With comfortable beddings, quirky graffiti, and homely, comfortable lounges, Hangover Hostels one of the more comfortable and wallet-friendly hostel chains in Sri Lanka.
The one in Katunayake is some 5 minutes to the airport (and they offer a shuttle service), so is pretty near perfect if you want to stay somewhere closeby on the night before your flight.
Rooms and Dorms
The three mixed dorms are three shipping containers at the edge of the property, stacked above and across a deck. The arrangement is pretty neat and snug: it's four beds (bunk) to a dorm. It's quite clean and well equipped with plug points and lockers for each bunk. All the dorms and rooms are air-conditioned as well, so it's quite cool and non-claustrophobic despite its economical use of space.
They've got one female-only dorm within the building itself, with pretty much the same interior as the mixed dorms except with a six-bed capacity.
The private room we got for our stay was comfortable and you have to credit Hangover for their amenities — great WiFi and a fully functional (aka non-glitchy) AC and hot water system. The bathrooms were spacious, clean, and quite well kept. Also, there were enough and more plug points, which is a massive plus point given how many things travellers would need to charge.
The downside was that our room seemed a bit derelict, as part of the walls were discoloured and peeling, and the room had a swarm of mosquitoes. For every 5 you swatted away, there'd be at least 5 more replacing them instantly. I saw a flyer on the bedside table saying there were mosquito nets upon request though, so you'd be protected within its confines while in bed, though not when out and about in the garden or lobby which were also abuzz with the pesky pests. (To be fair, the walls in the other two private rooms were quite pristine. Check the gallery for more photos).
Costs are 10 USD for a dorm (some Rs. 1500 which is ridiculously affordable) while the private rooms (there are three; two have attached bathrooms and one has a shared bathroom) go for between 34-40 USD (around Rs. 5000).
This seems to be a refurbished home with a comfortable and casually laid out hall/ lounging area, nice kitchen, and of course the rooms. There was a mostly ignored TV in the corner of the hall, and several cushy couches which had loungers on it most of the time.
The hostel organises different activities for each night, with Sundays being your movie night and Fridays kept for drinking parties. There are books spread across a coffee table next to one of the couches, and homely little touches here and there.
Meanwhile, you get a splash of colour with funky graffiti along one whole wall, and the mixed dorms have a sort of scribble-wall where guests can leave messages.
It's a pretty neat place, especially since it has a chilled-out rural vibe (mosquitoes, massive back-yard space and large mango trees) while being pretty close to the Colombo-Katunayake highway and the Airport Road. Prices are pretty decent too, with the dorms obviously giving you great value for money.