Value Score Poor Value
Good For Business
Historic, interesting and sometimes confusing
In Bharatpur, we chose to stay at the Laxmi Vilas Palace Hotel. This is one of the Indian heritage-style haveli properties that I've discussed on my India "country" page. Basically, they're restored maharajah mansions that have been converted to upscale hotel properties.
The Laxmi Vilas actually consists of two properties. The first part of the haveli, and the part primarily in use right now, is the old historic building. Originally constructed some 125 years ago and the property of the Singh family for over a century, it's been carefully restored and made into a hotel. There are a variety of rooms, including single or double rooms, and a range of larger suites. There's also an inner courtyard and a dining hall that now serves as the "breakfast" area. At this point, the hotel office is also located in this historic building.
Immediately next to the historic mansion, the management has constructed a gorgeous and spectacular swimming pool area. We didn't swim while we were there, but had we had our swim suits, we probably would have. It WAS quite hot at the time. :)
And, beyond the new pool, they've build a BRAND NEW HAVELI, a new and modern building based on the plans of the old historic mansion. The new building is somewhat larger, and has a large outside court and covered porch area. There are eventually going to be exercise facilities and a variety of larger suite rooms in the new building, but they are not yet in use. (still a bit of construction going on) And, the new building houses the Laxmi Vilas' restaurant - this is where you'll take your lunch and dinner meals. Only breakfast is served at the old mansion. When they completely finish this new wing of the property, there will be some spectacular rooms available to let. And even though the building is brand new, it's still based on and "matches" the style of the historic building next door.
Unique Quality: The history of the property, and the "maharajah" atmosphere really lets you know that you're in India. The staff is friendly, although there SOMETIMES are communication problems. I get the feeling that - at least compared to other historic havelis we visited in India - that the staff at the Laxmi Vilas is "new to the game" of running a tourist-frequented property. But, they try very hard. My advice is to keep your communications simple and to not get too complicated with your questions. Otherwise, they'll just smile and nod at you.
There is the pool that I described above, and some pleasant rose gardens surrounding the haveli(s) and within the property walls. There is a small gift shop, and they also have a couple of computers that you can "rent" for internet use. The price was very cheap, and the connection was pretty fast.
Just outside the walls of the Laxmi Vilas, there is a street lined with small shops - nothing tourist, just local stuff... pharmacies, tire shops, little grocery stores and such. There are also quite a few places that locals are selling agricultural goods and such. I bought a nice bunch or two of bananas for munching.
One OTHER bit of advice. When we travel with our daughter, we vary our accomodations between larger suites for the three of us, or in some cases we get two rooms. (My daughter feels like a big shot with her own room) At the Laxmi, we chose to get two rooms. And, our rooms were fine, no complaints. But, I will tell you this... after visiting the Laxmi Vilas and having the chance to look at some of the suites, I would have made a different choice. The price for a suite is about twice what a regular room would be, and my observation is that the suites are well more room than the regular rooms. It's worth the price difference. If you need more room, or you just want to enjoy some luxury, get a suite.
If you'd like to make email contact, the address is firstname.lastname@example.org. The person that I was working with was Surendra.
Avoid. There are better places
Our Indian travel guy was given the task of finding a place for one night between Ranthambhore and Agra. He could have chosen anywhere, but he chose this place. It looks great on the internet and as we drove up, I was happy. But as soon as we got out, it was obvious that there were problems. the hotel was undergoing renovation and should not have accepted any bookings. If I had not prepaid, I would have gone elsewhere. Despite the prepaying, I was still tempted to go elsewhere. the first room was dark and smelly and dirty and decidedly unloved. At 500rs, it would have been ok as you would expect nothing and therefore get nothing. At 3000rps, and with the reputation of being a heritage hotel, I had raised my expectations. we were shown 4 more rooms after I complained. But they were all bad. All very smelly. Dank nasty air. All felt dirty and all felt unlived in and unloved. I chose the least worst. Even then the bathroom was horrible with a plastic bath and plastic curtain, PLUS a 7 inch break in the plastic bath so that it would not hold water. This is the Royal Suite! It didnt look much like the wonderful photos on the internet which have been taken with masses of artificial light. There were beetles running around the bathroom floor and I had to use my bug spray. The paintwork was peeing in all rooms, which is fine in an old place if it is clean, but this was grubby. there was some hot water at night, but stone cold the next day which frankly is unacceptable. They had to spend an hour cleaning out the swimming pool and they forgot to put on the pump so the water was very nasty. There was no dining available.
The fact that they accepted bookings when they should not have done speaks volumes for their lack of customer care and service. Tourists are to be fleeced. I dont think that they expect repeat bookings as most people dont do the Golden Triangle route more than once. there was no apology. No complimentary tea to compensate. Nothing to show that they realised that they were wrong
Unique Quality: the basic structure and setting shows great potential.
The hotel looks Ok from a distance, but does not stand up to scrutiny. It should have great potential, but there are so many good places around, that there is no need for anyone to stay there. They may have been starting a renovation project, but to get it up to a standard worth the price they charge, they will require more than a few weeks work.
I will post some photos at some time.
For the record, I stayed in a wonderful heritage guest house in Jaipur for half the price and 10 times the value. I also stayed in top end Oberois and one night in a 400rps (ie £5 )per night. All of the others reflected their value in their price. Even the very very cheap one was clean without bugs. So when I criticise this hotel it is with the benefit of a good basis of comparison. Unless you can be sure that they have upped their game, stay in another establishment
Laxmi Vilas Palace
Laxmi Vilas Palace is heritage hotel.
Old Agra-Jaipur road.
Restaurent food is good here.
There are few hotels.
Near gate itself you will find"Hotel Sunbird".
Salim Ali road
email:email@example.com.Its mid range hotel.
nside the park
Bharatpur forest lodge.Fax 22864.
They have nice Restaurents.Had lunch there,food was good.
Directions: Salim Ali road the road to park ,many hotes are there.Not big one.
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