North East Coast
With never-ending white sandy beaches, coral islands and shimmering blue seas, the North East coast is distinctly different from the coastal areas of the rest of the island. The North East Coast covers Trincomalee and Pasekudah in Batticaloa. This region has a long season that extends from March to October when the seas are at their best. Bask in the sun on the secluded beaches of Trincomalee and Pasekudah Bay, go snorkelling and discover the magnificent marine life around the coral reefs, or take a whale-watching expedition (CUT). It is not all about the sun and surf on the North East Coast. Explore ancient Hindu temples dating back centuries, and the breath taking views of the Trincomalee harbour – the world’s deepest and largest natural harbour. Since the end of the war the east coast is developing fast with new hotels being built but don’t worry there is plenty of coast line.
Maalu Maalu Resort is a luxury hotel on Pasikudah's magnificent, sweeping bay. Pasekudah is located between Trincomalee in the North East and Arugam Bay in the South East and can be easily accessed via Polonnaruwa in the Cultural Triangle. Opened in 2010, Maalu Maalu was the first up-market hotel to open on the east coast following the end of the civil conflict.
The resort is designed along the lines of a 'wadiya' or fishing village with the public spaces and accommodation in the form of eco-friendly timber chalets with thatched roofs. It is designed in a semi-circle facing the sea which allows for spectacular views of the Indian Ocean from every angle. An infinity pool is the central focus with a broad timber deck for sunbathing. There are 32 comfortable deluxe rooms 12 of which have an attic bedroom for children. There are also four ocean suites (ground floor) and four Panoramic Suites (upper floor) which have sea views and additional private deck areas, in-room jacuzzis and steam decks.
The Maalu Maalu Resort will appeal to anyone looking to explore the beautiful beaches of the east coast that were off-limits for so many years. From Pasekudah it is possible to visit Trincomalee and the eastern capital of Batticaloa, as well as many of the lesser-known sites of the eastern provinces.
The Nilaveli Beach Hotel is one of Sri Lankas most famous and fabled beach properties. With this part of the island on and off-limits for much of the last thirty years, the hotel stood more as a museum piece for long periods of time but with Trincomalee now very much back on the map, people are returning in force. However, despite its massive reputation, don’t be lured into thinking that this is a luxury hotel. Nonetheless, the Nilaveli Beach Hotel oozes character and history and a couple of recent refurbishments have raised the standard to a perfectly good mid-range level.
The hotel has 32 Standard Rooms and 22 Deluxe Rooms. All have en-suite bathrooms and air conditioning. The Standard Rooms are on the basic side but are still perfectly adequate. The deluxe Rooms are much smarter, with a polished cement finish and bright appearance. Other facilities include a large swimming pool with views of the beach, and two main bars and restaurants. Service is friendly and decidedly laid-back throughout.
The real draw here is the beach. Straight and long, the sands go on for a far as the eye can see. Boat trips to the nearby Pigeon Island are possible, along with snorkeling and scuba diving through the hotels water sports center. Trincomalee itself is one of Sri Lankas most vibrant and mixed towns, with its population pretty much equally divided between Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims. The natural harbour is one of the worlds finest and is the source of much geo-political interest. Trincomalee town, just ten minutes from the hotel, has a number of temples and sites to visit, including the natural hot springs at Kanniya.
Pigeon Island, named after the blue pigeons conserved in the area, is a stylish, blissful family friendly hotel. The rooms are large, comfortable and breezy with white washed walls, large en-suites and air conditioning. The hotel offers a large selection of activities including fishing, PADI programmes and boat excursions. Within the hotel there is a fitness centre and spa offering Ayurveda traditional massages. The restaurant offers a huge range of food from traditional Sri Lankan dishes to Western cuisine, which when arranged can be eaten by candle light on the beach. In addition there is a hotel bar and tea room where traditional Sri Lankan tea from the islands tea plantations is served. The hotel is extremely family friendly offering a kids zone where they offer comprehensive and exciting children’s activities with a secure outdoor and indoor playground, babysitters and a sectioned off area of the main pool.