#39 Arugam Surf Resort

#39 Hillton Hotel (sign)# 39 Arugam Surf Resort, formerly know as #39 Hillton Hotel,  is situated between #38 Cafe del Mar and
#40 Hello Madam, on the sea side of the main road.

#39 Arugam Surf Resort has its own web site:
www.arugambay.lk
Formerly known as “The Hilton” the extra “L” may have been added to avoid confusion or international  law suits from the somewhat greater chain of Hotels.
The owner is Mr. Rahim, an ambitious former rotti shop manager from nearby PottuVille.

Mr. Rahim worked himself up in life very well, making the best of any chance offered to him.
This may have been with the help of some good business partners.
The result is a fine, strong concrete building facing sideways towards the open ocean.
This design feature saved the structure from serious damage in 2004.
A fine court-yard restaurant exists, which has been popular with many NGO’s.
A further notable feature are the popular eco tours the(former)  Hillton offers.
These canoe trips explore and explain interesting mangrove shores of the PottuVille lagoon.
Compliments to Mercy Corps, Mr. Rahim also is the President of the local Tourist Association and he managed to remain friendly and in close contact with all other organizations.

Below is an article published recently in “Explore Sri Lanka magazine:

Arugambay Surf Resort: Feel The Nature

As we step into this beachside guesthouse, we are greeted by a friendly “hello”. Cabanas, complete with thatched roofs, stand on one side, while we are led into an open restaurant overlooking the Eastern coast, where surfers climb the rising waves. We’re at Arugambay Surf Resort, where the cheerful owners are ever ready to welcome their guests with open arms inviting them not only to just feel the nature of Arugam Bay, but also to be part of their family.

By Madhushala Senaratne | Photography by Mahesh Bandara

Located just minutes away from the Arugam Point, regarded as one of the best surf points in Sri Lanka, the guesthouse has been designed very much in keeping with the nature of the area. Having been born as a small shop that served the weary fisherfolk of Arugam Bay, the Surf Resort traces its roots to the 1970s.

“My father started this,” says M H A Raheem, its Managing Director, recalling the early days. Once a simple fishing village, Raheem’s father who had come to Arugam Bay in the 1970s made a living by selling rotti to the fishermen. As time went, a few tourists were also seen roaming the area, and as more people sought his rotti, several beachside huts were set up for visitors to dwell in.

His father had then received help from a lady who was working at the Hilton in Sydney, says Raheem, adding that she trained him to prepare dishes to suit the food styles of the Westerners. The name Arugambay Hilton was also coined during this time. Raheem later joined his father, helping him develop the guesthouse, and currently works with his four brothers at the hotel. A few others have also joined the staff of the Surf Resort.

With time, the business gathered momentum, and the name was changed to Arugambay Hillton and new facilities were introduced. Later, it was renamed Arugambay Surf Resort and currently it provides 12 guesthouses including cabanas and luxury rooms. Both Eastern and Western menus are served at the beachside bar, and guests can sway in the breeze while they lie down on the outdoor hammocks. Mexican dishes are a newly introduced specialty of the guesthouse.

It is located in close proximity to a range of attractions in and around Arugam Bay, such as the Magul Maha Viharaya and the Muhudu Maha Viharaya. For the wildlife enthusiast, the Kumana National Park is just an hour’s drive from the guesthouse, while for those who seek some thrill and adventure, there are the sand dunes of Panama and the waves of Arugam Bay to surf on. What’s more is that Arugam Bay Surf Resort operates safari and taxi services and will guide you with all the necessary information.

The Kumana National Park is just an hour’s drive from the guesthouse, while for those who seek some thrill and adventure, there are the sand dunes of Panama and the waves of Arugam Bay to surf on

Raheem believes that in order to grow the business it’s vital to maintain cordial relationships with each visitor. With tourists giving tips as to how to cook and what to cook, there’s much Raheem and his team look for. Recalling one particular incident he relates how an Italian couple taught them to bake a type of pizza and even started taking orders from guests!

As for the future, Raheem says that they will continue to develop the guesthouse, while building on the already established foundations of trust and care. “When you’re at Surf Resort you don’t need to wait for somebody to assist you, we just do,” says Raheem.

Arugambay Surf Resort, Arugam Bay, Pottuvil, (+94 63 224 8189),

surf7gbay@gmail.com

#39 Hillton Hotel (establishment)

13 Responses to “#39 Arugam Surf Resort”


  • Hilton Administrator:
    Hi to all, this summer you can enjoy alot with our hotel. we have arranged different young Girls from All island. so enjoy guys, Cheers.
    Regards
    Admin and HR org

  • Asha Perera
    To everyone who is visiting Arugambay… be aware that is a place full of robbery! I assume its mostly done by the Hotel itself hence be careful of your valuables (money, jewellery, cameras, mobile phones etc).
    I am a Sri Lankan by national and was in Arugambay for Holiday during the 11 – 14th April and got robbed on the 14th morning (the day we were to depart). I would not at all recommend the hotel we stay viz Arugam Surf Resort! Watchout Surfers!!!!

  • My girlfriend and I stayed at the ASR in August/September this year, and all i can say is it was a wonderful experience.
    Where else can you live right next to the beach in a nice room for less than 20 dollars a night for two people!?? Match that with friendly, attentive service, a huge restaurant menu, internet service, surf on the doorstep and the coolest Tuk Tuk driver in all of arugam, and the ASR is the perfect choice. They cooked special things we wanted, let us try different rooms, and even helped my girlfriend a lot when she had a stomach infection.
    Of course there are cultural differences, but this is what makes the place special, getting away from what you know back home.
    Just head to ASR, relax, enjoy the laid back feeling of the accommodation and have the most relaxing holiday of your life.
    To Raheem, Fairoos, Haroon, Abdul (x2) and the rest of the team, Bettina and I would like to thank you all for an amazing time, and hope to see you all again soon! Abdul, you make the best Coconut Sambol in Arugam 😉
    Have a safe winter guys!

  • allays excellent food from best cook in Arugambay.

  • We stay in Hilton 4days before christmas 2009. Rahim is very friendly, have a good prices and best food around the Arugam… I hope we will turn back.
    Marek and Petra

  • Regarding the above-

    I checked into the Hillton for a couple of nights, and ended up staying there for 4 weeks!
    Yes, it is a family run business, but I gather this is common in ABay, with Raheem fronting the 5 brothers that are involved with the now named Arugam Bay Surf Resort. Mr Raheem was always charming, very good at his job, and frankly any establishment that doesn’t have a charming and charismatic front man will not do so well!
    During my stay I had most of my meals there, it was easy, convenient and some of the best food in ABay! On the occasions we ate ‘out’, the only comment was how they’d missed us being there, and we never got back to packed bags or being homeless! Raheem BBQed a fish we’d bought off of a fisherman, he did it amazingly and for no charge! I strongly recommend that if he’s doing a BBQ they’re well worth turning up for….
    Re the things written above- Raheem was elected to be President of the local tourist office, he didn’t even cast a vote- but I guess his 5 brothers (youngest brother is studying) would have voted for him. He has never run a Rotty shop in Pottuvil- but his father did, and worked very hard to give his children good educations and the best chances in life.
    There was a comment- which has been removed- regarding the theft of $20,000. I had valuables in my cabana, and nothing went missing, also what kind of a pratt travels with that amount of cash? Doh!
    So to sum up…. we- my 9 year old son and I- LOVED the Hillton/Arugam Bay Surf Resort, and highly recommend it, we’re going to go back for next summer, and not waste any time going anywhere else!
    Nicci and Fin Moores

  • My Dear friend

    Hillton Always get somany hig hquality guests and they are enjoying very much infront of the Beach restarauent. we do no know who is Sandra and he or she has badly written about one of the good fellow like Ranga from the Beach Hut.Sometimes it is very hard make happy each and everyody. God bless Sandra

  • hai mr: raheem why there say like that ! raheem you can replay to fucking sandra! why you dint replay? hai mis sandra raheem try fuck you ! its human reja………………… dont tell to publick ok it efact he is a market you dont to like mis sandra ! i never seen any girl in italy

    pls change your mind & agin come our srilankan we will expact your arrival
    bye mis:sandra& mr:raheem

  • Sandra ( Italy)

    This Raheem is not the Presideent of Sri Lanka. He is a silly, crude, filthy looking Beach boy in that Muslim village. He was vey nasty to me and insulted me when he tried to be funny with me. I assaulted and reportd the matter to the local police. Beware of this monster!

  • The owner of the Arugam Bay Hillton Hotel is Mr. Rahim.
    The young man is a well spoken and very ambitious local, who has continuously worked himself up from a simple rotti shop operator to hotel owner and self appointed chairman of the newly formed Arugam Bay Tourist Association.
    He wishes to be known as the “President” of the Bay and stresses that Arugam Bay is a Muslim village.
    He is abroad quite a lot these days trying to promote the Bay and/ or his hotel.

    Mr. ‘Ram’ Sooriya ownes and operates (again!) his popular hotel opposite the Hillton.
    He is a Tamil of long, good standing  in the Bay and very popular.
    The two ‘Guru’ brothers are subject to the well selling book: “Crocodile Rock” by Claudia Ackermann.
    For a time, Ram set his sights to emigrate to Hawaii, to join his brother, and the Sooriya Hotel was leased to the President’s family.

  • Martin from Switzerland

    … but who is Ram? Is it the stupid owner of Hilton?

  • The same happened to me, Martin!
    It is silly to notice just how shortsighted these local guys are.
    Now the Hillton owners also own or run the (formerly) very popular ‘Sooriya‘ at Arugam Bay.
    I used to love Ram‘s food and wouldn‘t mind staying and eating there – but I think I changed my mind now.

    John from England

  • Martin from Switzerland

    Dont go to the HILTON HOTEL in Arugam Bay!!! They tell you, you have to eat there the breakfast, the lunch, and the dinner! If not, they cancel your room! And if you want to eat there, the food is not good, and expensive! Just stupid and unfriendly owner and his stuff

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