Envoy Hostel is the oldest and most well-known hostel in Yerevan, Armenia. With such a reputation, I couldn’t help but wonder if it would actually live up to the hype.
I’m happy to report it did – and then some.
Envoy was probably the best hostel I have stayed at during my travels through the former Soviet Union.
Located in a prime location in Yerevan, it is well signed and easy to find. With an entrance at street level, I walked in to find a bright lobby with a well-staffed reception desk (this may not sound like a big deal, but about 75% of the hostels at which I have stayed have no reception whatsoever). Staff spoke excellent English and the counter was full of brochures advertising tours and other activities.
The downstairs common area features multiple small tables, a computer area with 3 computers, a couch, bean bags, games, a book exchange and small touches like a basket for people to leave items they no longer need to donate to charity. Breakfast is available in the morning, slightly different each day – one morning I had jam and yogurt, another morning a hard boiled egg and jam and another morning a hot dog and cheese (bread was always available too but of course, I can’t eat that).
Like the Old Town Hostel in Tbilisi, Envoy’s private rooms are on the second floor together, away from the dorms. Again, I wish every hostel did this. Air conditioning was a great perk as temperatures while I was in Yerevan were steadily in the 90s. And as an added bonus, the shower in my room was possibly the best shower I have ever experienced in a hostel. Amazing water pressure.
One of the things I liked the most about Envoy is that it isn’t just a hostel.
They also provide a variety of tours in Yerevan and around Armenia. Because I had spent so much time in Armenia previously, most of their tours didn’t interest me because I had already visited those sites. But one tour definitely peaked my interest: the Soviet Yerevan Tour.
About four hours long, our guide Anahit took me and two guys from Denmark around to see a different side of Yerevan, pointing out where Soviet landmarks used to stand, touring around a typical Soviet apartment complex and market and checking out the remnants of Soviet factories on the edge of town. Although I had spent nearly six weeks in Yerevan by the time I took the tour, every place we stopped I was seeing for the first time. The highlight may have been Yerevan’s only remaining Lenin statue – a Lenin head that is basically just sitting in someone’s backyard.
Anahit dressed the part, wearing a “CCCP” shirt and other memorabilia from Soviet times. We rode in a rundown, Soviet era van from place to place and Anahit peppered her informative stories with a variety of Soviet jokes (including a spree of one-liners at former Soviet leader Brezhnev’s expense). It was definitely a unique take on a city tour.
In the end, I was more than pleasantly surprised at everything Envoy had to offer – it not only lived up to the hype, it exceeded it in my eyes.
Envoy Hostel and Hostelworld teamed up to provide my stay free of charge, but the opinions expressed above are mine and mine alone. If you want to stay at Envoy Hostel, or simply learn more, visit the Hostelworld site by clicking the banner below (note: I will receive a small commission on any booking).
Envoy Hostel, 54 Pushkin St, Yerevan, Armenia (entrance on Parpetsi).