I am sure most of you are not aware that there are hundreds of hostel accommodations available in India and not just only Zostel. I have nothing against Zostel, in fact, I have massive respect for them for staring the hosteling revolution in India but let us not make them “thanda matalab Coca-Cola” of the hostel world. There are a lot many small players and at times much better at various Indian tourist destination at a cheaper price than Zostel.
Don’t trust me? Here are some of my personal hostel experience which I had at 25% of the price of Zostel.
Price: ₹ 130 per bed per night
The GOODs: This hostel at the heart of the city and walking distance from Lake Pichola and City Palace. Hostel staffs are friendly. Each room dorm has attached washroom which a huge plus. Also, the hostel has a big terrace for spending the night under the sky.
The NOT-SO-GOODs: The staff. Honestly, they were not the friendliest staff I have met. Initially, we had some bitter argument as well (reason: the didn’t take my harmless jokes lightly)
The BADs: Food is definitely a letdown. But while in Udaipur, you don’t want to eat in a hostel. Do you?
BeachSide by Bombay Backpackers, Goa
Price: ₹ 400 per bed per night
The GOOD: A hostel at a stone throw distance from the beach and all the party scenes of Mandrem and Arambol. They also have a fully functional kitchen. You can even use their refrigerator for storing your beer :). Another best thing about the hostel was its owner, full of wonderful suggestions but only if you ask him.
The NOT-SO-GOODs: Sit-out areas. Every room had a sit-out area which was again not clean but not unwelcome though
BAD: They scored really poor on cleanliness parameters. Not so clean washroom, untidy hallways and don’t even get me started on the common area.
HOG hostel, Varanasi
Price: ₹ 200 per bed per night (including breakfast :))
The Drom Bed: The bed is covered from 3 sides and curtained on the remaining one to give you ample privacy along with a charging spot, a personal fan and cosy blanket
The Washroom: Clean but without hot water (there was a geyser though). There are 5 or 6 ceilingless washroom beside the terrace. We used that only to bathe under the sun.
The Kitchen: A fully functional kitchen with two refrigerators
The Common Space: Two common spaces which are very clean. Ample sitting space for all
The Location: The hostel was very difficult to find. The neighbourhood is very crowded and noisy but then whole Banaras is the cradle of chaos.
BAD: A rooftop restaurant would have been good