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A visit to Pasikudah: Memo from ‘Maalu Maalu’

by Dushy Ranetunge at Maalu Maalu

Pasikudah and Kalkudah are exotic beaches, where you can walk 30 to 50 yards into the sea. Waves are almost non-existent, making the sea look more like a lagoon

Exotic

Its wide sandy beaches have attracted generations of Sri Lankans and the end of the war has once again begun attracting tourists in large numbers.

When our neighbours in Colombo suggested that we visit “Maalu Maalu”, a new “boutique” hotel in Pasikudah, we had no hesitation in joining them. But before we left, we started getting very negative reviews about the place from previous guests. One complained that the food was poor, and another that there was no hair dryer in the rooms.

No hesitation

Maalu Maalu had been publicised in a “flattering” article as a “boutique hotel” in a popular newspaper, perhaps resulting in misleading the public. It is unlikely that the person who wrote that article stayed at the hotel or obtained any reviews and feedback from guests.

To call Maalu Maalu a boutique hotel, would be to call a Toyota a Rolls Royce.

A Toyota is a perfectly good car, but it is no Rolls Royce, even if you try to sell it at an exorbitant price.

No Rolls Royce

We reached Maalu Maalu at noon on Saturday 20th August. On our way, we decided to cancel lunch at Maalu Maalu and instead have lunch at Polonnaruwa rest house.

The rest house in Polonnaruwa has always been a favourite watering hole from my childhood. We usually sit at the other end of the rest house, outside on the patio under the araliya trees, overlooking the Parakrama Samudra with the wind in our faces. As a child I would run to this spot as soon as the car had stopped as there were no other hotels or places to stay anywhere around.

Now I do the same with my kids, who climbed down to the water to wet their feet, while we had some tea and ordered devilled pork. We were glad that we had stopped here as this place has an old world charm like the Green Cabin in Colombo, and now there is DEET to ward off the mosquitoes.

2-acre plot

Maalu Maalu is situated on the Pasikudah beach spanning a 2-acre plot of land where 40 rooms have been squeezed in. There are only two mature trees on the entire two acres. These are both palm trees, and as a result, there is no shade and it is extremely hot. A large number of other palm-type trees had been newly planted, but these were at most 4 feet tall and offered no shade.

Being a 2 acre plot, the self-drive parking was also limited, but drivers had separate quarters with parking in a nearby property.

Struggle

There are about 100 members of staff and most of them are locals, being a BOI project. They were trainees, and as a result, service was a struggle.

The concept of a “boutique hotel” has a sense of “exclusivity”. There is no exclusivity at Maalu Maalu except for the prices that are high as there are no other hotels in the area.

prices

The whole street is like a construction site. Numerous hotels are being erected on this stretch of beach, but Maalu Maalu, which is owned by Connaisance de Ceylan, has beat them to it by being the first to open.

As a result, they are charging premium prices; the kinds of prices which will not be sustainable once the other hotels open their doors.

humans

Occupancy was running at 30% and that might explain why some of the other hotel constructions seemed to have stalled. There were many concrete columns but no humans around.

Quality of Accommodation

The architecture is similar to that of Vil Uyana. The roof is thatched and the rooms are cladded in wood; there the similarity stops.

It’s as if the Vil Uyana room concept has been taken, and then squeezed, so that 20 units (2 rooms per unit, one on the top floor and one on the ground floor) could be fitted into 2 acres. Consequently, the site looks “crowded”, not what one would expect from a “boutique” hotel.

The other “boutique” hotel that is crowded into a small space is “The Fortress” in Galle. There again, the comparison stops.

squeezing

This squeezing has resulted in strange architectural proportions. The best way to describe them is to say that each of the 20 units has the resemblance of a pitched roof on a double-decker bus.

The ground floor room had a standard-sized bedroom with a large bathroom to the rear of the room. There was a similar arrangement on the first floor, but the space created by the pitched roof had been utilized above the bathroom to create a loft space and two extra beds, with small steep stairs leading up to the loft from behind the bed.

So while the ground floor bedroom has a double bed and a bathroom, the first floor bedrooms can sleep 4, with 2 beds in loft space but still one bathroom. This makes all the 1st floor rooms family rooms, 20 in total.

Although an architect had designed Maalu Maalu, I was informed that Chandra Wickramasinghe, Chairman of Connaisance de Ceylan, had influenced the design.

One contractor, I was informed, was a local from Valachchenai and another contractor, known to Chandra Wickramasinghe, was from Matara.

dark

The finishes were poor and reflect inexperienced, unskilled hands. The floor boards were cracked, badly fitted and poor in quality. The excessive use of cut cement made the rooms look dark, especially in the bathroom.

In Sri Lanka they call it “rustic”. I call it cheap.

Our clothes hanger in the shower area was not fitted properly and it was hanging on one screw.

There was no iron or hair dryer in our “suite”.

This was clearly extremely poor service for the premier suite of what is claimed to be a “boutique” hotel, charging Rs 88,000 for the suite, for 4 members of our family in a “family room” for two nights.

The safe in the bedroom was faulty and bleeped intermittently the whole day and night. We had to call reception and they had to open the safe with a master key, every time we wanted it opened.

We were, together with our neighbours in Colombo, in one of Maalu Maalu’s premier suites – first floor rooms No. 18 and 20, also labelled the Panorama suite. They were identical in size to ordinary first floor rooms described previously, with the exception of a super view of the beach, as these rooms were the closest to the beach. A plunge pool had to be shared between 4 rooms, which were all classified as “suites”, in the up and down two-unit cluster. A small balcony was accessible from the bathrooms, which had to be shared between rooms 18 & 20, and the “suite” bathrooms had a standard bathtub with a Jacuzzi.

In our opinion, to call these rooms “suites” was as ambitious as calling the place a “boutique” hotel. We would call them superior family rooms.

Health & Safety

The Jacuzzis in the bathroom had a serious health and safety issue. The Jacuzzi was plugged into the wall less than 6 inches from the ledge of the bathtub.

An ordinary plug point inside the bathroom less than six inches from the water-splashing Jacuzzi poses a serious risk of electric shock. In addition, directly above the plug point, fixed to the wall, is a chrome cage for soap etc., which will result in water dripping onto and into the ordinary plug.

No European health and safety inspector would have authorised such an installation, as it would be considered a serious violation.

But here, in Sri Lanka, there is no such awareness.

The solution is for all these to be replaced with plugs and lights with an IP rating of 44 or higher, which offers protection against splashing water.

Risk

Once I brought it to the attention of the manager, he accepted the risk and gave assurances that action will be taken.

The two electrical lights inside the shower, covered only with wooden board, glass and white paint, are also a health and safety risk. Rising steam from the shower will in time make its way into electricity, exposing the person using the shower to electric shock. European electrical standards require only special sealed light units of IP44 or similar to be fitted in shower areas.

Special regulations exist for lighting in bathrooms to maximise protection.

Food

Although we had received complaints about food from previous guests at Maalu Maalu, we found the food to be above average. Food was served as a buffet. This has its own limitations, as food being warmed up continuously on a buffet is neither fresh nor of quality, but “popular” in Sri Lanka.

On Saturday night there was a BBQ in addition to the buffet.

On both nights we ordered Lobster Thermidor and seafood platters that also had lobster to enhance our experience, and the food was above average. We were introduced to the chef and it was claimed that he had won awards in the Maldives. There was chilli crab for lunch as part of the buffet.

The mojitos served at the pool were too sweet and tasted funny and is not recommended. The Margaritas were small, but good, and I had 6 over two days. The best Margaritas I have had were in Port Douglas in Queensland, Australia, and it is yet to be beaten.

A European couple had a special dinner on the beach and had paid premium rates for set up, including kerosene lamps etc. for a romantic setting. But their tranquillity and experience was spoilt because busloads were bathing at the other end of the bay with dance music blaring out. After a while the dance music stopped and I felt happy for them. But within half an hour, dance music was replaced by Sinhalese bajaw music booming out. There are noise pollution laws in Sri Lanka, but the law is busy looking for grease “boothayas”.

Staff first talked of champagne and how expensive it was for dinner on the beach. When I asked for the wine list, there was no champagne. In fact most of the wines on the wine list were not available. They offered me a sparking Australian wine, not on the wine list, and charged me a ridiculous Rs 8,000 – almost USD70.

The following day they revised the wine list and I ordered a South African chardonnay at Rs 4900 – almost USD 40.

We were in South Africa a few weeks ago and for the same bottle of wine in a much better hotel, we paid less than half price.

A lot of the imported crockery on the table was chipped.

Sri Lankan manufactures have rolled edged tableware especially manufactured for hotels so that they are less prone to chipping.

Star Rating

I think the problem that this hotel faces of one of ratings. When inquired we were told that they expect a tourism board rating of 4 star plus and that they hope to get rated within 6 months. We think the Sri Lankan tourism board needs to revise their ratings as most of us gave Maalu Maalu a rating of 3 star plus and a few, lower end of 4 star.

When guests from Colombo, drive 300km paying exorbitant rates expecting a “Boutique” hotel arrive at Maalu Maallu, they are clearly disappointed. The air-conditioned glass room that has the entire buffet (starter, drinks, mains, dessert) is only slightly larger than the air-conditioned glass room that displays ONLY the desserts at the Habarana Lodge.

So, visit Maalu Maalu expecting “boutique” hotel or even 4 stars plus and you are guaranteed to be disappointed.

But if you visit, expecting to pay exorbitant rates for a 3 star plus because it’s the only hotel on a superb beach, then you will have a great time as we did.

Since we had already received poor reviews, we visited Maalu Maalu with low expectations. The service was a struggle, but the staff were pleasant and the beach and sea were great. We had a great time, despite the faults. But it was clearly not value for money.

Ridiculous

Frequently in Sri Lanka they charge ridiculous rates without a corresponding improvement in service and quality. It is, I suppose, a form of highway robbery, but not one that could be sustained for long.

It’s extremely hot during the day and you cannot go to the pool or the beach/sea between 9am and 4pm. Unlike Trincomalee, there is no Pigeon Island, snorkelling, hot springs, fort or any other attraction to keep you occupied. Batticaloa is 30km away. Two nights at Maalu Maalu is more than adequate. During the day you hear construction noise from the adjoining sites.

My 19-year-old British born daughter felt uncomfortable with young men hanging around dark ally ways between the two bedroom units. I had not noticed; but after she pointed it out, I realised that they were builders – further building work was going on in the site near the car park. It was not an issue, but might be of concern for some.

Wonderful

The sea was wonderful and during day we drove around and explored the area.

For our bedroom (they called it a suite), which accommodated 4 members of our family ( 2 in the loft) for two days, the cost was Rs.136,000. This included Rs 88,000 which covered full board for two nights, and the balance was extras such as wine, lobster etc. That works out at about USD 600 per night, for essentially a 3 star plus, family room.

The neighbourhood

About a kilometre from the hotel is the railway station and all around are landmine-warning notices. We inquired from two soldiers and they informed us that landmines are still being cleared.

Since the land mines zones seem to be around a Sri Lankan army camp, it is possible that the army, to protect their camp from LTTE attacks, has laid these land mines. I am familiar with the area since I had visited these camps and Batticaloa during the LTTE occupation of the area, and stayed with the General in Minneriya. There is less of a military presence now and the main roads are in good condition, but the minorities are still hostile.

On Sunday morning I visited Valachchenai, a Tamil town, and the adjoining Muslim town of Oddamavaddy. I was alone and started talking to some men who were standing outside Abu Bakar’s shop. One was a prawn farmer.

Economy

There was hostility towards the government and the security forces. He said that “Ranil” was more intelligent than “Mahinda” and that the economy in the area was down. He went on to say that the economy would perform much better if “Ranil” was in power because his party “understands” business. He said “Mahinda’s” lot are only interested in filling their pockets. He says the ethnic problem will return because everyone needs to be treated equally and “Mahinda’s” lot are only helping themselves.

“Grease” men

He claims that the “grease” men are security force personnel. He described a situation where several grease men had been chased into police or navy posts; but when the police and navy were questioned about the whereabouts of the grease men, they denied that they had seen anyone running into their camps. He said that as a result, the people are not handing these grease men to the security forces, but instead, they are killing them. He said that several bodies have been found.

According to him, there was a serious incident a few days ago in Oddamavaddy and tyres were burnt on the street. In an adjoining area a police post had been attacked, he said.

That afternoon we drove a few miles towards Batticaloa and there was a heavy police/army presence along the main road. We inquired about the deployment and were told that it was necessary to tackle the grease men.

The police and the security forces said that it might be “opposition” troublemakers, naming the JVP as being behind the grease men phenomena. They also say that Tamils in the area are hostile to them, although polite on the surface.

The TNA won in this area.

Mental health or behavioural issues

I told them that some are pointing towards security force involvement in the grease men phenomena. They asked me if I thought it is possible for the police and the security forces to be involved after the same forces had rescued the country from terrorism at great cost.

Mental illness and psychological issues among combatants in Sri Lanka, Iraq, Afghanistan etc. was discussed.

They said that as far as they are aware, there is no one in the police or the security forces with mental health or behavioural issues.

Bizarre

A French teenager was swimming in the pool at Maalu Maalu and our two children started talking to her in French.

The French teenager told our children, in French, that Sri Lanka is a beautiful country, but that the politics was bizarre.

107 Comments

  1. Bruno Umbato says:

    Thanks Dushy educating us on Malu Malu with many ‘Katakathas’ … Best is that the french teenager telling his two children (one is 19 year-British-born daughter) that the politics in the country is bizarre.
    Have a good time, Dushy, in this foreign country of yours …

  2. Justice and Fairplay says:

    Dushy, you have given some wonderful and priceless “feedback” for the owners of Maalu Maalu. This effort is the clearest indication that you care and that you want Sri Lanka to measure up to the standards elsewhere and not to be thinking ahead of itself. I only hope all your efforts will be in vain, or worse, seen in a different light by others who may try to read too much into what you have stated in good faith.

  3. Venkatesh says:

    Hey Dushy you joker, it is okey visiting hotels. But for god`s sake do not demand for lavariya and halape and threaten to write to papers about it. Spend hundred bucks and buy them if you really like them. Clown of a highest order

  4. sr says:

    ”Sri Lankan politics is bizarre” is exactly what I’ve heard from many children of my relatives who have gone abroad to live.

  5. Patta Pal says:

    Bizarre is the operative word, in a country that claims everything is normal, which may be on the surface, but one does not have to delve any deeper than hang around near a shop and chat with the locals and discover the place is anything but normal.

    So here in SL we go on extorting from guest for poor service, completely oblivious to the obvious faults, (basics any hotelier with international experience would know regards basic standards of safety) thinking that tourism in SL would go from strength to strength and that manna would fall from heaven. That is the world that the pied piper Rajapakse’s have created with hardly a detractor willing to open their mouth and so fool the world!

    Lets hope that people in Sri Lanka will soon see enough sense to combat the evil of deception and throw the brigands out without tarnishing further the reputation of Sri Lanka.

  6. Kumaran says:

    Good article with photos.
    As a Sri Lankan born architect I enjoyed many aspects of this write up. Cut cement finish seems to be the craze these days.
    I visited Pasikudah beach one afternoon at the end of December 2010 and this must have been the hotel I saw under construction in the distance.

    Prices do seem high though.
    Thanks to Dushy R and DBSJ for posting this.

  7. Vanakkam says:

    What do you know about food man?.Stay in England don`t come to Sri Lanka. We do not want jokers like you here.

  8. Dhsamanya says:

    The original tamil owners of these land were chased away by the srilankan army and now they have build a sinhalese owned hotel.. the real tamil owners are now living in a refugee camp.. this is ethinic cleansing

  9. Ranjan, Toronto says:

    Hi Dushy,

    It is interesting to note that amid your hotel critique you manage to slip in a propaganda item for your family friend and the perennial loser Ranil!! Very smooth I must say…. very smooth indeed.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Dushy,
    You should enter this in Tripadvisor.com

  11. Kalu Albert says:

    USD 880 for two nights for 4 people is excellent value, specially when allowed to gorge on fine sea food.

    A budget Motel room costs in a suburb in the West costs $ 150 plus for 4 people, unless one prefers a dirty Caravan.

    Bottle of plonk in good restaurants have 300 to 400 percent mark ups in any Western country , again unless one buys a bottle on the way to a little Chinese Restaurant.

    And there aren’t any Chinese restaurants along pristine beaches in the West, where there is accommodation and exclusive Candle Light Dinning on the Beach..

    These places are meant for people who like exclusivity and prepared to pay for it.

    One good aspect of the article is the plug for Pollonnaruwa, the magnificent cradle of Sinhala Civilization..

    Parakrama Samudraya which was built more than 2000 years ago by the great a Sinhala King , still being part of the life line of the people there, is unbelievable.

    Pollonnaruwa guest house will be on my list for sure , just to watch the Parakrama Sanudraya and enjoy coldie, prefarably a Lion Lager stubby that is now available.

    The long neck is absolutely hopeless because of the stifling heat out outdoors.

    Being a cheapskate does not allow one to enjoy life to the fullest.

  12. wije says:

    The French teenager told our children, in French, that Sri Lanka is a beautiful country, but that the politics was bizarre.

    How bizarre are politics in France, the land of Madame Guillotine and army coup attempts? JR Jayawardene claimed that he was inspired by the 5th Republic when he put together the 1978 constitution. That explains a great deal!

  13. Pro Bono Publico says:

    good write up Dushy hope the owners take heed and improve

    @ Dhsamanya,please clarrify and dont just write,the owners are a reputed organisation in Colombo and unlikely to resort to such tactics

  14. Bruno Umbato says:

    Please do not come to Sri Lanka thinking Toyota a Rolls Royce … Sri Lanka has just come out from three decades of worst terror world has ever seen and expecting miracles within short time belongs to the mind of Srilankan haters … As long as the country moving along right direction (growth rate more than 8.5%, share market one of best if not the best, new infrastructure projects starting we have never seen before, foreign currency reserves at record, export and tourism booming, foreign universities to start, bumper harvest in paddy, east and north growth rate picking up in very big numbers), all these shortcomings could be tolerated. It does not mean people who are flamboyant rich proud guys (like Dushy) should not complain … They should and people should notice and improve … But, srilankans should not care much about the ideas/gossips of these children who live in foreign countries. But, I understand the importance given to these children’s ideas/gossips by their parents as god’s words. … These parents are lovers of western cultures like Dushy and so they obviously give much more value to their offspring’s ideas as they are 100% western …

  15. mike says:

    Thank you! now this is a real hotel review! Awesome job. Wish all Sri Lankan hoteliers, who think they know everything like Chandra W., would read this.

  16. Jayantha says:

    So It is expensive ha ha,It is everywhere in Sri Lanka.Why Every business has to pay a commission to politician who is in charge,The commssion is Millions.So If this is a BOI project they have to pay a commission before evan they put a stone to build the project.Soo,service I do not want to talk about it.sri lankan guest who is comming to these hotes also make money from illegal way.These prices are not a big deal for them it is a presteage for them to pay Rs 80000 for worthless bottle of wine since most of them do not know what is the good wine is.So god bless commedy country.

  17. Jayantha says:

    One thing to say,The commission they pay to the courrupt system,has to shair by the public ordinary people.

  18. Srilankan Born says:

    Mr Ranetunga;s British born 19 Year Old must be wary of the British born hooded, who were seen stuffing their jackets with the loot, during the recent riots in London.

    Srilankan born at least are trying to make an honest living, although they have to work in dark alleys.

  19. Colombaa says:

    Recently I met a guy in Montreal,who had returned from Sri Lanka with his in law who was trying to explore some business venture in order to do some big scale investments. When I told him I’m a Sri Lankan,he smiled and told me,
    “Sri Lanka is a beautiful country.”
    “But,Lot of Corruption!”,which never surprised me at all.
    I asked him what happened to your in law’s plan of that business venture.
    He said,”NO,he has different plans now!
    Oh my God,Please save my Motherland.

  20. rajiv says:

    Pls do not come to sri lanka.Pls write about uk riots from there.kalu sudas like you will never understand
    asin culture.Hope your british born daughter is safe from rioters.

  21. wajira says:

    Fedup of these “Kalu Sudda type pamporis”. They just wanted to show they have eaten this and that and have visited this place and that place. Tourism is not a very good option for such small country as it would only create marginalization of the average Sri Lankan, whether it is Tamil, Sinhala or Muslim. Instead should look more for other production related ventures like apparel industry and agriculture.

  22. dilan says:

    Dear tamils,original tamils must be in india,not sri lanka,you came to sri lanka for laber work from india.anywere now your people staying hear,if you want live in in sri lanka just think your are sri lankan,not indian or tami.other wise your in troble.

  23. sr says:

    ”just come out of a thirty year war”

    63-yr oppression is going on unabated:

    Jayantha Dhanapala’s submission to Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission(LLRC), 25 August 2010: ‘’Each and every Government which held office from 1948 till the present bear culpability for the failure to achieve good governance, national unity and a framework of peace, stability and economic development in which all ethnic, religious and other groups could live in security and equality. Our inability to manage our own internal affairs has led to foreign intervention but more seriously has led to the taking of arms by a desperate group of our citizens.’’ (Dhanapala is of the ethnic majority community and was formerly UN Under-Secretary General for Disarmament).

  24. Patta Pal says:

    An interesting collection of comments from all sides of the spectrum, and it is an indication of some of the thinking of people in Sri Lanka, who really do not understand a top class review like that written by Mr Ranetunge. He has not got any special favors from hotels to write a review like many of the so called critics so it is purely based on his experience and those of his immediate family and the friends he went with.

    We should take up the points he made and do a thorough evaluation of what it is we want to do about Tourism in SL without kidding ourselves that the country is free, safe and open!

    We must understand that a Goal of 2.5M tourists by 2016 is a pipe dream if we do not know the subject at all. We have jokers running the tourist business who really do not understand what the client wants. Hence the reason for the bunch of local tour operators who gave v high marks for Maalu Maalu on their visit. I bet no one notices how dangerous the electrical outlet was!! That goes to show our professionals do not know their subject, and must open themselves to objective criticism from international travelers like Dushy who have a basis of comparison.

    To those detractors, who have become personal against the writer, I am sorry you even have access to the net!

  25. Dilip says:

    I have stayed at Maalu Maalu on 2 different occasions and find your article to be extremely biased right from the start of the article. Maalu Maalu is a unique concept on a uniquely beautiful pristine stretch of Beach unlike any in the world. It is the owners wish to price his product according to his wishes. I think the occupancy at Maalu MAalu will determine if the price is right or not. As far as I know the hotel is averaging near 90% occupancy from the day it opened in May and I found it extremely difficult to get a booking for even 1 night.

    Considering the hotel was opened only a few months ago and work is still not fully completed, certain construction defects/shortcomings might be prevalent. Since it is the first hotel in the east coast to commence after the war and that most employees are from the region, service levels will definitely improve with time. However, we found the house keeping to be immaculate and food qulaity (specially seafood) to be excellent.

    I am looking forward to my next visit to Maalu Maalu and will recommend the hotel to any one seeking a unique experience in the east coast. I think the photos above are a good indication of the beauty of the place.

    I thank the writer for the beautiful photos and for giving me an opportunity to write about Maalu Maalu.

  26. IPS says:

    Are You LTTE?….. Know….

  27. Perrera says:

    Uh oh, Dushy, looks like owner of Maalu Maalu just saw your review….

  28. Perrera says:

    Adey, you put big tork of tourist but now tourist come and complain you no want toourist, huh?

  29. Dushy Ranetunge says:

    Parakrama Samudra was NOT built by a Sinhala king

  30. Anton James says:

    Hi Dushy,

    A good review of Maalu Maalu. The photos are great. I liked your comment on the Jacuzzis. It is indeed a serious concern.

    But in typical ‘Dushy style’ you have taken the opportunity to hold a brief for ‘Ranil’ whilst taking a swipe at ‘Mahinda”.

  31. Kanda says:

    Dushy,
    Well done. I have always wanted to write something about Paasikkuda-a swimming paradise in terms of western standards or any standards. This has now turned out to be a hell-hole. In the early 1960s I used to ride on my motor cycle, inevitably with a friend, take some refreshment in the form of coconut toddy or arrack, strip ourselves naked (for there used to be no intruders) go for a swim. After sometimes it became populated to an extent we had to dip in with some underwear, and I am not grumbling about it – one has to adapt to the situation.
    But the pathetic situation it has now come down to is more than unbearable. The last time I went with my family ( in April 2011) with my children and their kids, I found that it is totally unacceptable as a place of recreation. PET bottles and polythene bags strewn all over the place and the wells provided for washing away the saline water was so polluted with extraneous matters in addition to the algae within.

    What is more, the Muslim women, for want of alternatives of recreation in the area, dip themselves in this water fully clothed and seemed to have some relief in visibly spitting and urinating into the sea (please forgive me if I am wrong) as some of their children verbally described in the act perhaps reading from the expression of their moms.

    As it turned out, my children refused to take a dip in the so called famous bathing beach and we finally had to end up for consolation in Nilaveli beach. I must say that Nilaveli is tolerable at the present time, it is heading the same way.
    There are only few tricks that need to rectify the situation and really make it a paradise. But the authorities and their henchmen are interested in a quick buck and get away. Is it because it is coming sooner than later?

  32. taos says:

    Hi Dhsamanya,
    the original tamil owners live in Putney next door to us. they said they bought the town house and the furniture with the money Dhammika paid them. they are also giving another house and furniture(laminated)as a dowry to their 18 year old Pasikuda born daughter.
    Hi Dushy, I think you should have spent the 80G’s at Polonnaruwa.. could have spent a month there and got a lesson on Humility for free.
    i must say the devil pork at the rest house is good. but we have to agree that it is a far cry from the top notch ones you would find in the quaint swiss village of oberfrick, an hour away from Zurich.

  33. kumar says:

    Hey Bruno, Dushy is a tourist and he is contributing to the Srilankan economy. We need tourist dollars. Remember the saying, beggers can’t be choosers. He is paying for the service and he has the right to complain, if not satified. If Malu Malu is taking the tourist for a ride, thats a bad name for the hotel and to the country. Atleast, he has the guts to point it out.

    You are correct, In your openion, Srilankans do not care. That’s the problem to being with.

  34. kumar says:

    Dilip, it is hard for me to understand whether Dushy is biased or yourself. Two different experience. But a picture will speak thousand of words. The picture with the bath tub and the electrical connection speaks volumes.

  35. rajiv says:

    We do not care about what you eat and drink.If you need cheap alco. go to a kassipu den.Ihave been following your articals for some times.Mr/Mrs dushy you guys hate Srilanka.So pls stay in UK write to us about those riots.P

  36. rajiv says:

    We do not care about what you eat and drink.If you need cheap alco. go to a kassipu den.Ihave been following your articals for some times.Mr/Mrs dushy you guys hate Srilanka.So pls stay in UK write to us about those riots.Hope you and yourr family is safe.Take care do not worry about sri lanka.

  37. Anonymous says:

    May be in Sinhala , it means that the French Teenagers couldn’t understand why our Politicians don’t behave like their President Sarkoskcy and potential next President Srauus Khan.

    Bizarre isn; it?.

  38. kotagode says:

    This reminds me of what Bernard Shaw said about Ceylon (as the island was called at that time).
    It seems he said something to this effect: that the land is beutiful and everything is pleasing, exept the people who are wile.

  39. Tamil says:

    dilan,
    do not threaten. now that the emergency is lifted (and PTA is still in effect) things will be different.
    your rulers will have to think twice as they are watched by the human rights organisations.

  40. Bruno Umbato says:

    Save the motherland from people like you … Propagate ‘KATAKATHA’ and prove it by showing people who has believed these ‘katakatha’ … What a way to propagate gossips … I never say there are no corruptions and rogue deals in Sri Lanka … I think they are propotional to the number and size (money involved) of the projects … It’s pretty obvious that those bad deals are on the rise as many projects have been started in the country as never before .. of course those bad things should be eliminated … But, many who complained those crrupt deals loudly dispropotionate to the level of corruption do so because they are not in a position to do it by themselves … Level of corruption in SL is no more or less than any other country in this region … But, that is not a excuse to practice this ugly menace in any country … especially country like in SRI LANKA as it is just beginning to catch up with civilized world after three decades of worst terrorism faced by any country in the world …

  41. Ma-Rout-Ti says:

    As bizarre as French muslims being prohibited by French law o wear hijab.. bizarre indeed !

  42. Kalu Albert says:

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm,

    Wonder whether our British mates built that too ????.

  43. Dushy Ranetunge says:

    Hi Anton,

    I am merely reporting what the man said.. if the man said that Mahinda was god, I will report it and infact my son is writing an article and in it Mahinda has more influence than Buddha among the Sinhalese…

  44. Chinthaka says:

    Good review for ‘Malu Malu’… But as usual this guy, Dushey goes on and on with his Sri Lanka hatred, looking from a Para glider’s view.

    Your attitude needs to be changed man… Stop comparing ev’thing you come across in SL with UK… Those tourist locations are just coming up and it will take time to look near to perfect. Also they are meant for foreigners like you, but not for kalu suddas like you who still complain about money. Do you think with 88K you can have all the luxioury you wanted for 4 ppl in two days?

  45. Bruno Umbato says:

    Please read my comment again … Quoting a part of it, it says “…. It does not mean people who are flamboyant rich proud guys (like Dushy) should not complain … They should and people should notice and improve ….”
    But, I said Srilankans should not care about two cents advices from any Tom and Dick like some foreign born teenagers whose parents are srilankan born .. It is because they are fully blown westerners …. They are more westernized and appreciate the western culture than even real westerners … They have no appreciation of Srilankan culture and only see the faults … nothing good in SL in their eyes … Their advices have no worth except for their proud parents …

  46. Kaz says:

    It is this false mindset of yours that makes Sri Lanka such a failure and will remain one.

  47. Ranjan, Toronto says:

    Of course not Dushy, it was not built by a Sinhala king, same as the other hundreds of thousands of ancient reservoirs and tanks that dot the countryside in Sri Lanka were not built by Sinhalese.

  48. Dushy Ranetunge says:

    Congratulations! you spotted a traitor, eh?

    How smart you are.

    Now Thank Britain, United States and India for removing emergency law in Sri Lanka.

  49. Dushy Ranetunge says:

    His mother was a Kalinga from South India and one of the first Tamil inscriptions in Jaffna was by him.

  50. Kalu Albert says:

    Guys,

    As some advertising gurus say any publicity is good publicity.

    8000 plus Foreigners visited our sacred Dalada Maligawa.

    Another 9000 plus Foreigners watched that greatest cultural and religious festival on Earth, Kandy Perehera.

    This is a great a result ,in light of the constant ridicule and denigration of this sacred place by this same writer.

    Our magnificent beaches along the East coast need publicity. Maalu Maalu has given that courtesy of the writer.

    According to Mr Jeyaraj this News Letter has a six figure subscriber rate on a regular basis.

    Most of these are potential visitors to the North and the East, although they may stay away from Maalu Maalu after this writer’s advice.

    Then again Maalu Maalu is intended for the top end of the flock visiting our Land not the proletariat like us.

    North East needs tourists accommodation like Maalu Maalu to create jobs for the young lads and lasses from poor families who were captives of the liberation.and missed out places overseas or even decent jobs.

    It is heartening to note that Sinhalese are investing big time in these Tourist Hotels at great risk to their capital for the politicians of these regions haven’t still given up their claim to land ownership and police powers.

    Tourist arrivals are forecast to double over the next two to three years.That is over Miilion and half each year..

    This not taking into consideration, the former inhabitants of the North and the East who may wish to visit their former homelands.

    Even if a quarter of the Tourists travel to the North East.it will be a major bonanza to the Economy there.

    As responsible people who wish a better life for the inhabitants, especially the inhabitants of these Terrorism affected areas we should not rubbish our Hotels and frighten away potential visitors.

  51. Bruno Umbato says:

    Mahinda has more Inflence than Buddha among Sinhalese! What a crap?
    My dear Dushy, your son has long way to go before taking pulses of a community … Anyway, it is a Interesting disclosure by a one proud father about son’s writing … Good luck for him ..

  52. Patta Pal says:

    The value of a review can also be measured by the number of comments it receives, and I am gladdened that it has elicited so many despite a good proportion being defensive of the status quo.

    Nevertheless this kind of debate is healthy if Sri Lanka is to improve on the appalling standards of its tourist product, if it is to seriously compete with the rest of the world, because is it all about value for money. For one to pay a premium price to even stay in a hut on the Parsedkudah Bay, I would either want exclusivity or some kind of privacy.

    So even though Maalu Maalu is the first hotel on the strip, the extra one should pay for that privilege can only be justified if there is no construction work going on around, and unabated noise pollution from visitors severely curtailed.

    There are value for money price points in tourism, based on a number of facts such as uniqueness, exclusivity, lack of pollution which includes sound, beach, and air. From the facts gleaned in the review the place does not enjoy any of that, so the overpriced tag is a no brainer. There is no reason why it could not have been done to a higher standard, but I fear short term gains over long term sustainability is the cry of the greedy.

    For a start from the money that the Govt. received for selling all the land around the bay, if they just spent Rs1M to clean up and pick up all the debris along the beach, what a difference it would make. Actually even walking barefoot on the beach there is a danger due to the broken bottles from the arrack parties the young kids who visit the place not for swimming but for drinking throw around. There is a looooooooooooooong way for SL Tourism just to grow up from the current teenage syndrome.

  53. dushy Ranetunge says:

    He stayed and taught english at an orphanage in pittakotte this month.

    A little girl did not have a pencil and my son had asked another boy to give his extra pencil to the little girl. He had refused. My son had then said, think about buddha, his compassion and what he would have done, but the boy ignored my son’s request.

    My son then said, think about mahinda, what would he have done, and the boy had given an extra pencil to the little girl, because Mahinda would have approved.

  54. khalid Yousefus says:

    Well, Well, it was so interesting reading Dushys comments, the best part what I really enjoyed about was his “Bragging” obout how he enjoyed his “Margarita is “Queensland” and how he ate Lobster Thermidor during his entire stay…..well friends I must tell you that as a Emirati National living in Dubai and studied in UK, I have seen many of this type of Sri Lankans…I bet you this guy Dushy is bragging about his margaritas and lobster thermidor, but if you really want to see how Sri Lankan British Refugees live in that country you will be shocked, this guy is most probably eating boiled potatoes and chapathis from the indian cafe`s all his life. A good writer who has to really write about a “Hotel Review” will not write all the “Shit” about the country, Politics, and all the bullshit as this guy has done. This could be his first visit to a hotel with his hard earned savings in 10 years.

    . Poor chap..I have met so many of these “puff daddys” of Sri Lankan Origin living in the UK eating fish and chips if not paratas..they are wonderful complainers the moment they get an opportunity to travel somewhere and dine..they pay peanuts and talk in the millions. My suggestion to the Management of Maalu Maalu or what ever you call this resort to “Balck List” this guy and his family from entering the hotel, as this is not a genuine review but a basket full of “Bullshit” it would have been apprecaited if he genuienly wrote about the hotels service and not about politics, his lobsters, his daughters politics, his margaritas in queensland and all the bullshit about Ranil and Mahinda has made him look a “typical goof” but you cannot help it as he is trying his best to shouw that is not a Sri Lankan and an original european ….so you have expect things like this from so called britishers living on boiled potatoes and chapathis in the UK. Poor guy..

    Sorry for my english as this is what I was taught from the britishers. God bless this guy..in my terms I would call him an “Infidel” he is not Sri Lankan and neither a Britisher, he has slogged and slaved all his live to get a British Status but he is today neither. So they become Puff Daddys and talk bullshit where ever they go. And Come to Dubai you will find the original brits slogging and slaving in our country as nobody wants them back in their own country. They ride push cycles to work in the UK and they ask us for Mercs in Dubai…pack of bullshitters no wonder they are britishers. Good luck to you man..hope you are enjoying your boiled potatoes back in britian as your staple diet. Cheers! Khalid

  55. Bruno Umbato says:

    I thought that at least Dushy has very liberal free inquisitive western mind … After reading what he just wrote about A LITTLE GIRL /LITTLE BOY AND HIS SON and come to a conclusion that Mahinda has more influence than Buddha, I feel sorry for him … Hatred and opposition to anything thing this government doing has driven him mad ..  Cool it down Dushy … Of course, Mahinda has very very good standing among srilankans purely because they know – he is the leader who had allowed them to live without fear … But, extending with these LITTLE GIRL stories to redicule srilankans and the country is not a act of true gentleman. Even Srilankans who admire Mahinda to the maximum possible cracks jokes about him all the time … Let your son expose to those jokes so that helping him to come to reality … I have never met any community like Srilankan community to have a good time no matter what .. They are jolly good fun loving people and that’s why they even adopted to the worst terror any country has experienced in the history of the world … To portray that kind of community as a back lickers of their leaders is the worst thing anybody could do to srilankans … Free your mind to appreciate the country and it’s people, Dushy … 

  56. T. Siva, Cornwall. ON says:

    Dushy R

    Thank you for the review. Also a about SA and bringing about the chance for a good discussion. Though its sad to see that many have to write so much in an abuse way to make their stand.

  57. rajiv says:

    well said khal;d.This mr Dushy thinks he is the son of queen Elisabeth.

  58. sbarrkum says:

    Bishop Herber not Bernard Shaw.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reginald_Heber
    “What though the spicy breezes blow soft o’er Ceylon’s isle;
    Though every prospect pleases, and only man is vile?

    Gandhi said:

    “You, the missionaries come to India thinking that you come to a land of heathens, of idolators, of men who do not know God. One of the greatest of Christian divines, Bishop Heber, wrote the two lines which have always left a sting with me: ‘Where every prospect pleases, and man alone is vile.’ I wish he had not written them. My own experience in my travels throughout India has been to the contrary. I have gone from one end of the country to the other, without any prejudice, in a relentless search after truth, and I am not able to say that here in this fair land, watered by the great Ganges, the Brahmaputra and the Jumna, man is vile. He is not vile. He is as much a seeker after truth as you and I are, possibly more so” – Mahatma Gandhi, Speech at a Meeting of Missionaries at the Y.M C.A. Calcutta, Vol. 27 p. 434-39, Young India, 6-8-1925, October 8, 1925

  59. Ma-Rout-Ti says:

    Wow Dushey ! The selfishness of little kids and their fickleness is also Mahinda’s fault !! On the basis of that silly situation, your son has come to the conclusion that “Mahinda Rajapakse has Greater Influence in Sri Lanka than the Buddha”. His analytical skills are clearly on par with yours.

    Crikey Man!… Are you for Real ??? Do you realize how stupid that makes you and your son look ?

  60. Kalu Albert says:

    Hi Khalid,

    There are thousands of Srilankans in London , New York, Melbourne and Sydney who are living good lives.

    Among them are Specialist Medical Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers , Bankers , Businessmen and even Politicians.

    These people are used to fine dining in these magnificent cities, where eating has taken a new dimension because of the rapidly growing multi ethnic nature of their societies.

    Live Lobster straight from the tank, and cooked to order, in Cantonese restaurants, Wagyu Beef in mod Western Restaurants and Sushi and Sashimi in posh Japanese Eateries and the latest Tapas Bars are among the myriad of famous cuisine that these people enjoy on regular basis.

    They drink, good Sauvignon Blanc, from New Zealand, Bold and Spicy Reds from Australia and expensive Pinot Noirs and Whites from California.

    Simply because one moron brags about his cheap Chardonnay and the Lobster Thermidor, it is not fair to castigate all Srilankans as Chapati eating Potato Cakes.

  61. Dushy Ranetunge says:

    Think war crimes.

    Now think Buddha and Mahinda Rajapakse.

    On the war crimes debate which side will Buddha stand and which side will Mahinda stand.

    Now, on the issue of war crimes, will the “Sinhalese” stand on Buddha’s side or Mahinda’s side????????????

    When my son, asked the Sinhalese about war crimes, they were all with Mahinda, but said that some murders were committed, but told my son not to tell the other “whites” teaching at the orphanage. because these dark murderous secrets should only be kept with the Sinhalese and that the “whites” should not be told. “keeping it in the family kind of thing….more like tribe…..Tamil LTTE guys behave in the same manner.

    My son found it bizzare.

    my 17 year old son told me that he never wants to live in Sri Lanka as if he does, he will begin to think like the people here, and he does not want that. I agree with him. Perhaps I am also stupid like my son, but hey, I rather prefer he was stuid, rather that be intelligent like you.

  62. Dushy Ranetunge says:

    His father was of Pandyan descent from South India……

  63. rajiv says:

    Hi kalu
    I agree with you.I hope Dushy will not brag again.Now pls let him alone.

  64. Anonymous says:

    Click for pictures taken in Dec 2009:

    http://passikuda.blogspot.com/

    By Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

    It is famous for its shallow sea and salty sand. Heavenly beach in Paasikuda, begins to attract people once again. It is an absolute ideal place for relaxation and renewal.

  65. Dushy Ranetunge says:

    Nissanka Malla who succeded him after a few years of turmoil was in fact born in Kalinga, South India.

  66. Dushy Ranetunge says:

    Hi Kalu,

    Are you bragging to Khalid about your superior knowledge?

  67. Ranjan Hulugalle says:

    What an excellent piece of writing.

    It is a shame that our people are unable to take constructive criticism.

    You have made some valid points based on your first hand experience. I am 100% with you that our tourist product is overpriced and that the industry is not sustainable unless standards go up or prices come down. There are some excellent hotels that I think are well worth the high prices, for example: Tea Trails, and both the Amman hotels in Galle and Tangalle. There are some awesome villas and bungalows as well, but I always have a hard time finding them as there is really no centralized booking directory on the internet.

    I do commend the owners of the hotel for taking a risk with their capital to create jobs and try to make a go of it. I encourage them and all other hoteliers to drop rates and fill the hotels so they can slowly build up their service levels, and then increase their prices. We have to start from a realistic point and not think of pies in the sky.

    As for the person who said occupancy was 90%, I am more inclined to believe your first hand account of 30%. I went to another overpriced boutique hotel last week and we were the only people there. Anecdotal evidence I know, but this is my first hand account.

    Please ignore the comments from some of the more narrow minded posters, their true colors are on display with all their glorious ignorance.

    I also encourage you and your family to spend more time in SL. We need fresh thinking like yours and your kids if we want to move forward. We have all that it takes, but a very very long way to go….

    And please keep writing!

  68. Bruno Umbato says:

    I am pretty sure that your son is NOT stupid as he is exploring the world with ideas being 17 years kid … But, I am not so sure that I can say the same regarding you by judging the few recent comments including the above you made here.

  69. Patta Pal says:

    The Sri Lanka Tourist Product is still in a state of flux, with no agreement on the direction it should take, as there are many opinions backed more by in built prejudices based on ignorance, rather than practicality, and what is doable.

    Just take the service standards as but one example, as an area to start with. Common sense would say that SL tourist establishments should have the best service standards in the world. Their is a huge educated labor force, willing and able to work. However the service is one of the worst (I am generalizing as there are some top class boutique hotels that were full all along the time of the LTTE rebellion because their service standards were top class, but many of them were foreign owned and did not even bother getting a star class rating, which irked our local hoteliers no end)

    We do have a problem though about retention of good staff, as foreign hoteliers offer jobs immediately to anyone who they perceive in their stay offers a good service standard. So are left with second best. So how about improve the training, with all the Hotel schools and new to be established vocational training schools requiring excellent teachers who are able to teach what good service really means. The problem is that most of the local hotelier do not know what that means and we must first even send some of our people to be trained as trainers to places like Switzerland before spending one more rupee building anymore hotels which we cannot properly service. The problem is that they may not return after their training!!

    The latter point merely reflects that the exodus out of the country of the best people is because the Country does not offer its citizens the broad environment for peace security and economic well being. Only the government of the day can be held liable for that, and so all the hardened Mahinda supporters should get real that their leader is leading them out of the country even after the war ended. Only those who remain being those who have no chance anywhere else, not even as boot lickers!!! So you know whose boots they are trying to lick in SL. That is the only feel good factor they have.

  70. Patta Pal says:

    I think you show your true colors in your writings, as someone who clearly has no clue about what he is talking about. Forgive me if I am being a little harsh, but having vacationed in Dubai, a rather “bizarre place” where you have extreme wealth and poverty side by side, with workers in pathetically appointed excuses for villagers being on the bottom of the social scale as they are there for a few years from South Asian countries to help build your monuments, for the money they hope their families back home can improve the quality of their lives.

    Many of these are far better educated than the supposed natives of Dubai who are there by a quirk of descent and not brain, lording it over the Europeans who run things, and Indians who take care of business and Bangladeshis who who build the follys in the desert which are empty of even people. In the end when all the non natives leave there will be you not knowing how to operate the remote controlled garage door, or even put on the sprinkler systems, and the Europeans and South Asians having taken away all the money that was made there will have the last laugh.

    It is only a matter of time before the place reverts back to the Bedouin tribes on Camels and you will not even have a camel to ride on!

    Only then will you crave for the fine wines from Europe or the gourmet teas from Sri Lanka while trying to find a tree with dates to satisfy your hunger. Don’t belittle other races as it really shows your class or lack of it!

  71. Sinhala lion says:

    Kalu Albert please read and reswarch the proper history and facts before doing any claims mate. otherwise mud will stain on our face.

  72. Ma-Rout-Ti says:

    Patta Pal

    When the Middle East practically owns a large part of the Europe you suck up to (go and check who actually owns the primo tracts of New York, London and other Western capitals), methinks you will be singing from the other side of your face.

    It is Europe who will be riding the camels., Already they are running to China to beg from them

    It’s only a matter of time before they all do

  73. Justice & Fairplay says:

    What Fun!

    This guy Dushy writes about a beach and nearly gets buried 6 feet under in the sand for his trouble! Keep writing Dushy because you generate a great diversion and as long as the spirit is that of pulling each other’s legs, why Not!

    I think I wrote very early on, what to expect! I see I am not wrong!!!

  74. Holmung says:

    your with the head in the clouds dude! get a reality-check!

  75. Holmung says:

    a truly sinhala-buddhist nation is a tolerant one- we welcome all sorts of human beings, jokers or otherwise. are you feeling insecure? did anything in the article touch your g-spot?

  76. Holmung says:

    bruno-marz, your one insecure sausage aint you?! any genuine patriot with an iota of brains(pls refer dictionary) would know that SL is NOT on track to catch up most of what we lost out on over the past few decades and the sad war situation we brought upon ourselves.

    we are nowhere near catching up with what you rightly call the ‘civilized world’ – their faults aside, the UK remains civilized- see how they handled the recent riots, studying it and then take appropriate action. Our local dutugamunu’s would’ve gone hell for leather and shot the 1st 100 protesters/ looters they saw! stopped the riots for sure. but not civilized machang!

    if we get around to addressing the root-causes of the 40 yr old civil war, we may be able to get this awesome country up where it belongs?! Else, do what most would rather do – suck up to the regime and line up their pockets?! 😉

  77. Holmung says:

    Very well said!

  78. Holmung says:

    this sort of bloke doesn’t think the emergency law was an issue! these are the types that thought each time a bomb went off in cmb. – that the cops need to go to all the boarding houses in grandpass and take out the ethnic minorities and provide them a free ride to heaven!

    it was ironic, i heard on national radio that day, one girl say “its a beautiful day people, emergency law has been lifted, everyone’s safe now!” – it was said in passing, but that’s the truth – she said it like she saw it!

  79. Kalu Albert says:

    People pay Euro 30,000 a night in some hotels in Paris,

    USD 20,000 in Dhubai and even more in Bahamas.and can,t even see the Indian Ocean let alone dip your feet in it.

    So you reckon 800 Bucks for 4 for two Nights , and all you can Eat Thermidor thrown in, is too much.

    Stay in a Caravan Park if you guys want do it cheap and buy a bottle from the local Tavern as I usually do.

  80. Ilaya Seran Senguttuvan says:

    Dushy,

    I just happened to visit this page and read your usually delightful piece.

    But what worries me is the vitriolic thrown at you merely for writing what you see around and freely express your views. The all-round decline in what was once the pride of this part of the world is now virtually absolute but the number of apologists around justifying what is patently lopsided is quite astonishing.

    Pseudo-Nationalism and suspect patriotism of similar variety like that produced such creatures as the modern self-claimed but widely despised Dutugemunu (Dr) still has a following must be one of the low points of the socio-political culture of this country presently. How many roads must we travel before our lot learns you cannot make polesambole out of kurakkan.

    Or if I rest my case with W.B. Yeats it will be “We make out of the quarrel with others – rhetoric. But of the quarrel with ourselves – Poetry”

    ISS

  81. Kalu Albert says:

    According to Mr Sengutuan “It is all round decline”.

    One Mr Tom Armstrong , who visited Maalu Maalu says “The finest in Modern Tropical Living”, in his “Experience Travel” bulletin.

    And he further states that this is the new beginning for the East coast which is blessed with some of the finest beaches in the world.

    Surely it can’t be a decline in comparison to a mat on the sand in a Cadjan Hut and the Saivar Meal that the LTTE resorts used to provide for people traveling to these parts during the CFA.

    I am not knocking that either because there are lot of British born as well as other Western born , white people who want close to nature living experiences when traveling to other parts of the World.

    May be Cadjan Huts with traditional Vegan cuisine definitly a go as a small business proposition for the people in the East.

  82. Dushy Ranetunge says:

    What you see here is the mirror image of those in the Tamil community, who were rabid supporters of the LTTE.

    If you criticised the LTTE or Prabakaran these mad Tamil dogs were barking.

    Its the same here, its the mad Sinhala dogs barking, but hey, I don’t stop for mad dogs of either community.

    I drive past and sometimes steer my vehice threatening to run them over, exposing my own madness.

    Go out there and claim your acre, or your space will be “colonised” by mad dogs.

    Here in Sri Lanka, there are mad dogs roaming all over……..some are chasing after grease boothaya’s and our airforce has spotted some American boothayas and jumping up and down shouting that American boothayas are coming, as these fools don’t even know the extent of our airspace.

  83. Noel nalin says:

    Hi Dushy!!! great Negative article!! when i started to read it i just got only to 1/10th of the article and desided to give u some Positive feed back as you were only giving negatives! first i would like to ask you some questions! on the way to MAALU- MAALU did you have a bad trip ?? for you to cancel and have lunch at the polomnaruwa rest u must be a rest house kinda guy !! so a boutique hotel has to be way out of your league! And i am very sure you have been paid by7 someone to write this article in such a way !! man i am a hotelier and to look at all this small details like paint work from a resently opened place is realy very low man!!yes its normal to have faults and keep correcting these things but to yap about it the way you have is very unbecoming and certainly very cheap not rustic!! so mate I guess no one offered you a free night AH?? but i must say your photographs of the hotel are realy good (hope you took them) which means i will certainly go and stay a few days!!tks for the insight and will write about it when i am done! ho!!! I for got who would be in the write mind to by a toyota and want a rolls????? you have certainly got the wrong end of the stick Mate!!!!!

  84. Patta Pal says:

    OK Ma-Rout-Ti even better, the Chinese and the Indian will rule while the Middle East will be taken over by the desert sands. As for using their wealth to buy up the West that as you say is in decline, why want to buy in a declining civilization, buy in Sri Lanka instead, after all it eventually will be in the ascendency.

    Moreover the asset purchases in overseas lands is only secure as long as those countries honor foreign ownership, which if they go into decline will become more jingoistic, nationalizing all those assets.

    After all as they say its all in the eating not in the look of the pudding! The Middle East is just full of horseshit when you remove the veneer.

  85. Kalu Albert says:

    People who drive or has driven in European Cities know that there is no margin for error, let alone trying to deliberately steer you vehicle to threaten people.

    If one does , he or she will either be dead meat or in the slammer for at least 10 years.

    This dude must be taking Public Transport with his Senior Citizen’s Card and going for walks in the Mid Day Sun to see so many Mad Dogs.

  86. Patta Pal says:

    Noel nalin as they say is a hotelier. The very type I was taking to task, they are schizophrenic about what it is they are trying to market. If it was a boutique hotel then Dushy is right, if it was a rustic, hideaway, then it should be marketed as such, so I believe Dushy is right to complain on the basis it was supposed to be a top end establishment. The rest house on the other hand lives up to its own particular niche not making pretenses, and therefore getting the credit and nostalgic memories it deserves.

    Its now up to Maalu to redefine who they are and regain some respect in that regard, rather than pretend to be what they are not.

  87. jjk says:

    This guy wants cheap holiday and expect red carpet to rolled out for them ,these PAKIS go there to boost themselves as white clan.but the French girl dosent have any complain other than the SL politics as every one knows.

    Looks like he must have compare the food price ,and gone to Polanaruwa but it would have been more cheaper at local stalls.he thinks he is the Alexsandra the great poor old kalu sudha

  88. Holmung says:

    Kaluu,

    your a bit mixed up dude.

    we dont give a rats-ass what levels of materialistic-moronism dhubai, bahama’s or copacabanna have got going. Up until recently, when the local ruling-family turned up we have eschewed such ‘mudhalali values’ leave aside the mudhalali-mentality. We are heading fast towards a banana-republic status and this is what happens when you’ve nobodies turned somebodies have too much power within the family!?

    local-tavern – sounds like a habit you picked up during your days at the school by the sea?! 😉

  89. Holmung says:

    dude- the comments on teh food are positive- thats aprox. 1/10th i’d say. you failed O/L maths no putha?! 😉

    ps. have no fear- the ruling regiment has good use for guys with low intellect. tax payers such as I will end up paying off most of the huge losses that have been run up by the sort of mutt who ran Mihin air ?!

  90. Dushy Ranetunge says:

    Spot on! What an intellectual you are. I am truely humbled.

  91. Ilaya Seran Senguttuvan says:

    The all-round decline I referred to – a highly corrupt and anti-people Police, deteriorating Law and Order (almost daily armed robberies all over), Education, Health, the Judicial Process, Relatives/cronies given diplomatic posts wrongfully, Massive thievery in Govt purchases of both large and small values, open corruption in most Govt departments, connivance of VIPs with crooks locally/abroad in importing sub-standard drugs/medicine, Petrol, Foodstuffs etc Expensive Savaris and “holidays” in 5-star hotels by planeloads of cronies that can be done by our diplomats abroad or with small delegations, imports and distribution of harmful narcotics by and with support of Govt VVIPs – are a few that come to mind. These bother the ordinary citizen in the country non-aligned to party politics.

    If anyone blinded by inexplicable loyalty to the regime and its key actors want to deny this and argue they are all the false propaganda of the country’s “enemies within and without” well then they are welcome to their “fixes” in their delusionary dreams. That is, by the way, not to deny progress in the Garment and the Hospitality industry that appears to be more despite State leadership rather than because of it. Success in Both sectors are due to the professional work of the non-political private sector is a comment that should be added here.

    ISS

  92. Kanishka says:

    Except for electrical fittings issue, the rest does not seem to be something presented as honest constructive criticism. As an independent observer of this article let us ask one question from Dushy

    Suppose , you and your family were hosted guests and given full board free of charge at Maalu Maalu. Just suppose. Will you ever write that article ? . That is the bottom line which governs majority of people, be they journalists or other professionals.

  93. rajiv says:

    Hi Dushy
    Pls publish your sons writings.But pls tell him not to grab,WE HAVE SEEN BIGER KALU SUDHAS THAN YOU.

  94. Gamaya says:

    You know every thing.Pls go back to UK and start liking there boots.
    Pls write to us about riots from there with pictures.Take care and be safe from rioters.

  95. Kalu Al;bert says:

    So Bloomberg, New York Times, World Bank, IMF and even the Indian HC are fools to give” A”plus for Srilanka in their recent reports.

    They should sack all their highly paid, high flying executives who are stationed in SL or Asia and employ Mr Sengutuan to give them real time real stats.

    I feel sorry for the poor White souls who entrusted their money to Fund Managers in the West who gobbled up all the SL Treasury Bills and Treasury Bonds totaling several Billion US Dollars. that were issued after 2009.

  96. CN says:

    Good article. I just returned from Maalu Maalu. I have been to many other star class hotels and the only thing I don’t agree is on the food. While the food may be ok for foreigners, it was definitely not for the local palette – I found it way too bland. Even the crabs were tasteless (didnt realize crabs can be made tasteless). They didnt have the courtesy to offer drinking water with meals – only option was to buy bottles of mineral water! Felt like they were trying to exploit the guests to the max before the other hotels came up.

    Service was a right royal struggle – everything had to be requested at least twice. On one day when Karuna visited the hotel, the service was none existent – all waiters seemed to be directed only towards serving him. Not fair after paying premium rates. They mixed up the body lotion and shampoo on the first day service. I lost respect for connaisance after this trip.

    There is no parking. Felt sorry for the jeep that was parked in the open in the scorching sun. The room was small while the bathroom was quite impressive!

    Regardless, we did still have a good time, snorkeling and relaxing at the beach – I just wish I had gone there with less expectations.

  97. Holmung says:

    ! that comment was in response to noel-nalin – who said ur article was All negative.. 😉

  98. gamaya says:

    Hi Dushy
    you are a looser big time.

  99. Melita Fernandez says:

    Thanks Dushy, I agree with your comments.

    I would like to add our experience (going there 25th Aug for a night)and draw attention to how little (or no) training any of the Staff had. They have little or NO idea of customer service, and after the initial cool towel and super passion fruit sorbet, it went downhill from thereon!

    We were in a Group of 25 and so maybe we got 2nd Class’ treatment; but at Maalu Maalu the service we had was ‘Kunu Maalu”. With our keys in hand we trotted off to our room, with assurance our luggage would be brought. 15-20 mins later, no luggage and i came back to reception to find the staff lolling around chatting! They had no intention of bringing the bags, even though the Room numbers were clearly labelled.

    The food buffet area is far too small. Unlike in a Cruise where one has 2 sittings, the buffet area must be able to accommodate ALL clients if necessary. However, it was illogically laid out, with the plates stacked on the FAR INSIDE CORNER, past the starters, salads etc; so there was MASSIVE congestion and a ‘traffic JAM” at every meal. Sadly their attitude does not augur well. When pointed out as a suggestion for a better layout, reply was “api hamadaama mehema thamai thiyanne” (we do it like this everyday)!

    Dinner was supposedly ‘candlelight’ but with tiny 2x 6 inch candles at each table, try eating crab curry at dinner in semi-darkness, and see how far you get without breaking your teeth!

    But the Nadir of our experience at this “Maalu Boutique Hotel (more apt to call it a Maalu Kade), was on departure. Our luggage all lined up at Reception and we are sitting around awaiting our Coach, up comes a Staff member and mumbles something (other than the few Managers, the other staff cannot speak English, nor understand much Sinhala). I work out she is asking for our Room # ‘forty /forteen? Once I confirm which it is, she says, “the shampoo container are missing’. I say maybe, but they were used and they were tiny plastic thumb-size containers, so what about them? “We want them back”, she says! I ask her why, after all they are plastic, used and either tossed in the bin or my friend had it as a ‘souvenir’. “Oh we fill them up, so you cannot take them”!! I was absolutely dumbfounded, and then enraged!! This so called “Boutique Hotel”, goes around checking rooms and then PURSUES departing Clients, and asks them to open up their bags and return USED, PLASTIC THIMBLE SIZE SHAMPOO AND GEL CONTAINERS?! Oh Me GOSH! WHO RUNS THIS HOTEL AND WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR TRAINING! I gave her a verbal lashing in English and Sinhala, but twas all lost on her. I wouldn’t have, but my friend rummaged and returned the 2 plastic containers!

    On hearing this, other more timid older ladies from our Group came up to me and related their same experiences; and how humiliated they were, being treated like thieves!

    In all my 35 years of travel in various accommodation from Top End to Tents, I have NEVER EVER experienced this! In Cambodia, even a $10 room Hotel GIVES, to TAKE AWAY, in sealed wrappings, a comb, toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo, gel and soap; and some even flat cloth room slippers!

    Not too surprisingly we all left with a bad taste of ‘kunu maalu’! The Management doesn’t even realise the damage caused and the negative marketing we all will do. They are simply NOT READY TO OPEN; and they cannot charge the rates they are, when NO ONE THERE is even trained as yet to MANAGE OR RUN this Hotel.

  100. kapila Kahapola-UAE says:

    I’ve told this before

    He needs your attention !!!

    I was laughing my brain out when I read “A French teenager was swimming in the pool at Maalu Maalu and our two children started talking to her in French”

    Hey , What made you to think the whole world should know what your drink, eat & price tags for the same ???

  101. ROFL says:

    You are NOT supposed to take things out of a hotel unless they are marked as for your personal use and with compliments of the hotel. Generally speaking, it is good manners to ask if you wish to take soemthing away and the staff/ management will gladly give it at a nominal rate. When you take without asking, anything that isnt yours’, the general term is theiving or the more severe one ‘kleptomanic’.

    We are going there this weekend, i will apologize to the staff on your behalf and assure the people of the area that not all from Colombo are as ignorant.

  102. Patta Pal says:

    Actually it is most important to know how much each item costs. Most travel reviews do not give that, and that is part of the problem as to why they are not complete. One of the many reasons travel reviews do not give prices is that as the writer’s stay has been paid for by the resort, they do not want the prices put as it would not be beneficial to the place unless of course it was very reasonable!

    When one has an idea of the costs, one can make an educated judgement if one wants to visit the place or not. Otherwise what is the point of a travel review. So Kapila despite you being a hotel professional you are not a particularly handy tourist, except perhaps in Sri Lanka.

    The problem also is that the people who are hotel professionals often have no clue as to what exactly a tourist is looking for and makes suppositions that are completely out of order

  103. Kapila Kahapola, SriLankan in UAE says:

    Patta Pal,
    For our Good Old Friend Dushy, What ever he gets in SL is; he gets in West is GOLD !!!

    well in that context his writings on SriLanka shall be able to close the gaps of communities live in SL… Instead he seems to be more interested in widening the gaps by ridiculing feelings of majority… Some time back he wrote an article about Sinhalization with degrading comments on Vesak Festival & how Buddhists celebrate it… Same time DBSJ wrote on Sinhalization with facts & any one who reads it would have realized DBSJ has achieved his mission by sending the message across the society…

    Also when it comes to Malu Malu, Whom do you think Malu Malu’s target market??? It is without any doubt Surfers from around the world… My experience in Fiji, Maldives, Qatar, UAE, Kenya, Zanzibar (Tanzania), Thailand & Indonesia says Surfers are the least bunch of tourists who will expect Chic Hotel rooms & all the modern facilities from the Hotels/Resorts they stay… For them getting a Malu Malu type room for US$ 300.00 night is a fair deal… Our good old friend Dushy too wanted to go to Malu Malu with his family at the middle of surfing season & not sure why Malu Malu has to give him even a 10% discount… I thought if they have to that is only considering his family is “REST HOUSE TYPE TRAVELERS” (You know what I mean)…So basically he was at wrong place at a wrong time & for this he needs to blame himself… I was in SL in Jul’11 & the moment I saw the pictures of Malu Malu & read about on internet realized that this is not the place to be with family at this point of time… Instead I went to Kaudulla, Minneriya & stayed 2 wonderful nights at Elephant Corridor in Sigiriya…

    Not sure on what basis you say I’m NOT a particularly handy tourist… Leisure Tourism is US$ 5,000 B worth business out of which more than US$ 3,500 B worth of Tourists go to exotic destinations like places I’ve worked & traveled… (Rest only BTW goes to big cities in the world)…

    I thought your assumption in the last para described well how ignorant you are (You seem to be having no clue how Hotels/Resorts, Tour Operators & Air Lines these days analyse data as well as guests comments)

  104. rolf says:

    Kapila should know there are no waves in Kalkudah / Pasekudah. So, definitely no surfers either—maybe you ahve mistaken this place with Arugam bay ??
    I took Dushy article at face value. There is no point of comparing with the West–If the charges are too high please avoid the place.
    I intend going to maalu Maalu in November and Dushys very factual article helped.
    On another note, it is a pity, we keep on getting back to everything and anything which divides us—why cant you jokers think of yourselves as Sri Lankans and move forward.

  105. dilani says:

    these hotels are for those sorry Sri Lankans like you who have forgotten their roots but think they are the best commentators or ambassadors of Sri Lanka. they are the wost snobs, that what Ur article reflect, pitiful and out of context!

  106. Nadiya says:

    U have written good negative article… i had big time tour in SL and just Returned, I Visited many places in SL, Malu Malu was one of the Good Hotel i stayed.. Except Electricity Risk you pointed out i didnt had any other issue.i am not an idiot to insult the architect who did such a nice Design, but i have few small comments…Rooms was good and Suggest them to enlarge their restaurant and Keep more Spacious…but hats off to the architect who did the design.. he has done a great job in this hotel.. i hope Dush also will accept that., by the way i had a nice holiday and seen hotel is growing day by day……hope management will take my comments as a compliment……make them work out..

  107. SS says:

    Thank you for the feed-back. Of course, Maalu Maalu, good or not, is no longer the only kid on the block. We just stayed at the Amethyst Resort next door which is a new hotel with good rates and excellent service. The food can be better but still, tolerable. Lovely pool and nice rooms. We loved the Pasikudah beach, drove out to Batti and to Trinco. Pity had to cut our visit short because of the tsunami scare.

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