#50 Siam View Hotel -SVH-

#50 SVH (sign)#50 Siam View Hotel or: -SVH- should exist somewhere between #49 Pereras and #51 HangLoose.

However no record of this place can be found anywhere, at least locally.
Neither Mercy Corps or their sponsored Tourist Association Web sites, or indeed any Governmental Departments seem to list this establishment.
Does #50 SVH actually exist?
Have you been at #50?
Does anyone know this little place?
If so, please give details or write an introduction!

Yes!
Hotel Lanka lists the #50 SVH on their own web site:
http://hotellanka.lk/37-46-73/siam_view_hotel_(svh).html

Siam View Hotel (svh)

Authentic Thai cuisine available at #50 SVH

Want a change from Sri Lankan curry?

As close to Thailand as you can get on Sri Lanka: The Siam View Hotel. Authentic Thai Cuisine, Great Natural draft beers, a/c rooms
The SVH is located directly in the heart of Arugam Bay. Close to famous surf point. First aircon hotel in the East, authentic Thai Restaurant, Multi media centre, Best draft beers on tap, beach bar, site of the original Full Moon Parties at Arugam Bay.
Amenities

Contact Details
Google Map :View Map | View Root
E-mail :arugamsurf@gmail.com
Address :Beach Road, Arugam Bay
TP :773200201
Photo Gallery

Additional Information taken from a Travel Guide Book:

No Worries!
This is a translation by Alf Docherty, Rheindahlen of an entry in the leading German Travel Guide, The Loose Du Mont Sri Lanka Reisefuehrer:

The Siam View Hotel

The facade appears rather ramshackle and unattractive, but this hotel has the honour of being the oldest wooden construction on the east coast of Sri Lanka and as such is on the National Heritage list of protected buildings. Go behind the facade and you will make a few interesting discoveries, not least of which has to be the excellent food served on the terrace and a wide selection of draft beers brewed in accordance with an old German tradition which allows only the use of the purist ingredients. You will also discover a special breed of people, an important piece of local history and a vast number of brilliant innovations. Without the Siam View Hotel, which opened in 1979, Arugam Bay would not be what it is today. Dr. Fred Netzband-Miller, an engineer of Dutch/German – English extraction and a handful of friends built this unpretentious landmark on what was, in the late 1970’s, a deserted stretch of beach. Since then, it has served its visitors in many ways: during the worst phases of the civil war it was declared a weapon free zone respected by all parties. It has always been and still is: a haven for homesick ex-patriots and for adventurers of all nationalities, a meeting point for surfers and a place where NGO workers can come to discuss their ideas, exchange information and work on plans for future projects to benefit the local population.

“We’re not here because we want to get rich, we’re here because we enjoy it”, emphasises Fred, who does not, even these days, have a brochure or visiting card for his hotel.

“The name Siam View is intended to suggest that theoretically it would be possible (if the earth were flat) to see Thailand”, explains the 56 year old, who lived there for many years and as the son of a diplomat grew up in Africa and feels that the whole world is home. It is one of his dreams to cross the 2000 km stretch of ocean on a jetski. That is not necessarily as unrealistic as it may sound: in 1977 Fred left the Isle of Man on a motorbike and succeeded in travelling the entire distance to India by land, then finally crossing to Sri Lanka by ferry. There is probably no one with a better knowledge of this corner of the world. Fred has counted 63 bays on the way to Hambantota. At one time, Fred served as a Liaison Officer for the British Army and was stationed in Potsdam. He has already twice negotiated the dense jungle and crossed the rivers of the Yala East National Park on a Unimog with a specially adapted and waterproof motor. His intention was to reach Colombo and as he says: “That was the shortest way”.

It is therefore not surprising that, at least until the Tsunami struck, the Siam View Hotel offered its guests the use of six ATV (All Terrain Vehicles) and during the specially conceived “Full Moon” parties massive 1800 watt loudspeakers created an unforgettable atmosphere as the disco played music from the hotel’s 8000 CD library.

#50 SVH's telephone booth for international calls!

#50 SVH's telephone booth for international calls!

Now 4 satellite dishes feed in television channels from around the world and provide an international telephone connection. In January 2004 a permanent high speed internet connection was installed and is still the only one on the entire east coast.

Although this costs nearly $1000 a month to run, locals are able to surf the net without charge. Everyone in the immediate vicinity also benefits from the 180 hp Mitsubishi Generator, which provides a standby source of electricity in the event of power cuts and there are very good reasons to believe that it once stood in Saddam Hussein’s Republican Gardens.

This generator, which uses between 7 – 9 litres of fuel per hour, initially saw service in Siam View in 1990 to provide a power source for the first air conditioning units. The hotel is particularly proud of a number of environmentally friendly innovations. One of these is the hotels own very efficient and clean sewage treatment system. Plastic bottles are collected and re-cycled to be used roof insulation.

The Tsunami left only the shell of the main building standing and of the original 26 rooms only 4 now remain. But, the disaster served to further enhance the hotel’s legend. At about 08:45 on the morning of 26 December, the gardener persisted in waking up all the guests; not an easy task as most people had only just gone to bed after the previous night’s lively Christmas party. The old man had noticed that the ocean was behaving strangely and he was convinced that a terrible catastrophe was about to happen. The disaster was not long in coming and within a few minutes, a gigantic 15 metre wave struck the small town. Thanks to the timely warning, all 165 guests survived, but everywhere else the retreating flood left behind horrific scenes of death and devastation. In this apocalyptic world, the Siam View became a symbol of survival, hope and regeneration. From the recovered food stores over 500 free meals were distributed to survivors in the first few days. “More importantly, were the stocks of alcohol and cigarettes”, remembers Fred and adds that in the middle of this chaos, his hotel managed to put on a modest New Year’s party.

Fred is convinced that the terrible Tsunami disaster taught him more about physics than all the years he spent at university. And it is this knowledge, which he has put to practical use in rebuilding the hotel. The new supporting concrete pillars are triangular in shape in order to deflect boats and other debris which would be swept against the structure should another tidal wave occur. The water tower has been fitted with three large sirens with a range of 700m. Other features of the Tsunami Early Warning System are three computers permanently connected to seismological monitoring stations in Alaska, Hawaii and Bangkok. Even the matter of emancipation is one which has been given consideration at the Siam View Hotel. The new beach bar, which has been constructed entirely from natural materials, has a second floor which bears the name “Ladies Lounge”. It is available to female guests only, but men may be allowed to enter on rare occasions, if specially invited.

No introduction, but recent photos (copyright SiRo, Switzerland):
http://picasaweb.google.com/sirohopa/SiamViewHotelArugamBay?authkey=iugq4KKUee4

#50 SVH's establishment

#50 SVH's establishment

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24 Responses to “#50 Siam View Hotel -SVH-”


  • Spotted on a report by an Australian TV crew:

    Arugam Bay is a long way from everything, and in the early years when there was no bridge to the area, this was part of the attraction to the ‘real’ adventure traveller, who discovered this spot of the island in the 1970s. Known for its love gurus, nude bathing and nirvana lifestyle it fast became the spot to surf the waves by day, and the area by night looking for fun times.
    However, today, this ‘Shangri la,’ tipped to be the next best thing is a rather sad strip of hotels and restaurants that makes Hikkaduwa in comparison look like the South of France.

    The food is at best terrible, and the only place worth hanging out in is Siam, according to the first film crew, SBS from Australia who have just been filming My Sri Lanka with world famous chef Peter Kurivitas.

    They are the first crew to go through the area in 30 years and only Siam was worth eating at, where a dude called DJ Nihal calls the shots and the food is the best on the strip.

    Not really on the surface worth an eight to 10 hour trip from Colombo depending on the weather and traffic conditions.

  • Peter Kurunvita Crew:

    http://www.arugam.info/2011/05/10/arugam-bay-and-beyond/

    Appu Hami – a legend
    in Arugam Bay Appu Hami advocates that before any trek you should eat well from the local indigenous vegetables which include seven different types of yams and two types of Lotus plants which are pulled by the roots from the lakes, famed for their beautiful water lilies. Lotus eating is good for the heart, blood sugar (diabetes) and other things that he says, brings a sparkle to one’s eyes. It seems women also mix the lotus seeds together and make facial scrubs and the pulled up flowers are used as offerings at the Buddhist temples.

    The lakes have always been fished in and this is how the people of the Bay discovered the benefits of the Lotus. Until the 1960s no money exchanged hands, and the community-bartered goods instead, and everyone was much better off. The average wages were only 25 cents and not even worth taking as they had to travel to Tissamaharama to collect them, and so the system of trading one thing for another stuck. It was only when the bridge was built in 1965 and the so called civilized world arrived, did gambling, drinking and prostitution come ‘alive.’ The old man’s eyes become sad as he recounts how in 1977 the surfers arrived and nudity became common on the beaches, drugs became rife whether it was ganja or heroin, destroying married life … and the place became a haven for crime. The community started to break down and in his opinion this type of tourism only benefits the rich hoteliers and no one else which is the reason that the area quickly became a one stop shop for cheap travellers and all that this style of travel brings.

  • Greetings! I’ve been reading this web site for a while now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Austin Texas!
    Just wanted to say keep up the good work!
    The Siam View is the most welcoming place in Arugam Bay.

  • Spotted on this site today:
    But the information is well out of date.

    http://arugam-bay-report.blogspot.nl/

    Unterkünfte in Arugam Bay

    Was für eine Art von Unterkunft sie in Arugam Bay wählen ist vor allem eine Frage ihrer Ansprüche. Wenn sie ganz und gar anspruchslos sind und Ihnen das Mindeste immer ausreichend ist dann können Sie sich eine mit Stroh bedeckte Hütte fast direkt am Strand mieten. Dies kostet pro Nacht weniger als zehn Euro, viel Komfort kann man hier aber natürlich für den Preis und die Art der Unterkunft nicht erwarten aber bei dem sagenhaften, warmen Wetter ist es doch angenehmer als man vielleicht denkt. Dennoch war dies nichts für mich… Ich stehe nicht so darauf im Freien zu nächtigen. Zum Glück gibt es hier aber auch Hotels in denen man nächtigen und Zeit auch tagsüber sehr angenehm verbringen kann und zwar ganze zwei davon. Sie haben richtig gelesen, in Arugam Bay gibt es nur zwei Hotels, dies verdeutlicht noch einmal die touristische Abgeschiedenheit dieses traumhaften Ortes und dabei sind die Hotels fast nie ganz ausgebucht.

    Das Siam View Hotel in Arugam Bay in Sri Lanka
    Um konkreter zu werden möchte Ich ihnen ein spezifisches Hotel in Arugam Bay empfehlen und zwar das Siam View Hotel. Hier kann man sich nicht nur Hotelzimmer bis 90 Euro mieten sondern auch die billigen Strandbungalows und hier fangen die Preise schon ab sagenhaften fünf Euro an! Im Siam View Hotel gibt es ein Internet Café, allerdings muss man wissen das die kosten für das Internet in dieser Gegend sehr, sehr hoch sind und deshalb bittet man dort auch um Verständnis dafür, dass dafür eine Gebühr erhoben wird. Mit dieser Gebühr unterstützen sie jedoch die Einheimischen, da diese kostenlos das Internet benutzen können, was ihnen ansonsten gar nicht möglich wäre, da die Region dort nicht gerade durch Reichtum geprägt ist.

    Wer das Siam View Hotel vor dem Jahr 2004 besucht hat sollte wissen, dass das Hotel wie es einmal war nicht mehr gibt da fast alles durch einen Tsunami zerstört wurde und wieder aufgebaut werden musste. Glücklicherweise ist kein Angestellter und auch kein Gast zu dieser Zeit ums leben gekommen. Während es früher 26 Zimmer gab, so können heute nur drei Zimmer angeboten werden, eine Buchung sollte also frühzeitig stattfinden! Eines der drei Zimmer ist das einzige Zimmer das den Tsunami im Dezember des Jahres 2004 zu Weihnachten überstanden hat. Dieses Zimmer wird in diesem Hotel seitdem “Tsunami Suite” genannt. Durch diese Ereignisse hat das Hotel dazugelernt und nun ist es so, dass wesentliche Teile des neu errichteten Gebäudes Tsunami sicher gebaut wurden und da man schon alles neu bauen musste hat man auch an andere Dinge gedacht, so ist jetzt für behinderte Hotelgäste einfacher alle Einrichtungen zu nutzen. Ebenfalls gibt es die Möglichkeit der Entspannung bei einer Runde Tischfußball und Snooker.

  • “Very laid back place, I wish we were still there :-)”

    After the tsunami in 2004, all that remains of 20 or more cabanas and 4 rooms are the 4 rooms which have all been refurbished. Fortunately the wonderful Thai restaurant upstairs in the psychedelic lounge is not only still there, its a “walk in” legend with owner Fred and crew always happy to share a yarn or even describe the events of how that awful morning unfolded back then in December 2004.
    The home made beer is equally legendary and there is no cooler place to sit of an evening.
    Its right on the beach and also home to a really good surf school which will not only help you out with the right surf board, but also introduce the less fearless of you to the potentially dangerous sport in a safe and fun way.
    One needs a bit of a sense of humour to stay there, its not the Ritz Carlton, the rooms are clean, you have hot and cold water any time of day and
    the air conditioner works (even though you may get a bit wet if you get too close to it :-). The floor is nicely tiled, beds and mosquito nets are fine.
    SVH is made for people who are looking to relax and have a good time, if you cannot accept that everything is not perfect then do not go there, anyone looking unhappy is not in the wrong Hotel, they are in the wrong town, as Arugam bay is for cool happy people of all ages and fortunately has not yet been hit by the “all inclusive” cancer which has ruined so many a holiday location.
    If you are not happy to sit on the beach, read a book, drink a beer, eat some avocado and fresh prawns (for the price of an espresso back home) or of course surf the never ending waves, then stop the next tuk tuk and ask to go on a tuk tuk safari, this will cost you the price of a gallon of petrol back home (for three people), will scare the hell out of most and you will probably get closer to some very big crocodiles than you expected, but most of all it will give you plenty to laugh about later as you recount your adventure in the bar.
    We were returning to Arugam bay after 27 years (we had been there in 1984) and although there are now a lot more people there and of course a lot more places to stay and eat, it still has that something special. Anyone young, or young at heart should just love Arugam bay and the SVH regardless of whether they stay there or just visit the psychedelic lounge and restaurant and take in the amazing atmosphere.
    Malc and Family
    Posted on Trip Advisor August 23, 2011

  • I stayed at siam view it was ok place,
    Fred seemed to be trying his best to improve things for Arugam Bay which can be a harsh enviroment,I was never asked for help
    Swiz????

  • My sister surfed lots of blogs to readcomments related to this subject. I salute you

  • the siam view– name like a dream.. and this is it. We spen a wonderful time in a nice ac-room at reasonable prices. Thai food and the draft beer are simply fantastic. The quiet big garden directly at the sea is sooo great and relaxing (specially for non-surfers). Thanks a lot. we will come again

  • Siam View is a great place to stay. We stayed for three nights last weeks and its a homely place to stay.

    Dont miss out on their home brewed beers; its great and there is 15 varities to choose from. The food is excellent; perhaps that best in the area

  • 15 days in siam view hotel this year .Feel like home.Sure i will come back to .Special thanks to Fred,Somlak and leila.
    All the best
    Horst

  • niranka shans bro....

    about siam-viwe hotel we had a nice time…keep it up..its v nice place to stay 4 a holyday…i think this is the best hotel in arugambay…..about fred owner of this hotel very nice person.thank u fred for youre nice coperation…..

  • Entry in Virtual Tourist
    submitted by: matmat406

    Siam View Hotel: Surf, Draught Beer and Thai Food – Paradise !
    # Satisfaction:

    # Updated By matmat406 on April 21, 2009
    # Email Me
    # Pottuvil Page by matmat406
    I stayed there a few times before tsunami, and about a month last year (2008). And I will go back there as soon as I can !
    Accomodations: Ranges from budget rooms to fully equiped AC rooms with fridge (my choice), all nice and clean, and about 20 meters from the beach, sleep with the noise of the waves… niccccce!

    Food/Drinks: Excellent choice of food, the house speciality is Thai food which is very well cooked by Somlak, the local Thai chief, but don’t walk into the kitchen without her autorization or she will take your head off haha ! Also a nice choice of local budget curry for the less fortunate, and a nice choice of “imported” dishes for when you’re fed up of jaffles and tuna curries. The beer is probably the best in a Srilankan size radius, all draught, white, brown, red etc. Nothing better after a day of surfing.

    The place also has a beahc bar, giant movie screen in the evenings, internet cafe, laundry and money withdrawal facility. They also organize transportation to and from wherever you like.

    Clean. Safe. Draught Beer. Thai Food. Beach a step away and lots of cool people. Great parties !

    # Theme: Hotel
    # Address: Arugam Bay – Beach Side – you can’t miss it… of ask a tuktuk !
    # Directions: Arugam Bay – 7 Kms South of Pottuvil – Again… ask a Tuktuk !
    # Website: http://www.arugam.com/
    # Other Contact: arugamsurf@gmail.com

  • well its been a long time since I`v been there ` was there last six days after the big wave ` remember having chilled 3coins dark beer ` hope things are looking up ` manny “ peace from mt lavinia “ mate

  • well this is very useful… (at least for me)

    very thanks

    ——————————–
    Travel at Thailand

  • hallo liebe freunde vom SVH,
    ich war mit einem deutschen fernsehteam bei fred, nur 3 monate nach dem tsunami. wir haben uns, trotz der schwierigen situation sehr wohl gefühlt.

    ich wünsche mir das dieser platz für immer so schön bleibt, und allen menschen die da leben alles gute und viel kraft das zu bewahren.

    vielen dank für die schöne zeit

    franz aus münchen germany

  • You are right, Snuffle!
    I also tied to get in touch with them because I heard the Siam View guys done so much for the Community.
    Their home page does not work. Does anyone have a phone number or email address?
    Clive

  • hi,

    just want to know do you have somewhere a good homepage with concrete information about the siam view hotel. http://www.arugam.com/ doesn´t work.

    regards,
    bit

  • ) erstellt am 29-08-2005 um 21:51 Uhr Greg and I would like to thank Fred, Somlak and all the team at the Siam View Hotel (SVH) for their wonderful hospitality. Thank you for making our 12 night stay (14th to 26th August 2005) in Arugam Bay so enjoyable.
    The new beach bar at SVH is fantastic – what a wonderful place to relax, enjoy the draft beers (yes folks, cold draft beers, mmm – my favourite is the strawberry beer) take in the beautiful views of the bay and watch the surf break in the moonlight. We think it is a spectacular venue for both beach weddings and full moon parties – well done!
    Thank you too for the delicious food. The Thai cuisine is just heavenly. Greg and I love Thai food and we always seek out Thai restaurants wherever we are in the world. The seafood is just scrumptious! I wonder if eating prawns twice a day for a week is bad for one‘s health?! Oh well never mind, I‘m not going to find such great value prawns of such high quality in a restaurant in Europe anytime in the near future, so I think I‘m safe!
    We would like to wish SVH and Arugam Bay well with all their future tourism projects. We highly recommend a visit to SVH and Arugam Bay. We will be back!

    For anyone interested in visiting AbaY:
    First of all, whether you surf or not, the bay has an excellent, chilled out vibe. Whatever your musical taste there is a bar/restaurant/guesthouse/hotel that will suit you. There are parties galore, pre-full moon parties, full moon parties and post full moon parties! Get enough people together and create you own party! If partying is not a high priority for you, there are plenty of places to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
    If surfing is your thing, there are plenty of places (guesthouses and surf shops) to hire surf boards for a day or more. Wolfgang at SVH runs affordable and interesting half day, one day and two day wildlife trips to various national parks to see wild elephants, deer, buffalo, crocodiles, peacocks, leopards, etc.
    Rifai (who can be contacted at SVH most days) can organise taxis from anywhere in Sri Lanka to anywhere in Sri Lanka. If you are coming to AbaY from Colombo, we recommend the 9 hour minibus journey. It‘s more expensive than public transport but it will get you there in less than half the time, there‘s no changing (from train, to bus, to another bus, to three wheeler) and you‘ll arrive feeling a little more serene.
    Enjoy your time in Sri Lanka!

  • Hi Pat,
    just try it with Steve‘s Place, Rocco‘s.
    Telephone number 077 6642991

    Shao

  • I‘m unhappy because I stayed at the Siam many times before.
    Tried to book a room there again.
    They are fully booked until November!

    Has anyone a recommendation? I am looking for a suitable, similar place in town.
    I will be there in July and I‘m told it is unlikely that the SVH can construct any additional rooms by then.

    Pat, Manila, PI

  • Pizza an fresh, cold Beer too

    for sl-food, you’ll find enough places in abay

    swisshits

  • Martin from Switzerland

    And the best place for eating in Arugam Bay is Siam View, for sure! Excellent Thai kitchen!

  • The Siam View Hotel (SVH) is a great place to meet fun people (visitors, locals and staff) in a superb location. The view from the first floor restaurant looking out to sea is just awesome, especially when it’s combined with some tasty local or international food, including some of the best Thai food outside of Thailand! Then there’s the beach bar, right on the beach (as it’s name would suggest) looking out at Surf Point. If not surfing oneself, the beach bar is a great place to watch the surfers in action, with a cold draught beer or one of Somlak’s cocktails (mmm, that juicy pineapple!). I first stayed at the SVH in the summer of 2004, I returned with my husband last summer (to find obvious post tsunami changes but still very much a “can do” attitude) and visited again this April. My family and friends often ask me what the appeal is of returning to the same place, after all I have travelled fairly extensively around the world (not trying to big myself up, honest!). Apart from Sri Lanka, I’ve yet to retrace my footsteps elsewhere, so why do I keep coming back to Sri Lanka, Arugam Bay and the Siam View Hotel in particular? It’s simple, to meet great people in fantastic surroundings! See you in the Bay some day soon hopefully.

  • Yes I do, uncle Fred!

    I remember some years ago in March 2000/3 when I came back from a 250/600 km jungle walk to relax some weeks in Arugam Bay. It was my first visit after my time as volunteer at the Sinhapura School in 1991/2. Much things have changed and it was interesting to go all around, visit old friends, students and places like the point, Crocodile Rock, Elephant Rock and Sastraweli Temple.

    After some days I had the wish to lap a good ice-cream and somebody told me about the Siam View Hotel. So I came around and indead, I got the most delicious ice-cream with some specials fruits and taste. Also chips, salad and draught beer were fantastic, clean and substantial. The stuff was very friendly, Fred and Somlak too. Special place there is the open roof-top restaurant and bar built by wood. Fresh wind comes from the closeby sea you can watch from your table. No other place has this mix of rustical charm and choice of meals and drinks.

    Fred took me around to see the wonderfull garden full of flowers, the well, his old german generator, a Cabana with stone garden and it´s own hot water by heated wallpipes. All this got destroyed by Tsunami but the money they had (and even more) to repair all damages they gave to the neighbours who lost more then them. Good luck they still have the mainhouse with the privat rooms, some guestrooms, kitchen and internet office so they can go on.

    New is now the beachbar directly on the beach where they celebrate every month full moon parties with local artists and modern music. Just go out on the beach, lie down with you girl or dance infront of the beachbar and enjoy the party.

    Once you go there you will see it´s worth to stay with them!

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