- Reviews: 1
Fantasia Houseboat: Not as promised
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.
- Reviews: 1
New Lucky Star Group Of Houseboats: New Lucky Star Group Of Houseboats
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.
- Reviews: 143
Hotel Hamza: One of the friendliest!
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!
- Reviews: 1
PERSIAN PALACE: DANDOO HOUSEBOATS
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!!
- Reviews: 1
New Minar Group of Houseboats: A HOME AWAY FROM HOME
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.
- Reviews: 1
Fantasia Group of Houseboats: Fantasia Group of Houseboats, Nigeen
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
- Reviews: 1
Dandoo group of houseboats: Worst houseboat
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.
- Reviews: 1
HOUSEBOAT: the shelter group of houseboat
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
- Reviews: 7
Royal Palace Houseboat: Palace in Dal Lake
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.
- Reviews: 1
BLOOMING DALE cottage: BLOOMING DALE hotel
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.
- Reviews: 1
blooming dale (HOTEL): Accommodation in KASHMIR
The great experience in staying in a cottage quiet place located in the cantre of Srinagar yet with a calm atmosphere and splended surroundings.
A unique place where the privacy of the guest is maintained at all levels yet with a real family atmosphere,proffessional servioce and the EXOTIC food seved with deep sense of hospitality and real hygene.
- Reviews: 1
wonderful cottage: Srinagars BEST Accommodation
BLOOMING DALE(hotel) a wonderfull accommodation in the heart of Srinagar yet away from the noise pollution and surrounded by the lush green environ.Cozy rooms with modern baths and of COURSE THE FOOD OF YOUR CHOICE.I would certianly and strongly reccommend this place.
I was rather relectant to go to Kashmir and than a friend reccommended this place(BLOOMING DALE)bdalkashmir at yahoo cm and as I landed at Srinagar airport I was given a WARM welcome by Firdous then we drove to city the the BLOOMING DALE...............having the tea all the apprehensions just disappeared and we started Seeing Srinagar.
At BLOOMING DALE they have a deep sense of HOSPITALITYU and protocol.....privacy is maintained at all the levels and at the same time the family atmosphere is given strictly according to the prefernces of the guest.I shall never forget the tasy food and I am looking forward to stay again at BLOOMINGT DALE hotel.
- Reviews: 15
Houseboats of Srinagar: Houseboats of Srinagar
I write this because I myself did not find any reliable advise on houseboats prior to my two week trip to Kashmir. I spent nearly a week in Srinagar in different houseboats. I was with my wife and stayed in super-deluxe categories. Here are my notes -
1) Do not stay in a houseboat. They are not as romantic as I can imagine they would have been a quarter of a century back. Read on to know why...
2) Most of them are in disrepair and have a musty feel to them. Anyone who is claustrophobic or in general cannot enjoy crumbling interiors must avoid them entirely.
3) Most houseboats are now run by the third generation who have grown up seeing how much money can be squeezed out of travellers particularly insecure foreigners. Unlike 25-30 years back when hospitality was a way of life, they are now driven entirely by commercial interests. At best you will get an indifferent host, at worst a rude, domineering and pestering nuisance.
4) Most tarriffs typically include boarding so the prices can be inflated. The food is variable but can often be downright bad. Srinagar has an excellent street food scene and a lot of local restaurants offering sumptuous fare. You will miss out on that if you go with boarding plus lodging on a houseboat. .....other points contd in section
There are several good hotels in Srinagar now unlike a few decades back. Many of them are along the lakeshore and offer great views so there is no pressing reason to go for a houseboat. You are free as a bird. You can come and go when you like and you don't have to deal with vendors popping into your room and you don't have to deal with faking courteousness to a host who constantly makes you feel like he is doing you a favour letting you stay at his place.
Hope this is of help. Srinagar is a very beautiful and interesting place. Enjoy your visit.
PS: I must mention this particular houseboat - Diamond Houseboat - The owner was positively the most evil host I've encountered in my travels thus far.
5) Floating merchants are a constant pestilence. Furthermore your own host will constantly bug you to buy from all the vendors who show up at the houseboat for he gets a hefty commission on all sales. This is positively a nuisance. In two different houseboats I and my wife were woken up in the morning on the pretext that some visitors were there to see us. We were befuddled and upon reaching the entrance had to putoff the horde of merchants with a range of excuses. The quality of service at the houseboat will go down dramatically if you don't buy. With me, this was the reason though we had otherwise been on rather good terms.
6) This is the most dangerous one - you are reliant on your host to see that you can reach the shore at your own convenience. If you fallout with him, you can be sure to be severely incovenienced. In my case, I had to ask for an independent shikara to ferry me to the mainland. Regardless of your relationship with your host, you can be sure your pickup request from the dock back to the houseboat will not be honoured. With one particular owner I had specifically ensured before I booked that to and fro ferry was included in the deal. I used his ferry one single time in the three days I spent at his place.
7) Most houseboats do not have locks. When you are away your personal belongings are unsafe. My wife lost a chain and while she might have misplaced it elsewhere I can't get over my doubts. Some rooms do not even have inside locks so you have no guarantee if someone will not intrude in the night.
8) When you go hunting for a houseboat many owners will pull out a diary and show you edifying testimonials. Don't trust them. I myself wrote one under duress because I was worried they might not transport me to the shore safely with my wife and luggage and then onwards to the airport.
- Reviews: 26
Shahnaza: House Boat on Daal Lake
There are hundreds of houseboats on the Daal Lake in a few different classes. Most of these are individually owned and run. There are different sizes, "star ratings", etc. With the help of our previous hotel we booked a Deluxe Houseboat, which had 3 bedrooms and baths. We occupied 2 of the rooms and a very quiet Indian family occupied the other.
You reach there on a shikara boat. They are all so beautiful on the outside, decorated with intricately carved wood. Once you get inside, however, you enter a time warp.. 70's bollywood to be precise. Our houseboat was heavily decorated in a deep red. Everything was red, all the furniture heavily carved wood.
There's a musty smell throughout these houseboats. They smell of mildew and water rot, and its not faint.
I could see that at one time this houseboat might have been quite a comfortable and pleasantly odious accomodation. But their days of glory have passed. The beds were uncomfortable and stinky, as were the sofas. The bathrooms were dimly lit and old fashioned. The plastic bath-tub, with no shower curtain, felt like it was going to break.
As this was winter time it was quite cold at night. My room had an electric heater which worked fine. The other had a charcoal heater right in the center of it. My friend who stayed in that room said that he was quite warm at night but could not get to sleep for fear of asphyxiation as heavy smoke filled the air, and fear of bursting into flames if, by chance, a flaming charcoal lump were to fall on the heavy carpeting.
Meals were pre-arranged. We were asked when we booked how many meals we wanted the houseboat owner to provide us.
Most food is ordered from restaurants. Options: Kashmiri food or Kashmiri food.
-DO stay on a houseboat but just for one night. The experience is worth the minor discomfort.
-Don't plan on getting a very good shower.
-If you are sensitive to smells, bring your own sheets and a towel.
-BRING TOILLETRIES - they only provide a teeny bar of soap.
The views, depending on just where your houseboat is situated, can be magnificent.
The traveling salesmen: the first few of these guys are fun. Almost minutes after we arrived the floating market began. Men with shikaras, quite impressively filled with everything from rugs, jewelry, leather goods, house wares, woodwork... you name it, they have it on a boat. The salesman usually line up their boats outside and the minute you're done with one the second guy comes running.
This was fun and a treat in the beginning, but, as we were one of the only occupied houseboats on the lake (low season) we were literally bombarded by them. We finally had to be rude and yell at the guys when they wouldnt stop coming.
Haggle a lot, and dont be afraid to be rude or they won't leave you alone.
- Reviews: 956
Army camp at Uri: Army camp at Uri
We had been advised by the army that it was not safe to travel post sunset. Tv shoots being tv shoots, we got late.
We were offered dinner and were allotted rooms on the base. So we stayed the night there instead of heading back to Srinagar.
Was a nice experience. A bit of a bonus to see this side of life. It was very cold outside. January, in the Himalayas... there was this thermal device in the room to keep warm. Its something commonly used in many parts of the Himalayas.
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