Our story of Stay Golden
We are open!
(posted in July 2019)
It’s been almost one week since our opening on the 1st of July now. We apologize for not updating the blog recently. We’ve been busy preparing everything at the hotel. At the same time, we are on it to update all pages and online platforms we are listed at. Thanks for your understanding that it’s on progress.
It was very exciting for us to welcome our first guests at the new property. After 8 months without hosting, it feels good to be back! At the same time, we are so lucky to have such amazing and friendly guests. The trust you’ve given us in advance by booking a place you haven’t seen pictures before is incredible. Yes, this is to you!
Let’s share some impressions. In general, the energy is positive. Connections evolve: First, the restaurant is a place to get together. Sit at one of our community tables and have a little chat if you like. Enjoy a smoothie bowl or a Sri Lankan Omelette in the morning combined with some good coffee and talk about your morning surf.
Or, second, join us for our daily yoga classes. Meet up with our teachers Celine and Ben and practice in a small group. It’s a safe space for everyone to deepening their practice or gaining first experiences – no pressure, no stress, no expectations. Instead, it’s a space for grounding, taking care of your body and the well being of everyone.
We are happy and proud to see the happy faces of our guests. One of our guests extended from 3 to 6 nights. They love to hear the sound of the waves at night. As they’ve been sitting on their balcony after dinner, they watched the stars and listened to nature sounds around. They say that for them, it’s a perfect combination of staying in nature with us, and at the same time being close to the busy town, too.
Yours, Angie and Rihan
We’re almost there!
(posted in May 2019)
Our reopening on 1st of July 2019 is coming closer. And it’s time for another progress update. Rihan and his team are working very hard to finish the constructions. At the moment, it’s about the details and the interior. At the same time, the restaurant seating area is being set up. We already have shade to sit under 🙂
Here are the latest impressions from the site. The final pictures will follow in June. Thanks for your patience!
We also post regular updates on Facebook and Instagram. In case you don’t follow us yet, do it now 🙂
After the attacks
(posted in May 2019)
It’s been some time since our last blog post. Today we would like to share thoughts on traveling to Sri Lanka after the terror attacks on Easter 2019.
We’ve all been under shock. Probably, in the future, we will divide time into before the attacks and after the attacks. That’s how hard it all hit us.
After the attacks, it seemed like the world stopped for a moment. The country was shocked how its existing vulnerability after the civil war was used to hit it where it hurts most: Religion. Luckily, Arugam Bay hasn’t been attacked. We feel safe here.
Today, four weeks later, we would still recommend everyone to visit Sri Lanka. It is a beautiful country. People are warm hearted and friendly. It’s the simple people who suffer right now the most. We understand everyone who decides to not travel to Sri Lanka at the moment. At the same time, you can also choose to directly take part in the healing process: Support, show empathy, come and visit. Be aware of what just has happened, and try to understand how people might feel. We are thankful for your thoughts, trust and courage. This is how we can stand up for a peaceful world together.
Yours, Angie and Rihan
Stay Golden 2.0 – 3rd edition
(posted in April 2019)
Wow, time really flies by. Today we are ready for another update from our project. Last month, we left the stage of big basics like building a foundation, walls or roofs and moved into more detailed tasks. The carpenters fixed balconies for No.5 and No.7, and, of course, started with the walls for our wooden cabanas. The planks look amazing with their special design and skimming. The builders plastered kind of everything and finished bathrooms, floors and walls with our special technique. The in- and outside of the cabanas and walls were painted for the first time. The first bathrooms are being equipped with sinks, taps and toilets. We went to Colombo to get some materials directly from the dealers at the wild market streets in Colombo. Everyone who’s been to Colombo can imagine how busy, hot, dusty and exhausting the search for the best materials was. We came back happily with many finished to-dos. The progress is more visible with every day that passes.
Today, we post pictures of all rooms to give you a better idea of how they will look like at the end. Please note that those are every day taken pictures from a construction area – it’s not tidied up and not everything is perfect. Though, this is life 🙂
We cannot wait to host you soon! Thanks for your support and every booking that you made. These are the best gifts ever! Stay Golden with Angie and Rihan 🙂
3 reasons why you might get confused searching for Stay Golden at booking.com
(posted in March 2019)
With this post, we would like to explain some facts. We’ve recently been asked two questions quite often:
- On your website, it says it’s booked/closed, but why can I book the same dates on booking.com?
- We have read that you are closed until July, but why are we able to book for May on booking.com?
To both questions, the answer is: You have probably seen our former property run by new owners on booking.com.
Here are three reasons why you might get confused searching for Stay Golden at booking.com right now:
- We all know booking.com. It’s convenient for booking your hotel while travelling. What most of us don’t know is that the hotel listings we see on booking.com are based on the properties. That means, you actually don’t review the hotel, but the land. We had to experience it while moving with Stay Golden. After over four years on booking.com, we are really proud to say that in 2018, we had a stable review score between 8.7 and 9.0. When we moved, our reviews where people refer to Stay Golden were kept at the former land as they belong to it.
- The new owners of our former property have chosen a hotel name which is very similar to ours.
- Our professional hotel pictures from last season are used by the new owners (without our permission).
To sum it up: Same reviews, similar name, same pictures – different hotel, availabilities and owners. There’s no connection between Stay Golden and the former place, run by new owners. It’s two different places with two different owners. Just one of them is Stay Golden.
What does that mean now?
We have started a new listing at booking.com with Stay Golden. From July onwards, we are happy to host you again. You can also directly book with us via the website (commission free) or via Airbnb (less commission than booking.com). Our aim is for you to enjoy your stay with us! 🙂
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!
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 roadside. 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:
Flower power at Stay Golden home!
(posted in March 2019)
We love flowers! That’s why we try to have as many 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.
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 centre.
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! 🙂
(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 a bit bumpy :D) road to the beach, on the other side an unexploited piece of land. At the front, there is the stunning and beautifully 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!
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!
- 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.
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:
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 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.