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Friday, July 02, 2010

Hotel Reviews from my recent West-Central-East India Road Trip

In case you didn’t know, I was on a 26 day road trip across West-Central-East India from June 2 through June 28, 2010. This road trip, titled ‘Tata Nano Superdrive’ took me to 9 states and 17 cities across India’s central belt. During this road trip, I got to sample the facilities and services of 17 different hotels in the various cities and thought it would be helpful to fellow travellers if I shared my reviews on these hotels.

Most of these hotels are in the budget range of Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 5,000 and can be classified as business hotels. Corporate discounts are available in most of these hotels. At the end of each review, I have rated these hotels on a scale of 1 star to 5 star. 5 star being the best. Here is the lowdown:

Ginger Hotels, Ahmedabad, Gujarat
A decent budget business hotel. The hotel rooms are air-conditioned, clean and come with most of the modern facilities. Breakfast came complimentary for me, but Wi-Fi gets charged here. Ginger has no room-service and one has to avail the services of their in-house restaurant and snack bar for meeting one’s food needs. Room rates range from Rs 2,500 to Rs 4,000. Corporates get healthy discounts. The corridors here were a bit stuffy for my taste though. The hotel that I stayed at was situated next to a mall and thus a lot of facilities are close by.
Overall Rating: 4 Star

Hotel Kalinga, Indore, Madhya Pradesh
A decent hotel situated in the central business district of Indore. Rooms have sufficient facilities. Room service did not look very hygienic to me. Nothing complimentary, though nothing to complain about too.
Overall Rating: 3 Star

Classic Hotels, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh
The only thing good about this hotel is that it is situated right in the centre of Bhopal’s bustling No.9 market. The rooms were stuffy, the bed sheets left a lot to be desired. The taps in the bathroom were broken. The wash basin was just a show piece. Room service wasn’t great either. A bad experience for me in this hotel.
Overall Rating: 1 Star

Siddhartha Inn Hotel, Nagpur, Maharashtra
Decent 2 star hotel situated close to the railway station and on the main road. Rooms are decent, though I found them to be a bit small. The bathroom especially was very small. I had to watch my head while entering and getting out of the shower. The chef must have been good as all my room service meals were delicious. Breakfast was complimentary. Service at reception is not up to the mark. In spite of me having booked my stay here, they made me stand at the reception for a long while citing they could not find my booking.
Overall Rating: 3 Star

Hotel Simran, Raipur, Chhattisgarh
Situated on station road, this hotel looks good only from the outside. The rooms were huge, but lacked comfort. Was a bit stuffy too. Since it is situated on the busy station road, one can hear the traffic in the room all through the night. Room service is just about ok. Bathrooms could have been cleaner.
Overall Rating: 2 Star

Hotel Ans International, Raigarh, Chhattisgarh
A very pretty looking 3 star hotel property. Rooms are luxurious, though you can find mosquitoes in the rooms. My room on the fifth floor commanded a brilliant view. Both restaurant and bar are great. Room service is also great.
Overall Rating: 4 Star

Hotel Landmark, Ranchi, Jharkhand
An excellent hotel that is on par with a 3 star hotel. Right from the start, I was impressed with the professionalism of the service staff. Since they were out of economy rooms, they bumped me up into a deluxe room. The rooms were large, clean, luxurious and simply great. The room service and laundry service were also good. The food could have been tastier. Though, no complains on that part. Breakfast was complimentary.
Overall Rating: 4 Star

Hotel Windsor, Patna, Bihar
Everything about my experience here is bad. This hotel calls itself the best budget hotel in Patna, but I would disagree on all counts. The reception staff seemed to struggle with my booking. They showed me 4 rooms and I was unhappy with all. I had to finally check into the hotel as the rest of the hotels in the city were booked owing to a political gathering in the city that day. The rooms were stuffy, the sheets were unclean, the AC was not working, the food was just ok and to top it the hotel corridors looked like a scene from a red light district. Till late night, I had to manage with all the sounds coming from my neighbouring rooms. I would never ever stay in this hotel again.
Overall Rating: 0 Star

Seventeen Degrees Hotel, Dhanbad, Jharkhand
A tastefully done up deluxe hotel. I didn’t stay long at this place, but was happy during the little time that I spent here. Breakfast is complimentary and is decent. Service Staff are efficient.
Overall Rating: 4 Star

Hotel Park Inn, Kolkata, West Bengal
The rooms were so bad and stuffy that I decided to cancel my booking here and find a place elsewhere. The reception staff was arrogant too.
Overall Rating: 0 Star

Tata Motors Guest House, Kolkata, West Bengal
A very decent service apartment like facility run exclusively for Tata Motors. Meals that are booked in advance are served in a common dining hall. Very cordial staff too.
Overall Rating: 4 Star

Ginger Hotels, Bhubaneshwar, Orissa
Review similar to that of the Ahmedabad Ginger Hotel. Corridors still stuffy. Staff at reception extremely helpful.
Overall Rating: 4 Star

Orange Hotel, Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh
A no-frills budget hotel similar in business model to that of Ginger group of hotels. Rooms are comfortable and sufficient. Breakfast is complimentary. No room service and buffet for all 3 meals is served at the restaurant below. Hallways can be a bit cleaner.
Overall Rating: 3 Star

The Gateway Hotel, Vijaywada, Andhra Pradesh
A 5 Star property. Rooms and service are in line with what one expects from a Taj group hotel. Surprisingly, I was not that happy with the food served. Ordered Italian, but my risotto hardly tasted Italian. Authentic global cuisine is something the 5 Star hotels pride themselves on and hence I was a little unhappy.
Overall Rating: 4 Star

Anchorage Serviced Apartments, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
Tucked away in a quiet residential locality, this serviced apartment is the ideal replacement for an expensive business class hotel. Breakfast is complimentary. Meals need to be booked in advance and is served in a common dining hall. Food is simple and is prepared in home-made style. Choices are minimal. Laundry service is also good.
Overall Rating: 4 Star

Lemon Tree Hotels, Aurangabad, Maharashtra
An excellently designed deluxe resort like property with swimming pools and spas. The rooms are beautifully done up and are extremely comfortable. Breakfast is complimentary and the breakfast menu is fitting a king. Food is tasty too. Room service is also great. I was unhappy that I could not stay here longer.
Overall Rating: 5 Star

Ginger Hotels, Nashik, Maharashtra
My experience similar to that of the other ginger hotels, though I would have loved if the restaurant is open 24x7. I checked into the hotel at 11:30 pm and had to head out after a tired day to search for a restaurant. The reception staff could have been better too.
Overall Rating: 3 Star

Hotel Astoria, Mumbai, Maharashtra
Situated close to Mumbai’s marine drive, this is a great deluxe hotel. Rooms are luxurious. Service is decent and food is good. Breakfast is complimentary and offers a large menu. Hotel staff are very helpful too. Since it is situated close to churchgate station, commute becomes easy too.
Overall Rating: 4 Star



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