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If you don't want to spend too much on accommodations, you'll be pleased to find that there are some excellent cheap backpacker hostels, guesthouses and budget hotels in Delhi. And, they're great value for money, unlike super expensive Mumbai.
Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to stay in Paharganj (the city's backpacker district bordering New Delhi Railway Station) to save money. Many people prefer to avoid going there because it's very congested, noisy, and full of touts. (If you do specifically want to stay in Paharganj, check out these Paharganj hotels and hostels for all budgets). The main alternative for budget accommodations is Karol Bagh. It's a busy shopping area not far from Connaught Place. Otherwise, if you'd prefer to stay somewhere quieter and more upmarket, head for South Delhi.
Bloomrooms, South Delhi
Bright and cheery Bloomrooms, with its distinctive white and yellow decor, is a popular new concept in budget hotels in Delhi. Rooms feature custom designed beds for added comfort, rain showers, and free wireless Internet. They're modern, minimalist and spotlessly clean. The hotel also has a cafe. There are two branches in Delhi. The more upmarket one is located in the Jangpura Extension area of South Delhi (between Nizamuddin East and Lajpat Nagar market), near Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. There's also a cheaper Bloomrooms near New Delhi Railway Station. Rates start from around 2,000 rupees a night for an air-conditioned double, plus tax. Breakfast is additional. If you don't enjoy any aspect of your stay, your money will be refunded. You can't go wrong staying there!
Tatvamasi Homestay, South Delhi
Formerly Ananda Bed and Breakfast, Tatvamasi Homestay, is one of Delhi's best budget bed and breakfasts. It's run by a well-traveled mother and son duo, and provides clean and comfortable air-conditioned accommodations. The house has four guest rooms and is located in South Delhi's upmarket Chittaranjan Park residential colony, five minutes away from Greater Kailash II. The area has plenty of shops and restaurants. It's also close to the Lotus Temple. Expect to pay around 3,000 rupees per night.
Aashianaa Living, South Delhi
This stylish budget bed and breakfast quickly impressed guests with its extremely helpful staff and large, pristine rooms. The accommodations are best described as a spacious serviced apartment with five bedrooms (some with balconies and each with their own private attached bathrooms) and a shared lounge room, dining room, and kitchen. The property is located in South Delhi's posh Greater Kailash II residential neighborhood. It's not far from the Lotus Temple. There's an in-house cook but guests can also use the kitchen to prepare meals if they wish. High-speed wireless Internet is free, along with a yoga/breathing class. Expect to pay 2,500 rupees upwards per night for a double room with breakfast.
Maya's Nest, South Delhi
Maya's Nest is a cozy home-away-from-home for budget travelers. The hosts, Maya and her daughter Asha, have four guest bedrooms in their arty apartment in South Delhi's upper-class Vasant Kunj area, within easy reach of the airport. A cross between a homestay and a guesthouse, it offers privacy to those who want it and is safe for single females. Guests can take cooking lessons and yoga classes, walk in the park next door, read books from the library, relax on a balcony, and socialize in the common room. Expect to pay 3,000 rupees per night, including breakfast.
Bed and Chai Guesthouse, South Delhi
Operated by two French women who have made Delhi their home, Bed and Chai provides simple western comforts (including super comfortable beds) for guests. This cute guesthouse is located in the classy South Delhi residential neighborhood of Greater Kailash I, around 10 minutes walk from one of Delhi's best markets (M Block). It's perfectly suited to travelers who like to interact with people from all around the world. There are a couple of common rooms, a rooftop garden, and communal kitchen. Complimentary breakfast, with great chai, is served in the morning. Expect to pay 850 rupees per night for a dorm room. Private rooms range from 2,500-3,600 rupees per night, with the cheaper ones having external bathrooms.
Hotel Tara Palace, Old Delhi
Want a rooftop view of the iconic Red Fort and Jama Masjid? Hotel Tara Palace is possibly the best budget hotel in crumbling, atmospheric Chandni Chowk (don't be put off by its alleyway location). You'll be right in the thick of things! There are 33 air-conditioned rooms, a restaurant with 24-hour room service, rooftop with views, and free wireless Internet. The hotel is clean and well maintained, and the staff are helpful. Do get a room with a balcony. Rates start from about 2,200 rupees per night for a double. If you don't mind paying a bit more, the Hotel Tara Palace in nearby Daryaganj is more modern and has rooms from around 3,200 rupees per night.
Wood Castle, Karol Bagh
Wood Castle is considered by many to be the best budget hotel in Karol Bagh and it's understandably a sought after place to stay. The property has everything that you'd want in a budget hotel -- welcoming staff, clean and attractive rooms with comfortable beds, tasty Indian food, and a location near the Karol Bagh Metro train station. It's a very small hotel with only 12 rooms. The main drawback is that the cheapest rooms don't have windows. Also, note that the hotel is situated down an alley and is difficult to find. Rates start from 2,500 rupees per night for a double, although cheaper deals are sometimes available. Breakfast is included.
Hotel SunStar Grand, Karol Bagh
A very popular budget hotel in Karol Bagh, the SunStar Grand isn't as new as some of the others but it's been well-maintained and gets positive reviews, particularly for the high level of service provided to guests. There's a great rooftop bar and restaurant, as well as small swimming pool, sauna and steam room. These added facilities make the hotel stand out, along with the fact that it has single and triple guest rooms. Wireless Internet is free too and works well. The hotel is located on a quiet road about a 10 minute walk from the Metro station. If you're after somewhere a bit cheaper, try the nearby SunStar Residency instead. Expect to pay 2,500 rupees upwards per night for a double, with breakfast included.
Hotel Rupam, Karol Bagh
Hotel Rupam is decent budget choice with elegant interiors and 19 clean rooms, although it could do with a bit of a spruce up in spots. What really distinguishes the hotel from others is its staff, who are really professional and go out of their way to provide outstanding service. The hotel is located in a relatively quiet area (not far from hotel Wood Castle) but within walking distance of the market and Metro train station. There's also free wireless Internet, and its surprisingly fast! Double rooms are available for under 2,000 rupees per night. Breakfast is extra.
Hotel Kabli, South Delhi
An respectable South Delhi cheapie, Hotel Kabli has a tranquil garden, basic yet attractively furnished rooms, and an interesting history. A British era-mansion, it was built in 1947 and its architecture reflects India's colonial rule. Initially a residence, it was converted by the owners (the Kabli family) into a guest house in 1973. The family still lives on the premises, providing tasty homemade food and care to guests. Similar to Bloomrooms, Hotel Kabli is located in Jangpura. Rates start from 1,300 rupees per night for a double room with attached bathroom, refrigerator, and air-conditioning. Breakfast is extra.
Hotel Sunshine, Karol Bagh
If you're on a tight budget and want to stay somewhere really inexpensive that's not a backpacker hostel, look no further than Hotel Sunshine. The hotel is acceptable for this price category, with spacious clean rooms, good staff, and a travel desk. However, it doesn't have a restaurant (although room service is provided) or wireless Internet in the rooms. Plus, it's located about a 20-minute walk from the Metro station. But really, it's difficult to do better for under 1,000 rupees a night! Just ignore the dated decor.
Stops Hostel, Old Delhi
Stops markets itself as an "exploration oriented hostel chain." It's a lively and arty hostel that organizes various daily tours and activities for guests, as well as evening entertainment and pub crawls. There's a lounge, bar, movie/media room, kitchen, and lush green courtyard. Free breakfast is served in the mornings, and chai in the evenings. The hostel is located in Daryaganj, close to India Gate and the attractions of Old Delhi, as well as New Delhi Railway Station. Do be aware that the area may appear shady and intimidating at first, particularly at night, although it's not as bad as it seems. The hostel is best suited to animal lovers, as it has three pet dogs. In addition, the air-conditioning in the dorms is turned off during certain times of the day to encourage guests to socialize in the common areas. The hostel is a substantial size -- it has 26 rooms and was previously a hotel. Rates start from 650 rupees per night in a dorm (mixed only), 799 rupees in a female only dorm, and 2,500 rupees per night in a private room.
The Madpackers Hostel, South Delhi
A place for "wanderers, friendships and stories," The Madpackers Hostel opened in late 2014, and has a trendy South Delhi location in Panchsheel Park, just a few minutes from Hauz Khas Metro station and cool Hauz Khas village. Its rooftop terrace has real grass. How delightful! Facilities include free wireless Internet, shared kitchen and lounge, games room and a tour desk. There are five rooms. (Find out about other fabulous backpacker hostels in India.) Rates start from 599 rupees for a bed in a dorm (both mixed and female-only are available) and 2,800 rupees for a private room, with breakfast included.
Jugaad Hostels, South Delhi
Jugaad has a contemporary rustic look with whitewashed brick walls and plenty of wood. The hostel opened in early 2015 and is located in R. K. Puram, not far from Hauz Khas village. Its rooftop terrace is equipped with hammocks and swings, perfect for relaxing, and there's a guitar in the common lounge room. Facilities include wireless Internet, air-conditioning, games, Play Station, shared kitchen, dining room, gym and tour desk. And, conveniently, there's a large grocery store right next door. The friendly, attentive staff are a bonus! Expect to pay 699 rupees upwards for a bed in a dorm (both mixed and female-only are available) and 3,100 rupees for a private double room, breakfast included.