Ostello Bello Bagan, formerly At Bagan Hostel, is an average, unremarkable hostel, but if you don't need more than a place to sleep and take a shower, it's a decent choice.
The hostel is located a good distance from the bus and train stations, and you will need to take a taxi or a pickup truck to reach it. You should have no problem finding other travelers to share transportation with, as most people arrive by bus, or less often by train. The hostel is located in the centre of New Bagan, close to many restaurants, travel agencies, and e-bike rentals. It is a great location for exploring the pagodas, as the archaeological area begins close by and there is an e-bike rental shop a few doors down the street.
Rooms and Bathrooms
There are both dorms and private rooms. The dorm room we stayed in had four sturdy wooden beds, each with its own lamp and outlet. Each guest has a large drawer that can be locked and can easily accommodate a large backpack. Both the rooms and bathrooms are theoretically cleaned each day, but sometimes we failed to see the difference between the "before" and "after."
The bathroom has a shower cabin separately from the toilet and sink and there is hot water. Unfortunately, the drain in the shower is often clogged, so there is often a certain amount of water on the floor of the shower cabin. Sometimes the cleaning crew would leave after cleaning and there would still be a couple of centimetres of soapy water on the bottom of the shower cabin, making us wonder if they even bothered looking.
There is a common area near the reception, with a few tables and a luggage storage room. There is free spring/filtered water and tea can be made any time of the day. There are also free tamarind candies and Burmese cheroot cigars. There is also a common area outside and a small bar counter where they sell beer and cocktails. Wi-Fi works everywhere in the hostel, but it can be spotty, and there are sometimes power outages, as is common in Burma.
Breakfast is free, but somewhat unusual. Instead of it being served at the hostel, they give you a little coupon to be redeemed for a free predefined breakfast at a restaurant across the road. This is a social hostel where you can meet people easily, but it doesn't have a great atmosphere, as everyone seems to be constantly coming and going. This may be the nature of the city, though; most people go for a few days only and there are many, many pagodas to see.
The owners work at the hostel, and maybe it was only our personal experience, but one of them seems very friendly and talkative, while the other one seems to always be in a bad mood. The staff also seems generally somewhat disorganized, seemingly not quite knowing how to deal with the daily influx of tourists. Many mistakes are made, and not many smiles are to be seen.
This hostel has a great location, close to many restaurants; e-bike rentals; bus ticket sellers; and, most importantly, the pagodas. You will be able to efficiently visit the historical sites, but the hostel itself will probably not be an experience to remember.
Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
Published on 2015-09-30