The Odel store near Townhall is pretty well known now, mostly to Colombo's high-end shopaholics. Their brand is a household name (if your house is in Colombo 7) and you can get top quality clothes, shoes, accessories, perfume and books here – but you'll generally be expected to spend 2K at the very least. But they've also got some very cool craft items, tshirts and candy that won't cost you as much.
You can be sure that your clothes and shoes here are of very good quality – I still have an Odel tshirt from five years ago and it's as good as new. They've got branded stuff and original designs as well and you can get a tshirt for a little less than Rs. 1000 but the main collection of clothes and shoes are going to be in the Rs. 2000+ price range.
The men's section is not that impressive although there's a good range if you're looking for tshirts and shorts, but at least in the ladies' section, we love Odel's sense of style. They're very chic and sometimes quirky. Prices can be daunting and sometimes ridiculous, but if you can afford it then this is one of the better places in Colombo to go shopping. Odel is all about mass production though, so don't be surprised if you find somebody at a party with the exact same Odel shirt as yours.
If you go to the shoe and handbag section on the second floor (the corridor before the men's section), you might find a few awesome pair of shoes or a very funky wallet. Expensive-ish but perhaps worth it considering the rare designs. Jewellery at Backstage on the ground floor is pretty good too – their designs used to be much cooler a few years ago but they've still got a good range of unique chains and rings in the Rs. 500 range. There's also the Embark section on the ground floor for doggy toys and tshirts with puppies on them.
Odel is the best place to visit if you want to buy somebody a gift but they're not really into anything specific like books or Star Wars merchandise. This is where you get cool table-decor, mugs with pretty shizzle on them and whimsical fridge magnets. This stuff can go for as low as Rs. 150. On the first floor you get very rare, quirky stuff like beautiful wooden chests in distinct designs for 7K upwards.
The gift wrap section of Odel on the ground floor is actually one of our favourite spots – they've got beautiful colourful boxes and quality wrapping paper and a lady who'll even wrap up your purchase for you with a little bow and everything. You get books on the first floor – a decent range of autobiographies, Sri Lankan English writers, the John Grisham type selection, and some very cool coffee table books – however, they're costlier than anywhere else, and you're probably better off book shopping at M D Gunasena or Makeens in Bambalapitiya.
The food court outside Odel includes Doghouse, Magic Corn, Il Gelato, Harpos Pizza, Gonuts, Roots, Elephant House, Chariot, Chico Express, Mango Tree and Yo-Mo opposite it. Inside there's Delifrance and the Delight section. We love Magic Corn's hot-hot cups of corn and the rest outside is okay if you're here with friends and want a variety of fast food. Delifrance's ambience is lovely and the pastries are alright and affordable. Good place to meet for work and use the free WiFi.
The Delight section on the ground floor is awesome now – because Candy Planet has begun to supply them; we've always been able to get a quick cupcake here for just Rs. 160, albeit they're not incredibly fresh, but now you can also get gummy bears and big lollipops (Rs. 400+) and run around the store flailing from a sugar high, so that's great.
Odel has got a great vibe and the stuff here is generally good quality – most of it is on the pricey side, but if you look around carefully you might be able to walk away with really cool jewellery, tshirts or a bag of candy without having spent too much.