Shantee House (Backpack Guesthouse) Update 2020
My third time to Budapest I am getting in love in this amazing city over again every time.
This year I have reached a milestone – 20 hostels in which I had been accommodated and became a globetrotter in hostel world. To be honest, this was the best hostel I have ever stayed in. Best hostel in the world? Don’t know yet because I did not visit the entered world, not yet.
I have stayed at Backpack hostel
twice three times ; in 2006 and 2009 and now in 2017. Each time was a different experience, but an awesome one.
Location: Takács Menyhért u. 33.If you are looking for a centrally located hostel in Budapest, Backpack Hostel is definitely not your choice. Is located in a residential area in Buda. It’s a 25 minute ride from city center by tram and 10 minute ride by metro. The closest metro station is
Ferenciek tere Újbuda-központ – M3 line in Budapest. As I mentioned, being located in a residential area the hostel is very quite. On the out-side. The inside is full of life. Night buses are close to the hotel so you don’t have to worry if you are a party goer and don’t want to give money on cabs.
To go downtown you either can walk 15min to the Újbuda-központ metro station or take the no 19 tram. Please note that there are no vending machines in the tram station located close to the Shantee House Hostel but you can go down the the next one and buy one.
Shantee House Reception
Last year Shantee House suffered a major upgrade; from the rooms to the reception and their magnificent yard!
The lobby and the reception is now way bigger compared to last time I have stayed at Shantee House and place looks now more friendly and now as crowded as before.
Quiet hostel and full with awesome people. The hostel has a quiet room (where you can read and smoke whatever you want, legally of course), a play room (PS3, WII and other games) and a TV-Room where you can sit back, relax and watch tons of movies. There are other 2 places where you can handout; the kitchen where you can cook and have a chat with the fellow travellers and read on the walls different records from travellers whom stayed in Backpack Budapest.
I remember a few: one guy managed to miss the train 9 days in a row; he was partying, everything, being his last night at the hostel but he did not manage to wake up on time. Might have been more than 9 days in a row.
And the second one was a guy which stayed for more than 100 days there. Usually people booked for a few days, but stayed there more than one week. The places have something that makes you stay there a long time.
Second time I stayed was during the Sziget Festival. What I can remember was that I stated in a 10 bedroom, but 20 people were accommodated there. Can not describe the feeling.
I was a bit disappointed when I wanted to book the 12 bed room and found out it was not available being fully booked! Instead I book the 5 bed room with private bathroom. On my late arrival the person who was on duty on that night did not know all the details about my booked (due to the fact that I booked directly with Bori one of the owner) and instead I got accommodated into the 6 bedrooms; which was not I was expected from Shantee House – very small, crowded and no personal touch. Later I was to be found that that room actually a double room transformed to a 6 bed room during the summer high season.
The next day I moved to my initially 5 bed room which was more what I was expecting.
But this time there was another issue – snoring people in hostels! I believe if you know that you are snoring you should sleep and pay a private room for you and not to disturb all the other persons sleeping. I got a very bad one; first time in my long history of sleeping in hostels. And literally had to go downstairs to sleep in the common room for the last 2 hours of the morning.
Cleanness : The rooms are big and clean but one aspect I did not like was the bathroom; quite old and not that clean. The good thing is that they renovated, this year (2011) and the hostel looks now AMAZING!
Security: You don’t have to worry about security at this hostel. You will feel at home and the friendly travellers won’t steal you.
The trend of hire non-locals and travellers to run the hostel from receptions to cleaning began a few years ago. But there are a few downsides from not know the town as a local used to know, from not giving the right information (searching on google does not count since I know how to search on google) and saying I am not on duty today ( I do understand that but you can spare 1 minute to give a quick answer since I was in a hurry).
The best approach is to have either a local (but might cost you more because you have to pay taxes and a bigger salary) or to have a foreigner for a long term contract (at least 6 months so he/she can know the city and all the facilities of the hostel by heart!) Hiring a staff for 1-2month and in this case hoping you will reduce the expense (because he is happy to have a free place to stay, to eat for free and to have fun as well) it’s not good for a long term because it will make the hostel look run down and no spirit!
Services and prices: Breakfast is not included. But you don’t need to worry – close to it’s a small market and on the last floor lot’s of food shops (only Hungarian food); very cheap. With 2-3 euro you can have a full breakfast.
The beds prices start from 10 euro (10 dormitory) and 32 euro per double room; which is less than 20 euro per person. For a newly renovated hostel the price is great. Laundry is very cheap (3$) as far I could remember; I was impressed that the cloths came ironed and the bed was made every day!
One good thing is that you can camp outside for only 7 euro a night, with your own camp equipment.
Wi–fi is good and if you don’t have a laptop there is a PC downstairs. Cheap beer – 1 euro – for a great night with friends.
Recommend it : 10/10!
Where to book online Shantee House: booking.com as well.
Other travellers reviews of from Tripadvisor
Sharing a 12 bed spacious dorm room with clean facilities and a shared kitchen allowed us to meet plenty of new people. We were met with friendly and helpful staff and visited a Tesco very near the hostel whilst being only a short walk away from transport or a nice stroll to the city centre. An overall welcoming and friendly vibe.
I think that most people would agree that the Shantee House is THE PLACE to stay when in Budapest. It is quite far from the city center, but there are buses that go right into town just a few blocks away.
Staff are friendly and helpful. I stayed in the yurt (which I HIGHLY recommend!). The rooms are clean and comfortable. They had extra blankets which I was grateful for on the chillier nights. The other guests were respectful so I got a good nights sleep. The kitchen is quite small considering how many people were staying there but it was fully stocked.
There are lockers – bring a lock! Showers and bathrooms are clean and I never had to wait!
They have a hookah (shisha pipe) and often bake treats for their guests. Free tea and coffee and a full array of movies you can watch in their common room!
Shantee House is very much billed as a chill-out, hippy kind of an experience. There is incense burning and Bob Marley playing and pictures of the Dalai Lama on the walls. Which is all well and good. There are also a lovely dog and cat hanging about, which help to achieve a nice, relaxing atmosphere
I would say that I have a couple of issues overall. For example, there is a sign in the kitchen asking you to clean your own dishes and telling you that washing up is ‘fun’. However, the dish cloths and scourers provided are so old and filthy looking that I was more worried about making my dinner plates dirtier by trying to clean them. Add to this the mould in our bedroom and bathroom and the blocked shower which didn’t get fixed and I would say that I would have preferred less Bob Marley and more clean stuff.
None of these issues are major and our stay was fine, but I think that it is worth getting some of the basics right before you focus on where to hang your Buddha pictures…