HOSTEL REVIEW: AD1 Hotel in Mandalay

3:40 PM

We checked–in at the AD1 hotel in Mandalay simply because it was the only one left with a vacant room. We’ve gone through a couple lonely planet recommendations for Mandalay and it was the lone hostel which could accommodate us at such short notice. Why this was so, we later found out when we stepped inside its doors.

(Do take note that our prior holidays were more organized than this one – everything is usually booked days before we pass through Philippine Immigration. But don’t get me wrong, it was a bit exciting winging it while traveling.) 


LOCATION: Getting to AD1 hotel is a bit of a challenge maybe on foot, a rickshaw, or in a car. Situated along a side street in the market area of the city, we had to navigate amongst vegetable and fruit dealers along roads that must’ve been paved some fifty odd years ago. (And forgotten about ever since!) This side street also leads to a temple which causes a bit of foot traffic at the front of the hostel. 

And when market day ends, the entire area - the shops and the lights - shuts down. The walk home from a night out might be a bit uncomfortable with slivers of light from houses to illuminate the way. (1 pt)

SECURITY: Just like most hostels, their rooms use old-fashioned keys. No keycards here.   (1.5pt)

CLEANLINESS: Our room was clean and beds were done with fresh sheets. The ensuite bathroom needs harder scrubbing if you’d ask me. The towels were fresh but would be better for everyone if they retired. (1pt)

STAFF: The staff at AD1 hotel is less friendly than the ones in Yangon and Bagan. I am speculating that they take cue from the manager and owner who was all-business. (That woman was quite cold! I could count the number of times she smiled at us with just one hand.)  But a staff member proved to have a heart when he lent Cathy his mobile since the hostel charges for every call using their telephone. (1pt)

CHARACTER: If sleeping in a bathroom is what they were trying to get at, then they certainly achieved that. But if not, which I have a feeling wasn’t, then it was one major fail.  (.5pt)

Overall rating:  5 out of 10 pts

Things of Note:

Breakfast: Comes with the room, it is a spread of eggs, bread, jam, margarine, and fruits. You have a choice of either coffee or tea. Served at the rooftop of the hostel where you see a bit of the city's skyline. 

Power interruption:  There was a short blackout while we were there.

The hostel’s name: Enunciate properly the name of the hostel. As it turns out, there is a hostel that sounds just like it.


*Travel counter – cabs, bus tickets
*Money changer
*Air-Conditioning - only if you're willing to pay more. 

Now I know how it feels to sleep in a bathroom. They installed bathroom tiles in the bedroom. What?!

Here's our tiny tiny bathroom.

The only redeeming quality of this frayed, tired towel is its color - pink! 
Here's the view from our window. 
Me, Sam, Chris, and Cathy, in front of our hostel, after our night out. Photo by Raffy Vicente

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