Stardust Beach Hotel is unique in its altruism in desiring to create a dream holiday for guests, with high standards of food and service, whilst preserving the ecology of the region and offering employment and training to many local famillies. This obligation has been felt strongly by Danish owner / architect Merete and her late partner Per. Here Danish comfort and design has found a home in this lush and beautiful Island.
An excellent restaurant, fine wines and charming beach cabanas have been further enhanced this year(2005) by the addition of new luxury rooms with balconies and verandahs looking over the surf of the mighty Indian Ocean.
On one side of the complex is a large lagoon where wild elephants congregate for their evening shower. By day take a canoe and spot the monitor lizards, monkeys chattering in the trees and the many native and migratory birds to the wetlands and forests further inland.
Oceanside, the gardens in front of the restaurant - now replanted after tsunami damage - blend into the many miles of pristine beach that is Arugam Bay. A central courtyard of frangipani, hibiscus, bougainvillaea and palm trees imbues an atmosphere of calm and welcome.
Discreet but attentive staff pamper and the variety of eastern and western cuisine in the restaurants cannot fail to please.
Rooms are available in three general categories:-
Beach Cabanas have a private terrace, sea view and ensuite bathroom. They are roomy, simply but adequately furnished, using much wooden furniture and construction methods expertly employed by local craftsmen. Cabanas are either arranged for double occupation or are family sized with four beds. An extra bed may be added at nominal cost.
Luxury Rooms in the new building are on the ground floor, with private terrace, sea view and ensuite bathroom. The superior rooms on the first floor have a balcony, sea view , ensuite bathroom, and TV and IDD telephone. Attractive wooden louvres at the large windows shield the sun by day and allow the cooling breezes access at night. Ceiling fans help to keep the temperatures comfortable and a/c is simply not needed. The efficient staff keep the rooms impeccably clean and ensure a constant supply of soap, tissues, ice cold drinking water, mosquito repellent and morning tea or coffee. The beds have quality mattresses to suit the western 'softies' and mosquito nets to ward off unwelcome night time visitors.
Also available is the Danish Villa with its own beautiful terrace and garden
There are now two restaurants at Star Dust, a new one having been added with the recent building. The chef offers specialities from around the world, both local and western, at a very reasonable cost. Salads, soups and sea food, or barbeques can be taken at lunchtime or dinner, or enjoy richer, more elaborate dishes in the cool evening while recovering or reminiscing over the day's activities. Servings are plentiful for even the most energetic surfer and all ingredients are bought and cooked freshly from local organic sources - no freezer packs here. An extensive wine cellar should satisfy all tastes, but you should also try the delicious local brew, lassi.
There is scope for much activity here on Arugam Bay, some, but not all, coming under the heading of adrenaline sport. You can walk the beautiful beaches, safari inland to the National Parks and nature watch, study the local flora and fauna or simply sit on the verandahs and watch the sun go down. The new purpose-built Yoga centre, nestled in a corner of the tropical garden, is now open and operational on a daily basis. Traditional Yoga, body works, massage, aromatherapy, reflexology and deep muscle acupressure can all be enjoyed whilst your nearest and dearest are scanning the horizon for the next big break.
The raison d'etre for many visitors to Arugam Bay is the surf, and the peak time for this is from May to October / November when the winds are predominently offshore. This is one of the top ten surf points in the world and the location of the 2004 championships. There are three popular point breaks, The Point, Pottuvil Point and Crocodile Rock within 20mins of each other; one very good reef breaks anything from 2 - 6 ft. and provides a wall that will barrel to give you a 400m ride and the other two breaks will also provide 4-5 ft. waves. The average water temperature at this time is 27degrees c.. There is a beach break in front of the Star dust Beach Hotel which is fun for body surfers or beginners.
The Point is the main break at Arugam Bay and is a long right-handed point/ break that breaks at the headland in front of Arugam Bay at anything between 2 and 6 feet. On a good day it will give you a 400m ride, then the best option is to paddle a few yards to the beach and walk back out to the entry point. (foot protection advisable as the reef starts from ankle depth).
Pottuvil Point is every surfer's dream tropical wave. A long deserted beach dotted with some huge boulders at the water's edge make this a favourite. Less crowded because of the hour tuk-tuk ride north, Pottuvil Point provides 800m rides. Failure at the end of this ride will leave you standing knee deep in water with a mouthful of sand, if you manage not to get slammed into one of the boulders first! There is little or no shelter here, so bring plenty of drinking water.
Crocodile Rock is an hour's ride south of Stardust followed by a 20min walk along the beach. This is the smallest of the three points and you need a medium -to- large swell for Croc point to work. When the Point is 6ft the Croc will be 3ft.. It is however a perfect wave for the beginner or long board enthusiast. Make sure to bring lots of drinking water and arrange for your tuk-tuk driver to be there for the long journey home .