(Updated Sep 2010)Many hotels in Sri Lanka have evocative names that they do not live up to - "beach" hotels with minimal, unswimmable beaches, "resorts" which barely meet the criteria of a single star and "eco" lodges which are eco only because the plumbing doesn't work.
Rock View Hotel (Motel?), near the Sinharaja rainforest, is not guilty of this. The view from each room (on the upper floor, at least) is breathtaking. Standing as it does, on the edge of a tea mountain (mountain of tea?), the view from the balcony is of the entire valley below and of the hilly range above it, encompassing paddy fields, pine forests, mountains and mist.
The food, which can be brought to the room and eaten on the balcony, was good, basic and cheap - a single portion of fried rice serves 2 and costs 220 net. For some reason, the township of Kalawana only has chicken, so for those of you who like red meat, you should take your own. No liquor or beer is served, so for those of you who like to drink, you should also bring your own.
The rooms and bathrooms are basic but new. We had problems with the towels and linen which were a little old and worn (and mismatched: a problem for those of you with aesthetic sensibilities) and the pillows, which had seen better days many, many years ago.
The service was really good with the hotel staff bending over backward to please us. The full board rate is LKR 5,500 nett and Room Only is LKR 3,300 nett. R/O is what I recommend - you can order whatever food you want on the menu which is cheap. The entire bill for 2 meals and 1 night of lodging came to LKR 4,800, which, taking into account the experience of eating fried rice and drinking a rum and coke on the balcony, is totally worth it.
Hotel Name: Rock View Motel (Hotel?), Sinharaja
Address: Kalawana, Ratnapura, Sri Lanka
Phone: +94 45 567 7990 / 777 714024
Rates (all inclusive): The full board double rate - Sep 2010 - is LKR 4,950 and Room Only is LKR 2,200 (Room Only is recommended - order from the pretty good menu)
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