Coming back from Dubai, I was looking for a night’s stay in Delhi. I had two options: Spend a night in some well-known hotel, or book a bed in a dormitory/hostel.
While searching for places on Booking.com, I stumbled upon a place I had never heard before: Backpacker Panda. I had never really stayed in a lodge or dormitory before and I wanted to experience what it’s like to stay there.
Besides, I didn’t want to spend too much for a night. A bed in Backpacker Panda Delhi was costing me just 449 Rs for a night which was perfect for me. Here’s my review of my one night stay at Backpacker Panda, Delhi.
Backpacker Panda hostel chain is spread across India. They are present in cities like Jaipur, Pushkar, Agra, and Mumbai to name a few – with more locations coming up.
Backpacker Panda Delhi is located in Paharganj area. Paharganj is a famous place among tourists from all over. This is where you will find many dormitories and hotels along the Main Bazar Road.
The Ramakrishna Mission metro station is just about 200 meters from Backpacker Panda. The New Delhi railway station (NDLS) is less than a kilometer away.
There’s a market nearby where you can buy some local items. If you wish to enjoy some street food while here, just take a walk along the Main Bazar Road and satisfy your taste buds.
Both Paharganj and Backpacker Panda are popular among backpackers. You will get to meet them just about everywhere during your stay.
Room and Facilities
I had booked my bed in a 6-bed mixed dormitory for Rs 449 (about $8). If you look further, you can find a bed for an even cheaper rate in Delhi. But this rate is almost perfect in my opinion.
This wasn’t the first time I was visiting Delhi but it was my first experience at a dormitory setup. So I didn’t want to take my chances and crash into some lousy place at night, especially in Delhi. (I mean, I’ve heard things about the city.)
I didn’t have any idea about Backpacker Panda, and I was a bit skeptical of the place at first. But as soon as I found the place and climbed a few stairs with my bags, my worries were almost gone.
The dormitory room allotted to me was nicely cleaned and so was my bed. The plain white sheet was almost spotless and the bathroom common to this room was well-maintained.
Each bed had its own locker and an electric plug (which was working, too!) The AC installed my room was working perfectly.
There was a kitchen with some basic facilities. Guests were allowed to use everything available there provided they cleaned after themselves. I didn’t use anything but an electric cattle to boil water for a cup of tea I brought from Dubai.
Besides the kitchen was a common room where guests could chill. There was a terrace where all guests were sitting when I checked-in. I didn’t really go talk to anyone, (still working on my skills to start a conversation with people. An introvert nerd – that’s what I am) but they sure were having fun.
There was only one person staying in my room so I didn’t really get a room full of people. But looking at its size, it must feel crowded when all beds were occupied.
The WiFi connection was stable and its speed was good. I didn’t face any problem connecting and using the WiFi.
Although the area outside (the street) was dirty as usual, Backpacker Panda itself was kept clean. My dormitory room was properly cleaned. The bed sheets and beds were clean as well.
The combined toilet/bathroom common to our room was neat. The common toilet in the lobby was also properly cleaned.
The lobby area looked clean, but it was a bit dusty. You wouldn’t notice it until you walk around barefoot and enter the bathroom to wash your feet. This happens thanks to the dirtiness on the street outside the place.
The huge common room and the terrace were both nicely cleaned, as well.
The kitchen, however, was full of dirty plates etc. It wasn’t smelling pleasant in there. I assume those dishes and mugs were left to be washed but someone was yet to do the honors.
After changing a few metro trains (three) from the airport, I finally reached Backpacker Panda at about 23:00. It was really late and I was tired after those tedious, crowded metro rides.
The person (Rupesh?) sitting at the reception was very welcoming. Checking-in was quick and hassle free. After the formalities, he showed me the room and we took a quick tour of the place.
There were other young guys present at different times between checking-in and checking out the next day. All of them were well-mannered and I had some conversation about the place and my journey with them.
As my train was later in the evening and the checkout time was in morning, I requested them whether I could stay there a little longer after checking out. After completing checkout formalities, they asked me to put my bag in a common room full of luggage and allowed me to stay.
After I came back from a long walk around the city, I sat at the reception for about 1 hour talking to people and making notes in my diary.
Backpacker Panda Delhi Review: Summing Up
Overall, my one night stay at Backpacker Panda, Delhi was pleasant. While I just spent a night and a few hours the next day, I came to like the place.
Checking-in and out was hassle free, the staff was friendly, and the room, beds, bathroom, and lobby were properly cleaned with a few minor and avoidable exceptions here and there.
One thing I noticed was that there were some young guys crashing into the place at night. The staff knew them and allowed them to enter the place, provided they fill the guest register. They came there to chill with others – including the guests. They spent the night drinking and talking at the terrace.
I might be wrong, but it makes me concerned about mine and other guests’ safety even though everyone was ‘friendly’ to everyone else. I mean I can talk and get friendly with other guests and staff, but not with some third-parties who don’t even stay there with me.
Anyways, this experience left a positive impression on my mind, helping me overcome my fear of staying in dormitories. I wish my plans allowed me to stay there for a few more days. In fact, my stay with them was much better than the overhyped One to One – The Village in Abu Dhabi.
Will I stay at Backpacker Panda Delhi if I had a chance again? I definitely will.
Did you stay at Backpacker Panda? How was your stay? Share your experience with me. Planning a stay in Delhi? Go ahead and book your stay with Backpacker Panda!