Sun Siam Pasikudah: Where Luxury Meets Serenity On Sri Lanka’s East Coast

Apr 06 2024.

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On an early Thursday morning last week, the Daily Mirror set out on a six-hour journey to the East Coast. Our destination: the newly launched Sun Siyam Resort in Pasikudah, a sleepy coastal town boasting sandy white-gold beaches and azure blue waters. Sun Siyam is a Maldivian luxury resort chain and one of the largest luxury resort groups in the Maldives with five resorts under its umbrella. Sun Siyam Pasikudah is their only Sri Lankan resort. 

The Property 

The resort’s relaunch as Sun Siyam Pasikudah in the latter part of 2023 represented a complete transformation of the hotel that was once known as Sun Aqua.  While the previous space embraced a more playful and vibrant palette, Sun Siyam Pasikudah sets a tone of elegance and chic with its monochromatic indoor-outdoor design, all the while exuding a warm and homely presence with its interior furnishings – the majority of which were not only locally sourced but personally crafted by hotel staff and local artisans from the community. 

General Manager Arshed Refai speaks of their rebranding with great pride,  having worked on a nearly impossible eight-month deadline to transform the hotel into its present contemporary style while incorporating local material and outsourcing labour to the local community.  “We collaborated with London designers of Studio Sixty7 for their redesign vision of the entire property, but we wanted to source as much as possible from within Sri Lanka as we were committed to supporting our indigenous local craft industries. We outsourced much of the crafting work to the local community by getting as many locals involved in the renovations and redesigning.” 

The resort itself extends seamlessly in one neat row from land to sea. Upon our arrival, we were welcomed with the most refreshing glass of ambarella juice and cool towels at the hotel lobby, followed by a traditional oil lamp lighting ceremony. Walking through the lobby, we strolled past their wellness centre to an uphill pathway flanked by the resort’s villa-style pavilions on both sides. At the top, we enter their dining area which overlooks a picturesque view of their inviting infinity pool and the captivating teal blue waters beyond. 


Accommodation 

The hotel has 34 pavilions scattered across the property, each with its own private terrace, and some with their own private plunge pool. The garden pavilions face the resort’s lush green gardens and have their own outdoor bathroom with tubs or private 4.5sqm plunge pools. The ocean pavilions offer ocean views and outdoor daybeds on their private terraces.  For families and friends, the resort’s two-bedroom beachfront grand beach pavilion offers the ultimate comforts with direct access to the beach, two master bedrooms, two oversized indoor-outdoor bathrooms, dining space and a 28 sqm private pool in a secluded courtyard. 

What we love about their accommodation is that each pavilion feels like stepping into your private villa – spacious, tastefully decorated and fully equipped with every luxury. Additionally, each room is designed on a split level, the room dipping down to open up to a seating/lounge area with large corner sofas and a TV, before leading out to a fully furnished private terrace.  The outdoor bathroom is also a highlight, featuring both an enclosed shower and an outdoor tub for complete relaxation.  

The villas are equipped with all amenities, including toiletries, tea/coffee maker facilities, cable TV, an iron, robes, and some even include rubber slippers, sun hats, and handwoven beach bags. The rooms are designed not just to look luxurious but also to feel luxurious. From the soft, comfy king-sized bed that provided us with a night of good rest and the refreshing outdoor shower that washed away the heat of the East Coast, to the inviting sofa corner where we lounged through an entire movie, and the terrace bed where we relaxed with a good book while sipping our morning coffee – every aspect of the room was designed to contribute to our comfort. 

Dining 

Sun Siyam has four dining experiences, with The Kitchen being the main restaurant that offers a la carte and buffet dining options. They also have Slice & Grill by the poolside featuring a wood-fired oven and BBQ grill. Guests can unwind at their indoor Bar with a pool table and comfy lounge seating or sip on tropical drinks right on the beach at their Beach Shack. At the Tea House, guests can also embark on a tea-tasting journey with their luxury tea collection. 

During our stay, we had sunset drinks at the Beach Shack where the in-house mixologist showed us their signature drinks. Passing guests would also drop by the resort’s beachfront bar to grab a fruity concoction or a cool thambili and relax by the beach on the daybeds and lounges. We also had a private wine and gourmet five-course dinner at their private wine cellar, which houses an impression selection of beverages.  

At The Kitchen, we savoured their a la carte menu where Head Chef Gamage and his team delivered hearty and delicious meals to the table. One of our favourite meals was the Sri Lankan lunch prepared for us just before our departure, featuring their signature local seafood dish – Kalkudah crab curry, made tableside, so full of flavour and spice we couldn’t stop indulging in. 

Facilities 

Once checked into Sun Siyam, the hotel takes care of everything you may desire during your stay. The resort offers ample facilities catering to various options for relaxation, excursions, and fun. 

Their Spa and Wellness Centre has two spa rooms, hydro, sauna and steam rooms. Operated by two expert practitioners with many years of industry experience,  they provide guests with bespoke signature massages in Ayurvedic, Thai or Balinese therapies.  Travelling for six hours meant we had some knots and kinks to work out and our masseuse expertly kneaded away the exhaustion of our travels in no time. For active guests, the resort also has a fully equipped fitness centre. 

Their 30-metre split-level infinity pool, opening to the beachfront, provides a respite from the heat, and the poolside also includes a kid’s pool and kids club with various activities and games to keep little ones entertained. On the beach, guests can relax on daybeds, sofa beds, beanbags and swings or engage in a rousing game of beach volleyball area or go kayaking in the ocean. Protected by the reef, the ocean is perfect to wade into, with no harsh waves or dangerous currents.  

We absolutely loved heading out into the ocean in our kayak in the early hours of the morning – the water was calm and serene and kayaking for the first time was so much fun! They also have a makeshift bonfire pit right on the beach – ideal for families and friends to catch the sunset and welcome the night. 

For entertainment, guests can step into The Studio, a private air-conditioned space with a state-of-the-art sound system allowing guests to enjoy karaoke, games, or movies.  They also offer complimentary bicycles to explore the area with an option for a hotel staff member to accompany guests for a more educated tour of the locale. For a truly unique and local experience, you can also go fishing with staff member Lingam, where Lingam himself will welcome you to his home to indulge in some local finger foods before heading out on a paruwa fishing boat for guests to reel in their own catch of the day, which the kitchen will prepare for dinner. 

Overall

It’s no secret that the East coast boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in Sri Lanka – between the surfing haven of Arugam Bay and the sapphire blue harbour of Trincomalee, the eastern coastal line epitomizes the serendipitous beauty Sri Lanka is known for. Its only challenge is competing with beaches just a two-hour drive from Colombo compared to its six, but we found that’s precisely what made it the perfect destination for a relaxing retreat.  With an all-year-round season, you can visit Pasikudah any time of the year. While southern beaches position themselves as a retreat for fun and excitement, Pasikudah is all about delivering a relaxing ambience where guests can truly unwind - and unwind, we did! 

During our stay, we felt at home at Sun Siyam. The resort itself was luxurious yet homely – the high-end amenities and facilities ensured a very comfortable stay while the easy-going, affable and warm hospitality of the staff ensured that we felt right at home at the resort.  


INFORMATION 

GETTING TO SUN SIYAM
By Car (from Colombo) – approx. 6 hours 
By Seaplane –  1 hour to Batticaloa Airport + 45-minute car ride to the hotel
By Train (Fort – Batticaloa) -  approx. 6 – 7 hours

WIFI?
Yes

KID FRIENDLY?
Yes. The Hotel has a kids club, kids pool and plenty of entertainment options. 

DRIVER ACCOMMODATION?
Available 

ROOM RATES/ OFFERS
30% discount for debit/credit cardholders from select banks during the month of April. Special discounted rates for rooms for a half-board double start at just Rs.36,900 onwards. Some of the other deals include complimentary room upgrades, and flexible early check-ins and late check-outs, subject to availability. 

Website - https://www.sunsiyam.com/sun-siyam-pasikudah/
Social Media - @sunsiyampasikudah 

 

 

 

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Panchali Illankoon

Law Graduate, food and travel enthusiast and full time dog mom..


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