Guys, If you travel on a low budget and looking for a cheap hostel, guesthouse or hotel to stay in Mangalore, Karnataka, India, you've come to the right place. I did the same in the beginning of 2016 and, after a long search, I found the real pearl of cheap accommodation.
Hotel Surya (http://www.hotelsuryamlr.com/) is a big old hotel with long gloomy corridors. At the same time, the staff is hughly motivated and professional so they keep the place quite clean. Indian experience but full of space and tranquility. After all these craziness and tightness that are so familiar to a low budget traveler, I felt so pieceful there, in Hotel Surya. It is perfect for true backpackers.
Price. I paid 500 rupees for a room (February 2016). I stayed alone so I guess it might be a bit more expensive for a couple. The room was very spacious and I had a large window. I had my own bathroom, its equipment was the same - shabby but the staff spend time to keep it okay. No bad smells anywhere in Hotel Surya.
The staff was reservedly friendly. I liked them.
Unfortunately, a rat visited my bathroom once. But it was just once during 10 day stay I noticed it. So I didn't care.
The location is just perfect! Balmatta Road is a good street with pavements and full of commercial activities like shops, eateries and so on. But nobody wanted to sell me anything, there were no intrusive vendors and autorickshaws at all. Generally Mangalore is like that.
10-15 minutes to walk to a brand new airconditioned mall called City Center.
No wi-fi in rooms or anywhere in the hotel, no any internet, but you ll find an internet caffee very near to the place - go to Balmatta Road (don't cross the road, be on the side of Hotel Surya), turn right and go for around 2 minutes until you see a space lower the street, with stairs go down where you'll notice a restaurant and some place with computers (a bit hidden from sight)... I can't remember what exactly was written on its signboad but it was about something digital - "printer", "copy"... Ask people, it is very near.
Booking. I wrote an e-mail to them at the last moment, a day before going to Mangalore and they didn't answer me... I arrived at 23:30 without booking. They had a room available. And I felt they had many available rooms there. If you come and they don't have, there are a bit more expensive hotels next to Hotel Surya.
You pay not for a night but for 24 hours stay (Many or all South India hotels work in this way). So if you arrive at 22:00 and pay for 24 hours, the check-out time will be next day at 22:00.
How to get to the hotel. I arrived to Mangalore Junction at night. Autorickshaws were quite tough to bargain. They asked 250 rupees. After a long while, they agreed to go to Hotel Surya for 150 rupees. Once later, I came back by autorickshaw (with a meter on) when was leaving. The price by the meter was 100 rupees.
There are Mangalore Train Station there also, main train station. It is very near to Hotel Surya and the price for an autorickshaw drive should be around 20-30 rupees.
It seemed that every rickshaw knows Hotel Surya.
By the way, Mangalore rickshaws were honest when drive inside the city (so Mangalore Junction is maybe the only bad place to have business with them).
As for Mangalore itself, I like the city much. Completely untouristy. Quite green city (for India). There are pavements to walk along the streets. People are very nice, they are not used to tourists. Food is very good and cheap in the very city center.
If you found the information to be useful, send '+' in comments below! I'll appreciate!