The Riviera is a good place to stay in Batticaloa, but it's also a great place to eat. We're covering it as a restaurant here.
Just across the Kallady Bridge
in Batticaloa, the Riviera serves up a good rice and curry, as well as crab and other local specialities, though for those it's better to order in advance.
The Riviera serves up a solid rice and curry which is different from the usual southern, Sinhalese fare. Most obviously, it's served in metal containers but the taste is also different. We can't put our finger on it, but it's somehow coconut milkier and spiced in an alternate way. Most Sri Lankan rice and curries start from the same basic ingredients and, short of going into the kitchen, it's hard to tell what makes the Riviera different, but different it is. In a very good way.
We had a basic meal of rice (Rs. 160 for two portions), brinjal fry curry (Rs. 130), chicken curry (Rs. 250), dhal (Rs. 110), and pol sambol (Rs. 70). At Rs. 720 total (without service and tax) it's Rs. 360 per person, which is pretty good for what you get.
It's excellent food. Healthy, flavorful and different (for us, perhaps it's normal in Batticaloa). They also do Batti's speciality crab for Rs. 450 to 550 per 110 gm, but as with any hotel, it's better to order this in advance.
The Riviera, as a hotel, has cabanas and rooms set off amidst a bunch of greenery on the banks of a lagoon. The restaurant is two open pavilions overlooking the water. You can walk towards the lagoon and sit on some benches and see the huge Kallady bridge quite clearly. There's also a nice view from the tables where you'd eat.
What they've done in terms of architecture is completely basic - ceiling, roof, plastic chairs - but it gets the job done and gets out of the way of the scenery. It's nice.
The service is quite good and they don't seem partial to foreigners or anything. We were treated well.
The Riviera is a good place to stay in Batticaloa and a great place to eat.
For crab, call ahead.