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“Clean place with helpful people and great location.”
Review of Golden Gobi Hostel

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Golden Gobi Hostel
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 24 June 2014

I stayed at the Golden Gobi for 2 nights during a 7 day trip to Mongolia.

I can't complain about anything. Everything worked and turned out to be just as mentioned on the webpage.

The private room was simple, but big and clean and that's what counts.The bed was comfy and big. Shower and toilet worked and were clean.

Service:

I got picked up from the train at 6am in the morning.
I got coffee and breakfast and could leave my luggage while checking out the city until my room was ready on the first day.

After 2 nights I left for a 5 day tour with a different tour company and didn't experience any strange behaviour from the owners. They even helped me find the office

After my trip I stayed at the at at the Kempinski for one night. Not because the hostel wouldn't except me but because I just felt like I earned it. :-) Roomservice

At the morning of my departure to China I ran into the the Hostel staff at the train station, they were picking up new guests and we had a little talk about my 5 Day trip.

When I mentioned that the ATM at the train station was broken and that I didn't have any Mongolian money anymore for the train ride the hostel staff immediately helped me out by exchanging dollars to Mongolian TRK.

I can honestly recommend the Golden Gobi Guesthouse.
I had a great time.

Dave

Room Tip: I prefer private rooms, so I can't say anything about the dorms. But the private room was huge...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled solo
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Thank David_Kleiner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 21 June 2014

Stayed here for 3 nights. Ogie was really helpful, even before we arrived. They never forced us to do any tours, they just simply asked If we wanted to join any.

It is a great place to meet other travellers as well, nice hospitality, vibrant atmosphere. Conveniently located next to the state department store too!

This place is always full with people arranging tours, coming back from tours, checking in and out or just hanging out at the common room. They might take some time to attend to your questions/needs, but when they do, it is done professionally. Use that waiting time to catch up with others, you'll make a lot of new friends here too!

I would certainly recommend this hostel to anyone, and would definitely stay here again in the future.

Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
1  Thank ck a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2014

I just want to start by thanking the owners and staff of Golden Gobi for their exceptional service and value for money. The 8 day Gobi desert Tour was by far the highlight of our trip and would recommend anyone travelling to Mongolia to go on it.

My boyfriend and I arrived at Golden Gobi a day later than I had booked, made the rookie mistake of forgetting we were arriving on an overnight flight. N.B if you are flying from Moscow to UB with Aeroflot just check when your arrival date is, as the same happened to other tourists staying in Golden Gobi. Once we arrived and explained the mistake, Ogie was very helpful and gave us a room to rest in while they sorted out a room for us to stay in.

Before going to Mongolia I had looked into the different tours on offer online with different companies, I found them to be overpriced $$$$ and had a rushed itinerary. I booked my accommodation with Golden Gobi online after which Ogie sent me an email letting me know about the different tours they do. I was interested in the 8 Day Gobi Desert Tour, any questions I had she was able to answer them. I was also sent a general itinerary for the tour (I say general as they can include or exclude places to visit, flights, horse riding or if there is something specific you want to do they can arrange it). Once we were staying in Golden Gobi Ogie sat us down with a map and talked us through the tour. Being vegetarian I was worried about the food on the tour, so my boyfriend and I brought loads of food with us. In the end we didn't eat the food we bought as the food on the tour was tasty, healthy and filling. I gave my food to the families we stayed with on the tour and my boyfriend gave his food to the staff at Golden Gobi.

Most days if not every second day there is a group leaving for the Gobi tour so if you are travelling on your own it is easy to join in with a group. We had one more person join us on the tour which brought the cost down and we got some money back from the initial price we paid. The 8 day tour cost approx. €75 a day, for that you get a driver, tour guide who also acts as a language translator and cook, three meals a day, covers fuel (some days you can travel up to 200 km), stay with a host family and covers excursions eg. horse riding. Its good to know that the money you spend on the tour pays the wages of the driver, tour guide and it's an extra source on income for the host families who would otherwise depend solely on their animals for income.

Our driver, sorry I forget his name (retired with 38 years of experience as a truck driver), his sense of direction was exceptional. No GPS, no map, no sign posts just driving through the Gobi following tracks in the sand, turning left or right where need be.

Our tour guide Alma, spoke perfect English, excellent chef. She would cook us beautiful food, sometimes at the side of the road from the back of the jeep. One day the weather was too bad for her to do that so we randomly stopped off at a Ger Tent unannounced. We were welcomed in, offered Mongolian milk tea, Mongolian cookies and watched Mongolian wrestling on a small black and white tv.

Once back from the tour we asked Ogie and her brother about buying a Mongolian bow and arrows. They made some phone calls and were waiting to hear back, we were told there is a guy who makes them about 200 km outside UB, unfortunately we left it too late to visit him as we were now on our last day. A few more phone calls later we were told there was an Open Day at the archery sports field about 30 mins walk away from Golden Gobi. We went there, got to try out some Mongolian archery and saw Mongolia's top archers in action. We also got contacts there about buying a Mongolian bow and arrows.

Ogie, her brother and their staff really do go out of their way to make a visit to Mongolia a pleasant, enjoyable, memorable experience. My advice is if their is anything you have in mind that you want to do, contact Ogie by email before you arrive so it can be arranged. Sometimes it can take a few days to sort out, as Mongolia is the least densely populated country in the world, it can take a while for news to reach a person leaving outside the city.

Also if you want to give the families you stayed with any photos you can send them on through Golden Gobi.

Room Tip: I really liked the private room with shared bathrrom room No.5, and our last day we stayed in a Priv...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank AmandaC7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 June 2014

The most important thing to say is that I've visited nearly (or over?) 40 countries across the planet, mainly for work, sometimes for play. And yet I just created an account for the first time in order to write a review for Golden Gobi.

Here's why: The siblings who run this place elevate Golden Gobi from being yet another great traveler's guesthouse, hostel, apartment-- to something much more. If you're there for more than a day, you'll find that they start treating you like family. They'll give you honest tips about UB, and traveling in Mongolia (even if you don't book a single tour or service with them), they'll joke around with you, and if you sit and listen they'll open up and share a lot of their lives with you. Needless to say, each morning I was there, or each afternoon I returned, I looked forward to chatting with O, B, and E as much as I looked forward to chatting with my fellow travelers.

Having spent nights in the dorm, a private room, and one of the apartments, I've seen a range of Golden Gobi's accommodation. Keep in mind that I moved here from a "fancier" hotel that charged double for one room (though with private bathroom) as Golden Gobi charges for one room in an apartment-- and Golden Gobi was about three times better than that previous hotel. The dorms are clean, and simple, and had a friendly, comfortable atmosphere (I don't usually stay in dorms, but everything else was full for two nights). The private room (#5) was likewise very clean, and very comfortable, with plenty of plugs to recharge electronics. These were off of the main guesthouse, and had access to common rooms, a shared kitchen, and plenty of bathrooms/showers.

The apartment (rooms #10, 11, 12) was excellent, and highly recommended: Huge, clean, bright rooms, each with their own key (you rent a room in the apartment, not the whole thing), separated toilet and shower (much like apartments in San Francisco) so even if someone is using one the other is free, a simple kitchen and refrigerator for preparing your own food. The apartment, one door down from the guesthouse, felt totally secure: key-combo entry to the building, proximity/RFID key to the apartment itself, private key to one's room.

From watching people book tours, it's clear the family that runs GG has a lot of experience setting up travel in Mongolia. They'll open a map on the table of the shared room, put a clear plastic covering over it, and write on it with dry-erase markers to create customized journeys. In a few days I saw them sell 1-night quick visits to a 34-day marathon I was jealous of not being able to join since I was there for work. They were always honest about the price, and a number of times I saw initially quoted prices drop as promised when additional people were found for the tours. And likewise honest about the conditions. I saw O mention over and over again to people that they don't sell luxury tours, or that X day was going to be a looooong bus ride, or that a guest should be prepared for 4 tough days of hiking/riding to cross Y mountain pass. I also saw O give advice to folks who had booked tours with other operators-- with no attempt to steal the sale.

What else? Water was always hot while I was there. The place was cleaned fanatically; I hope the workers who do the overnight shifts and cleaning get paid well, because they work like nobody else. It almost felt like the front common room was constantly being sweeped, wiped, or somehow cleaned.

Breakfast is very simple in the morning, but hey, it's calories. Instant coffee is instant coffee-- but it's caffeine. Use of the kitchen, fridge, and stoves was great to have.

One thing that's good to know is that most of the hostel has a no-shoe rule. There's a small closet near the front where people store their shoes when they come in, and this, like the front common room at times, can take on a slight smell of foot. It's a tradeoff-- you concentrate the foot smell in one place, and keep the dirt and stank away from the sleeping areas. All in all, it was fine. But it's worth knowing about.

Location-wise, the hostel is very close to the State Department Store and Peace avenue, but just behind a small park/basketball hoop area. It's well lit at night, and felt safe coming home after midnight. The benefit is that you don't have street noise, but you're close to the center. It takes about 10 minutes to walk to the main square and parliament building.

In any case, it's a fine hostel, guesthouse, apartment, tour company. It's not a luxury operation, so don't be confused-- it's clearly a place for travelers, not trying to be a 5-star hotel. From my perspective this is a compliment. The standout thing about Golden Gobi is that the folks who run it really make it special. I watched as one guy who was last there four years ago was given a huge hug when he showed up this year-- and I left, myself getting hugs from the family, with a tinge of sadness. It's one of those places you hope to return to.

Room Tip: It's good to know that the apartments generally have more than one room-- and you're renting...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled on business
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3  Thank nomadicscribe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 June 2014

Received fantastic service from this family run business. They answered every question I had in email before we arrived, picked us up from the train for free, provided B &B, and organised a fantastic 4-day tour. Yes the tour was expensive/top end of our budget but it was worth it to know we'd be well looked after and fed we'll (we'd heard many a horror story about Mongolian tours before arriving in the country). Ogie was very knowledgable and helpful and tried to lower the cost of our tour by inviting others on it but it just didn't work out that way. The only reason this hostel doesn't get 5* is because their computers apparently had some sort of virus on that corrupted my photo memory card (which they subsequently fixed) which left me quite distressed.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank Sorcha1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 June 2014

The hostel attracts a lot of really cool people, but unfortunately it's mostly just a front for an overpriced tour company. The hostel costs $8 but the tours they try daily to force on you cost more than $50 per day, and they kick you out if they don't book a tour with them. The staff aren't friendly, but the tourists and the venue make it a good hostel.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled solo
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Thank Canabro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
erika7484, Manager at Golden Gobi Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded 15 June 2014

Thanks for staying with us and sharing your opinion. It's your choice to choose which tour agent to travel with since there are many others. Although, we are one of the best in town offering good quality of tours with well experienced reliable team. We rather keep the good quality of tours rather than just arranging cheap tours with bad quality. Probably, you are traveling to Mongolia for the first and last time so travel with reliable company to enjoy your journey. There must be a reason that our hostel and tours are famous among travelers. To be honest, why would we want to kick you out when you are paying to stay with us because hostel is our business and we will be most happier if you choose to stay with our family hostel. All the best for your journey and hope we will be able to make your stay enjoyable if you ever visit us again. Thank you!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 June 2014

Unfriendly staff, rude and disrespectful... They wont let you wash cloths and have chincy breakfast... They will toss you out on the street if a tour group needs your bed... oberprices and not worth it... Go to Green Step 20 meters away, much better value...

Room Tip: Avoid thius place, they need reality check
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled solo
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Thank James_KK9185AX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
erika7484, Manager at Golden Gobi Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded 15 June 2014

Thanks for your sharing your opinion. After receiving several complaints we stopped self washing in the sinks because it won't be convenient for other guests in your room when you hang wet clothes all over the room. Therefore, we have a contract with washing center with lowest and fastest service in UB to serve our guests. We serve light breakfast of toasted bread, butter, jam, tea and coffee. We try our best to keep the beds for our guests who went on a tour since we promise them to keep beds when they return because they already make reservations before leaving. When you check-in we ALWAYS ask how many nights you would like to stay and ask to pay up front to the date you want to check-out. Otherwise, we don't ask our guests to check out earlier than your expected date to leave. We are sorry that you left with such feeling and please stay with us in your future visit. Thank you.

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Additional Information about Golden Gobi Hostel

Address: Peace Avenue | 1-40000, Bldg 13, 1st Sub-district, Chingeltei District, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Phone Number:
Region: Mongolia > Ulaanbaatar
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 108 Speciality Lodging in Ulaanbaatar
Price Range: £9 - £22 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 10
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Golden Gobi Hotel Ulaanbaatar

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