Backpack Lanka Hostel (Colombo)
Being the political and commercial capital of Sri Lanka, there is absolutely no dearth of hotels in Colombo. Right from backpack budget hostels to big lavish 7-star hotels, all are available.
After having spent about 7 days of my vacation-cum-exploration in Galle and Kandy, my last few days were scheduled for Colombo. As already stated in my earlier blogs on Hotel Kalan Villa (Galle) and Majestic Tourist Hotel (Kandy), I had already booked all my stays in hotels in Colombo & other 2 towns from
and thereafter had no difficulty, be it in terms of reservations or identification or payment, none what-so-ever. This hostel was also preferred by me, from
out of some of the similar patterns I was able to see in Colombo. Since this was my first SOLO international trip, since budget was important and since this kind of stay also appealed to me, I took a chance. Paid 100 % money in advance. My itinerary was such that when I first landed in Sri Lanka, I was directly scheduled to travel to Galle, followed by Kandy and the final 2 nights were reserved for Colombo. So, post my visit to southern and central Sri Lanka, I arrived by train from Kandy to Colombo, a 3 hours journey, to Backpack Lanka Hostel in Colombo.
I checked-in at about 5.00 in the evening and the whole process was very smooth. It took not more than 5 minutes for the reception friend to allot my room to me and also ask one of their assistants to help me with my luggage and to arrange for hot shower etc.
95 % of the times, you find international travelers here. The entire ground floor consists of only Reception and the “chit-chat and play” area. Pretty nice facility and arrangements, I would say. It makes for ideal get-to-know-eachother seating space and excellent for making new friends.
(Reception area, inclusive of Snooker Table, Seating Space, Freezer & a Desktop PC with very high-speed internet)
(The white board displaying Sri Lankan map and photographs displaying important landmarks in Colombo)
(Snooker Table and the free unlimited supply of cold-drinks and beers of course)
(The space – where I made new friends – over talking & sharing of our respective common interests)
My dormitory room was on the first floor. It was a 2×2 dormitory i.e. having only 4 beds and an AC. There are no cupboards, no mirrors etc in the room. That’s plain and simple. Have a look below:
The first floor contains around 7-8 rooms of 4 beds each. There are 3 such floors but the second and third floor is more spacious and privacy-oriented. The first floor has a common washroom and toilet facility, 2 each. Very clean and tidily kept, despite around 32 people from different and distinct cultures staying together, at one go.
Backpack Lanka – One of the best budget hotels in Colombo
- I paid INR 520 per night stay to
and that’s about it. No extra or hidden charges anywhere, extremely fair and professional dealing by both
as well as the Hostel Management.
- Special Thanks to Brindley Mitchell Wijeysooria, the Owner-cum-Manager, who not only spent time with all his traveler friends (including me) & advised all of us on itineraries to follow, places to visit etc but also had vast range of topics to talk on. Made everybody very comfortable in an instant. And I remember telling him thrice to try & open such great hostels to many places within Sri Lanka and in nearby countries as well. I wish him & his team GOOD LUCK !
- The hostel has a laundry facility. For washing about 4.50 Kgs of clothes, they charge 300 LKR.
- In the reception area, they prepare great tea, with different flavours like Raspberry, Black Current, Strawberry, Ginger, Rose etc, this is for free – no matter how many times you have it.
- While the check-in and check-out time is 2.00 pm and 12.00 pm respectively, the Management allows you to keep your luggage till evening, as per your flight time, w/o any extra charge. My flight to Mumbai was at 9.30 pm, I planned to leave hostel by 4.30 pm and they happily agreed to allow me to keep my luggage, for free. Additionally, they also allow you to use their bathroom, for a quick shower, in case you wanna freshen up before your flight. Appreciate this gesture !
Chances of Making New Friends in Hotels in Colombo are very high !
A special and important mention of the new friends I made, whether from Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Canada or Sri Lanka itself. And here I share below some good time spent with them.
(With me, that’s Luisa Lu and Tim Jager – from Germany)
How To Reach
- If you are arriving in Colombo, go to Colombo Fort Station, then either take a train to Colpetty or Kalupitiya (as it is popularly called), should cost you 20 LKR only, for a 10-minute train journey. From Colpetty station, this hostel is about 15-minutes walk, I didn’t feel the need to take Tuk Tuk or bus.
- Alternatively, you can take Tuk Tuk from Colombo Fort Station, will take about 20 minutes & will cost you around 300 LKR.
- Normally, all the big hotels in Colombo may have an Airport Transfer, although the Airport is pretty far (about 40 kms). Budget backpack like this one, does not have this service.
All in all, a great place to stay for a backpacker.
Address: R.A. De Mel Mawatha Road, Colpetty, Colombo 03
Personal Verdict: 3.75/5.00
Last Visited in June 2015