Cruising the placid waters of the Benthara River, Yathra Houseboat by Jetwing is a pioneering hospitality venture by Sri Lanka’s premier hospitality brand Jetwing Hotels and MMBL-Pathfinder.
Inspired by the kettuvallam, the wooden-hulled, thatched houseboats ferrying tourists along the rivers of Kerala, Yathra shares its concept with “padda” boats used in olden Sri Lanka to transport goods along the country’s river system.
Designed by renowned environmental architect Sunela Jayawardene and building on Jetwing’s commitment to eco-luxury, the houseboat provides elegant accommodation and modern amenities in its two cabins, replete with a rustic teak, bamboo and timber ambiance and en-suite bathrooms complete with a rain shower and bathtub.
Aboard Yathra Houseboat by Jetwing, you will find spacious air-conditioned living quarters and an open-air lounge, which invites you to let your hair down and watch the serene, tranquil environment of the Benthara River and its stunning aquatic birdlife.
The deck, comfortably seating six to eight guests, also serves as your picturesque dining space to enjoy a starlit dinner, with meals prepared using the finest ingredients including freshly caught prawns and crabs, or afternoon tea under a glorious sunset.
Adding to the appeal of the houseboat, it is located just three kilometres away from the beaches of the Bentota Tourist Resort, while Lunuganga – Geoffrey Bawa’s iconic riverside home – is just around the corner. Once the planned relocation of Yathra Houseboat to Horawala is realised, tours will take nature lovers all the way up to Avittewa and beyond, a journey that covers approximately 18 km from Bentota.
Despite the setbacks brought on by the global pandemic, Jetwing and MMBL-Pathfinder remain optimistic about the future of tourism in the island and the enchanting allure of this riverine hospitality experience, which is currently popular with domestic travellers, particularly honeymooners.
With the easing of travel restrictions and the pick-up of global travel, the associates aboard this unique home of true Sri Lankan hospitality look forward to welcoming travellers from across the world to the serene backwaters of the Benthara River.