Sri Lanka Travel

My favorite Arugam Bay restaurants & hotels

16. November 2016

The best Arugam Bay restaurants & hotels - Sri Lanka

I’ve already talked about how much I loved Arugam Bay and the top 10 things to do in town, so now let’s take a look at where you should stay and eat. We had 5 days in the bay so we only tested one hotel ourselves, but I tried to sneak a peak wherever I could to get you some great options. When it comes to restaurants, however, I of course tried as many as possible. I have chosen my favorites in terms of price, taste and atmosphere, which you can read about further down.

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The best Arugam Bay hotels

The best Arugam Bay restaurants & hotels - Stay Golden Sri Lanka

 

Stay Golden 

There are so many great accommodation options to choose from in Arugam Bay, which made it hard to settle on one. After a lot of back and forth, we finally decided on Stay Golden. Much thanks to the treehouse look of the cabana and the location right on the beach. The large cabana comes with a double bed, a two-story porch with a hammock, a generously sized ensuite bathroom and pretty good wifi. We paid about $60 a night, which is a bit more than we normally would spend, but we just liked the look of the place so much that we couldn’t help ourselves.

Stay golden is definitely picture perfect, but it got pretty hot and humid inside with no AC. So if you’re a wandering sauna-like me, you might want to think twice about staying here during the hottest months.

 

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We stayed in Cabana 9, which I can’t find the link to at the moment, but here’s the link to cabana 8. As you can see we could literally walk off the porch into the sand. The swimmable part of the beach, however, is about a five-minute walk south. If you get hungry just order from the great selection of the onsite restaurant or walk across the road To Food Nest (more on that further down).

The best Arugam Bay restaurants & hotels - Hideaway Resort Sri Lanka

The best Arugam Bay restaurants & hotels - Stay Golden Sri Lanka

The best Arugam Bay restaurants & hotels - Stay Golden Sri LankaWe had breakfast on the porch every morning, though it was not included in the room price.

The best Arugam Bay restaurants & hotels - Surfer Sri Lanka

 

If you think Stay Golden is too expensive, check out Beach View Hotel, close to the swimmable part of the beach and Main Point surf spot. Their wooden cabanas start at only $30 a night.

If you are on an even tighter budget, The Long Hostel might be for you. I heard people rave about this place, and after doing some research online I found even more glowing recommendations. It’s not often you see a hostel score a 9.6 out of 10 overall and a 10 on cleanliness! For only $23 a night you get a double room with fan and bathroom.

Upali Beach Surf Resort was one of the other places we considered. It’s an eco-resort located right in front of Main Point surf break, so you can roll out of bed, walk 20 steps and jump in the water. Or watch the surf from the shade while enjoying some delicious treats from the bar. The rooms are actually tents ranging from very basic to a super cool cabana/tent hybrid with lots of space. Price was the main reason why we didn’t choose to stay at Upali, as the basic tent with shared bathroom is $35 a night and the junior suite cabana is $160 a night. If money wasn’t an issue I would have loved to stay in the suite for a couple of nights, the basic tent didn’t really speak to me.

The best Arugam Bay restaurants & hotels - Upali Sri Lanka

 

Hideaway Resort is a green oasis right in the middle of town. I talked a bit about their restaurant in this post, so I thought I should also touch on their accommodations options. Hideaway comprises 14 gorgeously decorated rooms in total, ranging in price from $53 to $155. Inside the compound, you’ll also find a bar, a cafe and on Sundays a market where local artisans showcase their products. Somehow they’ve managed to create such a calming, spiritual and health conscious atmosphere within those yellow walls. I like it!

The best Arugam Bay restaurants & hotels - Hideaway Resort Sri Lanka

The best Arugam Bay restaurants & hotels - Hideaway Resort Sri Lanka

 

The first photo you saw in this post is of a place called Paradise Sand Beach Hotel. I can’t find a link to any booking sites, but it looked so good and well maintained from the road that I had to include it. They also get great reviews on Tripadvisor.

 

My favorite Arugam Bay restaurants

Visit Pizza Hub (previously Food Nest) for the best wood fired pizza in the area! The crust is just how I like it, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside and the super fresh mozzarella they use makes it even better. They have moved from the main road because the owner of the land decided to increase their rent, so now you’ll find them on 146 Tri Star Road. Call +94 75 272 9729 for free delivery or stop by the new location, the owner and the people that work there are super friendly. Definitely our go-to restaurant in Arugam Bay.

The best Arugam restaurants and hotels - Food Nest pizza restaurant

WARNING: this post contains some crappy mobile photos, I didn’t bother bringing my camera to dinner most nights. I know…. bad blogger!

 

We spotted the beachside restaurant (don’t remember the name) that is part of the Arugam Bay Surf Resort as we walked home along the beach. I saw the colorful Mexican sign and suddenly felt quite hungry. Some parts of the restaurant could do with a little sprucing up, but the new small tiki bar was cool and looked like something out of the Caribbean. We didn’t like the beef taco, as there were a bit too much fat and chewy bits in it. But the hard shell chicken taco you see below tasted really good, and so did the chips and guacamole. A perfect afternoon snack after a long and hot day at the beach.

The best Arugam Bay restaurants & hotels - Mexican food Sri Lanka

 

There are so many great local places to choose from in A-Bay, just don’t get discouraged by a shabby exterior. In my experience, the shabbier the restaurant the more authentic and tasty food. With some exceptions of course. I’m so bad at remembering names of the local spots we try, and quite often they don’t have an internet presence so they’re hard to track down. But the one I do remember is Blue Ocean, where we had a mixed plate of vegetable curries. One plate was more than enough for two and only set us back 400Rs / $3. For me, that was the best local dish I had during our whole trip.

The best Arugam Bay restaurants & hotels - Blue Ocean restaurant Sri Lanka

 

Zephyr is one of the top restaurants on Tripadvisor, and for good reason. The beachside location makes it the perfect place to bring your partner for a romantic candlelight dinner overlooking the rolling waves. We shared vegetable tempura as a starter, then I had the pesto pasta and for dessert, we shared a brownie with ice cream. Yum, is all I have to say. The main course was quite small though, so keep that in mind when ordering. After Hideaway Resort, this was the most expensive place we had dinner in Arugam Bay. But both the food and the atmosphere made it worth it. And of course the cocktails, this was one of the only places we found in Sri Lanka that offered a good selection of cocktails.

The best Arugam Bay restaurants & hotels - Zephyr Sri Lanka

 

Breakpoint is another one of the top eateries in the area on Tripadvisor. We had a hard time finding this small, narrow restaurant, as it is squeezed in between two other stalls. And when my boyfriend finally spotted it, it was packed full of people. So we had to come back the next day, and I’m so happy we did. The breaded chicken sandwich, hummus and falafel were all super yummy. Their fresh food, cakes and delicious iced tea, make Breakpoint a must while in A-Bay.

The best Arugam restaurants and hotels - Breakpoint restaurant

 

Love beach bar is the perfect spot to cool down in the shade or get your tan on at one of the huge sun loungers, with a cold drink in hand. As you can see below the little establishment is quite easy on the eyes and what I would call Instagram friendly. But the best part is that they serve cocktails, smoothies, lemonade and ICED TEA! If you have read my blog for a while, you probably know that I’m an iced tea addict, so any place with the words homemade iced tea on the sign is a winner in my book. Anyway, Love Beach Bar is a great place to relax away from the crowds.

The best Arugam Bay restaurants & hotels - Love Beach Bar Sri Lanka
 

Some of the links above are affiliate links and I will earn a small percentage of the sale if you purchase through them, at no extra cost to you. This helps me cover the costs of running my site – so thank you in advance! I only ever link to products and services I use and love myself!

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14 Comments

  • Reply Chloe 18. November 2016 at 21:46

    Holy smokes- this place looks beautiful!! And your photos are stunning!! Definitely adding this place to my bucket list now!!!

    http://beyondblessedblog.com/

  • Reply sandra 19. November 2016 at 16:42

    Wow! this place looks gorgeous! The food looks also delicious! It’s really a place to go on holiday. Thanks for sharing! X

  • Reply juliasan 19. November 2016 at 23:49

    Looks like a place to go to. I mark myself this post. Thanks for the recommendation and for sharing these beautiful pictures.

  • Reply valerie 22. November 2016 at 20:55

    Great guide! It’s super helpful and your photos are SO tropical… I definitely could go for some sun and palm trees right about now!

  • Reply Ashlee 22. November 2016 at 21:11

    I’ve never even heard of this place but it’s officially on my list of places to go, asap! Your pictures are gorgeous!! That place doesn’t even look real it’s so pretty!

  • Reply Doro 22. November 2016 at 21:15

    Beautiful photos! Arugam Bay is definitely still on my bucket list 🙂 Gonna go to that beach bar then 😀

  • Reply Vibeke 22. November 2016 at 21:23

    Amazing pictures, you got me on this one! I wanna go there NOW 😀 Thank you for sharing

  • Reply karyl henry 22. November 2016 at 22:57

    I’ve never heard of Arugam Bay, but I’ll take any place with such gorgeous views and beaches! I have to agree with you on not judging the exterior of a restaurant. I’ve followed that rule several times, and been WELL rewarded with some of the best food ever. Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply Ticker Eats The World 23. November 2016 at 03:56

    Lovely post and amazing photos. Food is such an important part of travelling for me and experiencing the local food is as important as experiencing the local culture. Thanks for the list of places and restaurants. I always research on places to eat before leaving (and ask the locals once there).

  • Reply Chanel 23. November 2016 at 04:56

    Absolutely gorgeous!! Wow, makes me want to book a flight haha 🙂

  • Reply Ada 23. November 2016 at 07:25

    everything looks fantastic and affordable !!! I am actually planning to visit Sri Lanka next year so that is such a helpful post !

  • Reply Nelo 23. November 2016 at 13:49

    Such ahmaazing and beautiful images, the food got me so hungry right now , you take wonderful images, I want to go there right now!

  • Reply Krupanshi Jha 22. July 2018 at 21:39

    Hi ! Loved your post. It was so helpful to me as I am planning to visit A-bay in just a week time. I wanted to know where exactly this love beach bar is ? I have googled about it but cannot find any information. It would be great if you can share the location details !
    Thanks

    • Reply Charlotte 23. July 2018 at 20:12

      Hi! I’m so happy you found my article helpful. I don’t have the exact location but when I was there last it was located about 10-20 meters south of Stay Golden Bungalows. Have fun in A-Bay 😉

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