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“Great Atmosphere and a peaceful place to chill”

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Surf 'n Sun Guesthouse & Restaurant
Reviewed 30 May 2014

Stayed at Surf `n Sun in May, absolutely loved it. Great value for price, the staff is really friendly and helpful, the owner is there to help you and make your stay as cozy as possible.
We havent had the chance to try out the kitchen, but everything else was just great and would recommend the place definitely.
Its conveniently located, in the center near to all bars and restaurants, so one can walk freely without any 3-wheeler hassle.
Best part is the chill out area, decorated with taste, just inviting you to sit and lay back with a book in your hands.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Staša M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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72 - 78 of 126 reviews

Reviewed 22 May 2014

I am writing this in the context of a female travelling alone. I have to say that the cabanas are fine (nothing particularly special but clean enough and everything works) and the setting of the guesthouse is lovely. Great chill out area and ambience.

However, I found both the manager of the place and his brother (who organises the tours really unhelpful and quite frankly rude). I arrived in Arugam bay after a horrendous journey from Colombo - on a night bus (only female, standing all the way 10 hours) and asked the manager about safer more comfortable ways to get back to Colombo. He could not have been more unhelpful. When I realised that I may have to leave a night early in order to get a night bus, he said that I would have to pay for that nights accommodation because I had already booked it. Even though this was 3 nights away and there was every chance he was going to fill the room. I then went over the road to Gecko's and explained my situation to them about wanting to get back to Colombo. The owner was extremely helpful, went through all the options with me and arranged for a tuk tuk to take me to Pottuvil to get a bus ticket etc. it was quite extraordinary the difference in the level of help given that I was not even staying at Gecko's.

On my second day I asked about tours to the national park. The brother of the owner who arranges the tour said there was a tour leaving that morning at 9 with a group of sri lankan holiday makers. he said that the sri lankan holiday makers said i could join them for a price of 3000 rupees (they were all paying 2500) when i asked him why he explained that they were doing me a favour by letting me come on their tour, even though I was doing them a favour by reducing the cost! When I discussed it with the others (the sri lankan holiday makers) they actually said they were happy for us to split it 4 ways (2500 each) so I happily went on the tour. He failed to tell me that leaving at 9 was a bad time to see the animals and that a better time would be the evening or the early morning. I know I could have done my own research but I guess i thought the guides would be the ones to tell you when is best to go. I only discovered this on the way round. As such we saw no elephants or any of the other big animals you may expect to see (and what you do see in the evenings). At the end of the tour, he dropped me off last and when I gave him the 2500 rupees (and I explained that we had agreed to split the 10,000 equally between the four of us), he said that in fact I owed him 3000 because the others had paid him 7000. I explained that when I spoke to them they were happy with me paying 2500 but he said this was not agreed. Now it may have been the case that they did giving him 7000 and not 7500 but I could not help feeling ripped off both by the money aspect but also the timing of the game drive. 500 is not a lot of money but it just left a bad taste in mouth, along with my other experiences of the place. My advice to them would be if someone wants to do a game drive, advise them on the best times to do it!

I spent most of my time at Gecko's after this where I found the atmosphere and staff much more genial and accommodating. Surf n sun is fine accommodation but the owners are charmless and unhelpful and do not seem to care much about providing you with a good experience (re: tour) just wanting to get your money. so if you are a woman on your own I strongly recommend that you do not stay here.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled solo
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6  Thank 724Suki1982
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 May 2014 via mobile

Amazing place . You will feel the vibe when you walk in there .We stayed there for 4 nights . Very unique designed hotel.
The owner Saman is a very nice & helpful guy who explained us the history of Arugambay. Him and his family lived all their life in Arugambay and have experienced every single thing happened to this small surf village during the civil war and the tsunami. His story was mind blowing . If he has time pls go have a friendly chat with him , even tho he come across very quite guy. You will not regret it!
The hotel situated in the center of Arugambay . Easy to get to surf point ,shops and cafes.If you need to surf board go speak to Nuwan at surf and sun tour . I only pay 1000 rupee for full day !
Highly recommend this place .
Definitely stay there on my next visit.

Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
Thank Djj77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 January 2014

the place is very nice , in the wild , very in the wild staying there we saw monkeys, big one just fluing on our room, the only thing we arrive here in january this period seems to be rainy and often cluody, price was cheap but rooms and cabanas are in a nice area the entrance restaurant and so very beautiful, cleaning men very active owners little less but very good

Stayed: January 2014
Thank toncelli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 January 2014

Surf 'n' Sun is family run by father and son. The cabanas are in beautiful gardens and were very well kept. There is a huge 'chill out' space, wifi, a fish pond - with pet turtle, beautiful garden lights and just generally lovely. Cabanas are clean, spacious, each have big outdoor areas with patio, seating and hammocks. We got a really good off season bargain when we stayed. Food was good but the menu was limited whilst we were there due to low season.

Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank Danny276
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 December 2013

Stayed here in the off season as had come to photograph birds at the Kumana Wildlife Reserve. I had an excellent tour around Kumana in the owner's jeep. He was most knowledgeable and helpful and I had a most enjoyable time. The guest house has a number of cabanas with their own little garden around each cabana. It is the most attractive guest house that I managed to find in Arugam Bay - thoughtfully planned and attractive. The rooms were clean, service was excellent and the staff welcoming, most helpful and obliging. Would have no hesitations in recommending this to anyone looking for a good place to stay and who wants a good tour of the wildlife park.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled solo
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Thank glyn j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 November 2013

Surf & sun is one of the beautiful place in A bay. garden restaurant is amazing with trees, lights & good atmosphere. and of cause, cool music :) staff is friendly and the food is excellent. i use to go hang around in surf & sun when i'm in Arugmabay. i just like it there very much :D

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled solo
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Thank surfchami
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Surf 'n Sun Guesthouse & Restaurant

Address: Mainstreet, Arugam Bay, Pottuvil, Arugam Bay 32500, Sri Lanka
Region: Sri Lanka > Eastern Province > Arugam Bay > Pottuvil
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 24 Speciality Lodging in Pottuvil
Price Range: £24 - £30 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 6
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Also Known As:
Surf 'n Sun Guesthouse & Restaurant Sri Lanka/Pottuvil

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