Zostel is a backpacker hostel brand focused on Solo travelers and backpackers. They have recently begun to explore the luxury segment now with their Zostel Plus properties like the one at Lonavala.
What I liked:
√ The cottage is at par with other luxury resorts yet the price is very reasonable. It directly overlooks the Pawna lake which is an amazing view to have from the room
√ Cottages had toiletries, towels, hair dryer, coffee machine etc which is at par with good hotels.
√ The cottage has a private jacuzzi with a direct view of the lake
√ Access to the lake which was much sought after to see the sun set
√ Full sized swimming pool
√ Restaurant has a bar open all day though with limited options
√ Restaurant offers room service to cottages which is different from other hostels
√ Lots of options to sit in the open air and enjoy the ambience.
√ The music band invited on the weekend was amazing
What could be improved:
∆ Access to this property is really bad and there is nothing around so you are restricted to Zostel only. No other food options nearby too.
∆ Like other Zostels, there is no service for luggage carrying despite the whole property being graveled and a difficult path to drag luggage.
∆ Restaurant doesn’t offer small portions or half plates which leads to a lot of food being wasted for solo travelers.
∆ Lack of trained staff. The food was served to the room without covering it, cutlery was often forgotten, they forgot to keep everything in the room on day or arrival so I had to ask for many. Staff entered the private garden of the cottage uninvited to fix things or chase away cattle which took away the assurance of privacy.
∆ Common room which is the place where travelers interact in a Zostel was not usable in summers as it is fully made of glass and very warm inside.
∆ Limited options at the bar and food taste is average.
This is a new segment for Zostel so they should decide whether they want to operate it as a hostel or a resort as doing a mix of both leaves many things wanting for both backpackers and luxury travelers.