I’ve wanted to stay in a backpacker hostel in India for the longest time and I finally did it on my recent trip to Kerala. The experience was everything I imagined it to be and more. I’m so glad I chose to stay with Zostel at my first location in Kerala and then continued to stay with them in different locations throughout my trip around Kerala. Before I proceed. I’d just like to clarify that this post is not sponsored by Zostel and it is just about my personal experience.
I’ve received many FAQs regarding, what exactly is Zostel? Is it Safe? Is it clean? How do you book your stay? I’m going to address all your questions below and tell you about my experience. However, I will be writing a separate blog about my experience in Kerala and things to do there.
Zostel Fort Kochi
What is Zostel?
Zostel is India’s oldest and largest backpacker hostel brand present in 37 locations across India and Nepal. They provide safe, hygienic, affordable and centrally located accommodation for travelers on a shoe-string budget. I love that Zostel encourages solo travel and hence they do not allow group stays beyond 8 people and also don’t provide same dorm rooms if you come in groups of 4 or more people. This enables you to meet fellow solo travelers from around the world and create some great memories together.
Zostel Wayanad overlooking Chembra Peak
Is Zostel safe?
I personally found Zostel to be really safe and the staff was also super helpful at all the 3 properties that I’ve stayed at. This one time at Zostel Kochi I had a random man follow me till the hostel but the Zostel staff took care of it and made sure the man never returned. This doesn’t mean you don’t be careful with your luggage. You should always keep your valuable belonging in the lockers as you will be sharing a dorm with 6-8 other people.
Common area at Zostel Alleppey
Are the dorms clean and hygienic?
Again, I personally found the rooms at Wayanad and Alleppey to be super clean and well maintained. Whereas the Kochi rooms were clean too but the property is old so the rooms weren’t in the best condition but that’s what travel is about right? Staying at all kinds of hostels and experiencing everything 😊 I have no complaints whatsoever!
What are the categories of rooms available at Zostel?
You can choose from mixed dorms (male and female), female dorms and private rooms for when you travel with a friend or partner and need some privacy. I’d recommend you book the female dorm if you are staying at a hostel for the first time and well, female dorms and washrooms are always cleaner, no? 😉
What about sight-seeing and local experiences?
Zostel has you covered and they suggest some of the best things to do. Zostel also has fun activities planned everyday like treks (we did one in Wayanad to a beautiful waterfall) , walking city tours (like the fort Kochi tour we did) , beach visits, etc
Shikara boat ride with Zostel friends
What are the prices of rooms and how do you book?
The Zostels located in good locations usually get sold out super quick (like the Gokarna Zostel which is always sold out) so you’d better book in advance on the Zostel website and the prices for dorms are anywhere between Rs. 400-800 per person depending on the location and property. The private rooms are anywhere between Rs. 900 to 4,000 depending on the category.
I started my journey in Kerala from Zostel Wayanad and that is where I fell in love with Zostel. The Wayanad Zostel is located on a scenic tea estate giving you country side vibes and the famous Chembra Peak trek starts just 200m from the hostel. It was a new property, the dorms were well maintained and the staff was very warm and welcoming. The fellow travellers we met were also super nice and we ended up making some great memories exploring Wayanad together. They also had bonfire nights with good music, fairy lights & yummy Kerala food which made for the perfect hill holiday setting.
Jackie from Zostel joined us on our trek
I remember asking Prince from Zostel Wayanad about Elimbileri estate and the waterfall and the very next day he took us there for an early morning trek which was so stunning. The trek was so beautiful and also scary with all the leeches getting onto our shoes but Prince helped us get rid of them. After having the best experience at Wayanad we chose Zostel for our stays in Kochi and Alleppey, best decision ever! I’ll be writing more about my experiences in the next Kerala blog.
Came for Tibetan food with our Spanish and Bombay friend
When we stayed at Alleppey, we also happened to visit Trippr Hostel and Artpackers Hostel which were pretty amazing too, so I’d suggest you always check the hostels around a place and decide which one fits your vibe the best!
Happy travels! Don’t forget to like and share this blog with your friends and please leave your comments down below! I’ll be posting about places to visit in Kerala very soon.
Also, if you haven’t read my previous blog on Pondicherry, CLICK HERE.