If you are looking for hostels in Kazakhstan, Dostar Hostel is one of the friendliest hostels in Almaty. Dostar means “friends” and the owner Serik, really does feel like a friend at the end of your stay.
The hostel is located in the Nomad centre on the 9th floor. Just a short walk away is a currency exchange, supermarket and cafe which serves fantastic food at cheap prices. You do need to walk to see the sights such as Pavilov Park but the bus stop is just 2 minutes walk from the hostel and only costs 150 Tenge (less than a €). You pay the driver on board.
Another bus departs opposite KFC and takes all the way to Kok Tobe cable car. You can stay on until the end if you prefer to walk up the hill instead of taking the cable car. Everywhere is easy to reach here by bus.
Although the hostel is just on one floor, everything is well spaced out and there is plenty of room for the maximum occupancy of 72 beds. There are a total of seven rooms with mixed dormitories ranging from 8, 18 and 20 beds. The 6-bed dorm room is female-only and during my stay we had the room to ourselves. There is also a family room for 4 people.
Being located on the 9th floor means that the hostel has great views which you can enjoy from one of the two lounge areas. There is a large sofa with a TV for watching movies at night and an even larger kitchen which you can cook in. It has 2 fridges so there is plenty of room to store your food. You’ll find a supermarket at the end of the road as well as fresh fruit and vegetables in the local market.
The corridor is really long and is decorated with stunning photographs of the nature of Kazakhstan. The showers are divided into mens and womens with more than one so you won’t find yourself having to queue in the mornings. There is ample space inside to put your toiletries as well as an additional area for your clothes, drying, and getting changed. The toilets are also separated into female-only with a dedicated room to just women.
If you need to do your washing, there is a washing machine and dryer, and you can also leave your luggage to continue exploring when you check out.
The rooms have lockers to lock away your valuables too. The beds are comfortable and I really like the fact that you get given a bed package when you check in which consists of a warm, snuggly duvet, a pillow and an extra towel for your hair.
There is a no smoking and no drinking rule inside the hostel which means that it attracts respectful travellers. You don’t need to worry about being kept up all night either. But the walls are quite thin so take your picture earplugs if you are a light sleeper and want an early night. If you need to charge your phone there are power points in the communal lounge.
The manager, Serik is really friendly and helped us to organise our tour to Charyn Canyon. He speaks really good English and points you in the right direction for whatever you need during your stay. Overall, Dostar Hostel is great value for the price.
How To Book – Through the Dostar website. Click here.