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The Colombo Guided Shopping Tour has been designed by locals who love to shop. So you..
Big thank you to all the boys of Foozoo.
Visited Sri Lanka as a solo traveler and did a four days tour to the cultural triangle, including a visit of a national park famous for the wild elefants with the Foozoo guys. This was definitely the best part of my 10 days stay in paradise island. Thank you guys for organizing this adventure for me. It was amazing
I consider myself an independent traveller, one who prefers to set his own agenda, do his own thing in his own time. So it was a bit of a leap of faith when friends recommended Foozoo as a tour planner for my first visit to Sri Lanka.
After my initial enquiry the team got back in touch quickly to ask some quite basic questions — when do I arrive and leave and what sort of things interest me etc.
It was a short trip so I wanted to do some tourist things, some (very specific) museum and art related things (its my work and passion) and then some other cultural things — design, architecture, fashion whatever. I didn’t want an early start, I didn’t want to be with the tourist hordes and that was about it.
Foozoo came back with a costed itinerary in about 48hrs and basically they nailed it! Even the tricky art-related stuff that most wouldn’t have wanted to do — so it felt like a very bespoke service.
A car would pick me up at the airport and that person (the gorgeous Naswar) would be my driver and guide for the days I was there. They had a range of accommodation options from fancy to basic and asked me to select from the menu.
It was a FANTASTIC first experience. Everything was organised, easy, relaxed, flexible. The trip to Galle and Foozoo’s recommended guide there (the inimitable and wonderfully eccentric Shanjei) was brilliant.
HOWEVER, the most important thing was the attitude of the team. I felt as if I was being welcomed home by my family or by good friends! Each person at Foozoo’s guesthouse was adorable, breakfast was huge and freshly prepared daily (none of this croissant in a packet kinda stuff…), nothing was a pain and everyone was relaxed and easy. You could have breakfast with the rest of the guests at the long table — quite mixed: gay, straight from all over the place — and chit chat, or if you tend to be quiet in the morning, then just let the team know and they’ll make other arrangements! There are cutie quiet spaces in their guesthouse too.
Change of plans, no problem. They can handle it. Communication is the key and they were pretty much on call the whole time I was there… and, worth saying… it wasn’t ridiculously expensive either!
Thank you Dinesh, Naswar and the whole team.
My experience with Foozoo was incredible. Not only did they craft the perfect off the beaten path tour for my friend and I, but the driver they provided (Irosh) was beyond incredible, going so far as to curate an extra experience for us after hearing me speak about it. The hotels were great, the sights were incredible and the Foozoo team checked in on us every step of the way to make sure we were having the best experience possible for our short time in Sri Lanka.
What we thought of the hotels.
Kandy – Theva Residency : http://www.theva.lk/#home Fabulous hotel with an amazing elevated position looking down on the city. Top class restaurant with wonderful food and service. We had a superb dinner here. Staff excellently trained and only place with a turn down service in the evening. Owing to its location the infinity pool and sun lounger area are small, but this can be forgiven for the spectacular views. We would have gladly stayed here another night. We had the penthouse, which was huge, had a jacuzzi (bit old) with the amazing view plus a nice bathroom.
Yala – Gaga Bees: http://gagabeesyala.com/ Lovely! A bit tucked away and 30 minutes from Yala National Park. Lovely views of paddy fields then mountains. The staff know exactly what they are doing especially the chef/manager. Lovely food cooked next to the terrace while you watch. Simple, bungalow huts with grass roofs and lovely outdoor bathrooms. Gorgeous planting and the huts are arranged around the pool making for a very sociable feeling. Very nice open communal, dining area.
Tangalle – Ananya Beach Resort – http://bit.ly/2CWYjzK gorgeous boutique hotel with only 12 rooms of which only 3 don’t have a direct ocean view. We had one of these 3 but were quite happy with the view of the ‘jungle’ at the back. We could actually see the sea from the end of our balcony too! Huge and lovely terrace and wonderful designer room, very minimalist but with everything you need. Gorgeous simply styled luxurious bathroom. Located in another bay to the north of actual Tangalle. The approach to the hotel is a very rocky track which does not inspire confidence but this is why the beach here is so unspoilt. It is not too easily accessible. There is a sea lagoon right behind the hotel and boat safaris are available. The food is quite nice at the hotel but not special. Excellent breakfast though. Decent glass of wine. A couple of other nicer beach restaurants, about 15 mins walk away down the rocky road, but we didn’t fancy that walk in the dark. And feared what creatures might lurk in the lagoon???Lovely, well-trained staff including owner manager. Plastic sun beds do not match the quality of the rest and are uncomfortable, our only criticism. But the infinity pool is GORGEOUS. The best on this trip. Also big enough to swim laps or just cool off. Sea current is strong so not suitable for kids or if you are not a strong swimmer.
Galle – Ginganga Lodge. Probably we saved the best till last! Ironic as we nearly did not choose this hotel. Only five rooms so exclusive. Eco-friendly. Indika the co-owner manager is wonderful. Attentive and smart. Staff all well trained and charming. The garden is a wonderful mix of natural foliage and carefully planted additions. Monitor lizards, chipmunks and lots of birds in the garden. Very zen atmosphere and rooms are reached mostly along elevated wooden walkways. Lovely outdoor massage hut near the river. Excellent food. No fridge or kettle in room but probably this is part of the eco-plan.
Lunuganga Lodge by Geoffrey Bawa – beautiful landscapes gardens, European style makes a pleasant visit on way back to Colombo. Shame you can’t visit the house much. Safari – was enjoyable and amazing landscape in the Park. There are literally hundreds of tourists visiting at the same time though, so not sure how eco-friendly this all is. If you have never done a safari before, this is a good taster and plenty creatures.Temple of the Tooth – unmissable, for the setting and the Architecture. Might be even nicer in the evening at sunset?Dambulla Caves and GoldenTemple – stunning and caves unique. Essential.Pollanaruwa – fabulous way to see this on the bikes. We really enjoyed this.Pedro Tea Plantation – enjoyable tour and very nice place. Trains through tea country – this lived up to and exceeded expectations. The first day from Kandy to Nuwara Elia was my favourite as we sat in Reserved 2nd Class and could open the windows, which was better for taking photos. Truly magic kingdom scenery.
Booking through Foozoo made our 12 day trip to Sri Lanka feel like a relaxing three weeks. Our friendly tour guide plus driver quickly felt like new friends who wanted us to have the best possible experience of this amazing, many-faceted island.
Based our suggested destinations, they planned a practical route to follow and I feel we got to see pretty much everything. They suggested amazing accommodation to suit our budget and taste. When one or two along the route proved unsuitable, then Foozoo was quick to organise a better alternative. We stayed in 9 different hotels though, so this was a very high success rate, with most places far exceeding our expectations. Without fail they all had huge comfy beds, large luxury bathrooms (often exotically outdoor) and designer interiors. Most had tea and coffee and a fridge. Some like Ginganga Lodge in Galle, Ananya Beach Resort (Tangalle) and Theva (Kandy) we would love to stay at again for longer.
The advantage of having your own guide and car is that you can stop whenever you want, adjust your plan for a later start if you want to chill out at the hotel and be much more spontaneous within the framework of your itinerary. If you see a nice place you can stop for lunch or just pick up a samosa snack. Having a gay tour guide and gay-friendly driver meant we could really be ourselves from the start. They really couldn’t do enough for us. We also found out more about what it is like to be gay in Sri Lanka.
We had a 2am flight home – so it was a nice surprise that when we arrived for dinner that night at Foozoo’s villa hotel in Colombo, they had allocated a room to us, so we could relax, change and have a shower.
The 4 days tour i did with Foozoo was an amazing experience. Usually i like to travel by myself, but in this case my stay in Sri Lanka was quite short, and I wanted to get the most out of the 10 days i had. My tour included the culture triangle and an elephant safari. Right after my first inquiry Dinesh provided a proper tour plan. The accomodation he picked was outstanding considering that I booked a mid price option. During the entire four days i didn’t have to care about anything, so i could fully focus on the adventures Foozoo lined up for me. When I booked i was a little bit unsure about the idea of travelling with a guide, but in the end it just felt great that someone was not only around to deal with the usual obstacles when you’re travelling, but also a sweet person, who gave me quite interesting insights into sri lankan society, and specially the life of the lgbt community here. Summing it up, it was the perfect decision to go with Foozoo. Thank you guys, and lots of love,Sami
I cannot tell you how pleased I am with all the arrangements you made for me to make the trip a life-long memory.
First, I must rave about Ramesh. What a great man …. he was respectful, honest, funny, kind and knew the island like the back of his hand. I got the royal treatment wherever we went. All the details were perfect. The Perahera in Kandy was magical. He made my journey wonderful, smooth and pleasant.
Second, I really liked the itinerary you planned for me. From the architectural ruins in the central part of the country to the forests and jungles, and the beaches I enjoyed the variety of places as well as the information that I received regarding them. I am amazed at the vast array of geographic topography in Sri Lanka as well as the beauty each one possesses. It would be difficult for me to identify a favourite since all were distinct and wonderful in their own right.
Finally the details. The arrangements made for transport, hotel and food were spot on. I did not have one complaint about anything and the execution of those plans were perfect. The hotels were extremely comfortable and suited my needs perfectly. For that I compliment you, for your flexibility and foresight in looking after my best interests!
Thank you and FooZoo travel for the amazing experience I had in Sri Lanka. It was truly a lifelong dream come true. Thank you so much again. Greetings to all who I met. Please feel free to share any part of it as part of your advertising efforts and I believe you have a wonderful business.
I am an experienced solo traveller. This was my first time to Sri Lanka and my first time using a travel service. I cannot speak highly enough about the Foozoo Travel team who created one of the best trips I have had. Over a couple of emails, my itinerary was carefully created based on my interests and tastes, with much flexibility on their behalf. I was assigned the most knowledgeable and friendliest of guides in Ramesh, who was so easy going it was like travelling with a friend. It was my most active holiday yet, from exploring Sigiriya’s natural beauty, the charm of Kandy, or the beaches surrounding the stunning Galle Fort. There was so much to experience and the team made sure that I had all the local knowledge so I didn’t miss a thing. Owners Dinesh and Damith are wonderful hosts.
Foozoo’s resident heartthrob Naswar won a scholarship to a Leading school of modeling at the age of 18. Here he mastered the art of catwalk with valuable techniques that have gone on to serve him well. He also received training in personality development and grooming before going on to make his mark on the ramp, in advertising and fashion shows. This exposure helped Naswar develop his social skills and created a desire to know people and communicate with them in a meaningful and authentic manner.
He has since trained under local and international choreographers and gone on to showcase the work of international designers. He has won numerous titles, some of which include, Mr. Catwalk , Best Skin, 3rd runner up for Mr Sri Lanka 2012 and top 05 for Best model of the world -Srilanka 2013. He has also modelled for the prestigious Colombo Fashion Week, Academy of Design and Hameedia, Diliganz and Wills Designs. Having completed his HND in Business and Human resource management and a further year and half of Bcs computer science, Naswar went on to work for numerous private sector companies.
Additionally he also works to keep the environment clean, by directing the public conscience towards a cleaner, plastic free world. From beach cleanups to holding community meetings, Damith is the true green force in what Foozoo does.
Damith brings a wealth of passion to what we do at Foozoo Travel. Having travelled the world and having spent considerable time in places like South Korea and Europe, Damith is also aware of what travellers from different parts seek from a travel experience. Together with Dinesh, Damith has helped Foozoo Travel create an identity for itself. One that seeks to be far removed from a corporate approach to business.
Damith is involved with numerous environmental groups, being an active participant, organiser and ideator. His knack for bringing ideas and people together have resulted in movements and organisations that have brought about significant results. Some of his key achievements here include work and awareness in reforestation, crusade against palm oil plantations and protecting already endangered forests. He is also involved in animal welfare, particularly in the fight against elephants held in captivity.
Dinesh comes from a finance and advertising background. Having worked at a couple of banks in Sri Lanka he moved to advertising as a creative English writer and headed a local ad agency as a creative director for seven years. His combined experience in the advertising industry if over 12 years and he continues to work on select projects on a consultancy basis.
In 2016 Dinesh founded Foozoo Travel while spending time in Australia. Today the company is led by Dinesh, his partner Damith and close friend Bjoern.
Dinesh is an avid traveller. He has visited many different places around the world but he continues to be inspired and fascinated by his own home country/island, Sri Lanka. Dinesh is also passionate about safeguarding Sri Lanka as a travel destination. This has led to the business focusing on sustainability in every possible way and encourages its own customers to be mindful, considerate and informed about the impact of their travel.
Bolding running an LGBT welcoming travel operation, managing a highly rated guesthouse in Colombo, championing sustainability practices, encouraging experiences that make lasting impressions on their customers and being engaged in advocacy are just some of the things that keeps Dinesh on his toes and he’s enjoying every bit of it! Connect with him and find out how he can add value to your travel experiences.