Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Alobar 1000: Sensationally Good Hostel in the heart of Kathmandu

On my recent backpacking trip to Nepal, I stayed at a lovely hostel called Alobar 1000 that is located in the Thamel area of Kathmandu. I chanced upon this place at the last moment while I was browsing wikitravel from my flight and just decided to take the plunge. In fact, I am very happy that I decided to stay here. I stayed here for 11 nights across 2 trips in Nepal and absolutely loved my stay here. If you are a solo traveler, backpacker or budget traveler, I would definitely recommend this place to you. Below is my detailed review based on this recent experience of mine.

1) The place is a very comfortable budget hostel. Dorm beds cost 450 Nepali rupees, which equates to roughly USD 4.5. They have 12 bedded dorm room, 6 bedded dorms and private dorms with 2 beds.

2) Alobar has power supply all 24 hours. This is much required in Kathmandu, which sees frequent power cuts. This ensures that lights, fan and wi-fi work round the clock.

3) Their washrooms, shower rooms and dorm rooms are very clean. Showers come with gas powered heaters, which means that you get the luxury of hot showers round the clock.

4) They have a roof top sitting area and restaurant that is like their main hangout spot. They have a TV, play great music, serve delicious food, serve local beer and spirits and help their customers understand Kathmandu better.

5) Their common area on the roof top is a great place to meet fellow travelers and listen to great stories from the road. In fact, I had such a lovely time here that I made so many new friends.

6) The hostel has free wi-fi all round the clock. Sometimes, the internet went down, but it worked most of the time. The speed was much better than the rest of Kathmandu.

7) The people running the hostel always have a smile on their faces and make sure you have a good time. They are always there to help address your queries, give you directions and plan out your itinerary.

8) The hostel has an in-built travel desk (Daal Baat Adventures) that offers some fantastic tours. Usually, I don’t like to take tours, but I was tempted to try them out as they offered cultural exchanges with locals during festivals and such interesting events, which you will easily miss otherwise. The travel desk is also a great resource if you want to understand your map, tourist attractions and trekking routes properly.

9) The hostel says that they offer free pick-up from the airport to the hostel, but they end up charging for it. This is the only bad thing I felt about this hostel.

10) The hostel is located in a quiet part of Thamel, which means that you will get to sleep peacefully and not worry about Kathmandu’s notorious noise levels.

11) The hostel enjoys great location. It is just a 2 minute walk from Thamel chowk, which means that it is close to the main tourist attractions, shops, restaurants, travel agencies, bars, clubs, ATMs, local markets and all the things that a tourist would typically look for. It is also just a short walk from the various bus stops of the city, which makes it easier to connect to neighboring towns like Patan, Bhaktapur, Banepa, Dhuikhel, Nagarkot, etc. The hostel is located about 20 minutes from Kathmandu airport.

12) The hostel offer laundry service for a reasonable fee. You can refill your bottle with 1 liter of filtered water for 10 Nepali rupees. In simple terms, they try to offer all the usual services at a budget price since they cater to the backpacking population.

13) Unlike the other hostels, this hostel does not get too loud at nights. People drink and have good conversations, but there is no chaos. May be, it is because that this place is still not mentioned in lonely planet or other guide books. I am sure this place will get loud crowds once it finds a mention in the guide books.

14) In case you are interested in private rooms, they also have a neighboring property that is more like a service apartment and is given out to tourists for short and long stays.

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