The hotel trade in Sri Lanka is an odd business. Down south, cookie cutter hotels with blue pools and blah buffets next to a sliver of beach are full every weekend while one in gorgeous low country tea land, right next to a waterfall in an intensively green, landscaped environment languishes, empty.
Bopath Ella Rock Chalets Hotel is in Kuruwita, just about 2 hours from Colombo before Ratnapura. Tip: The hotel can be reached by the main Kuruwita Bopath Ella Road or a road before that where the hotel sign actually is. But don't take the road where the hotel sign is - it's awful. Take the main Kuruwita Bopath Ella Road to the hotel and your car will thank you.
The hotel consists of 4 chalets in a small garden. The rooms are spacious, air conditioned and nicely decorated with brand new bathrooms. The food is an excellent example of Sri Lankan "restaurant" cooking - the mixed fried rice (~ LKR 400) and the chop suey (~ LKR 500 - in Sri Lanka, chop suey means a bed of steamed, white rice on top of which a Chinese-esque preparation of vegetables and meat/fish is layered) are among the best in their respective classes. The portions are huge too and each dish feeds two easily.
But the most important thing here is the proximity to nature. Even in the room, you can hear the waterfall and the babbling (I swear, it babbles!) of the little river (ela) running through the garden. Each room also has a verandah opening onto the garden, which is intensively green. There's ferns and flowers and grasses and crotons and bushes. It is as if a lunatic gardener ran amok, spewing plants everywhere until he exploded in a green (but pretty) haze.
Negativity consists of the following: Only a sliver of the waterfall can be seen. The toilet in our room needed some plumbing attention - I had to press a couple of times to flush. The restaurant, which is in another building far from the rooms, should be avoided as it is kind of dodgy and awful looking: only eat in the rooms or verandah.
In the end, what I remember from my visit is sitting on the verandah with a chop suey and beer, admiring the garden while, in the background, the waterfall roars and the brooks tinkles (I can't use babble twice, right?). That memorable image is why I recommend this place to anyone ready for something different.
Hotel Name: Bopath Fall Rock Chalets
Address: Kuruwita, Ratnapura, Sri Lanka
Phone: +94 45 226 2726
Rates (all inclusive): LKR 5,500 for half board and LKR 3,300 per room on a Room Only Basis. I recommend Room Only because you can order anything you want from the menu which is pretty cheap: I ended up spending less than 5,000 for 2 people for room and two meals)
More Photos: Bopath Ella Falls Rock Chalets on Picasaweb