Roambay Hostel, Mysore - Hostel Review
8.2 on 10
Me: Hi, I am Nidhi, I spoke to you on Instagram. Are you guys open yet?
Pawan: Yes! We were not expecting you.
Me: Yea! Even I was not expecting me.
I visited Roambay Hostel back in October, 2019 to see the famous Dussera festival. I was in Bangalore that time and one morning just went to the train station, bought the ticket and left for Mysore or Mysuru on a whim. It’s just 2 hours train ride anyway. And for next 4 days I was checking-in and checking-out from 3 different hostels. It was such a wonderful trip. Which started out as a solo trip soon converted into a trip with my travel buddies. This story deserves a separate post and I shall write that one next. For now, back to Roambay.
Pawan: How many nights will you be staying with us?
Me: Lets just do it for tonight, I will let you know for rest.
I was their first entry in the guest register. Infact I was their first formal guest after they officially opened. A friend of mine had told me about this new hostel when I was just contemplating going to Mysore from Bangalore. I saw Hostel’s Instagram account and interacted with Pawan (the owner/manager) to know more about festivities etc.
It was a new hostel which went online the morning I reached there. I took a tour of the property which had the smell of everything new and fresh. Overall I loved the property. Its an old bungalow converted into hostel. I just loved the property and how it was done up with so many colors that made it pop.
Rooms & Beds
Beds and dorm structures in the hostel were really nice, the dorm I stayed in was really spacious and beds were not bunk beds. The lockers with the beds had good amount of space to keep your stuff. There was only one other dorm without bunk beds – the loft right above the dorm I was in. Drawback here was that even if someone would walk on the room upstairs it felt as if that person is walking right on your head.
The hostel has dorm rooms starting from 2 beds to 8 beds and one single bed private room.
Another feedback that I gave the hostel management was that the ceiling fan in my room made a lot of noise and did not have a speed control to reduce that noise and switching off the fan was not an option because of the temperature.
These seem like teething issues for any new hostel, and I am sure the hostel would have worked on them. But since this was my experience, I thought to mention it here.
Cleanliness & Washrooms
The hostel was clean apart from some pending construction work outside which made entrance a bit messy. However, the house was really clean from inside.
Apart from a 8 Bed Female dorm, none of the rooms had attached washroom, but they had good amount of toilets and bathrooms outside. Some of them were not working at that time. This meant that you need to walk all the way to back of the house (after crossing common room and dining area) if you want to use a restroom or take a shower.
Also showers had some construction dust still sitting on doors and platforms where you would keep your toiletries and clothes. This was a bit disappointing for me as I asked the hostel guys to get it cleaned multiple times but that didn’t happen till the time I left. I stayed there for 2 nights.
Roambay was conveniently located. Mysuru palace was about 2 km from the hostel and there were many eating out places nearby. There was even Big Bazaar (an Indian supermarket chain) at a walking distance. The Old House Cafe was also just 350 meters from the hostel. Its a nice place for breakfast and some pizzas.
Roambay is a family run hostel. Main operations were taken care of by a brother sister duo. They are really nice people but I feel they lacked experience of running a place for travelers, which they will get in just few months of operations I am sure. Although they were nice to all guests but attention to detail was missing. For example, the reception timing said from 8/8:30am but there was noone in and around the house to assist guests till atleast 10am. Since kitchen was not functional then, the included breakfast was arranged at a restaurant opposite the hostel, but this information came to us (me and other guests) around 10am while we were waiting for staff to show up. My feedback here was that they could have arranged something or someone to assist guests in case the reception is not open. A notice on a board would also suffice.
I think the hostel has worked these things out as I can see some really amazing reviews and ratings on Booking.com now. As this review is about my experience at Roambay, I am sharing what I felt.
As it was a newly opened property, I did not have many expectations on this front, as there were not many people staying. They have a nice common area and a garden area. However, garden and outdoor common space didn’t have any seating, which was disappointing as it was really nice space to chill.
Indoor common area had a big smart television installed with ample space to sit around but no fans. It does get hot in Mysuru so this was kind of a design flaw, but staff did manage to put a pedestal fan (only one in hostel that time).
In my opinion, hostel staff could have been more involved with guests whoever were there that time.
This during my stay was pretty much just the nice space with good beds and common area as the kitchen was not functional, refrigerator was not working, and even washing machine/laundry and iron, was not available. I understand that the property was new but these are basic necessities which should have been fixed before making this property online. This was even more essential for them as the hostel was completely booked for the night I checked out from there.
Breakfast was included with bed price. Cafe at the hostel was still under construction and kitchen hadn’t started yet, so they arranged for it at a small restaurant just opposite the hostel. It was just decent place which closed at 11am. The arrangement was for only Idli Vada Sambhar everyday, which could be monotonous.
Value for Money
Ok now money matters.
I paid Rs. 599 per night for a dorm bed, including breakfast. Which would have been fine had the hostel was up and running with all facilities in place, with clean and working restrooms, laundry, refrigerator, etc.
- Towels are charged a Rs. 50 as Rent – A standard practice across many hostels in India
- Laundry and ironing is charged – not sure how much though
- If you lose your key, penalty charges are Rs. 300 – this I felt to be on higher side given that its a normal key and not the key card
I would like to thank the Roambay Hostel, for hosting me and for comfortable beds in peak Dussera season in Mysuru.