This post is the first in a series about hostels in India. As a budget traveller, hostels are my favourite mode of accommodation when I’m travelling. The facilities are perfect for backpackers and the opportunities to make new friends are endless. However, guesthouses are still the most popular mode of accommodation in India,. I want to highlight some hostels in India that I’ve stayed at and think are amazing! The first place- Summer by thehostelcrowd.
When I made the decision to spend a relaxing few days in Goa, the party capital of India, I knew that I wanted to head for one of the southern beaches. I’d visited North Goa with my mum before and, although I enjoyed chilling out, reading and sunbathing on the beach, I never really clicked with that part of the state. Hoping to see a new side to Goa, I decided to head to Palolem Beach and stay at Summer by thehostelcrowd.
thehostelcrowd are one of the jewels in the crown of India’s hostel scene. Run by a group of young friends who’ve all travelled the world themselves, the owners know exactly what matters to backpackers. They currently have properties all over Goa, as well as a few in Kerala. Here’s how my stay was at Summer, their newest offering in the Goan hostel scene.
After spending a few days in Hampi where I had struggled to meet people, arriving at Summer by thehostelcrowd was a real breath of fresh air. I stayed in a 6-bed dorm and, over the 4 nights that I stayed, made friends from all around the world. Although I came in the low season, I was never bored or short of people to meet!
The hostel has various communal areas to meet people staying in other dorms. One of my favourite areas was the upstair seating which had an amazing view over the rice fields beside the property. This was the perfect place to chill out and read on rainy days, or to catch up with other travellers over breakfast in the morning.
The staff at Summer by thehostelcrowd went over and above their duties to ensure that all the guests had the best time during their stay. From local restaurant recommendations to bus information, the manager, Ranauq was a fountain of knowledge and always happy to help. During the high season, the staff go out of their way to arrange various excursions for guests including waterfall trekking and kayaking. If you decide to go, make sure that you tell them I said hi!
The six-bed dorm that I stayed in had all the usual comforts that you’d look for in a tropical beach destination. Yup, the air conditioning was flowing, the showers were nice and hot and the beds were comfortable with cool, light linen. One thing that I always look for in a hostel is a secure, but convenient place to store my luggage. Each bed had 2 drawers underneath that could easily hold the largest of bags. This helped keep the room clear and tidy and gave guests the piece of mind that no dirty paws were going through their stuff!
One of my favourite things about staying in hostels is all of the conveniences that they offer. Summer by thehostelcrowd definitely didn’t disappoint. Having stayed in a few hostels with no access to clean, filtered water, I was so happy to see a water filter machine at Summer hostel. It might not seem like much, but the cost of buying several bottles of water every day soon adds up- especially if you’re like me and down about 5 litres a day! Plus, god only knows that we don’t need more plastic going to waste in the world.
The hostel also has a washing machine where you can do your laundry for a small fee, towel rental for all you hand luggage fiends, strong wifi (even in the rooms!) and a yummy free breakfast everyday! Like almost every hostel I’ve stayed at in India, there were no kitchen facilities at Summer by thehostelcrowd. However, with cheap delicious food all over, I doubt you would ever want to cook!
Also: For travellers travelling between North and South Goa, thehostelcrowd provides a minibus which runs between their hostels on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Summer by thehostelcrowd is just a short 10 minute walk away from the beach- meaning you can enjoy all the good bits of the beach without having to worry too much about having sand in your bed. There are loads of great restaurants nearby, as well as souvenir shops selling the usual fare like elephant pants and silver anklets. However, the hostel is far enough away from all the madness that you can sleep quietly at night and get up and go exploring in the morning.
Value for Money
At 550 rupees a night for a bed in an air-conditioned dorm, you’d be hard pushed to find something else that offers such high value for money. I know that a lot of the rock bottom budget travellers are probably cursing me here. And yes, in India you can find extremely cheap guesthouses which offer great value money for couples and groups. However, I think that this is a great deal considering that you get the opportunity to meet people, are staying in a nice newly built property and get your breakfast thrown in, too!
If you’re heading to Palolem Beach anytime soon and want to stay in a clean, friendly and social place, definitely stop by at Summer by thehostelcrowd. For bookings and more information, you can find their website here.
Off to India? Don’t miss these posts!
Disclaimer: Many thanks to Summer by thehostelcrowd for hosting me during my stay. As always, all opinions are my own.