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Palace on Ganges
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Reviews (421)
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Reviewed 31 March 2014

We stayed at this property for 2 nights at the end of March. We booked a double and a triple room. What a difference between the claims on the website versus the reality. The location is good as it faces the southernmost ghat of Varanasi but the view is only available from a couple of rooms. We were offered rooms towards the back of the hotel with windows looking into a wall. After much discussion and being told that none of the river view rooms are available we were offered better rooms at extra tariff. Wifi had to be purchased which is ridiculous given the tariff. Breakfast was included and was decent. We did not try the hotel restaurant for other meals. The hallways and verandas could use ceiling fans. No elevator. Approach to the hotel unimpressive.
Overall not worth the price at all.

Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
3  Thank Awahi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2014

Our expectations were so low for Palace on Ganges, given other trip advisor comments, that we were pleasantly surprised!
Some of the missteps seemed just funny… after expecting a visit to Varanasi would be a trip to hell and back , we were pleasantly surprised!
Upon arriving at the hotel, having been told by my extremely competent tour arranger ,who lives in India and spoke with the hotel directly,that it was "first come first served" on the pick of rooms, none could be held in advance ,hence asking for a room "with a Ganges View" depended on one's timing… we were quickly assured by the front desk that this is NOT the case… one has to ask it advance for those good rooms… who knows? Who cares… we had gotten there ,surviving the traffic, with no "Delhi Belly" and ALIVE... and we were expecting nothing anyway. We were shown two rooms and asked to pick… the somewhat glamorous big room at the front of the Hotel "The Colonial" or a dark little one on floor two called "Assam" with two twin beds.and almost no room. We chose the "Assam" room… mainly because of fear of night street noise, and the porter agreed with us. It was fine…. not sure if it had any light , but we were looking for sleep and peace and quiet and that's what we got.
We instantly booked massages and had one each day of our two day stay. I can tell you they were very good, better than the ones we had later on in our trip at the Imperial Hotel in Delhi, and good value too.
We liked the hotel staff… they actually really made us laugh ,by making up our beds using our P.J.s, bathrobes,and baseball cap to create "people " lying on top of the bed…. quite amusing!!! and original!!!
The next thing I liked was the quaint ambiance… Old sepia pictures of important spiritual leaders who have come to Varanasi over the years line the hallways… quite charming.
When we woke up at 6 am the next morning we found the front desk fellow sound asleep on the sofa in the entryway area… I guess you could call this a negative… we thought it was funny, since we were sure we staying in "The Marigold Hotel" look alike,anyway.
Now, just so you don't think this review is too kind, I will say the floor where the "spa" and breakfast room was,was pretty dirty, the bathroom in the massage room was truly a wreck.…. I have a feeling that everyone tracks in dirt every day from the dirt road outside and they just can't keep up with it…. the other floors upstairs were cleaner… but you would think they might try and keep the breakfast room and massage area clean.
Food wise , I wouldn't dare have dinner there ,after some of the Tripadvisor comments, so we headed next door twice to the good pizzeria located a few steps away. We also went to The Aum cafe for lunch and lassis, and enjoyed chatting with other tourists/western students.
The point of this review is to make you feel better if you book here… the location is great, and if you are going to go all the way to Varanasi to experience the spirituality of the "Holy Mother Ganges" you want to be close to the action, not fighting traffic all the time by staying where the tour groups do out in the "Cantonment" area. We loved Varanasi for many reasons, and staying at The Palace on The Ganges was fine for two nights.

Room Tip: You can try to ask for one with a view in advance… who know's if it will work… we like our dark nest called "Assam" for quiet/good sleeping.
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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3  Thank HSDTheBerkshires
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2014

My friend and I stayed here for two days. We had two different rooms during our stay. They were both very clean with an A/C, but no free Wi-fi. The rooms had a nice size bathroom and standard beds. We liked the ambiance of the hotel and how each room had a different theme. The restaurants were nice and the food was good.

The bellman and cleaning staff were very professional. They even delivered check-in drinks.

The issue we had with this hotel staff was the front desk staff. I had called several times prior to our arrival to make sure the reservation was confirmed and fine, and on both occasions they hung up on me. When we arrived, they told me I only had a reservation for one night, and then they dismissed me. However, I kept asking them to check, and reluctantly they checked again and then they told me I had two nights. Once that issue was resolved, I asked to modify the reservation and I was told that I could not. They would not even try to accommodate, they just dismissed me.

Upon check- out, I asked the guy at the front desk for my receipt. He told me that he would only give me my receipt after I wrote comments about my stay there. He handed me a piece of paper and pen and stood over me while I wrote. I told him I wanted my receipt first, and he told me no. I had to insist. He reluctantly gave me my receipt.

We had other friends staying within walking distance and others at other ghats. Our hotel was extremely overpriced.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a view of the Ganges River
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Nikki H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2014

We stayed here for 5 nights. There was a mix up with our room, which meant the first night was in a room with a wall 1 m away from the window. After complaining to our tour agent we were offered the room right at the top of the hotel. It has a private balcony, with a wonderful view of the Ganges. However the room was very small with no hanging space. We were told that it was originally a suite with a room above but due to it being a heritage building the local authorities made them take it down. We were however happy to take this room as being at the top it was the quietest room. Our fist night being unbearable due to the walls being paper thin. The down side was that we had to climb 108 steps to reach it !! My real complaint however was the dining room. It is very dark and grim. There is really no character at all. The table linen was filthy as were the uniforms of the waiting staff. Having said that we ate there every night choosing al la carte, hoping it was the safest option. And we had no problems. I believe that this hotel is getting away with high prices and sloppiness purely because of its location and the fact that it's visitors are transient. There are I believe plans for a larger hotel to refurbish one of the many empty buildings along the ghat. If that happens this hotel will be forced to up its game. I would suggest however they should do that anyhow. As with a previous review I would also recommend they replace the bed linen. The bed sheets were like sandpaper. Should also say that unfriendly staff became much more friendly with each tip.

Room Tip: Room 302 right at the top, bearing in mind the 108 steps !!
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank karmabuddha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 March 2014

This hotel is incredibly shabby and run down. The shower was cracked and chipped. The loo flush was not strong enough, no plug etc etc. It was incredibly noisy with every noise in the hotel heard. The roof top restaurant was out of action and the basement dining room was the most cheerless and depressing place to sit. Service slow albeit amiable. One night more than enough

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Chris W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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