WWW Virtual Library - Sri Lanka



In memory of Per Goodman - "Stardust" Will Rise From The Ashes

Stardust was the jewel hotel of Arugam Bay and the dream of  Merete Scheller and Per Goodman

Arugam Bay is one of the world's top ten surf locations, known for its fantastic waves, which attract surfers from all over the world. Stardust was Arugam Bay's main hotel and enjoyed a loyal clientele of resident foreigners and tourists who anticipated an exciting and restful holiday. On 26th of December 2004 Tsunami killer waves destroyed the hotel and took its creator Per Goodman with it.


Star Dust was a home away from home for Per Goodman

Boxing day Tsunami in Sri Lanka killed at least 700 people in Arugam Bay alone, rich and poor, locals and foreigners. Among the victims was 

Per Goodman the popular Danish owner of the Stardust hotel


Sixty one years ago, Per Goodman was born in central part of Copenhagen. Later he became well known and a  popular  hairdresser in Denmark. In the seventies he pioneered the introduction of Razul a natural Moroccan cleansing product.  Razul was popular as a worthy alternative to soap and hair care products, and Per Goodman was nicknamed Per Razul.

Per was a true entrepreneur with an incredible willpower. Among other his important projects were the launching of Urten and Butik 108 in Central Copenhagen and pioneering and organic foods and other alternative products. Per was active and always supportive in developing a large spectrum of alternative and creative businesses.


He participated in the renowned theatrical group Solvognen in Christiania. Here, he was active both on stage and behind the scene.  Soon after, he entered the restaurant business, among others, Lumskebugten - fine Danish and French restaurant in Copenhagen. At various times, he also worked as a butcher, a florist, and an importer of amber, fine silk and red rice.

Per had keen interest in ecology, music and gastronomy and was also a driving force starting the renowned commune, Klon, in Frederiksberg, Denmark. He and his lovely wife Merete had the urge to travel.  On the eastern coast of Sri Lanka in Arugam Bay, they found their paradise.  Here, Per had, with his architect wife since 1980, Merete Scheller, founded, built and developed the Stardust Beach Hotel. 


The hotel was skillfully designed by Merete with tasteful interiors. The Danish interior traditions and gastronomy were beautifully combined with local cultural influences. It was a hotel, a paradise and a retreat for many grateful guests from close and afar. In his characteristic, charming way, he shared his personal thoughts and aspirations with every guest and he let his deep understanding, generosity and love for the local people of Pottuvil shine through his professional position as manager of the hotel. "Master Goodman" did not spare himself in his keen pursuit to bring understanding and commitment to the staff and the guests alike.

With his inexhaustible energy, Per could, seem restless and distant but was always able to communicate intimacy and tranquility to the many guests that stayed at Stardust through the years. 


Per  has been in Sri Lanka for 20 years.

Merete Scheller

Mark Kennedy was staying at the Stardust Beach Hotel, in Arugam Bay, on the idyllic south-east coast of Sri Lanka.

He said: "It was about 9.30am on Boxing Day and I was just about to go into the shower when I noticed water seeping into the cabana.

"Within seconds the door was smashed down. I tried to get out but the building fell in under the force of the water."

The 43-year-old computer programmer was pinned down as the walls collapsed and the sea swirled over him.

"I was trapped under water for maybe 30 seconds with the building on top of me," he said. "I was bent over double with the crushing weight of it and was prepared to die at that point."

As he lay helpless in the flooded building, the pressure of surging water suddenly cleared the debris and sent him shooting to the surface.

He said: "It was amazing. I was swept along by the torrent in a sitting position as if I was driving a car.

"As I was being carried by the surging waves I managed to grab a palm tree and climb above the water level."

He needed 10 stitches in a gash on his leg and suffered extensive cuts and bruises on his body.

Now everything is gone except Merete's new 2-storey building, from whose roof she was rescued on Boxing Day. Per's spirit is still drifting in the stardust out there. May it give Merete strength in difficult times and in the colossal clean-up that now follows.

A memorial ceremony is being held for Per in Colombo on the 17th of January .

When Merete is coming to Denmark friends and family will gather in remembrance of Per in Klon.

Per was a great, kind man and his warm and strong presence will be fondly remembered and sadly missed.


Merete is doing well  Stardust Beach Hotel will be re-built
Merete is doing well. She is now coordinating the help for the area. She is working together with other  help organizations. Most people have clean water. Some of the waiters are helping cleaning up the hotel area. An Englishman has donated wages for 3 months. The new building that was damaged will have new windows and doors soon. Merete will invite some of the locals to live in the new building till they get new houses. Still there is no running water and electricity. A group of Swedish people is collecting money to help Stardust and Arugam Bay. Many thanks to all of you who helped with money. I sent  9.800 euro to Merete thanks to all of you.

Our dream is to get  enough money to re-built a smaller but lovely Stardust Beach Hotel, rebuild the area around and one day soon to welcome all of you lovely people.

Best regards

Alexandra (Per's Daughter)
Alexandra Krautwald ( Born Goodmann)

Email : alexandra@krautwald.dk

Mon Jan 24 15:42:47 2005


If you wish to help rebuilding Stardust, please send your contribution  to:


Danish people: reg nr. 0249 konto nr. 2490052138

People from Europe: IBAN nr: DK5030002490052138

People from rest of the world: Swift: DABADKKK, IBAN nr. DK5030002490052138

WWW Virtual Library - Sri Lanka