We came for our long awaited trip to Kashmir and were promised a stay in a deluxe houseboat in Nageen Lake, Srinagar. Our travel agent booked for us and confirmed the booking in a deluxe houseboat.
The taxi dropped us at Nageen lake shore and a shikara boat took us to Fantasia Houseboat.
But instead of getting rooms in the deluxe houseboats, we were put in very small rooms. To our left and right side were huge boats in deluxe category which were obviously double booked and already occupied.
Ms Anna Candy from UK, an elderly women in her sixties, is managing the houseboats.
Neither she nor Mr Rahim Langoo (according to staff he is the proprietor) were helping us and listening to our grievance.
Staff was sorry but could do nothing for us.
Location of the houseboat was beautiful and the small boat was clean. Food was also o.k.
We strongly recommend to ask before you go to a houseboat what category you will get and if it is really what you have paid for.
I have written a review in Tripadviser but instead of publishing it I got an email from the owner of the houseboat harrassing me and telling me that it was our agent who made a mistake. This is not true. We called our agent from Srinagar and he confirmed the booking and payment for deluxe houseboat.
Visited a few houseboats on the dal lake in March-2013. From my shikara boat tour was taken to boathouses double-banked to each other , akin to a row of cottages on land.The boat owner invited me to visit his boathouses and i obliged.His employee, a young man Mr Faouk.Wani showed me different sizes and types of boathouses reminding me of shipboard accommodation minus the noise and vibrations of the ships engine-room.Having served 23 years as a "Marine engineer" on ships, accommodation on "Floating Vessels" was not my attraction in Srinagar.Some of the boathouses had simple single -room type accommodation while others had dormitory type accommodation, these being the cheaper rental boathouses for typical "Package Group Tours"..He showed me a plush boathouse with expensive carpeting and Old world decor fit for a billionaire or wealthy honey-moon couples.After a brief examination of a few boathouses thanked Farouk and made my way to the shikara for the onward tour of Dal lake by boat.The rental charges range from Rs 800/day for the cheapest and approx Rs 3000/Day for some of the luxury boathouses. Mr Abdul.Wangnoo,the owner of "Diamond Gusthose" where i was residing had a few houseboats and i have written his address for travelers wishing to stay on a houseboat.A visit to Kashmir is incomplete without at least a nights stay on the "DAL LAKE BOATHOUSE".
Boathouse accommodation unique to the Dal lake, a floating city within a city in India.
we have visited Kashmir for first time, the most unique way to reach Dogstar Houseboat was by small boat (shikara) a short fun ride, the interior of the houseboat was amazing, stayed in for 4 nights, and were taken real good care by Farooq, food quality was fresh and tasty. lot to say about the place but lost in my own words. one has to be there to experience the best and most memoriable stay of our life. hats of to Dogstar Houseboats
The accomodation in itself is a unique floating boats, with roaps tide up to keep it still at one place, and once you enter it the place is realy admirable as to time and efforts spend on the work done on the walls, it is truly beautyfull
My Family and I really enjoyed our stay at New Lucky Star Houseboat in Srinagar. Our Host (Muzaffar) and Farooq took exceptional care of us. The food was great, especially the Kashmiri tea. The houseboat is very neat, clean and cozy. But aside from all of this I want to share with you a special incident that really touched me and I am very grateful to Muzaffar (the Owner) for going beyond the call of duty to help my family and I. We were very fortunate in that it snowed at the lake while we were there but because of this our flight out of Srinagar was canceled. We tried in vain to get another seat on other flights. It was then that Muzaffar opened his heart and home to us. He allowed me use of his private phone and internet facilities to book another flight. He also accompanied me to the city center to try and negotiate, on my behalf, with Kingfisher Airlines. He also provided accommodation at a reasonable rate for the extra days I spent there. Thank you once again, Your service was excellent. My family and I appreciate all that you have done for us.
¤ All major Credit Cards Accepted
¤ Meal Choice Vegetarian / Non - Vegetarian
¤ Laundry and Dry Cleaning services
¤ CUISINE: Indian, Chinese, Continental, Special Kashmir Wazawan
¤ 24 hours Exclusive Room Service
¤ Doctor on call
¤ Money Changer
¤ Travel Desk
¤ More spacious rooms
¤ Better Interiors
¤ Furnished Rooms with Wall to Wall Carpets
¤ Attached bath with running hot and cold water
¤ Unlimited Shikara Crossings
¤ Houseboats own power generators with full backup
¤ INTERNET FACILITY.
Pronounced Humzaa, this place fits all your needs. It is right next to the bustling boulevard with all the stores and restaurants but since it is a bit off the main road you will not hear any traffic. It is in a quite little nook with its own little beautiful garden. We chanced upon it by accident with the help of an elderly taxi driver and two adorable 6 and 7 year old kids with even more adorable voices.
The rooms are carpeted and yet clean! A choice of attached bath or not. They also provide an SUV (Chevy Tavera) on hire. Rates for this or the rooms are the lowest for its quality. You need to bargain but a nice room for two people in the busy time of July was an unbelievable Rs650. More than anything else, the best part of this place is the staff and esp. the owner Khurshid Goroo. So friendly, helpful, and easy to talk to. He did not ask for a single Rupee until the last day when we went to him to charge us!
We visited Kashmir in August 09 and chose a package offered by Dandoo Group of Houseboats, for a 4N-5D stay on MAP plus 3 day-trips (Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Sonmarg). The treatment we got was kingly. The houseboat is maintained excellently, and is positioned beautifully on the main water-road, connecting the floating market on Dal Lake with the main Dal Lake Market on the street. They offered homecooked food, woke us up in the morning as per our schedule, and treated us as if we really were honourable guests! The caretaker (Nissar Bhaiya) was exceptionally polite and sincere. The driver who took us for the daytrips (Abid Bhaiya) was superb, and provided us all the necessary information on routes/ reasonable rates for horse-rents, and even bargained for us. The shikara-man (Altaf Bhaiya) was extremely sweet, and called us after our visit to make sure we reached home safely! Most of the people we met were very warm and welcoming. We were so pleases that we were driven to pay tips and prices higher than what we initially bargained for, though they never asked for it :)
EVERYTHING WAS GREAT. COULD NOT ASK FOR MORE!!
Srinagar has lots of houseboats where you can stay, we got our place via a Delhi travelling agency, and I do not remember seeing a name, so I am sorry.... but we did not like our houseboat that much, it wasn't dirty, but you just did not want to touch stuff in your room, there was cold water, so we did not shower, and the shower and all looked old, the toilet however was dirty, and it was cold at night, ..... but the views of the surroundings are nice, and we were able to walk in the park next to the boat, for backpackers this is great, I think we want some more luxury...
Since my first visit to Kashmir in 2002, I have always stayed in this houseboat on Dal lake. The owners make me feel at home with their warm welcome. Apart from that they have always given me good guidance about the land, culture and other aspects of Kashmir as they are highly educated and well-informed. The service and facilities are quite good and they serve excellent home cooked, hygienic food. The rooms are very comfortable and well decorated with traditional Kashmiri Furnishings. The rates are quite economical compared to the service and facilities.
They also make best transport and hotel stay arrangements for my excursions outside Srinagar.
The location is in a quite corner of the lake with no noise or disturbance. The only noise I hear is the quaking of ducks or splashing of water by the passing Shikaras. The view of Shankaracharya Hill and Temple makes it more interesting, especially during evenings. The Shikara ride to The Houseboat from Dalgate no.1 is quite serene. The Houseboat is connected by road too as it is on the edge of Dal lake.
Despite political turmoils I decided to visit Kashmir in autumn 2008. And I don't regret! It was an overall pleasant experience and I have been able to see lot's of really interesting places in Kashmir due to my very knowledgable and friendly host and guide Rahim Langoo. I stayed for 2 weeks at his houseboat and enjoyed it a lot. The houseboat is calm and the location very quiet. Kingfisher and other birds were frequent visitors. And Rahim has a really good music collection, if you like to enjoy some nice music in the evening.
His houseboats are located in Nigeen Lake in Srinagar, at the western shore under the name of
Fantasia Group of Houseboats.
quiet location, great food, good music collection, nice host and very good guide
I traveled to Kashmir from 9th Jun 2008 to 14th Jun 2008. I booked Dandoo houseboats, by reading about this on one website. But to my surprise it is the worst part of my whole trip.
I felt I was in jail for 5 nights. The electricity is big problem in this boat. The owner of this boat Mr Latif is very clever man, He will boast so much and do nothing. The some of various problems are:
Mr Latif promised me to provide food, but once I reached there he refused and said that his cook has gone away.
There were not even basic service provide like towels,shop,drinking water.
The driver provided to us were very rude and did not leave any chance to spoil our tour.
There is lots of noise in the boat as all the servants keep shouting and if you say something they will talk badly and say, "Sir you should have this kind of experience also"
When you complain to Mr Latif about this, He will say I will talk and nothing happens.
When you book the boat he will say no problem sir, but at the last moment he will start asking 8% tax.
In drawing room/sitting room, people keep drinking and smoking and you can not sit with the kid and family.
Mr Latif says, sir I am giving you so cheap, so the service will also be cheap(Despite he charged Rs 3500/night from me)
I would ask you not to go in this boat if you really want to enjoy srinagar.
I know the houseboat touts can be a bit much, so I would suggest jehlum river(open and less touristy than lake Dal and nageen ) if you're thinking of staying in a houseboat which I would HIGHLY recommend. When else are you gonna get the chance to have a luxury houseboat to yourself for about less than 20 dollar night?
Enjoy Kashmir - don't forget to have some Kashmiri tea - and eat up big on the cashews - they're great.
they provide you unique facility
1 airport pick up free
2 outdoor dinning
In addition to the traditional houseboats, you need to get the local tour company to organise your trips out of Srinagar e.g. going to Gulmarg, Sonamarg etc because it is not easy to do it on your own. Most of the tourists will get the local tour companies to help them.
As for us, we have arrangements with Shalimar Travels. They are good, reliable and our guide Mr Majid is knowledgable. If you are interested, you can contact them at:
10 Polo View, Residency Road
Mr Majid's contact number on his namecard is 09419403093. He can communicate in English and told me he checks his email (see above) often.
If you are at Srinagar, you must stay in one of the traditional houseboats because this is what makes Srinagar so special and it will be a great experience for you.
Firstly, the architecture of the houseboats (both interior and exterior) are amazing and very beautiful. Depending on your budget, you can choose the various classes of houseboats to stay. There are many houseboats on Dal Lake and it is important to choose a good one as there are many stories of people who have bad experiences.
Personally, I stayed at the Bostan Gulistan Group of Houseboats (see website below) and this is a good recommendation because the houseboats here are very good, the service is excellent and the houseboats are at a very good location where you can see the Dal Lake, mountains etc. Also, Mr Gulistan himself may drop by and have a chit-chat with the guests.
Go to part 2 of this tip for more information.
We stayed at Royal Palace Houseboat in Dal Lake. Inside, there was one living room with television, one dining room, and about four bedrooms with en-suite bathroom. Upstairs, while waiting your dinner to be served, you can relax in a chair, enjoying beautiful view of dal lake with it’s house boats..what a peaceful experience.
I found that all the stuffs inside the house were lovely; from curtains, carpets, and tablewares, it’s all beautiful. Most of them were made in Kashmir.
The housekeeper will offer to take you to souvenir shops. The seller will come to ‘visit’ you as well. It’s okay (cause the stuffs were good indeed) as long as you learn about the price.
BLOOMING DALE was the tip we got from V T and great thats what was our experience.We were recieved at Srinagar airport with a real sense of guest protocol and we were really excited to see this queit place in the centre of the town of Srinagar,great feeling while entering the premises.We loved the room we were given and the birds chirping especially in mornings made us feel really in the paradise(thats what they call kashmir).Baths are really neat and clean and the superb shower, they would change the towel daily.Exotic food they would serve with FOND HOSPITALITY.We reccommend this place strongly as you can have the best of Kashmir if you take the services of people at BLOOMING DALE as they really have the great knowledge of this place in terms of heritage,culture,religious background,traditions and and places of scenic beauty.
The best thing about this accommodation is that it is in the centre of Srinagar yet away from noise and other pollution.The garden is splended and we relished having breakfasts in.calm and friendly environ with superb privacy makes this place unique......thats how we feel.
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