When I first arrived into Delhi I had a budget hotel already booked. Getting good accommodation in India is a bit of a hit and a miss sometimes. I booked into a hotel on Arakashan Road in Paharganj called Amnol Hotel. It cost £3.80 a night to stay there but my safety is worth a lot more than that! The receptionist seemed nice at first but turned into a complete stalker. He got a SIM card for me but saved my number so that he could call me 10 times a day. Then he decided to keep knocking on my door at 10pm and coming into my room asking why I haven’t answered his calls thinking that was appropriate. With constant knocking at 10pm, midnight, 2am and 5am I decided for my safety to never open the door and I’m glad I didn’t!
After a couple of nights of this happening the final straw was when I heard loud frantic banging on my door, the buzzer ringing and someone yelling at me aggressively at midnight. I genuinely thought that my door was going to be broken down so I yelled back frightened and put furniture against the door. A solo female backpacker should not have this experience on her first stop and trip to India! This is why I want to share my experience in hoping you don’t pick this awful place to stay like I did.
So not only do they offer a stalker experience for solo female backpackers they really do offer much more. If you have travelled in India before you will know that you’re are destined for endless power cuts so make sure the accommodation you are booking has a backup generator so you don’t end in the dark for the entire time of your stay! It is also a good idea that you bring a torch with you, it can come handy in a handful of situations in India. This hotel DID have a backup generator but was too lazy to switch it on. If you would also like special features like bed bugs, poo and spit stains on the walls then this is the place for you! Wow sounds amazing right?!
So always out of a bad experience comes a good one. I decided to book into Zostel which was just down the road. I booked a twin room because that is all they had left, a popular place to stay! When finding accommodation in India, hotels are usually cheaper than hostels but hostels are essential if you are solo backpacking to meet other people, especially if you are a woman. They had really good reviews and I have been following Zostel on social media for months before I came to India so I was excited to give it a try.
The receptionists were beyond friendly and helpful, if you needed anything they would be right there to help. The doorman was the highlight, a sweet older gentleman who always would put a smile on your face. I liked how the hostel has a common room at the front of the building, because it is a great place to meet people who are coming and going. There’s lots of places to sit and relax and in the middle of the room there’s a place where you can use their computers, play board games and read books on the comfortable mattresses. I would have loved to have stayed in a dorm room if they were available because dorms are great places to meet other travellers whom you can adventure around the city with. On my last night before I had to catch the train I met some great people, all travelling alone. It really made me happy to share our crazy, funny and eccentric stories about our time in India so far. Many funny moments to share with each other!
The room was amazingly clean for Indian accommodation. For the western world nothing will be as brand spanking clean and new but this was 5 star for India! The room was comfortable, everything worked fine and there was also room service available so if I felt like not going out to eat I could easily order something from the room. They also have information for walking tours around the city so that would be a great start if you are not comfortable walking around on your own.
My experience at Delhi Zostel was great and I met some great people who taught me new things about India. I would definitely stay here if Delhi is your first stop into India. It’s a great place to be supported and to meet other people who are backpacking as well. Hostels may be more expensive than a budget hotel in India but honestly it’s worth it, trust me! If you want to know more about Zostel then click right here! You can book through Hostelworld or Booking.com to get the best deals!