Hotal Colombo is inspired by the egalitarian eateries that spill onto the streets all over Colombo, where the working masses go to refuel. Often these canteens are given palatial names and called hotels, or hotals (the phonetic spelling of the local pronunciation), despite not offering any rooms for boarding. However, these roadside joints have become a huge part of the fabric of life for the guests that frequent them, many of whom moved from rural villages to find jobs in the towns. They are more than just places to eat. When not working or sleeping, this is where everyday folk go to kick back, unwind and be part of a community, where life’s celebrations and commiserations take place. The vast majority of the guests at these establishments will never stay at what most of us define as a hotel, but at the hotals, everyone is welcome.