sample prices are per person based on two people sharing a Garden room for 7 nights

From about

£1,620

Holiday Code EXH977

The prices displayed here are a guide only. Each holiday price will be tailor-made at the time of booking to reflect all actual costs including up-to-date special offers.

Luxury bespoke holidays and tours to The River House, Balapitya

The journey and how you get there

For a holiday to The River House in Sri Lanka, our clients fly to Colombo, usually with Sri Lankan Airways on a direct flight from London Heathrow (or with Emirates from other UK airports via Dubai). This hotel is 2 hours and 15 minutes' drive from Colombo airport and is either a stay in its own right, in which case you will have a car transfer to the hotel and back, or it is stayed at as a coast extension at the end of a tailor-made touring holiday, in which case you will approach the hotel from a different location.

Additional information

Minimum stays: A minimum stay of 2 nights is required. 3 nights from 20 December to 20 January.

Other information: You can book all 5 suite rooms (maximum 10 adult guests and 2 children) and enjoy the entire villa and grounds for your party's exclusive use.

Holiday price guide Sample prices are per person based on two people sharing a Garden room for 7 nights

From about

£1,620

Holiday Code EXH977

The prices displayed here are a guide only. Each holiday price will be tailor-made at the time of booking to reflect all actual costs including up-to-date special offers.

Luxury bespoke holidays and tours to The River House, Balapitya

About South west coast

An Expressions tailor-made holiday to the south-west coast of Sri Lanka incorporates a popular holiday destination for tropical sun, sea and sand. It offers wonderful beaches and a variety of hotels and guests houses to choose from, with the added attraction of having local life and interesting places to see and things to do nearby. What’s more, facing directly west to the Indian Ocean, visitors are treated to the most magical sunset views. This 100-kilometre coastline between the cities of Colombo and Galle is blessed with miles of palm-fringed golden beaches interspersed with harbours, inlets, mangrove-lined rivers and lagoons. Bentota and Beruwela are the primary locations for restaurants and nightclubs which are mostly found in hotels, and also offer a range of watersports along with Hikkaduwa. Hotels of every size and quality vie with private villas, coconut plantations and fishing villages for a space on the beachfront and those priceless Indian Ocean views. We have selected a range of hotels on Sri Lanka's south-west coast which are ideally located to explore the highlights of the region, including luxurious boutique hotels and resorts such as Saman Villas and Serene Pavilions.

Highlights of Bentota, Wadduwa & the south west coast

In addition to relaxing on the beach, there are plenty of other things to see and do in this region. In and around Wadduwa: Fishing life along the coast; Long beach walks; Kalutara – famous for its historic Bo tree, grown from a sapling of the Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura, and Gangatilaka Vihara Temple - the only Buddhist shrine in the world which is hollow; Kalu Ganga (river) and Bolgoda lake; Richmond Castle – a 19th century spice plantation mansion, built for a regional Governor resembling an Indian Maharaja’s palace design, now open to the public. In and around Bentota/Beruwela: Watersports at Bentota/Beruwela on the Bentota river (there is a well-equipped centre offering a range of motorised and non-motorised water sports, including diving); Bentota mangrove river boat trip; Long beach walks; Brief Garden – home and landscaped gardens created by Bevis Bawa, the artist brother of Geoffrey Bawa. Behind a bamboo hedge lie walled gardens, bowers, lawns, sculptures and a Japanese garden; Lunuganga Estate – the home of celebrated Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa; Aluthgama – shops and market; Galapita Vihara Buddhist Temple - 12th century, 5 km upriver. Inland: Singharaja Rainforest; Plantations, farming and craft villages. Between Bentota and Galle: Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery; Buddhist Temples – e.g. Kumarakanda Vihara; Balapitiya –boat trips on Madu Ganga river and lagoon – birdlife, water monitors, islands; Mask carving and painting in Ambalangoda; Moonstone quarry in Meetyagoda; Beach walks; Hikkaduwa - tourist shops and restaurants, lower budget; Fishing trips, Snorkelling and scuba diving, waterskiing, kayaking, windsurfing and sailing – at Hikkaduwa (12 km from Galle). Wherever you stay on the south-west coast, day excursions can be made to historic Galle, Buddhist temples, Sinharaja Rainforest, Ambalangoda mask factory, the Kosgoda turtle hatchery. The water sports facilities at Bentota/Beruwela (or Hikkaduwa) are within an hour’s drive from any of the hotels.

Cultural highlights of Bentota, Wadduwa & the south west coast

In the small towns and villages that straddle the main trunk road and railway line, Buddhist temples sit alongside churches and mosques whilst livelihoods are gained through a mix of tourism, trading and fishing, farming and skilled crafts. It is fascinating to stroll along the beach and watch the fishermen preparing to launch their brightly-painted boats, later seeing them return with their catch. A venture into the hinterland reveals a world of lush plantations, tropical forests and lagoons. The rural villages are often known for a particular skill such as furniture or mask-making and weaving using dyed reed. Wadduwa, Bentota, Beruwela and the stretch of coast between Bentota and Galle all offer golden sand beaches, small fishing communities and watersports. Further inland, the Sinharaja rainforest is the only large undisturbed rainforest left in Sri Lanka where over 800 of the island’s endemic species of flora and fauna can be found.

Climate of Bentota, Wadduwa & the south west coast

The south-western part of Sri Lanka is the wet tropical zone. It is warm and humid all year round. Sea breezes make the coast a little cooler. The sunny, dry season is between November and March with average temperatures at around 26C. The south-west monsoon brings intermittent torrential rain, winds and rough seas, normally in May, June and July, with temperatures of up to 32C.There is also changeable weather during September and October. Humidity fluctuates between 70% in the day and 90% at night, which can be oppressive in built up areas.

Travel around the region

We include private transfers with all our holidays to Sri Lanka, and a personal chauffer with all our touring holidays. Driving Distances: Colombo International Airport to Wadduwa – 1.5 to 2 hours (56 km), Colombo International Airport to Bentota – 2 ½ to 3 hours (90 km), Colombo International Airport to Galle – 3 hours (150 km), Wadduwa to Kandy – 4 hours, Bentota to Kandy – 4.5 hours (180 km), Colombo to Wadduwa – 45 mins to 1 hour (30 km).

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