The Southeast coast of Sri Lanka has something special that we can’t quite put our finger on. Is it their teal blue ocean waters? Their untainted sandy beaches? The city that comes alive in the night or the stunning beachfront accommodation?
Embarking from Colombo at an odd 3am and one 8-hour ride journey later, we arrived in the town of Pottuvil, a small city that’s a mere 5km away from the famed surfing coast of Arugam Bay. Pottuvil houses Sri Lanka’s first Eastern Eco Luxury Surf Resort; Jetwing Surf which will be our accommodation for the next 3 days.
About Jetwing Surf
8 acres of serene luxury is what awaits you at Jetwing Surf. Located at the Coconut Point in Pottuvil, the hotel is where luxury meets sustainability as it pays tribute to the ethereal beauty of the unspoilt beaches of the East Coast.
Designed by architect John Balmond who heads the Balmond Studio in Sri Lanka and whose previous work includes the Palagama Beach in Kalpitiya, the resort draws inspiration from its surrounding environment with structures shaped in the form of a conch shell or a rising wave. This unique design won the resort the ‘Best Hotel – Architectural Design’ award at the Asia Property Awards in 2017, a first for Sri Lanka in this platform.
20 Cabanas stretch out across the property blending between nearly 200 coconut trees and plants. All 20 Cabanas are designed the same, offering the same facilities and amenities to guests with 4 of the rooms being twin rooms while the rest are double rooms. One of the most striking features of Jetwing Surf are the handmade cabanas built with interwoven rope and wood complete with a thatched roof made with woven coconut palm leaves and dried illuk grass.
Facing the ocean, each Cabana has natural ventilation thanks to the sea breeze and the natural cooling effect from the sustainable material while the 3 wall mounted fans in the room provides additional ventilation. Each room has a massive canopy bed flanked by two wall sofa sets and an outdoor seating area with a table and chairs and summer beds for maximum relaxation.
The outdoor bathroom is a highlight of the Cabana. The open concept shower made with coconut husks and a sink with a conch shell for a tap really highlighted the resorts eco-friendly ethos. The bathroom also has an indoor shower with hot and cold water so guests are given a comfortable option to chose from.
What really sets the Cabanas apart are the small amenities they provide. Toilet paper made from recycled wheat husk, sun hats and slippers, an espresso machine besides the tea and coffee and a water pot to wash your feet before you enter your room after a visit to the sandy beach are little factors that contributed towards our stay in a big way.
Jetwing Surfs attempt at zero carbon footprint and their sustainable practices were truly commendable. Our Cabanas had little to no plastic save for the water bottle which they even recommend guests to reuse and even the toiletries are wrapped in recycled pouches and a little note asked guests to reuse their towels if they wish to.
Moreover, their 100% natural ventilation was a welcoming change. The heat from the sun gets cut off from the sea breeze and it encourages guests to spend a lot of their time outside on their massive patio. We really only stayed inside our Cabana to sleep and spent a majority of our time out on the deck, curled up on their summer bed reading a book or watching the high tides of the sea crash into the sand.
TIP - The Southeast coast boasts a stunning sunrise so don’t forget to wake up a little early to watch it!
Jetwing Surf had undoubtably some of the best cuisines we’ve had the pleasure of tasting. The main restaurant at Surf is helmed by Executive Chef Tharanga Dharshana and Chef Lahiru Chinthana. Both Chefs have extensive experience in the hotel industry both locally and internationally and it is this experience that shines through with their dishes.
Facing the Indian Ocean, the restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor seating so it’s a scenic and breezy location to dine in. Guests can choose to have their meals either from their a la carte menu which includes multiple vegan options or the Chefs curated set menu. The Chefs curated menu is a 5-6 course meal, whether its for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and is served fine dining style with beautiful presentation. Having stayed at the hotel for 3 days and having opted to have their set menu for all 3 meals each day we were never served the same dish twice. Starting from appetizers to mains and then desert, the curated menu had several options to choose from for each course. Not only were we impressed with the plating of the dishes, we were also impressed by the combination of flavours in each dish. The Chefs takes simple ingredients and combines them to create culinary delights.
Whether you are looking for local flavours or a global fusion; food at Jetwing Surf is a true gastronomical experience.
TIP - If you are looking for something romantic, the resort can arrange a beautiful candlelight dinner on the beach with a 7-course seafood dinner.
Take a dip in the resorts infinity pool overlooking the ocean or settle down in the built-in lily pads for a relaxing read. The sun is quite hot in Pottuvil and the pool is the perfect place to cool down.
Can be arranged on request
The East coast has an abundance of activities and attractions to keep the explorer in you busy and we heartily recommend that you explore! All cabanas have a small booklet with a list of attractions and activities in the East. You can contact the resorts Recreation Manager Mr. Hiran Ukwatte to arrange your itinerary.
Surf: If you made the long journey to the East and didn’t catch a wave at one of the best surfing destinations in Asia then you really haven’t enjoyed your trip to its fullest! The surfing season (May-September) beckons surfers from all over the world to enjoy Arugam Bay’s many surf points. For beginners, the Whiskey Point is the ideal place to learn while the Pottuvil Point will give experienced surfers the longest surf break in South Asia (800m).
Lagoon/River Safari: The Urani River flanked by mangroves makes for a peaceful safari at the early hours of the morning. A 2-hour journey up and down the river, guests are treated to the sights of resting crocodiles, bathing elephants and rare birds.
Historical Sites – With a culture of over 2500 years, make sure to visit historic places such as the Muhudu Maha Viharaya, Magul Maha Viharaya and the many national parks like the Lahugala National Park, Gal Oya National Park and the Kumana National Park.
The service at Jetwing Surf was very friendly and accommodating. The staff is extremely welcoming whether you met them at the desk or you are passing them by, they would always stop to smile and greet you. As you enter the resort, you are asked to light an oil lamp and Resident Manager Mr. Dilip Kumar gives you a small overview of the hotel and helps you to plan out your stay. The quick service and the warmth of the staff really contributed a lot towards a relaxing break for us.
This hotel is ideal for anyone. Whether its for a family, a group of friends or a couple looking for a romantic getaway; Jetwing Surf comes strongly recommended for anyone looking for a relaxing vacation.
Yes. Free Wi-Fi at high speed.
Pics by: Dasun Muthugala