Bunking down

Updated: May 27, 2019, 07:56 IST | Shunashir Sen

There's a new address in Santacruz with multiple accommodation options to suit every budget. We spent a night in a dormitory to find out how it fared

Bunking down
The reporter lounges on his bunk bed in the dormitory. Pics/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

What's your idea of blissful sleep? For us, it's about hitting the sack after a gruelling day and entering so deep into La La Land that you don't know what transpires in between the time that you drifted off and when you wake up with the sunlight streaming gently into your room. Forty winks pass by in the blink of an eye, it seems. And that's almost the sort of experience we have at Indie Stays, a new address in Santacruz that has different accommodation options, when we spend the night in a dormitory there to check the place out. Except, someone switches the AC off at one point when we are passed out, meaning we wake up in a sweat in the middle of the night. But more on that in a bit.

We reach the place late on a Monday evening straight after work. Apart from the prominent branding on the façade, it's otherwise a nondescript building. A flight of steps leads up to the reception desk on the first floor, which is in a vibrant room that also serves as a co-working space. It doesn't look like it's been used much, but then the place is still new, so maybe word will eventually get around. The lady manning the reception tells us that the dorm room we are interested in will cost us `1,000 if we make an online booking and `1,899 otherwise. But when we whip our phone out to do the needful, she tells us, "It's okay, sir. You can pay `1,000 anyway," meaning we feel a warm sense of hospitality right from the word go.

The co-working space on the first floor
The co-working space on the first floor

She then takes us up to the second floor where the men's dorm is located. It's empty when we enter, but the luggage on the floor and clothes strewn on the bed tell us that we aren't the only occupants for the night. The room is divided into two sections with four bunk beds in each. The clever thing about the way they are designed is that convenient flights of five steps lead up to the ones on top. There's an air of minimalist efficiency given the convenient charging points next to the beds and pegs for clothes in each of the two sections. Besides that, it's a spartan space and after grabbing dinner from a restaurant located bang opposite the hotel — which incidentally doesn't have a kitchen — we climb up to one of the top beds, meaning to call it a night.

But before sleep gets the better of us, our fellow roomies return — unfortunately for us — in a gregarious mood. On another day we would have joined them, but right now, we are too tired, and the subject of their heated debate, Game of Thrones, is something we have no idea about anyway. So, we pretend as if we aren't there and try getting back to sleep, the soft bedding and comfy blanket helping our cause. And in a bit, we can feel a delicious slumber taking over our system.

But that goes for a toss when somewhere down the line, we wake up feeling like someone gave us a steam bath while we were napping. Irritated at the prospect of having to start the process all over again, we climb down the stairs and switch the AC on. "Let's take this up in the morning and find out who the culprit is," we tell ourselves. But by the time we get up around 10 am, there's no one in the room again, meaning the identity of the person who destroyed our 40 winks will remain a secret. Cursed be that person, whoever he is, though a cup of coffee from a machine in the co-wor-king space helps us face another day.

At CTS 5447A, 297 CST Road, next to Centrum House, Kalina, Santacruz East.
Call 68606860
Cost Rs 1,000 for dorm room; Rs 4,500 for a double room on an average

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