Welcomgroup Rama International
R-3 Chikalthana, Auranggabad, Aurangabad, Maharashtra, 431 210, India
The most unsafe hotel
I hope this mail is taken up as priority. I am soon going to sue ITC for the horrific experience I had last night at The Rama in Aurangabad. I am also soon reporting this in media.
I was a part of a conference group staying at ITC for 2 days, Friday and Saturday (5th & 6th of Aug 2011). I was given room no. 205 – which I was told was an upgraded camera guarded room specially for single women for special security.
I checked in at 10:30am and was asked to wait for 5 mins as my room wasn’t ready. After I was asked to check into my room I set up my laptop for some work and realized my data card wasn’t working and needed IT help to get access to hotel Wi-Fi. I called assistance and while I was waiting for them, I walked up to the window admiring the pretty weather. I tried pushing the window but it was sealed.
The IT team came in (2) and I noticed a housekeeper setting the room in front of mine. I told him that there were no toilet rolls or a bathrobe in my room and he went out to get it. He came in to set it in the bathroom and while he was inside the room the IT guys asked for how long do I plan to stay..for how long do I need internet connection.. I said 2 days as I’m staying over tonight. After that the housekeeper and IT guys left.
I left the room around 1pm for my office and returned around 6 for the next meeting at the Chambers Lounge on the 3rd floor of the hotel. I entered the room and pulled the curtains and quickly took a shower. I let my purse (with money) and rest of the items in the room and went for the meeting.
The meeting lasted till 11:45 post which I had dinner and left for my room at 12:45am. I was in my room for 15 mins getting ready to go to bed when I heard a creak from the window. At first I thought it was a random low sound. I am over sensitive to sounds and picked it up again the second time when the creak happened.. twice this time. A creepy feeling took over me and I walked upto the sealed window to look out. I parted the curtains and was haunted to see the sealed window was ajar and there was a person hiding on the parapet under my window! He was slowly opening my window as I prepared to sleep. I screemed lungs out and in a rush the criminal lost his balance and decided to jump down from the frist floor (the height wasn’t too much) I kept screaming as load as I could and tried running out. If I didn’t have time to unlock and unchain my door incase the person had decided to jump into the room, there was no hope of even hiding in the bathroom and calling for help from there to earn a few minutes as the lock of the doors were not functional.
The managed to unlock quickly and screamed in the corridor for help.. all my neighbors, most of whom were colleagues and some foreigners came running to my rescue but no staff member was seen anywhere even though I screamed loud enough to wake people from 4 rooms away from mine and other floors.
We constantly kept calling the assistance number to call for the GM or someone senior but at first there was no response to the SOS call.. when they answered, the person sent was a housekeeper! We called again and then the patrolling security guard was sent and there was no sign of the GM or the residential manager. After 20-25 mins, the Executive Housekeeper – Shammi P. Yadav arrived to ask what was wrong. She got the window locked and had nothing to say while I kept asking for the GM – Vir Ji Safaya, who was no where to be seen.
I was shocked and in trauma all night as the person who was hiding outside my ajar window didn’t steal money, he was just waiting with evil intentions for me to fall asleep. Such a big incident was not important enough for the GM to meet me. I called the senior from our office who drove all the way back from his house and called our security and HR head. The GM met them downstairs and didn’t thing it was important to even ask me for water or how I was..
The window can only open with a special key from inside the room by a staff member. There is no way of opening it from outside.
Like the close escape from a potential rapist/ murdered wasn’t enough trauma, the Hotel team made the next day worse. They refused to show us footage of the corridor outside my room to see who came in to unlock the window. They made us wait the whole day saying that seeing footage was not possible but told us that a housekeeper entered only for 30 secs to clean the room, but after seeing a DND sign that I had put on while I was in the room earlier in the day, he went out. I was wondering why he entered when he saw DND as soon as the door was opened- the alarm is next to the door opening. How does DND matter when the guest has left the room?
All day we were told 30 secs.. We asked the GM to call the housekeeper and he said that he was cleaning the kettle when he suddenly saw the DND sign and left it and went out – this was his explanation of what he was doing in the room for 30 secs.
In the evening I was sitting with the HR head in the GM’s room, we demanded for the person reviewing the footage to be called and asked him for how long was this housekepper in the room and he said 40 secs.. The GM in panic asked “are you sure.. by your watch .. or the clock .. or the timer on the recording” The person said “ by the recorder’s timer sir” .. the GM said “ are you sure..check again!” the employee got nervous at the tone and realized that he shouldn’t have said that. He changed his affirmative answer to – “maybe im wrong, there was a lot of footage.. let me check”
After noticing Mr Safaya (the GM) put words in person’s mouth, I demanded to be shown atleast those 40 secs. He refused and ordered the Executive Housekeeper and this employee to go check the video asap.
I asked why was the housekeeper in my room for 40 secs when the room wasn’t even touched.. we got no logical response. In anger we left the GM’s room, frustrated at the foul play and cheating. After 10 mins, we were called in the room to see the footage which now was 4 secs!! They made us wait and suddenly the policy changed, a special approval to view the video was taken in 10 mins – something that we were asking for since last night – of course after the video now had become 4 secs!
The GM argued saying that he and the employee were mistaken.. and there was no answer to what explains the housekeeper’s statement that he was cleaning my kettle for a few mins before he left. Suddenly the video showed him coming in and going out in a flash.
My office’s security wanted to inspect the outside of the window so we got a ladder and the security head climbed up. He found dust finger prints.. the dust that was on the parapet.
I asked him how he can respond to the open window and a person sitting outside sneaking into my room, he had no answer. We asked how there were dust fingerprints as they disappear if they get old, it’s dust after all! No response. All the cheats said was - we can’t help you further.
We felt like the GM and his team help destroying evidence and lying. We called the cops to investigate and went up to the room again. He asked me the sequence of events again. As we peeped out to see where the stalker was hiding, we noticed disturbance in the dust on the parapet and windowsill.. those were not visible in the evening. After so many obvious reason, so much trauma – I left for Delhi hoping by late evening the cops will do something about it. I got to know from my colleague later that the cops didn’t find enough circumstantial evidence. All I was wondering was how much did you guys pay them!
I must tell you, you will be paying for this and badly. I will not rest till this is flashed in media as soon as I am out of bedrest in 1-2 days. I have already contacted my journalist friends. My mother is a journalist herself and I am pursuing law.
We will be make sure we inform everyone we can so that they all know the truth about ITC! There was no compensation for the trauma or no action against the housekeeper that was even remotely offered my Mr. Safaya. Im sorry to say but he is a very manipulative person and your hotels are the most unsafe to stay at. Some foreigners who came to check on me when I screamed promised me to blog about this experience and never stay at your hotel and stop all others they know from doing so too.
The Rama earns most of it’s money from Goodyear Tyres. I am an employee of the same company. Our team is contemplating terminating all business with your hotel and filing an FIR against ITC.
I am highly shocked and I can never expect unprofessional useless people like your ‘The Rama’ team to be sensitive towards a residence trauma. Your team harassed me for hours all of Saturday , they lied, they tampered with evidence, and put me through hell.
I will make sure that maximum people get t know about this and your false reputation as much as I suffered those 2 days all alone. If there is any ethics in ITC, you will fire Mrs. Shammi and Mr. Safaya and compensate for all that I had to go through. But I highly doubt I will even get a response till this doesn’t go in media and gets legal.
Thank you for the “wonderful” experience. Anyone concerened about his/ her safety should never stay at The Rama
Unique Quality: Stalkers hidding in your rooms at 1am
More about Aurangabad
Bibi-ka-Maqbara, from the air
Travel Tips for Aurangabad
Auto starting fare - Rs8
In Aurangabad, the Auto starting fare is Rs8 and Rs20 can take you really far. Always insist on meter usage unless you wanted them to wait for you for onwards journey.
For day trip around Aurangabad, you can probably negotiate Auto fare between Rs150-200. And try not to use Auto service to Ajanta because the trip is far and long, further more it's dangerous because lots of big lorries and busses ply that route.
Most of the beautiful sculptures of Ajanta are carved on rock, all with Buddhist motifs. I was specially impressed by this lying Buddha, about 12 meters long. If you wanna see best the details bring a hand torch, although after 1-2 minutes inside your eyes get used and everything can be seen pretty well.
Daulatabad Fort was built during the 12th century by the Yadav kings. They ruled over the fort between 1187 - 1318. In 1318 Daulatabad came under the rule of the Sultanate of Delhi. At this invasion Harpaldev (son-in-law of the king) was flayed alive and his corps was hanged outside the main gate. It was not until 1328 that Daulatabad got its present name by the sultan Mohammed Tughlaq who decided to move his capital here from Delhi. To populate the new capital he had the entire population of Delhi moved 1100 km south to Daulatabad. But it turned out that Daulatabad was unsuited as a capital because of strategic reasons so all the inhabitants were moved back to Delhi.
The ruins of the fort in Daulatabad can be visited on the way to Ellora, but it will be a very long day of sight-seeing, so I saw it on a separate day.
I started with walking up to the hill fort on top of a 200 metre high mountain. On the way I stopped to take a few photos, walked pasted buildings, walls and gates and through a long dark tunnel with stairs leading further up the slope. To reach the top it took 50 minutes. From the top you have a great view of the surrounding landscape and you can see how big the area of the fort is. The thick outer walls circumference is almost 5km. On my way down I took a closer look at some of the structures I had passed on the way up.
Admission to the fortress was Rs 100 (June 2010) for foreigners. It is open between 6 - 18.
Daulatabad for is situated about 15 km northwest of Aurangabad.
Along with nearby Ajanta, Ellora ranks top among India's cave-temple sites. It is essentially the main reason anyone comes to Aurangabad and is therefore a must-see when in town. With its 34 caves, carved into an escarpment between the 6th and 11th centuries AD, Ellora has been added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Its prized jewel is undoubtedly the astonishing Kailasa Temple, the world's largest monolithic structure, but other caves in Ellora are nevertheless fascinating. What makes Ellora so unique is the existence of caves belonging to three faiths, Buddhist, Hindu and Jain, which provides an invaluable insight into the history of early Indian architecture and religions. Note that it is impossible to visit both Ellora and Ajanta in a single day, but if you have to choose between the two, I would recommend Ellora, though it would be a shame to come all the way here and not see both. Ellora is best combined with stops at Daulatabad and Khuldabad as all three lie along the same road, with Ellora being the furthest from Aurangabad, a mere 35-minute drive.
For more, please check out my Ellora page.
Bibi-ka-Maqbara - The Gardens
The mausoleum, Bibi-ka-Maqbara, stands in the middle of a typical Mughal-period garden with a charbagh layout. Paved walkways, with a long pond and flower beds, radiate from each of the four façades of the central mausoleum to reach the southern gateway and the three baradaris (pavilions) on the northern, western and eastern walls of the gardens, thus creating an atmosphere of tranquility, harmony and symmetry. Each of the four quadrants created by the paths is planted with grass, trees and flowers. However, during the dry season of my visit, only the section south of the mausoleum, linking it to the main entrance, was lush green. The other sides were scorched dry and their ponds empty, probably to save on the cost of year-round maintenance. Still, whichever side one may choose, the gardens of Bibi-ka-Maqbara offer a peaceful respite from the busy streets of Aurangabad.
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Welcomgroup Rama International
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Address: R-3 Chikalthana, Auranggabad, Aurangabad, Maharashtra, 431 210, India