On 28 December 2014 my mother, aunt, cousin and I spent our first night in superb Sri Lanka in the homely and welcoming environment of Suriya Arana. Judith and Saman made us feel immediately welcome and as though we were part of Sri Lankan family. The upstairs/downstairs family room was clean, comfortable and suited our needs. The outdoor patio and area by the pool are lovely places to relax, enjoy tea, write your travel diary and plan your Sri Lankan adventure. The pool is the perfect place to cool off! Saman and Judith can arrange tours of the country for you and provide you with much assistance for your travel plans. They are very generous with their time and spirit and nothing is too much trouble for them. Negombo is a terrific location to begin ones exploration of Sri Lanka. It is located an easy drive north of the international airport and is a vibrant and tropical introduction to this island paradise. Negombo is known locally as “Little Roma” as it has 55 churches of beautiful Portugese colonial architecture. In one block you may find a Catholic church, a Buddhist temple and an Islamic mosque. A bicycle or tuk tuk ride around this special, peaceful melting pot is highly recommended. Your camera will be busy!! Suriya Arana is just an easy stroll from the hub bub of the tourist strip which has lots of charm. As Judith and Saman show such sincere regard for their guests I felt a special connection with them. I returned twice on my own during my time exploring Sri Lanka so Suriya Arana became a home away from home. I was later travelling alone as a single woman and felt ever so safe and secure in their premises. Judith and Saman have hearts of gold and their strength, courage and determination to strive for their dreams with the memory of their precious son at the forefront of their minds is inspiring. They and the tragic loss of their son deeply touched my family’s soul. The young Tamil men in their charge are being groomed for life in the hospitality industry, providing them with the skills for future and progressive employment. Hopefully they are practising the English phrases I wrote down for them! I will always return to Suriya Arana on my travels to Sri Lanka. Judith and Saman have many, many repeat guests who have become friends! Judith often collects clothing for the underprivileged children in the area so should you have any unwanted children’s clothes or small adult sized clothing please pack it and bring it to Judith so you can be sure the preloved clothes go to worthy families. Toys and picture books are also welcome! To start your special Sri Lankan adventure on a high, I highly recommend you begin here at Suriya Arana.
Judith and Saman, the owners of this place, manage to mix a blend of total professionalism with sincere Sri Lankan hospitality. If you are seeking a value for money room with a hearty breakfast,then look no further. The samecanbe said with regard to Judith’s home cooked meals. On top of this Saman (Sam) operates as a tour guide with exceptional pride and love of his native country as is fluent in English, Italian and German. His knowledge of his country’s history and politics gives a different focus to your tour, not to mention the manner in which he goes about his job. If you give this place a try then I don’t think you will be disappointed.
This was the first place we stayed in Sri Lanka. Judith and Saman arranged for us to be picked up at the airport at 03:00 in the morning by the excellent driver Malin. What followed was an amazing combination of professionalism and warmth. We were only going to stay there two nights, but ended up letting Saman arrange a tour for us around the country. After two weeks we had fallen in love with the country, our hosts and all the people they had us meet along the way. By the way, don’t miss Judith’s cooking. It is nothing short of excellent. Best meals we had during our trip.
We stayed at Suriya Arana our first couple of nights, when we arrived to Sri Lanka and the last night before departure. We felt lucky to start and end our trip here.
Saman and Judith(the couple, who owns the hotel) are amazing people, who made us feel at home right away.
We were offered a guided trip around Sri Lanka with Saman, which we could design as we liked. Thanks to Saman we had an amazing trip around Sri Lanka. We got so many impressions, that we wouldn’t have had alone. He could tell us about everything we asked about and show us different experiences. He is an intelligent man with fantastic personality and great humour.
Thank you, Saman!!
The last day we were given a ride to the airport by Judith for free!!!
We can highly recommend this place!