Until quite recently, I had never stayed in Hostels and suddenly in the last couple of years, I've gained quite a bit of this experience. The last one was in Ladakh during our road trip from Delhi to Ladakh and at Raybo Hostel in Leh.
I was quite skeptical about the hostel especially after spending a sleepless night at our Hostel in Manali. But as soon as we parked our car and saw the hostel from outside, got a good vibe about the place. The hostel was located away from the hustle and bustle of Leh city overlooking empty spaces and good greenery around. Despite being in a peaceful street, it was just a mere 12 minute walk from the main Leh Bazaar.
We reached the hostel and were attended by a friendly staff at the reception. There was a huge common sitting area near the reception with a Television Set and comfortable sofas to relax and spend quality time with either friends or strangers . They had a good variety of books, board games as well as various travel guides.
After getting done with a few formalities, we were assigned our dormitory . They had 4 and 8 bed dormitories and some were reserved only for women. Our was a 8 bed dormitory with nice wooden bunker beds and good storage space in the form of drawer in the lower bed. The beds were nicely spaced and lot of space in the middle. In fact, I remember 10 of us playing Uno that night in that very dormitory forming a circle and sitting on the floor and what a gala time we had. That also reminds me that the hostel room was exceptionally clean and cleanliness was given quite a priority by the staff. Also, the linen as well as the towels were very clean. Unfortunately , one thing I did not like about our dormitory was that it did not have an attached washroom and we had to use the washroom outside near the common room. Overall, I felt that the entire hostel in general ran short of washrooms and they forgot to pay as much emphasis on this important aspect as they paid to the rest .
One night we just sat outside near the garden where they had placed a couple of tables and few chairs and enjoyed clear starry sky while we gulped down a few beers. If you are star gazer Ladakh is the perfect place to be and the sitting outside reconfirmed the same for us.
We did not eat dinner or lunch out there but rather the manager helped us getting it packed from a nearby restaurant by personally taking us there. But for breakfast we had to inform them at night so that they could make the arrangements accordingly. Breakfast was served at ease and in the sitting area in their kitchen. In fact they had a huge kitchen area very well planned with a sitting area for at least 15 people. They just ran short of manpower as well as a cooking range otherwise served us a freshly made breakfast with option of Maggi, Toast and Eggs along with tea or coffee.
Overall, staying at Raybo Hostel has been my best hostel experience in India where they fell nowhere short of the facilities and services provided in a foreign country.