Stay India

Chennai

Red Lollipop (£7)

This is possibly the only hostel in Chennai as it’s the only one I could find. Chennai isn’t a tourist destination at all, but serves more as an international airport hub for the surrounding tourism in Tamil Nadu. I imagine this hostel popped up as a means to serve backpackers with either very early or late flights who were unable to get onward transport. By Indian standards it’s a very decent hostel, albeit at a slightly high price (Rs600/night). It has a comfortable common room with satellite TV, clean dorms and a communal kitchen. As with most hostels in India it doesn’t include breakfast, but does have free tea, coffee and biscuits. Even the wifi is not bad and the showers had hot water when I used them! I can’t really comment on the location as there is nothing to see in Chennai, but it could be a bit closer to the airport.

Location: 6/10
Cleanliness: 8/10
Facilities: 8/10
Value: 6/10


Kochi

Maritime Hostel (£6)

Kochi is a small town with very little tourism and only a tiny selection of hostels. In fact, I believe this is one of only two. Kochi mostly serves as a transport hub to other areas of interest in Kerala, but it does have a nice old colonial village in Kochi Fort and serves as a starting point for tours of the Kerala Backwaters.
The hostel has a shared balcony upstairs for smokers and a decent common room in the reception area. It has a shared kitchen and includes free breakfast, which is a very good deal for only Rs550 / night. They also have hot water and offer a laundry service, although bizarrely you have to hang your clothes yourself.

Location: 8/10
Cleanliness: 7/10
Facilities: 7/10
Value: 7/10


Goa

Water’s Edge, Margao (£6)

I think this hostel initially began life as a boutique hotel and then added a dorm later because it’s the fanciest hostel I’ve ever stayed at. It has a large fancy reception area, expensive restaurant and beautiful outdoor swimming pool. The hostel dorm is separate from the main building and has a nice common area with satellite TV. The only downside to this epic hostel is the location – it’s in the middle of nowhere! It’s far from the beach and about ten kilometres from the nearest train station and airport. However, if you want to spend some quiet days chilling by the poolside in a fancy hotel without breaking the bank, it’s perfect. The restaurant even serves alcohol.

Location: 2/10
Cleanliness: 9/10
Facilties: 10/10
Value: 8/10

Bunkin’ Hostel Vagator (£1)

This is the cheapest hostel in Goa, and quite possibly India. It has three dorm rooms, the cheapest of which is only Rs99 a night – cheaper than a beer! The other two have more privacy and are Rs150. It doesn’t have any facilities and is incredibly dirty, but the outdoor sitting area is nice and the social vibe is great. They have a few basic breakfast options – tea, sandwiches and omelettes, and if you ask nicely they might let you use the kitchen. As with most of Goa, it’s a party hostel and plays loud music until late most nights – so don’t come if you like to sleep early. The location isn’t great as it’s far from the beach, but it is very close to Hilltop – a popular venue that has parties most weekends. They also have two private rooms for Rs800 a night. Bunkin’ is the perfect place for those on a (very) tight budget.

Location: 5/10
Cleanliness: 1/10
Facilties: 3/10
Value: 9/10

Bunkin Hostel

 

Hideout Anjuna (£11 – private rooms only)

Hideout is one of the quietest and cleanest places in Goa, which is a rare thing – especially considering how affordable it is. It only has private double rooms, but for Rs1000 a night it works out similar to two dorm beds in most hostels. The rooms are fairly basic but include aircon and hot water, which is very good value for the price. The only downside is that it’s in a rather odd location, down a dirt path through an empty field slightly off the main beach road. It’s still only a five-minute walk to the beach, but for a similar price you can get rooms on the beach – however, they won’t be anywhere near as clean or quiet. For older couples or people with small children, Hideout is a perfect escape from the chaos of Anjuna while still being beach-accessible. The rooms would benefit greatly from a kettle, considering there is nowhere nearby to get a morning coffee and the hotel doesn’t do any food service.

Location: 8/10
Cleanliness: 10/10
Facilities: 6/10
Value: 7/10

Hideout

 

Namahstay, Arambol (£6)

Arambol doesn’t have many cheap accommodation options for backpackers, but Namahstay – just off the main road in the centre – fills this gap. It has a decent outdoor communal area, relatively clean rooms, laundry facilities and some basic food available. They also do occasional live music gigs in the outdoor area. It’s very close to the market and shops and a five minute walk from the beach. The nearby German Bakery is a must for breakfast – they do excellent Italian coffee and have an amazing selection of cakes and pastries.

Location: 8/10
Cleanliness: 6/10
Facilities: 6/10
Value: 6/10


Hampi

Mowgli Guesthouse (£10) (mowglihampi.com)

Mowgli is a beautiful riverside resort just off the main road on the “Hippie island” side of Hampi, which has now become the only part of Hampi where accommodation is available due to Unesco clearing the south side of the river to protect the monuments and heritage. Mowgli offers deluxe river view rooms and cottages, a decent restaurant, pool table, scooter hire and of course wifi that only works occasionally. It’s not the cheapest accommodation in India but with the lack of hostels available in Hampi it’s still good value for money.

Location: 9/10
Cleanliness: 7/10
Facilities: 7/10
Value: 8/10

Mowgli Guesthouse

Mumbai

Backpacker Panda Appetite (£8)

This hostel is right next to the international airport, so perfect if you are just arriving or leaving. It has a very nice outdoor communal area upstairs overlooking the street, with fans to keep away the mosquitos and a small communal kitchen. The rooms are very clean and all include en-suite bathrooms and very good security. The location is not ideal for sight-seeing or going out at night so most people here are just passing through, but this makes for a good vibe and a great way for people leaving to pass on useful travel info to those who just arrived. No alcohol is allowed in the hostel but there are two bars across the road.

Location: 6/10
Cleanliness: 9/10
Facilities: 6/10
Value: 6/10

Backpacker Panda Appetite

Travellers Inn, Colaba (£7)

Travellers Inn offers dorm and private rooms and is close to the main Mumbai CST train station and most tourist attractions. The rooms are clean and there is a nice common area to meet other travellers and a kitchen with tea/coffee facilities. The bathrooms are not great but fairly standard for India and the wifi works okay but otherwise ,it doesn’t have much to offer other than somewhere to crash.

Location: 9/10
Cleanliness: 7/10
Facilities: 6/10
Value: 6/10

Travellers Inn
Travellers Inn

Udaipur

Dream Heaven (£12 – private rooms)

For the price, you would not believe the amazing views you can get from this hotel! It is right on the Pichot Lake in Udaipur, overlooking the Royal Palace and an island temple. The rooms are spread over three floors and vary from basic double rooms with shared bathroom and no view to rooftop balcony rooms with TV, air-con and en-suite (£18).

However, even without a view room, you can experience the luxury of the views from the rooftop restaurant which has some luxurious seating and beautiful decor. While the food is not 5-star, the menu is quite extensive and most people will find something they like. They also serve alcohol and have a laundry service. The only downside I would say is that the hotel is very dirty.

Location: 10/10
Cleanliness: 4/10
Facilities: 6/10
Value: 7/10

Dream Heaven Udaipur
Dream Heaven Udaipur

Moustache Hostel (£2)

Moustache hostel is excellent value for money in central Udaipur, overlooking the Pichola lake and walking distance from the palace. It features a rooftop restaurant and chill area which offers yoga every morning, as well as a downstairs common area. The hostel is generally quite clean but the bathrooms lack hot water, are old, and smell of sewerage – a common problem throughout Udaipur. The wifi is good although as is also common in Udaipur the electricity tends to go out for a few hours a day.

Location: 8/10
Cleanliness: 4/10
Facilities: 7/10
Value: 9/10


Jaipur

Hotel Gandharva (£12)

When I stayed at Hotel Gandharva it provided exceptionally good value for money. My only fear is that it was new and the price I got was a special opening rate because I can’t believe they would charge so little for what is essentially a 4-star hotel. Every room is immaculate and decked out with all the modern fittings – aircon, dimmed lighting, wall mounted big screen satellite TV, tea and coffee facilities, hot water rain shower, fresh towels and linen, room service – you name it! The hotel features two high-class restaurants and an outdoor swimming pool with water feature and sunbeds. The location isn’t perfect but it’s a short tuk-tuk ride from most attractions.

Location: 7/10
Cleanliness: 10/10
Facilities: 10/10
Value: 10/10

Hotel Gandharva Jaipur
Hotel Gandharva Jaipur

Joey’s Hostel (£7)

In northern Jaipur towards the Amber Fort and Jal Mahal lake is this very nice hostel with dorms from Rs600 and privates from Rs1250. The dorms are very clean and some of the more expensive private rooms are exceptional – with a large balcony, modern bathroom, aircon, kettle and satellite TV.

The hostel has a very sociable roof terrace, communal area with TV and PlayStation and small restaurant with free breakfast. They also sell beer for only Rs100. It’s a bit far from the main town but very convenient for visiting the Amber Fort and Jal Mahal, and a great place to meet other travellers.

Location: 7/10
Cleanliness: 8/10
Facilities: 8/10
Value: 7/10

Joeys Hostel Jaipur
Joeys Hostel Jaipur
Joeys Hostel Jaipur
Joeys Hostel Jaipur

Agra

Hotel Saniya Palace (£7)

This hotel is very cheap and it’s only real selling point is the excellent view of the Taj Mahal from the rooftop terrace. It’s very basic, the rooms are dirty, water is cold, food is not great and the wifi is almost non-existant. But it is just a five minute walk from the entrance to the Taj Mahal, which is really the only thing to see in Agra so it’s not a bad option just for one night.

Location: 9/10
Cleanliness: 3/10
Facilities: 3/10
Value: 5/10

Bedwieser Hostel (£5)

Bedweiser has some decent, clean dorm rooms and a great roof top terrace with communal area and sattelite TV. It also sells a good selection of beers and food, and has a laundry service. The location to the Taj Mahal could be closer, but it’s still within walking distance (20 mins) or a 5 minute tuk-tuk ride. Also nearby is the Taj Nature Walk, which is a bit run-down but at least a nice respite from the constant noise and traffic. A good place to meet other travellers from all over the world.

Location: 6/10
Cleanliness: 8/10
Facilities: 7/10
Value: 7/10

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