My wife and I recently returned from a wonderful trip to Armenia, after savoring its historical sights. This trip was very enjoyable thanks to our stay at the Envoy Hostel and Tours. They have helpful and friendly staff who speak good English.
As with a trip to any new and uncommon travel destination for Indians, we were initially clueless about which hotels and tour agents to pick. Our task was made simpler by tripadvisor as envoy hostel had a very good rating and we became confident when we saw the comments from fellow travellers. We also visited the lonelyplanet thorntree forum and we saw many postings from envoy hostel to the questions. We were impressed with the unbiased, professional and marketing-free nature of replies.
Highlights of our stay -
1) Excellent pre-trip communication. We were in touch with them through e-mail and they were prompt and helpful in reply
2) We chose their airport pickup service at Yerevan. While this is not cheap (7500 AMD), for first-time visitors to a country this is worth the money, instead of being ripped off by taxis
3) We chose a private room with ensuite bathroom. Due to some repair work being done on the room, we were given a 4-bed dorm as a private room for 2 days, with shared bathrooms. The dorm, rooms, shared bathrooms are spotlessly clean and spacious too.
4) The common area and kitchen made you feel at home - magazines, TVs, computers free to use, board games, plush sofas/carpets, etc. Again spotlessly clean, this was a cosy area to grab the free tea/coffee or to browse the net and catch up with e-mails
5) Tours - good value for money, especially due to the knowledgeable guides (We had the same guide Arpine thoughout the trip), and the absolutely wonderful lunch with an Armenian family. We were strict vegetarians, but the hostel had made special efforts to serve us vegetarian food. The food was delicious.
6) location - can't ask for a better location. Situated right in downtown, within a walking distance to important landmarks and shopping areas - Matanadaran, Cascade, Northern Avenue, Republic Square, Abovyan St
Overall a great experience and excellent value for money.
The only area where they could improve is the variety in their breakfast. Although the free breakfast was sumptuous, and they tried serving the occasional sour cream, eating just bread and butter/cheese/jelly can get boring for vegetarians like us, especially as the restaurants outside don't open until 10-11 am. The hotel can consider adding some variety - Tan, salads, fruits, juices, etc.