It's hard not to be curious when a giant moustache stares at you from the entrance of a stark-white building, on the main road of a busy market. “What’s more Indian than a big Rajasthani mooch?,” was the answer Amber Jalan, owner of the new Moustache Hostel, gave us when we quizzed him about the sign. Located in GK-1, Moustache Hostel is a new backpacker's hostel, more affordable than HKV's The Grey Garden and far removed from the chaos of hippie lair Paharganj.
I Moustache You a Question
Alaknanda resident and frequent traveller, Amber was convinced that Delhi, with its glitzy five stars and run-down motels, desperately needed a clean, safe, reasonably priced backpacker’s hostel. He wanted to create an affordable space where people could make new friends without having to worry about how to be safe. “Both Paharganj and Karol Bagh have lots of inexpensive hostel accommodation, but the GK neighbourhood is relatively safer since this is primarily a residential colony, and every house on this lane has a security guard stationed right outside, including ours,” he explains.
Dorm in a Teacup
The Moustache Hostel has 64 beds spread over two floors, eight bunk beds to eight dorms, two dorms out of which are reserved for women. Each bed is equipped with its own bulb, charging point, and padlocked lockers for valuables. The common room is bright and welcoming, perfect to meet fellow drifters and maybe challenge them to a game of Indian Monopoly (from Vadodara to Agra).
Go up two flights of stairs and you're on a wide terrace, the four walls of which are lined with artwork by local artists. The deck itself is sparsely furnished as of now, but Amber plans to populate it with chatais, moodhas and crackling bonfires on chilly December days. There are also plans of a supper club and musical nights. You know, if you fancy yourself as a fiddler on the roof.
Basic amenities include wi-fi, kitchen access to cook meals, a buffet breakfast and housekeeping. “We made sure that we added an Indian touch to everything,” says Amber. The buffet breakfast will consist of usual suspects of eggs, cereal, toast and jam, chhole bhature from a nearby roadside vendor, and provisions for all day tea and coffee.
Finally, we enjoyed the irony of the hostel's internet room, equipped with two Macs and cheesy meditative music playing in the background. Perhaps this is where we gently remind you to get off the internet and go enjoy your holiday.
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