A hostel chain start up, a bunch of young entrepreneurs wanted to revolutionise the way travellers travelled India. This led them to start Zostel last year. “A Zostel is not only a place to come and stay but also to socialise and meet like-minded people and travel together. This model is immensely popular in Europe and South East Asia and that’s where we drove our inspiration from,” Says one of the founders. The hostel chain operating out Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Agra, Varanasi, Delhi, Goa and Vadodara, is rated number one on TripAdvisor. The amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi, breakfast, private lockers, free library and recreational activities for just a measly 500 bucks (too good to be true right?).
Operating out of Jaipur and Jodhpur, CrashPad (established last November) claims to be ‘India’s first chain of hostotel, which is a unique blend of hostel and hotel. At their properties, one has the option of private rooms, bunker rooms and sleeping tents. All their rooms are done up keeping various Indian cities in mind. CrashPad also organises events like Bollywood or Pizza nights. CrashPad Jodhpur also organizes village safaris and trips for the guests which include camel rides, cook-outs and a wildlife safari.
Stops Hostels’ self-designed maps of cities, itineraries and activities are their key differentiating factors. “Our entire efforts are directed towards helping tourists explore the city better. For instance in Varanasi, we organise a boat ride, morning walk around the ghats, food walks, market tours, temple trails and yoga sessions,” offers Pallavi Agarwal, who started Stops Hostels with her husband Pankaj Agarwal last year in Varanasi and later in Delhi. In the capital, the tourists can look forward to food walks, Iftar walks, pub crawls, Bollywood nights and lunches at State Bhavan’s canteens.
Vedanta Wake Up
Perhaps the oldest name in this segment, Vedanta Wake Up operates out of Kochi and other prominent cities in Kerala with options for both homestays and houseboats. According to the founders, their properties are designed specifically for Indian travellers. So at 500 rupees a night, you enjoy basic amenities, breakfast, security and housekeeping. Their night time entertainment includes bar crawls, game nights and cultural event tours.