We booked a room at Hotel Raj initially, but when checking in, were directed to their more expensive sister hotel, Aura. We were also shown a room in the Raj, and it was nice as well. However, Aura is a slightly more upmarket than the Raj, so we were quite happy with the upgrade.
The room: We stayed one night in a room without a window (decoration-wise very pleasant room, also), but asked for a room with a window the next day, which the staff provided without any hesitation. (A good thing abt a windowless room is that they are absolutely free of any street noise - a hint for those allergic to signs of life...) The second room was quite a bit larger but had a strong cigarette smell which I couldn't tolerate, Again, our request of getting another room was fulfilled without any grunting. Must say I very much appreciated the helpfullness and professionalism of the staff in customer service (something that can be lacking in Indian hotels of this price range). So having seen three rooms of this establishemnt, I can say all the rooms are very nice with lcd-tvs, wooden flooring, etc., almost of the standard of some five-star establishments. (I've also stayed at Taj and Radisson in Delhi, and their standard rooms are of quite the same standard, except for bathroom amenities, cleaning etc, but then again, we paid just $25/20e for a night, so the value for money is pretty unbeatable). Other pluses: Complimentary water bottles are provided every day, and a small buffet breakfast is included in the room price (nothing super fancy but perfectly adequate with eggs prepared to your taste, cereals, curd, fruit, toast, and the Indian fare; anything else we asked for were always provided, and the staff is fabulous). Also worth mentioning: the pictures in the web represent the rooms well, so you get what you see. The only negative feedback I'd give about the rooms is that the level of cleaning leaves a tiny bit to be desired, but definitely nothing serious. And again, if you mention about your grievances, the staff will definitely correct it.
Bathrooms: Bathrooms have attractive tiles, a separate shower cubicle and bathroom toiletries, including a toothbrush kit etc., which is extremely uncommon in Indian hotels of this price range.
Food: We were happy with the breakfast, and tried room service as well. Food is fine but as always in hotels, slightly on pricy side (especially comparing with what you get in the restaurants nerby). There's a great veg Punjabi place opposite Ajanta, their food is superb and prices very 'Indian'.
Location: We've also stayed in Karol Bagh but while it has its advantages of being green-ish and les touristy than Paharganj, we do prefer Paharganj for the location and a good range of budget accomodations (plus if you want the touristy nick-nack it's easily available, as well as restaurants providing western-ish food if getting tired of subji and paratha). Arakashan road is nice option for those who want to escape the floads of tourist in the Paharganj main bazaar but still want to enjoy the convenience of Paharganj. While some reviewers complain about the location (street being noisy, dirty, whatever), Arakashan road is quite a usual street near a railway station (meaning it ain't a diplomatic enclave but perfectly regular Indian environment, safe and with a nice local touch to it; and do remember, you opted to come to India in the first place so don't expect a Trafalgar Sqr). I assume the complainers don't have much experience in travelling in India, or have previously just stayed at beachside resorts. Shortly, don't be put off by location criticism!
This was our third stay in Paharganj, and previously stayed at Hotel New Delhi City Center (a sister hotel of Ajanta). The price there was same but without breakfast (charged separately rs 280 per person) and the room much much simpler, nothing to talk about in the same sentence (decorations, bathroom etc.)! Also, while we were happy with the service at City Center on our first stay, the establishment has quite a few issues with their customer service, and must say I was unhappier with every stay untill finally decided would not stay there again. The only downside I can actually think of is that they don't have a free internet access in the premises (apart from free wifi advertised on the website), but we were let to use the intenet at the travel desk. Also, there are cyber cafes nearby so this isn't much of an issue.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Facilities and ambiance of Hotel Aura enchants the business and the leisure traveler alike the luxurious lifestyle experiences for you. Hotel Offers facilities like laundry services, doctor on call, fax, e-mail & Wi-Fi Internet facilities, elevator facilities, money changer, mini-bar in rooms, travel desk and uninterrupted power supply. Besides these hotel is also facilitated with Gym, Massage Services and Spa, Steam & Sauna Bath , Parking Facility. ... more less
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