Once we zeroed in on Rishikesh and Kedarnath, next on our to-do list was to chalk out our itinerary and decide on places to stay. The most important step, of course, was to figure out places to stay which maintained high standards of sanitization in their properties. Our other requirement to decide on a place to stay in Rishikesh also was to keep our expenses down. We knew that staying at 5-star hotels is a no brainer in terms of cleanliness, but this was also the perfect time to experience and smaller properties and give them the visibility they deserve.
Our search led us to Blue Jay Hostels, Rishikesh.
Why Blue Jay Hostels?
Blue Jay Hostels ticked one important checkbox in our where to stay in Rishikesh checklist – They were the only hostel in Rishikesh which had photos of sanitised rooms (including photos of sanitisation). While I assumed this to be a no-brainer, I was surprised to note that they were the only one.
They even had a pretty good rating on Booking.com. But that’s not all.
Blue Jay is less than a 10-minute walk from the hustle and bustle of Rishikesh, i.e., Laxman Jhula. This place is known for its famous cafes such as Freedom Cafe, Little Buddha Cafe, and other hangouts. We wanted a place which was peaceful and not far away from action, and Blue Jay Hostels worked just perfectly for us.
Check out this short video tour we made of Blue Jay Hostels.
Blue Jay Hostels was almost perfect in terms of facilities. The entire premises are air-conditioned, water dispenser available in the common area, sanitizers in key places and ample sunlight making this place shine bright.
Complimentary body wash and shampoo are provided in the private rooms.
There is a washing and drying area on the 4th floor, which is great for backpackers. If you are one of the lazy ones, you can also give your dirty clothes at the reception and they get your clothes laundered within 12 hours, which is awesome.
Blue Jay Hostels also has a full-fledged cafe/restaurant on the terrace throughout the day. The food is yummy, and the scenery is outstanding!
Blue Jay is a reasonably big hostel, spread across four floors. They have two large common areas, one on the ground floor and one on the terrace. This apart, they also have smaller common areas on all floors.
You will always find people in common areas, so you can easily make friends there.
They also have various activities planned every day and night which are a great hit! Their live music sessions are something we really enjoyed at their rooftop, with fellow travellers joining and singing along. Lots of games, fun, and good camaraderie are what you can look forward to at Blue Jay Hostel.
The moment we reached the hostel, we were given a warm welcome by Priyanshu who ensured we felt at home. Anil helped us the second time around (yes, that’s how much we loved the property) and was always tickling our laughing bone! Sai, who heads operations at Blue Jay Hostel gave us lots of recommendations on the things to do and how to plan our days to make the best of the time we had in Rishikesh. She also gave us a quick tour of the whole property and introduced us to other fellow backpackers, helping us break the ice that much faster! If you get the opportunity, get Nitin, the owner talking. His anecdotes are crazy and I can bet that your cheeks will pain because of non-stop laughter!
Priyanshu, Anil, Sai and Nitin, thanks a lot for ensuring we had a comfortable stay at Blue Jay!
Long term stay
With Corona here to stay at least for the next 12 to 18 months, work from home has become the norm. Remote work is the in thing these days and many hostels and hotels are coming up with long term stay options and Blue Jay Hostels are no different. In fact, during our stay, almost half of the guests had been staying in excess of three weeks.
Both the common areas have a reasonable amount of tables and chairs for those who would like to work. Most important of all, their internet is reasonably fast and good enough to handle a few video calls simultaneously.
We totally recommend Blue Jay Hostels if you are looking for a place to stay in Rishikesh. They have dorms and private rooms and at less than 10 minutes walking distance from Laxman Jhula, picking them is a no-brainer. The rooms and more importantly, the toilets are clean, the facilities are good, and overall, the right kind of experience one would expect from a hostel.
Check out availability at Blue Jay Hostels now.