Saturday, April 25, 2009

Arugam Bay Hotels and Restaurants - Travel Guide

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Arugambay is full of places to stay. None of them are super posh but they're usually cheap. LKR 700 was the cheapest rate I was quoted and LKR 5000 was the most expensive.

To find a place to stay, we just walked along the beach south from Stardust, walking into beach front guest houses and hotels and checking them out.

Where to stay (in beach order):
Stardust - The most expensive. LKR 5,000 for a "Luxury" room to LKR 2,000 for a beach cabana. The beach cabanas were cramped and basic. We didn't check out the rooms as they are in the main building and placed further away from the beach, which is really not what we wanted. +94 63 224 8191.

Galaxy Lounge - Where we ended up staying. All cabanas. LKR 1,500-2,000 per cabana. Big, airy toilets. Probably the nicest we saw there. +94 63 224 8415.

Ranga's Beach Hut - LKR 1,500. Cabanas with shared showers and tiny toilets. Ranga's visitors are very loyal and keep returning. However, we didn't find the accomodation to be that great. His food is another story. +94 63 224 8202.

Watermusic - LKR 1,300. All cabanas - better than Ranga's/Stardust. +94 63 567 1431.

Aloha Cabanas - LKR 1,500. All cabanas with en-suite bathrooms. Better than Ranga's and Stardust but not as good as Galaxy. +94 63 224 8379.

Where to eat:
Food in Arugambay hotels is relatively expensive compared to the room rates. It's why you see the tourists eating at the kottu joints which line the road.

At Galaxy Lounge, meals were about LKR 450-600 per head. The food there was good: they had some innovative dishes like Coconut Roti Pizzas and more basic meals like beef kebabs with rice salad, all of which were done quite well. When we asked, they made us an excellent crab curry.

Ranga's Beach Hut has amazing food, done Jaffna style. Ranga looks like the average Yogi - grey hair, beard, bare chest, belly and sarong. The seating is common and it's a lot of fun to see who you can talk to.

There is a set menu and you sit down and eat. The first night we went, he had string hoppers, poori and paratha with curries and prawns. It's all you can eat except the prawns. We paid LKR 450 per head and were stuffed.

We also went to Gecko. Gecko had hamburgers (LKR 540) on its menu so we ordered those. The waiter asked whether we wanted tomatoes, onions and lettuce on the burger. The burger came and it was good but nothing special and didn't come close to our Holiday Inn burger.

When the bill came, there were 2 salads on it, LKR 250 each, which we hadn't ordered. The waiter told me that the onion, lettuce and tomato ON THE BURGER is considered SALAD and they charge separately for it. I hate it when people nickel and dime you with tiny fees and don't tell you in advance. Just charge 800 bucks for the fucking burger already.

We went to Stardust for dinner one night because we'd heard raves about the food. There were only two other tables taken - both foreigners. After waiting for about 15 min, in full sight of the manageress, we called a waiter over to take our order. He came over, said someone else would take the order and disappeared. We waited 15 min more, in which time the manageress had chatted to both tables but continued to ignore us. Finally, we got up and left. Api kalu nisada? Is it 'cos we was black?

(Click here for Arugambay Travel Guide Part 1 for how to get there.)

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  1. best pizza's and lobsters at sun n surf - saman and his wife minna run it - real nice people. hop across, have the chocolate cake and ice cream at gecko and then to siam view - fred's place for beer. oh, hakeems for breakfast and pancakes are super!

  2. You just cannot go past Beach Hut for the best value food in A Bay. Of course if you want to eat big prawns that are caught that morn or crab(divine) and lobster you will be spending money but keep it simple and you will be happy with what you get!

  3. I think the Tourism Ministry should do something about the way in which some hotel employees discriminate Sri Lankans. How dare they treat us like this?

  4. You know I heard that discrimination towards locals is raising its ugly head once more now that the tourists are flocking back

  5. Thanks for all your comments. We were looking for places to stay at Arugam Bay on the net and was hard to understand which one to choose. Thanks to all your comments now we at least have an idea on what we are looking at.