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Our Story

Nestled on the banks of the Rathgama Lake is the Anverally family estate, home to about 30 different types of trees mostly endemic to Sri Lanka. These trees are as old as the colonial style ‘Walauwa’ (or Sri Lankan ancestral villa) on the land. Not only do these towering giants provide shade and character to the beautiful homestead, but also set the scene for a love-story with nature, that originated on a coconut plantation 130 years ago.

The Anverally family bought the property and began to restore and renovate the 200-year old bungalow to provide an ideal holiday home for the family.

Mohamed “Mo” Anverally is a fourth-generation tea entrepreneur and Niloo is the founder of the leading retail fashion brand in the island. Their two children have grown up with the happiest of memories on fun filled Sundays, that fill the house and permeate every room.

Inspired by Geoffrey Bawa, Sri Lanka’s best-known – and the family’s favourite – architect, Mo and Niloo share a passion for art, architecture, and antiques. These elements are bountifully represented in the warm, welcoming Walauwa. The estate also lends itself to opportunities for Mo to indulge in his favourite past-time – fishing, and a short-walk takes Niloo and the children down to the beach. Mo River House is truly a peaceful, private retreat which is guaranteed to provide a relaxing and rejuvenating experience.

Each thoughtfully selected piece of furniture, antique and object d’art tells a story and has a reason for being there. The pieces are sourced and hand-picked by Mo and Niloo during family travels on fun-filled Sundays at antique markets over the years.

These include light fixtures in the indoor dining area which were discovered in the bustling bazaars of Turkey and hand-carried to Sri Lanka. A unique wooden cow that was transported to MRH from Jaffna graces the dining room. The carpets are sourced by the owners, from Iran. The ‘pettagama’, or chest, an iconic piece of old Sinhalese furniture, is an authentic, traditional antique, dating back to nearly 400 years ago. Well-known artist, Laki Senanayake has added to the beauty and serenity of the bungalow with his signature-style of art, sculpture, and landscaped gardens. A rich colonial heritage is reflected through the house. In addition to all this, a hand-crafted statute of Lord Buddha from Bhutan was gifted to Mo and Niloo by two tsunami survivors from the Netherlands in gratitude for the aid and support extended to them.

Niloo’s flair for colour and detail can be observed in the tastefully furnished rooms, and Mo’s penchant for luxurious comfort blends beautifully in this idyllic setting. Here is a marriage of style and excellence – an experience that any visitor will cherish.

The locals maintain strong bonds of gratitude and friendship with the family. Recognizing this, the meals served at MRH are obtained from sustainable sources, and include organic vegetables and eggs from local farms and fresh fruits from local vendors.


…we want you to live and breathe the essence of Mo River House,

…to share our journey of restoration and revival,

Tell your friends about our land, our people, and our home under the Sri Lankan sun.