To get to know Colombo, which has blossomed like a frangipani flower in the 5 years that we have not seen each other, I stay at the very stylish Drift Hotel in the most fashionable area of the city – Colombo 3. It is here that all the most famous restaurants, shops and others interesting places.
Drift is a stylish hotel, the designers did a good job on it. Moreover, its numbers are designed for owners of a variety of wallets. This is such a new concept of hotels that has been popular for the past few years. Here you can stay in double and deluxe rooms, and even have something for backpackers – rooms of the “hostel” category. Details play a role. And in the case of Drift, they are especially important: delicious breakfasts, excellent Wi-Fi, a luggage lift, a stylish lobby where you can always meet and chat with tourists from other countries of the world and just have a good time. This democracy, combined with style, cleanliness, great location and friendly staff, has made Drift very popular with travelers and has been recognized with special Tripadvisor awards.
In addition, the locations are better than you can imagine! A minute – and you’re in Barefoot, a design store created back in 1964 by designer and artist Barbara Sansoni. Here you can buy the highest quality souvenirs on the island, clothes, Ayurvedic cosmetics, and books. And then have a delicious lunch at the Barefoot Garden cafe, whose chef, Tony Sidney, knows his business better than his 5 fingers, and will be happy to share what he would choose for lunch and dessert. And on Fridays and Sundays you can listen to live jazz here.
Another place where gourmets go to dine is Gallery cafe, two minutes from the hotel. It is also a gallery and a store, which are not inferior in quality to their neighbors. Celebrities love to visit here.
The cafe is owned by Paradise Road, which includes several shops, art galleries and 2 boutique hotels. One of these boutique hotels is Paradise Road Tintagel. 10 unique suites in the heart of one of the elite areas of Colombo, in a historic building that once was the home of three political leaders of Sri Lanka.
The Gallery Cafe is the work of the famous architect Joffrey Bawa, who became the founder of the tropical modernism style. Once the cafe was his working office. Bawa built a huge number of facilities throughout the island, including a new parliament building. His house museum Geoffrey Bawa House can be found just 5 minutes from the cafe. The house-museum impresses with architectural solutions and collectible exhibits: from the architect’s Rolls-Royce to designer or antique furniture. By the way, you can even stay in this house – in one of the guest bedrooms, and the whole floor of the architect’s house will be at your complete disposal, as well as the services of local staff.
Well, in the evening it is worth making a close acquaintance with crabs in the new Ministry of Crab restaurant, which is located in the old district of Colombo – right in the building of the former Dutch hospital. This is one of the trendiest nightlife spots in the city. There are many cafes and restaurants, shops, modern hotels, and nearby there is a whole block – a flea market, which will make you feel a completely different section of the city. It is better to walk up to it during the day on foot, looking at the old buildings along the way, enjoying street food and noting the contrast of the capital.
What else to do in Colombo? Drive along the beautiful Marine Drive, go to the Gangarama Temple, taste tea and send a postcard from Dilmah Tea Lounge, pamper yourself in SPA Ceylon and stroll through the central park…
A couple more years – and Colombo will not be recognized, and he will introduce himself, perhaps, as “Mr. Colombo” or “Mr. Colombo.” But for now… for now, its name is still Colombo, and its island soul is as welcomingly open as it was many years ago.