The Colombo City Hostel has moved to Colombo 03. This is a review of the old premises in Kalubowila.
A hostel might not seem like the most exciting thing in the world but anyone whose made a visit to Thailand's Khao San road can vouch for the fact that communal accommodation can really liven up a neighborhood. More importantly hostels also help foster a more vibrant and diverse travel scene; you really can have too many 'boutique hotels'.
At the moment Colombo is more or less devoid of clean, inexpensive shared spaces where travelers can bed down for a night or two before they head off to see the wonders elsewhere on the island.
As a consequence it also lacks affordable spaces for single travelers. There are plenty of high-end hotel rooms, a few business hotels and lots of guest houses geared toward mid-range(ish) couples but single travelers are somewhat stuck. There are very few places where you can get a clean single bed in the capital for a budget-price and if you are traveling alone or in a small group there are also very few places specifically for travelers to meet and mingle - Colombo is an insiders city (that's why we have YAMU).
The Colombo City Hostel is an attempt to remedy this situation. With two brand-new, sparkling clean eight-bed dorms (another is on the way), eight downright posh shower-loo rooms and well thought out public spaces this might be the best communal accommodation in the city. It is out in Kalubovila which might be a bit of a problem. A tuk ride into town though costs just Rs 250 and the benefits of having a home away from home- with a huge kitchen, lounge space, oversize lockers and the company of lots of fellow travelers probably outweighs the disadvantage of a 20 minute ride to the center.
Crucially it's run by people with a real interest in delivering a good experience and creating a space where travelers can hang out meet like minded sojourners and plan the next leg of their journeys.
Lots of reading material, free wi-fi and a plunge pool (coming soon) mean you'll have all the amenities you need to get the most out of a few days in Colombo and at $20 a night youl be hard-pressed to find better value in the city.
The place really does fill a a gaping hole in Colombo's accommodation market and anyone needing a budget bed for a night (or two) should check them out.
You can <a href='http://www.colombocityhostel.com/index.php/rates'>book online</a>. If you have issues finding the place the first time they can send their trishaw to the nearest bus stand.