Thursday, June 24, 2010

South India Hotel Reviews

During My 26 day road trip, I stayed at around 15 hotels. This post is a quick review of those hotels. All of them were budget to 2 star hotels, with room rents ranging from 1k to 2.5k (after corporate discounts). This review might help those looking for some decent accomodation in these cities.

1. Ginger Hotel, Ahmedabad
There’re multiple Ginger Hotels in Ahmedabad. We stayed at the one located in Drive-in Road. Ginger Hotels are run by Tata Group and are unique and standardized. While rooms are clean, well maintained, cost is saved in every other aspect (this cost advantage is directly passed on to those who pay for the rooms (not necessarily to those who stay there-you got the difference?)

There’s no room service, no free soaps in bathroom (can be purchased from reception at MRP). Breakfast costs Rs 150+ taxes and Lunch & Dinner, Rs 250+tax. For certain packages breakfast can be complementary and for others its not (if your employer gives you separate food allowance, then they can request Ginger hotel to exclude complementary breakfast and give some cash discount). Wifi is free at few hotels and few other facilities like Gym are available in few hotels. Regular rooms cost Rs 3000 per day onwards, but with proper corporate discount, it can be as brought down to much as 50% of that.

2. Hotel Ashoka International, Surat
Budget hotel, nothing special or good about it. Stayed there to kill the night as we reached Surat at 2.30AM (and Ginger Hotel was at the other end of city) Avoidable.

3. Ginger Hotel, Surat
Same as above, but located on outskirts of City.

4. Hotel New Bengal, Mumbai
So far the worst hotel in terms of facilities, on the trip. Highly cramped, bare minimum facilities, very fragile building, no vehicle parking. (but then, in Mumbai the space is at premium) Located in Crawford Market area. Complementary breakfast at nearby restaurant. While checking out I said I’ll keep the bags in the car n come while they prepare the bill, but the room boys were very particular about me settling the bill first, though it was prepaid, fearing that I might escape without paying…
Verdict: Not recommended at all

5. Hotel Bhushan, off JM Road, Pune
Centrally located, clean and decent place. No lift. Has a tiny balcony, nice place to stay. Complementary breakfast has 2 south Indian items. Good hotel

6. Lotus Resorts, Bernaulin Beach, Goa
Nice Rooms, cost Rs 2000 per day onwards, checkout time 9AM. Very close to Bernaulin beach, ample parking area.
However, mobile and mobile broadband signal is very weak in the area, the resort is too far from city and breakfast won’t be ready even by 8.45-9am, though the display outside the restaurant says 7.30AM. (if you’re on vacation these things are actually plus points, but when on business,they cause a lot of inconvenience)

7. Ginger Hotel, Mangalore
Located on Udupi road. Review same as earlier

8. Hotel East Avenue, Calicut
We had to halt at Calicut as we couldn’t reach Kochi before night. East Avenue was very close to where we’d stopped and they had different rooms ranging from Rs 800 to 3500. Since we wanted multiple rooms, owner agreed to give a spot discount of 20%. I was put up in Rs 2500 (Abt Rs 2000 after discount) room. I asked what’s extra in 3500 Rs room. “LCD TV and better furniture” was the reply. We started very early next morning, so I don’t know if they’d complementary breakfast. Rooms were neat and clean. Good parking and restaurant facilities. Good place.

9. Hotel Aishwarya, Kochi
Off MG Road, Hotel Aishwarya gets an OK status from me. All basic facilities good. No free breakfast.

10. Hotel Sree Murugan, Coimbatore
Located close to Coimbatore Railway Station, Sri Murugan has good parking space, decent and spacious rooms. Hot water was available on during specific timings. Laundry facility is available, but without bill. Food is decent. Though the hotel staff acknowledged that my booking is confirmed and payment received, they insisted that I give them a printout of booking confirmation voucher. This was sorted out later.

11. Hotel Nachiappa Park, T Nagar, Chennai
Worst in terms of Service. When I went there, they made an attempt to send me off to some other hotel, saying all their rooms are full due to a canceled Malaysian airlines flight. I insisted that since I have the confirmation I should be given a room, full refund or send someone with me to take me to the other hotel and complete the check-in formalities. After 10 minutes, they provided me a room in the same hotel. However there was no TV, AC was blowing only normal air and not cold air, no response from room service for requests like water/room freshener etc.

During check in I’d noticed how unprofessionally they deal with customer requests-writing the requests on one dirty piece of paper and then shouting at some unseen person to deliver the items to concerned rooms. Breakfast and parking space was decent. Rooms are Ok. Building electric wiring has earthing problems. Should be avoided if possible.

12. Riverstone Homestays, Koramangala Ring Road, Bengaluru
Decent place. Small but well maintained rooms. Good service. Food not that good, most of the staff speak Hindi and not Kannada, hot water is available only during specific timings when they turn on the geyser.

13. Hotel Shalini Palace, Kolhapur
Nice heritage building, built in 1931, now converted into a hotel. Affordable, with rooms ranging from Rs 1500 to 6000 (for Maharaja Suite). Located next to the huge Rankala lake, nice campus including big trees, lawns, temple and so on.
From TataNanoSuperdrive
However I was told they don’t have a laundry service (strange). The campus is poorly maintained. Lots of beer bottles, broken metal objects which were once part of the palace and other materials are thrown all around carelessly. Gardens are also not maintained well. Doors are fragile and not that safe if you’ve lots of valuables.

Food is just ok. Verdict: Stay purely for the experience of staying in an erstwhile palace. [more photos of this hotel can be found here]

14. Hotel Tripursundari, Solhapur
Good Luxury Hotel and reasonable rates, starting at Rs 1500. Food cost on the higher side, service is good and so is the lobby and building. Has a good veg restaurant.

15. Ginger Hotel, Nasik
Located in MIDC (Maharastra Industrial Development Corporation) area, outside Nasik city limits. No other shops/restaurants in the vicinity, hence you’ll be a captive customer for the restaurant. No free wi-fi. Not recommended unless you’ve some work in MIDC area

16. Hotel Astoria, Churchgate, Mumbai
Will update the post by weekend about this hotel.

Similar posts:  * Hotel Honeymoon Inn, Mussoori *


Trails of a Traveler said...

I think it is a mix of all types of hotels.
I am really surprised that these people have booked hotels without checking how the service is.
I think they should have done that as well, if they wanted a good positive blog from the blogger.


Shrinidhi Hande said...

They've a specific budget and within the budget whatever best they could get they've booked. Except one or two most of them have been decent. No complaints as such.

Each hotel will have a few pros and cons. If it was too bad I would have escalated and shifted to a better one.

Best Hotel Reviews said...

Great Article!

Anonymous said...