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“on the Ghats”

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Suryauday Haveli - An Amritara Resort
Ranked #3 of 76 Hotels in Varanasi
Certificate of Excellence
Singapore, Singapore
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“on the Ghats”
Reviewed 30 October 2012

this is a nice boutique hotel, directly at the famous Ghats. Location is perfect to experience the life and death around the Ganges. It is not easy to find and cars cannot quite drive to the hotel entrance but this does make it even more special. I think the place has only 12 rooms, most overlooking the Ghats. They have a small vegetarian restaurant (no alcohol) and Indian life music in the evenings in the court yard garden. Easy to explore the Ghats and the little alleys from this hotel which is a little jewel in the middle of the chaos.

Room Tip: I had the backroom with no views but it did not matter so much since one can always get on the rooft...
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  • Stayed October 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Kuno K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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482 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (163)
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Australia
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 September 2012

The hotel is small and has a charming feel.
The rooms are average - clean and comfortable.
Breakfast was unfortunately a bit below par but ok.
The staff whilst not trained to a 5 star level none the less, could not have tried any harder to please and did a wonderful job.

But its the location that is simply perfect!
Arriving by the hotel boat, or weaving your way through the tiny laneways you will have no option but to be immersed in 'old Varanasi'.

No matter where you choose, be it from your (ask for) river view room, the open roof top, or the balcony that runs the entire front of the hotel, you can sit and watch the Ganges and its people from sunrise to sunset.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank spearham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gettysburg, PA
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 September 2012

First of all--Varanasi in one of the most emotional places we have ever encountered! This hotel helps you to experience this city. They were most accommodating with anything we needed to enhance our stay. The location is absolutely perfect! It couldn't be better! They offer many services while staying with them. We enjoyed a morning yoga class on the top floor terrace, an emotional boatride (evening and morning) up and down the great river Ganga, and smiles all day and night! Thanks so much to each and every one of your employees for making our trip so very memorable! Cheers to Life's Travels from all of us here at Endless Earth Travel!

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank oliverGettysburg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Zealand
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 September 2012

This hotel is over-price but the location can’t be beaten. Just don’t expect 5-star accommodation or 5-star service. Mediocre is the best description of the facilities and customer service.

The roof-top viewing area gives a birds-eye view of the adjacent Shivala Ghat (steps) and has sweeping views of the Ganges. You can sit on the balcony and watch a fascinating array of activity below. The only access to the hotel is via a maze of narrow pedestrian streets in the old town bordering the river. Cows and water buffalo share the same pathways – which are covered in the smells of India. Everything about the location is authentic.

The guide we had for a day tour (arranged through the hotel) was absolutely fantastic – the best we have ever had. Manoj is a Hindu, born in Varavansi and is a self-taught guide that speaks excellent English (as well as Spanish). He delivered an authentic and respectful description of the sights around the city, from the Hindu temples and silk factories to the ceremonies and burning funeral pyres. Ask for him by name and you won’t be disappointed – just make sure you negotiate your guide’s payment with the hotel up-front. A tip was definitely warranted.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank kiwibmg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Zurich, Switzerland
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 September 2012

We enjoyed our stay at the Suryauday Haveli very much. It is a classy location with very friendly staff. Our rooms had a view to the Ganga. Occasionally you see monkeys run by the window in search of some food. The rooms are nice, AC, hot water, electricity, WiFi working as expected. The atmosphere is peaceful and discreet. There is direct access to the Shivala Ghat and boats if you desire. The hotel offers daily free boat rides to see the cremations and the Ganga aarti. If you wish to hire the boat for a private trip (extra fee) that is possible subject to availability. Anyway you have countless boat operators searching for customers at the ghats. So with a bit of lead time any wish can be accommodated.
On the "land side" you hit the main road along the ghats after a 5 min. walk. Roam freely by foot or succumb to the constant poking of tuk-tuk drivers trying to get a fare. The ride to the airport is quite lenghty (60 - 75 min). But that's the case for all the hotels located at the ghats.
The manager Kedar and his crew go to great lengths to make you feel at home. There is a little welcome ceremony on arrival. If one needs information or help he and his crew are there to help. The hotel belongs to Amritara group, but the staff manages to create the atmosphere of a family-run hotel.

The restaurant serves only vegetarian food (if memory serves me right). It definitely is on the pricey side. Quality is very good and we enjoyed every meal served by the friendly and attentive waiters. So if you are tired and don't want to go out again this will fix you up. There are a couple of restaurants nearby as well which provide good quality at reasonable prices.

Breakfast is rich and caters to western and indian taste. If you manage to get up early you can witness the little puja done every morning in the yard by the lady managing the front desk.

We would stay again in this place.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled on business
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Helpful?
4 Thank LookTouchPhoto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 August 2012

I have lived in India for two years, but I had never seen Varanasi. I figured it was the last important thing I should do. I booked this Haveli because I thought it seemed quaint, charming, and special--well worth the price.

**This is a tourist trap that provides sub-par services for 5 star prices. Avoid, avoid, avoid.**

They charged 1550INR for one airport transfer, when local cabs did the trip for 500INR. When I checked in at 10:00p.m., they took 25 minutes to find my reservation, and insisted that I was actually another foreign girl with a similar sounding name, going so far as to demand proof that I had booked the room. The restaurant was dirty, small, and expensive. I was told upon arrival that the boat rides that were advertised as available for travelers were not due to high waters; I asked if they were offering any alternatives and they said no very harshly, as if I was crazy. I requested a guide for the night Ganga Aarti, because I am a single foreign female, two hours before I would have to leave to attend the event. I entered the reception at 6 p.m. and the main hostess--she has a serious attitude problem--she said she didn't realize I wanted a guide, but the "boatman" was available to take me. She produced the "boatman," who was a 15-16 year old child. Eventually, after I had to plead, she called a guide for me, and I just barely reached the Ganga Aarti in time. The hotel was also unmarked and very hard to find.

Please note that this is not mere cultural differences: I speak Hindi and have lived in India for two years. If I had wanted to stay at a nasty, squalid inn I would have done so for much cheaper than this. The price of their rooms is on par with the Taj Vivanta Bangalore. A British woman, an Australian couple, and some Americans all had similar complaints about this place.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
11 Thank SatyajitRay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Köln
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2012

This hotel is totally overpriced. We paid 145 Euro for one night for a room with riverview and we were have a l lot of things to complain:
- We booked a double bed and got to separate beds
- The wifi didn´t worked nearly the hole time
- The staff wasn´t friendly and not helpful (especially the manager).
They couldn´t say what we should do in varanasi, where to go…
- The room was dirty, sheets and towels also.
- We got small used shampoo and shower gel bottles which were dirty and glued.
- The breakfast was very small. Jam was served in open glasses…so we didn´t eat
anything.
- The hair dryer didn´t worked
- The water plug wasn´t really fixed and so much more things.
- The sink was blocked.
- Airport pickup was overpriced (1550, in agado booking was written something around 800
rupees). We told them but they didn´t wanted to make a lower price.
- The fridge was also very dirty
- The room was very small even if we booked the river view room

On a boat trip we got to know a dutch couple staying in this hotel which was also very unsatisfied (they changed the room without imrpovement 3 times). They asked for beer and the staff lied to the guests. The staff told them that there is a festival and today beer is not allowed. When we went out for dinner 30 minutes later we saw a lot of open alcohol shops and we also had beer during our dinner.

There is only one plus: the view out of the room. It is directly at the ghats, but if you want to eat something in a clean restaurant you need a 30 minutes drive (food at this hotel is also very overpriced and a very small menu). The hotel is located in very small streets, so that a taxi couldn´t reach it directly (5 minutes walk to taxi). We had luck with a taxi company which we could highly recommend (clean car, English speaking, they picked us at the hotel and walked together to the taxi, safe drive, good price). You can contact 0091 542 2208803 or 9336907518.
We are living in delhi since two years and we are travelling a lot. That’s why we booked an expensive hotel. For this high price (they charge more than the double price of Ramadan hotel, Radisson or gateway ganges hotel) we expected more. We were very disappointed and angry even if they were not able to run the basic stuff.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank mlms2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Suryauday Haveli - An Amritara Resort

Property: Suryauday Haveli - An Amritara Resort
Address: Shivala Ghat B - 4/25, Varanasi 221001, India
Region: India > Uttar Pradesh > Varanasi District > Varanasi
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 76 Hotels in Varanasi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Suryauday Haveli - An Amritara Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Suryauday Haveli on Shivala Ghats is a reflection of the spirit of the holy city of Benaras. The Haveli traces its history back to the early 20th century. It was built by the Royal Family of Nepal as a retreat for the aged. Its now been painstakingly put together again to provide the best ghat experience in Benaras. Your stay begins with a 15 minute boat ride upstream along the famous ghats of Benaras to reach the Haveli. The Haveli is also connected by small alleys and streets leading to the Famous Kashi Vishwanath Temple (15 minutes walk). ... more   less 
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