This haven for OutThere travellers offers easy access to the city, as well as an opportunity to get away from it all. Mahasen by Foozoo is a small, LGBTQ+ owned and run family enterprise run by Dinesh Perera and his partner.
Mahasen by Foozoo is a quirky, homely space, filled with art, colourful decor and good vibes. It also has a terrace with views over the roofs of the residential neighbourhood it’s in. Part of two guesthouses on the same street in Colombo’s ‘yuppie’ 05 district, it is just steps from the prestigious, attraction-packed 07. Luxury here comes in a different form, far from the perfectly-polished glamour of Colombo’s international hotels. Here at this boutique guesthouse, luxury is all about getting under the skin of the city, from the perspectives of locals.
We leave our flip-flops with those of the other guests’ and staff’s by a fish pond surrounded by exotic hanging plants, pet a few of the friendly resident cats and take in a cute, kitschy shrine in the lounge dedicated to the deities of all four of Sri Lanka’s principal religions. Meanwhile, smiling, relaxed staff welcome us, offering us tea and asking if they can make us a sandwich, even though it’s a matter of hours until dinner.
Liberally used by Mahasen by Foozoo guests as relaxed social spaces, the building’s airy, bright communal areas, simply and colourfully decorated in an artsy, upcycled style, give on to just seven bedrooms, each furnished with vivid tropical flowers and hand-painted wall art. But it’s the warm homestay vibe, which also infuses the sister property Mahasen Terrace, that is its most compelling feature and unique in Sri Lanka.
Alongside a passion for sustainability and authentic, experiential travel that truly connects with the country and its culture, inclusivity is at the heart of Mahasen by Foozoo, now part of a travel mini-empire that encompasses both guest houses and a tour company. ‘Everybody’s welcome’ is the company’s strapline and guiding philosophy and guests are young and old, gay and straight, international and native – and occasionally canine and feline.
|Perfect for||Fly into||Right on time|
|The Insider||GMB||GMT +5.5|
|While you’re Out There|
|Spend time with Dinesh and his partner, who all give you the inside track on all you need to know about OutThere Colombo and beyond.|
Photography courtesy of Mahasen by Foozoo and by Martin Perry