I think its very important for tourists who visit Varanasi to manage their expectations of the creature comforts that they will find in this most holy, ancient Hindu city. Varanasi as a whole has severe problems with garbage clearance, poor sewage, drainage and over-congested roads. These are not problems that a hotel individually can overcome. Given this background, Suryauday Haveli is a great hotel choice in Varanasi as it is located right on the banks of the river Ganges. The rooms are simple but clean and comfortable. Its is true that the windows facing the river are small and low but this is because the haveli itself is a heritage building that cannot be changed dramatically.
I am Indian and I stayed at this hotel for 2 nights in January 2014 with my partner who is German. We found the staff to be helpful and accommodating. For example, the hotel has a simple rooftop that faces the Ganges and when we asked if we could have our lunch served there on one of the days, the hotel staff readily arranged it. We also had dinner in the hotel on the night we arrived and the food was tasty. The nice things is that dinner is accompanied by live Indian classical music performances which were of a good standard.
The hotel also arranges a complimentary sunset boat ride to see the evening aarti (or prayer ceremony). This is really a beautiful experience and should not be missed. We saw the evening aarti again the next day as part of a private tour in another boat but it wasn't as nice as the experience we had with the hotel's boat. So do enjoy it if you can.
- 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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