This hostel was almost too good. It has spoilt me for other hostels! I planned to stay about 5 nights, and ended up staying 11.
Things that make this hostel great:
- A lovely garden
- A good included breakfast: an egg, 3 pieces of bread, 2 types of jam, fresh sweet tomato juice, tea and coffee (the tea is always available, and there are 3 different types), cheese, hot chocolate. The staff were often nice enough to leave the 'cleaning up' 'til a little later when scruffy, sleepy guests slept in 'til almost 10am
- Lovely rooms, with extra blankets, 'treasure chest' lockers big enough to fit all your valuables easily, bedside tables and individual lamps
- Little extras like hot water bottles at night (so spoilt!)
- Friendly staff
- A safe environment (the front gate and door are kept locked, and you buzz to be let in 24/7)
- Great, clean individual bathrooms with toilet, shower, basin all-in-one; plenty of room to change and decent hot water. Towels provided.
- Calm and peaceful atmosphere. Sometimes quiet music playing, a central kitchen/common room which is often lovely and warm, heated by a wood stove. This is obviously not a big party hostel, but the setup means it is easy to meet other travelers, and it is close to some good bars and restaurants too.
One thing to note: there is a tip included when your bill is calculated. I chose to not pay this after only 10 minutes in the hostel, but was more than happy to tip well at the end of the stay (you can put cash in the little treasure box near one of the doors in the kitchen). Tips are for good service, and I certainly felt the employees at Anandamayi did great work keeping the place clean, with friendly conversation and smiles, advice, and other little kindnesses.
I've been traveling for about 9 months (this trip) and have stayed in countless hostels over the last 12 years. This place makes my top 5. Do yourself a favour and stay here.