Value Score Average Value
Good For Business
On the Ganges, away from the crowds
Palace on Ganges was a pick by my travel partner who had read a brief snippet on this newly opened hotel. Four years later I am starting to see it reviewed in the guide books.
Located overlooking the River Ganges, at Assi Ghat, the hotel is away from the main action yet only a boat ride away. Walk up the steps to the main door where you’ll be welcomed by the front desk. The lobby itself is quite small but just beyond is a sitting area with views of the street and river below.
The room with twin beds was tight yet efficient and clean. On the roof top you’ll find a small restaurant for your breakfast or lunch. I tried to eat there once but the service just to be seated was slow so I skipped it and ran over to Haifa. This perception had more to do with my surly attitude that morning which made the wait time seem long.
Downstairs you’ll find a charming restaurant. I only found time to stop in for Gulab Jamun one night, tasty and just right.
The staff was very accommodating in waking us for our early morning sunrise boat ride. Hot masala tea was brought to the room and we were reminded to leave quickly in order to make the sunrise.. My only disappointment was after returning from the boat ride mid-morning, we found our room door unlocked and cracked open. Inquiring with the staff about this proved futile. Had I not left my passport, money and other small valuables in the room I wouldn’t have been so bothered. Lesson learned on why you always take your money and passport.
Upon leaving our last morning I found myself sitting next to an older Indian gentleman. Turns out he was deaf and mute. We carried on for a few minutes somehow communicating when I left him with the customary Namaste hand gesture. He returned the gesture which seemed heart-felt, not contrived as I usually feel. I learned while walking out the front door he was the owner.
Stay here to avoid the crowds and enjoy the great views of the river.
Unique Quality: Just a short walk from Assi Ghat and you're on the water heading towards the action. All you need is nearby, STD/ISD and a daily needs store.
Room with a View
The hotel Palace on Ganges is situated at Assi Ghat, which is a 15 min walk along the ghats to get to the Dasaswamedh Ghat, which is where the evening Ganga Aarti is held every evening at sundown. Our room, which had a really comfortable bed & modern bathroom, also had a wonderful little marble-latticed balcony.......tiny, but fine for 2 people to sit on.The room was a good size, and spotless.Bedding was also colourful & ethnic, and there was a writing desk, & television. I also have to mention- CONSTANT supply of hot water.
The hotel staff were helpful & unobtrusive, and the food in the dining room was superb......vegatarian mostly, but also some meat dishes. There is a musical trio that play music while you dine, and they were surprisingly good. We ate most of our meals there, but breakfast & lunches are served at a sunny patio style roof garden,filled with flowers. I really do recommend this hotel...........its very good value, and really stress-free.
Unique Quality: Everywhere in the hotel,there are beautiful antiques, and wonderful works of art. The owner seemed to be a collector, and every day that we were there, we noticed something new.All the floors are marble, and beautiful chandeliers everywhere. We especially liked the communal balcony which runs the length of the hotel, all the rooms opened onto it. Lovely to catch a cool breeze., while having some refreshment. Fresh flowers in room each day.
We liked the location of this hotel.............because it is away from most of the crowds, but do take care when walking back from main Ghats..........especially at night. Its dark, there is no lighting, and some unsavoury elements were hanging around. We had no problems,however
But the very best thing about this hotel is the view.......unobstructed...of the Ganges river.So much happens on this river.........we loved just sitting on our balcony, and watching. The sunrise was magnificent,and at sunset the river glitters.
I preferred the area that this hotel was situated in. Its away from the ghats, which get really noisy and crowded.
Directions: Assi Ghat
Budget Hotel in Varanasi for Foreigners
My son and I stayed at this hotel for two nights, November 11 and 12. I chose this hotel based upon various favourable reviews on different websites. First the plus points.
The car at the airport was there on time, the hotel is neat and clean, the manager Mr. Ramesh Verma very polite and friendly, the location on the river is a big plus, the cost very modest.
What I did not like was the service at the restaurant ( very very slow), the wake up service ( one has to wake up early to go for a boat ride before sunrise, the distinctly servile attitude of the owner ( who sits in the lobby most of the time) towards "white" tourists, and all recommendations of sight-seeing made by the staff based upon "foreigners will be there in large numbers". And finally how can I forget an extremely foul mouthed driver who freely swore on people's mothers and fathers and generations of families as he negotiated the traffic in the city.
So if you are white, do go and stay at the Palace on the River; if you are Indian, be prepared to feel slighted in one of the oldest cities of your own country.
Directions: On the ghat after negotiating a few narrow lanes; near the well known Dashashwmedh Ghat
A good hotel
Housed in a beautifully renovated century-old mansion, Palace on Ganges is an immaculately clean hotel with 42 rooms, each named for -- and said to be decorated in the style of -- a different region of India.
Our rooms were good-sized and well appointed (cable TV sets, non-alcholic mini-bar, tables and chairs).
The staff is friendly and attentive.
The restaurant, on the floor below the lobby, is quite basic. Food is vegetarian and well prepared.
The big disadvantage is Palace on Ganges's location. It is at Assi Ghat, the southernmost of the ghats (platforms and steps leading to the Ganges). Getting to any of the city's main sights requires either a motor vehicle or a very long walk.
And while it's "on the Ganges," a small road and a large (and much littered) field separate the hotel from the river itself. Views of the Ganges from the balcony -- and rooms facing the river -- are far less good than those from, among others, the Alka Hotel. There is no view, for example, of the ghat itself.
Payment is in rupees (and cash) only. A minute away, however, is a shop that offers a range of services: cybercafe, money-changer, travel agent, tour arranger, and telephone (local, long distance, and international).
Unique Quality: >>From the hotel's website:
Govt. Approved Hotel with modern facilities of Star grade.
* Enjoy Sunrise from Rooms and Lobby.
* Attached bathrooms.
* Hot & Cold running water.
* Television with all available networks.
* Direct Dialing Telephone.
* Mini Bar
* 24 Hour Room Service
* Safe deposit Facilities.
* Laundry Services.
* Travel Desk -Car hire and Ticket
* Medical Facilities -Doctor on call.
* Roof Top Restaurant.
* Vehicle accessibility at door step.
* A Rich Library with colossal oriental wisdom.
* Art Gallery with glimpses of India Culture.
* Centrally Air-conditioned.
* On the Bank of river 'Ganges' in the 'Oldest Living City', at Assi Ghat -The Prelude Point of Varanasi.
* Century old Palacial Heritage Building.
Directions: Assi Ghat
100 yr old mansion converted to atmospheric hotel
The Hotel Ganges View reminded me of the Tabard Inn in Washington, DC; the kind of place where you can imagine running into a spy or foreign correspondent. Joan Baez stays at the Tabard when she comes to DC. Definitely not your Holiday Inn.
Each of our 3 rooms had a different decor, and they were all facing a beautiful second floor balcony overlooking the Assi Ghat. After sunset drinks on our balcony, we had dinner in the ornate hotel dining room. That evening we walked a few feet down to Assi Ghat to watch the Hindu priests from the temple next door performing a beautiful ceremony with music, dancing and fire in the sacred Ganges.
The next morning we got up before daybreak for a boatride down the Ganges alongside the funeral ghats. When we returned to our hotel we found that our balcony had been taken over by the Bollywood film star Rani Mukkerjee who was making her latest film 'Banti aur Babli' on the love seat on our balcony! We had to tread over film gear and technicians in order to make it back to our rooms and grab our bags for our next adventure. To avoid the crowds at the front door we were hustled out the back to our waiting cab. But we celebrities are used to that.
Who knows what adventures you will have at the Ganges View?
Unique Quality: Only recently converted from a private residence, the 100-year-old guest house retains a convivial charm. Each of the 13 rooms is individually decorated with antique furniture. The roof terrace is ideal for watching the sun rising and setting over the river. Ask for room nine, complete with frescoed ceiling and private balcony. Book ahead due to popularity.
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