Backpacker Panda Colaba, 15, Walton Rd, Apollo Bandar, Colaba, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001
Situated in the unofficial tourist centre of Colaba, Mumbai, Backpacker Panda Colaba is ideally located for both sightseeing and shopping.
Surrounded by shops, stalls, clubs and restaurants: There is something for everyone here. Whether you are a party animal, food lover, history buff or if you just want to relax in the big city, you will be spoiled for choice.
The hostel is just off a main road, meaning the noise from traffic isn’t an issue – a real bonus for us after spending a sleepless few weeks in some of the cities of Rajasthan.
We paid around 3500INR (approx. £38.40/ $52) a night for a Deluxe Double Room with an En-suite bathroom. This was our most expensive hostel stay in our first few weeks in India, but at around £19/$26 each per night, for a private room, it didn’t break the bank.
The corner room we had was bright and spacious, with several large windows which allowed the sunlight to stream in during the day. We had a kettle in the room and could get mugs from the shared kitchen, although we don’t think this was really needed or beneficial as we didn’t want to buy our own tea and coffee supplies for a short stay.
The aircon was a great relief from the hot and humid streets of Mumbai. As the Backpacker Panda Colaba has only been open for a few months, the AC unit was new and perfectly powerful. The TV was a great addition for those nights when you fancied snuggling up with a good movie.
The bathroom was clean and we didn’t have any issues.
The Wi-Fi at Backpacker Panda was perfect: when it was working. We rarely managed to connect in our room, even after attempts by staff to fix the issue. This wasn’t a major problem as we could work in the common room or up on the rooftop, until it randomly disconnected. This might not be an issue for most people, but for us, Wi-Fi is a must as we need to keep on top of our website and social media.
The hostel had a breakfast/early lunch menu which was perfect for when we didn’t want to go out too early. The food was cheap enough and although basic, it did the job. The shared kitchen had all the usual facilities (Fridge, microwave, toaster and kettle, although no hob) and the addition of a water purifier is ideal if you don’t want to keep buying plastic bottles.
The common area was comfortable enough and had some games around to play. The real winner for us was the rooftop common area. The layout of the benches made socialising and getting to know people much easier. Although hot, there was usually a decent breeze coming through the open sides to compensate.
The hostel provides a map showcasing the popular sights, bars and restaurants nearby.
Backpacker Panda Colaba also make booking tours easy and usually have some displayed on the board behind the reception – we went on the Dharavi Slum tour and the cost of 700 INR each (approx. £7.70/$10.40) was minimal compared to what we had seen online.
We also went on a heritage walking tour, guided by one of the members of staff from the hostel. This 2 hours walk was free and included the main tourist sights of southern Mumbai such as the Gateway of India, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station and the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel (amongst other locations). Our guide gave us just the right amount of information without overwhelming us with facts that we would likely forget after a few minutes.
The staff are also able to help print anything you need and will assist in booking onward travel if you have a need.
All of the staff at the hostel were extremely welcoming and helpful. They were all very amiable and easy to talk to. Although we don’t have much more to say about the staff, other hostel and even hotel staff could take a lesson in hospitality from the staff at Backpacker Panda Colaba.
The atmosphere at Backpacker Panda Colaba was great. It was a relaxed environment and was conducive for socialising. We know that we didn’t go to India “in season”, but we noticed that whereas other hostels organise get togethers/activities/drinking sessions to promote interaction between guests, this seemed to happen more naturally.
Backpacker Panda Colaba is a clean, comfortable and social place that is ideally situated. An awesome place to meet like minded people. A perfect choice for couples, friends and solo travellers alike!
Would we stay here again?
Yes! If we go to Mumbai again and want to stay in the South, we will definitely stay at Backpacker Panda Colaba!