Having recently moved from its location next to City Palace, Zostel Udaipur is basically still brand new. At 5 months old although the exterior and location has changed the incredible interior of this hostel has surely only improved! After spending 3 weeks volunteering at Zostel Udaipur we really fell in love with it; the location, the rooftop, the cleanliness, everything in this place is awesome and a must stay if your visiting Udaipur!
Although the hostel has recently moved from its central location next to the City Palace, the new location means the hostel is in a more secluded and relaxed area. Though a little further out you don’t feel like you are too far away from the bustling city centre with the new building being just a 10 minute walk from Jagdish Chowk (Central Udaipur). Getting a bit further out of the tourist hub has also allowed Zostel Udaipur to create one of the best rooftop restaurant views in the city! We spent almost every evening in 3 weeks up there so trust us…its epic!
When being dropped off from the train station make sure you say to the Uber or tuk tuk driver to take you to Zostel ‘Hill Lake’ otherwise they may still take you to the old building and then things just get confusing! They cant drive all the way up the hill as it is quite steep so be prepared for a 60 second burn on the legs but it is all worth it once you get the main entrance! The main shopping, restaurant, bar and sight seeing areas of Udaipur are all within a 10-15 minute walk so there’s no need for tuk tuk or scooters here! Grab a map at the reception and just head left at the bottom of the hill and explore by foot everything the beautiful Udaipur has to offer.
The Rooftop Restaurant
The real ‘pièce de résistance’ of Zostel Udaipur is the incredible rooftop restaurant with a 180 degree view of sparkling Lake Pichola. Even if you don’t end up staying here then we recommend coming just for this view; we promise you wont be disappointed when you sit, beer in hand, watching the sun set over the lake and mountains in the distance.
Although not overlooking the Palace or ‘central’ part of the lake, after spending many evenings exploring the many rooftops around Udaipur we can honestly say that this view is pretty unbeatable! Although we cant directly vouch for the food that the restaurant here serves (luckily we were given staff food for free as part of the volunteering deal) everyone we spoke to or sat with raved about the creamy curries and doughy breads especially the Malai Kofta. If you want to go and explore the rest of Udaipur’s restaurant scene then just grab a beer or chai and enjoy the sunset and marvel at the city below!
The Common Area
Although the common room here is at the polar opposite end of the hostel from the rooftop its still an awesome place to relax, shoot some pool or watch a movie on the incredibly comfy cushion sofas – we dare you not to fall asleep!
Unfortunately, this area can sometimes feel a little cut off from the rest of the hostel as its in the basement and the draw of the rooftop is often just too much to avoid, however, there are ongoing plans to develop a soft seating area on the roof as well so if people want to chill without using the restaurant they can!
Wake up and get your morning coffee or chai fix up on the roof! The view up here in the mornings is glorious and a perfect temperature to enjoy your breakfast before the heat of the day. The breakfast menu starts from around 8/8.30am and as this is a fully functioning restaurant it serves up a variety of breakfast dishes from traditional Indian Poha to your basic eggs on toast. Although not included in the price its on average the same cost as a breakfast in any of the surrounding restaurants.
The dorm rooms at Zostel Udaipur are split across three different levels and vary in number of beds. The bottom floor boasts one 4 bed female dorm and an 8 bed whereas each other floor going upwards holds a 6 bed dorm. All are as you come to expect from Zostel with very clean sheets, great pillows and a blanket to keep you warm if the air-con gets too cold! Bear in mind that in the hostel the floors are marble and generally it is very cool throughout, so, if your trying to save some cash…just opt for a fan room! Hot showers are en suite in every room and are always kept immaculate day to day – a real treat for most budget backpackers! Being newly designed the hostel feels very modern as soon as you walk through the bedroom door and this is continued in each individual bed which comes with its own light, plug and locker. The rooms are all spacious so there is plenty of room to spread your wings and feel relaxed during your stay! We stayed in one of the 6 bed dorms for 3 weeks and never felt uncomfortably close to anyone else in the room!
If you didn’t know this place was a hostel you could easily mistake it for a hotel when you walk into the entrance and see the colourful paintings, marble staircase and dark wooden and gold doors! And, if you book a double room here then you certainly will get a hotel experience! The double rooms at Zostel Udaipur are all huge and very plush by backpacker standards and, although at the much pricier end of the budget market, offer exceptional views over the lake! If you are looking for a private getaway while still maintaining the hostel atmosphere this is definitely the way to go….
All in all this hostel provides almost everything you could wish for from a hostel and since leaving we have realised just how fortunate we were to stay for so long. Zostel Udaipur really does give any budget backpacker a small taste of luxury and a wonderful break from the usual budget hostels and all in a gorgeous location!
C & J x