The Story of Stay Golden & Updates from the Team

Move and improve: Stay Golden 2.0, 2nd edition

(posted in March 2019)
It’s time for this month’s progress picture. We are building a small beach hotel with 5 cabanas and 2 rooms at the East Coast of Sri Lanka – and so much has happened in the last 4 weeks! 
Progress after 8 weeks
Rihan is still doing an amazing job in organizing and managing the workers, the materials and the construction. All the stone walls are built. After the big wooden rafters were prepared and painted, the carpenters set the roofs with them. Then the roof sheets followed. The electricity lines in the rooms are fixed. The first rooms are plastered and their floors are getting filled. We have a plastered and painted stone wall on the road side. And they have just started to fix the walls for the wooden rooms.
We are confident to open latest in July. Thanks to all the guests who already made their reservations with us. This trust feels so good to us. 
Here are some more impressions from the construction:
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Flower power at Stay Golden home!

(posted in March 2019)
We love flowers! That’s why we try to have as much flowers as possible in our garden. When you thought we will talk about Sri Lankan flora and fauna this time, I’m sorry to disappoint you. Actually, the post is a bit more personal, as it’s about our home. 
Our garden
This picture is taken in our own garden. We moved in here a couple of months ago. It’s in the same area as our new hotel land. It’s quiet, local, close to the beach and surrounded by nature. Still, it’s only a couple of minutes to walk to the town center. 
The house is spacious. It’s a modern high standard Sri Lankan European house. It was built in 2018. The garden is tropical with palm trees, many flowers and, of course, a hammock. We feel home here. 
As we enjoy meeting new people and hosting them, we decided to rent out one of the rooms in our house. It comes with a king size bed with high quality mosquito net, an ensuite bathroom with hot water shower, an AC, and good wooden furniture. You also have access to the kitchen and the living room. From the roof you’ll have a beautiful sea view.
In case you’re in Arugam Bay before we reopen the hotel, and you are looking for a place to stay – stay with us! It’s a home stay as we live here. Though, you will have your privacy and peace. You can see your potential terrace in the back of the picture. For a booking you can contact us directly via mail or check out Airbnb. We listed it there with some more pictures. Here are just a couple to give you a better idea. Homestay at Stay Golden! 🙂
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Mapping out!

(posted in March 2019)

Today, it’s all about the new layout of Stay Golden. In the last post, we already talked a bit about the new cabanas. Here, you can see how they’re set up at the new land. On one side we have a sandy (and bit bumpy :D) road to the beach, on the other side an unexploited piece of land. At the front, there is the beautifully stunning and empty beach, perfect for long walks, playing with the waves in the water or relaxing in the shade.
The land is spacious. It gives you privacy and peace when you need it, and good company when you want it.


One highlight will be the Yoga Shala. The slab is finished. Standing there on top and enjoying the view is unique. We can’t wait to really see this spot becoming our new shala. What a practice!

view from the yoga shala


Wohoo! The calendar is open!

(posted in February 2019)

We have a reason to celebrate: Our online calendar is open for bookings. Are you still looking for the perfect spot to spend your holidays at? Don’t think twice and come over to Stay Golden!

Rihan and his land

Some facts:

  • We will welcome our first guests in July 2019. 
  • We offer 5 cabanas and 2 double rooms – all brand new.
  • A beach restaurant with yummy, healthy and fresh food awaits you.
  • Join Yoga classes at the rooftop shala.
  • Surf, no matter if you are a beginner or experienced.
  • And, of course: Beach, beach, beach!  

So, how does it work: Making a reservation without the rooms being finished?

As we received more and more requests about making bookings, we decided to open the calendar. Let’s be honest: Of course, it’s tricky. When was the last time you ordered something online not to mention booked your holiday accommodation without seeing pictures? Fact is: It’s February, and the rooms are just not ready for pictures. But: We have experience, we’ve already run Stay Golden for more than 4 years. The cabanas you’ve seen on the pictures from last season are very similar to the new ones, except one difference: They will be better 🙂  We plan with better materials, better interior, better facilities – you name it. For example, all cabanas come with hot water shower, and the cabanas and rooms all have air conditioning. 

The descriptions of the rooms on our website are up to date. We offer one cabana over two floors (#10). It’s made out of wood with a big balcony (and a beautiful view) and suits 3 people. The other triple cabanas are made out of stone with an upper wooden balcony (#5 and #7) and a ground floor terrace. The two double cabanas are wooden and have a ground floor terrace (#6 and #8). The double rooms come with wood (#1 and #2); the upper one has a great sea view (#1). All the cabanas and rooms have ensuite bathrooms. Check out „stay“ for more information. 

We plan to post the new cabana pictures around May. When you’ve made your reservation before, you have the options to keep, modify or cancel the reservation. A cancelation is free of charge up to 7 days before arrival at Stay Golden. Let us know if you have any questions, we are happy to receive your e-mail 🙂 

About the picture: It was taken over a year ago, when the new Stay Golden land didn’t have anything, not even a fence.

Moving and improving part 1

(posted in February 2019)

After the recent post that Stay Golden is moving we received a lot of positive feedback. Thanks to all our fans, friends and former guests for your supporting words. For those of you who are curious about how building a small hotel in the outback of Sri Lanka looks like, we will post progress pictures once a month. We start today with the first edition, the 4 weeks picture.

Progress picture after 4 weeks of constructions

Rihan is busy all day long to keep the construction work going. It’s a hands-on job when you want the best results possible. The focus of the first month was building the foundation: 5 cabana layouts and the kitchen were measured. The first bricks were set. Columns with big metal bars frame the corners of the rooms. Then, the foundation was built. The first walls are erected. In the last week, the carpenters started to shape the fresh cut wood for the roofs and the wooden cabanas. So far, we’ve been lucky with only a couple of rainy days. When the rain is too heavy, the work has to stop. When it doesn’t rain, we are often blessed with beautiful sunsets as you can guess on the January picture.

Here are some more impressions of the first 4 weeks:

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How it all began to nowadays

(posted in January 2019)

The hotel was started in December 2011 as “Hotel Golden Beach” on family owned land by a fisherman from Pottuvil. This fisherman was the late father of the current owner Rihan who took over the business in 2014, renaming it as “Stay Golden”. With Rihan’s ideas, Stay Golden became what it is today: A popular address to spend relaxed days in the famous surfer town on the East Coast of Sri Lanka.

In 2017, Angie, Rihan’s wife, joined the team. After some great seasons, Rihan was ready to strike out on his own. Since January 2019, Stay Golden is rebuilt on a new land, close to Main Point. With their experience, Angie and Rihan designed amazing cabanas.

The style will be typical Stay Golden: A family run, little hotel with a relaxed atmosphere. At the same time, we do everything we can to make you feel a bit like home by providing a cosy, clean and comfortable setup while you stay with us. Stay Golden is not posh, though it’s offering a specific level of standard. In our beach restaurant, you will be served fresh, healthy and delicious local food. The rooftop Yoga Shala is designed to power you out or calm you down – depending on your needs.

The Team

The Stay Golden team is made up of nine local boys. Rihan has always insisted in personally training unskilled workers from the local area and bringing them into the business. They work together closely as a team and family, with Rihan as their ‘nana’ (‘big brother’ in Tamil). His brothers Shiyas and Fayas both work in the restaurant.

About Angie and Rihan

Rihan is passionate about hosting. More than anything he wants you to have a great stay. He enjoys interacting with people from all over the world, having a chat and sharing his stories of the East Coast. He loves spicy rice and curry, spreading his good mood with a smile in the beach restaurant and going for a surf with his boys.

Angie is the empathetic and strong woman on Rihan’s side. She takes care of the guests and has a sympathetic ear for you, no matter if it’s about your travel plans or just a chat in the garden. Angie also teaches Yoga at the rooftop Shala. She’s originally from Germany, and fell in love with Rihan and the country.