If the thought of staying in commercialized Manali town (New Manali) doesn't appeal to you, head a few kilometers uphill to the village of Old Manali. Surrounded by apple orchards and populated by quaint local homes, it's frequented by foreign travelers, backpackers, and cosmopolitan young Indians. The vibe is laid-back and the accommodations are inexpensive. These 10 cheap budget hotels and guesthouses are among the best places to stay away from the crowd in Manali. When it's not busy, prices are often negotiable!
If you're planning a trip to Manali, also have a read of this helpful Manali Travel Guide.
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Himalayan Country House is peacefully perched above Old Manali, next to Manu Temple. It's surrounded by traditional village homes and has dramatic, sweeping views (it's even possible to see waterfalls from the hotel). You'll get an authentic experience of village life here, as your neighbors will be locals, yaks and cows. The hotel is relatively costly compared to other accommodation options in the area. However, it's definitely worth paying the extra. There are 12 rooms, priced at around 2,000 rupees per night upwards. Deals and packages are available.
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Formerly Rock Top Cottage, as its name suggests, Rock Top Inn sits atop a rock a few minutes from the center of Old Manali. Just below, the river flows past it and is visible from the balconies. The guesthouse strives to be a home away from home. It has a garden cafe that serves local and international cuisine. Guests can also cook their own food in the kitchen. Various activities are offered and there's a hiking trail just behind the property. There are 14 rooms, and those with balconies are priced at 2,500 rupees per night including breakfast, and lunch or dinner.
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One of the best bargains in Old Manali, Compass Cottage is perfect for travelers who want a clean and comfortable, yet friendly no-frills stay. Newly opened in mid 2015, it has 12 guest rooms and is situated not far from the center of the village. It's just off the main road towards Manu Temple, and down a track passed a few cow sheds. Standard doubles cost about 800 rupees per night, while deluxe rooms with private balconies are available for about 2,000 rupees per night.
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The delightful Orchards House is a haven of tranquility amidst apple trees and flower gardens near the center of Old Manali, yet away from the main road. It exudes a serene old village feel without the backpacker vibe. One of the best things about this place is that it has rooms to suit everyone. There are eight double rooms, three triple rooms, one mini apartment, and one big apartment. The apartments come with fully equipped kitchens. Yummy home-cooked food is also served by the family that runs the guesthouse. They provide all kinds of assistance, including travel arrangements. Rooms are priced from 500-2,000 rupees per night. Read reviews of Orchards House on Tripadvisor here.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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Terry's Bed and Breakfast opened in March 2015 close to the river in Old Manali, and quickly established a reputation for its delicious food. The owner, Terence Sequeira, is a passionate chef who specializes in authentic Goan cuisine with a twist. Organic salads, pastas, burgers, and sandwiches are also on the menu at Terry's Garden Cafe. There are six guest rooms. Expect to pay 1,500-2000 rupees per night. Read reviews of Terry's Bed & Breakfast on Tripadvisor here.
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Located near the Club House at the bottom of Old Manali, Eagle Guesthouse is bright and cheerful. It's run by a welcoming young husband and wife team -- he's Indian and she's Israeli. They have two children and a dog, which provides a warm family atmosphere. Nature lovers will appreciate the lush surroundings. Indian, Chinese, and Israeli cuisine is served. Travel services, including bike hire and tour bookings, are offered as well. There are eight double rooms priced around 1,000 rupees per night. Read reviews of Eagle Guesthouse on Tripadvisor here.
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Tiger Eye Guesthouse is the property of Tiger Eye Adventures, a local tour and trekking company. It has a village setting surrounded by farmers' houses at the top of Old Manali still but close enough to the action. There are 15 rooms spread over three floors, ranging in price from about 800-1,600 rupees per night. One of the rooms has its own kitchen for long-term guests. The family who runs the guesthouse lives downstairs. Read reviews of Tiger Eye Guesthouse on Tripadvisor here.
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Apple View Guesthouse is arguably the cheapest and best place to stay in Old Manali for those on a tight budget, and it's very popular with long-term travelers. This small family-run guesthouse was established over a decade ago and has just four rooms -- and a lot of heart. It's nestled among the owners' apple orchard on a ridge above the Club House. Fresh vegetables are grown in the garden and used in the home-cooked meals prepared for guests. There's even fresh milk from the owners' cow! Rates start from about 500 rupees per night, for a room on the ground floor with shared bathroom. You can pay slightly more for a room with attached bathroom on the upper floor. Do book well in advance. Read reviews of Apple View Guesthouse on Tripadvisor here.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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A step up from the usual backpacker's hostel, in many ways Zostel Manali is more like a hotel. It's undoubtedly one of the Zostel chain's best hostels in India, in terms of stay and service. As well as the usual dorm rooms, it has luxury private double rooms with stunning mountain views and ambient garden cafe. The location is off the main road, about 10-15 minutes walk from the center of the village, near Compass Cottage. The hostel also has its own dogs and is pet-friendly. Expect to pay 2,000 rupees per night for a private room, and 499 rupees for a bed in a dorm room.
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Rockway is India's first themed backpacker's hostel. It has a scenic riverside location overlooking the Mansalu River, away from the touristy part of Old Manali. The soothing sound of the river and birdsong is all you'll hear! The hostel gets its name from the fact that it's on the way to the famous Old Manali Rock. To get there requires a 10 minute trek from People Cafe on the main road. Travelers will love the community atmosphere and social evening bonfires. There are 12 rooms, which are a mix of dorms and private doubles. Wood heaters in the rooms will keep you warm. Rates range from 349 rupees to 1,500 rupees per night.