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“Grace Cottage - Exotic Heritage”

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WelcomHeritage Grace Cottage Hotel
Ranked #17 of 79 Hotels in Dharamsala
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 20 January 2014

Grace Cottage was an off beat choice for a hotel in Dharamshala as most travel agents seemed to miss out providing this hotel. However, I am glad we went ahead and stayed here. Grace Cottage is not for someone who is looking for a conventional -high luxury- convenient hotel. It has a soul and character that distinguishes itself from the rest. Every wall, every artifact has a story to tell, not a single space that's boring. Though at time it does seem a bit loud, but the royal, unique and exotic rooms and decor makes the stay extremely majestic. We got rooms that lead to a terrace and the view from there was just splendid. We spent an entire evening just watching the gorgeous sunset from there. The staff, though not very polished or the professional butler kinds, were extremely flexible and helpful to ensure we have a comfortable stay. The negatives was the lack of timely power backup when the electricity went off or the lack of telephones in the rooms to reach out to the staff. However, the experience and grandeur the place offered overshadowed the trivial negatives. Highly recommended for thirsty traveler's who like to try a different experience, however family with kids may want to think twice.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank mrenu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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69 - 75 of 115 reviews

Reviewed 21 November 2013

Though the first look of the hotel in terms of its surroundings was a bit scary and made me uncomfortable, I njoyed my stay once I was in it. The rooms were very spacious and had a very ethnic feel to it and the service was good but in winters there could be an issue with availability of hot water in the room. The staff was limited but very helpful and polite. The food spread though not huge was amazing with a very homely touch. Its kind of a home away from home.

Room Tip: The rooms on the back side have a good view but on the front there is nothing much.
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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Thank ravinthakker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 October 2013

This property is full of character and has old world charm....room had great valley view and provides a lovely sun set ....hotel management and staff are extremely nice..I requested for a local chicken cuisine and they obliged me on the next dinner this heritage property is like stsying in a museum

Room Tip: Choose valley facing rooms
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with family
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Thank siddhartha_kant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 September 2013

An interesting hotel building with considerable charm and a great view over the city. It is a converted home and has a great deal of character. When we visited during September one of the unfortunate drawbacks was the marked humidity in all the rooms, right down to the sheets and pillows. Dehumidifiers would greatly increase the comfort of the accommodations. Staff were pleasant but limited English made communication a bit challenging. Service was unpredictable - a request for tea took one hour. Food was adequate but not imaginative or interesting - you would be better going out to the many restaurants available in the city.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Peter M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 June 2013

This was one of my favorite places to stay on a recent trip to India. My girlfriend and I stayed her for four nights, and we both loved everything about Grace Cottage. First of all, it's just a beautiful property, with rich history, and a great deal of character. The room we stayed in was the "Prime Minister of Kashmir" room, and the other rooms have similar designations, depending upon which former dignitary stayed there. Rooms vary from Lord Elgin, the last English viceroy, to the large Mahatma Gandhi suite downstairs, where Gandhi stayed when he passed through the area. It feels like everything you see in this place is either a piece of history or art (or both). There are beautiful Kangra paintings adorning the halls alongside photos and copies of letters from Mahatma Gandhi.

The location is great as well, as it's not set directly in the chaos of McLeod Ganj, while remaining close enough. It's about a 20 - 30 minute drive up to McLeod Ganj from the hotel, so you're close enough that you can get up there during the day, then return to some peace and serenity at night. What's more is that the property is within walking distance to Kotwali Bazaar (about 2 blocks away), the Kangra Art Musuem (a 5-10 minute walk), and some beautiful mountain views. There's also a small, but beautiful temple about 10 minutes away.

The hotel staff are very friendly and helpful. We had some wonderful, and plentiful meals here! The included breakfasts were a mix of an egg dish prepared to order, fresh fruit, cereal, toast, juice, and tea. The lunches and dinners featured several different Indian dishes, all of them delicious, and way more than the two of us could finish.

There was always someone from the attentive staff around, ready to lend a hand if needed, whether for a light snack, or assistance with getting to a nearby location.

We happened to also be around while the owner of the property, Yogi Mahajan, was staying there. He was kind enough to join us for some wonderful discussions, and teach us some new meditation techniques. He also gave us some great advice on some things to do in the area that would fit our tastes.

As for the basic amenities, the room was very tidy, and more than ample for two, including a small living room space, and another area in the back for luggage. They brought in an air conditioning unit, as we stayed during the summer months, but we only needed it on one night. The ceiling fan sufficed for the rest of the time. The balcony outside of room gave us a lovely view of the valley. The wi-fi service in this hotel works exceptionally well, though I can't imagine wanting to spend much time on the internet when you're here, surrounding by so much natural beauty and history.

I can't recommend this place enough. If you have any specific questions about our stay, feel free to contact me. I'd be happy to answer them.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank TimesArrow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 June 2013

Good first impression .....heritage exterior and interiors. As u move around the cozy spaces you know it is an ancestral home converted for commercial use. Interiors are a little in the face but do a good job of projecting family and property legacy. We were booked for 6 nights and were given a room on ground level....didn't like it at all ......very small with an oversized bed.....and a low wall balcony that seemed like a hazard with my 4 year kid around. However were shown a better spacious room on first floor that we liked.....a private balcony with a coffee table was the best part. We visited in June and were disappointed to not have A/C and minibars in the room.
Service ...the less i speak the better. Ancestral home comes with staff that is more like loyal servants converted to serve guests. Forget professionalism even politeness and couteousness comes at a price...you tip them they'll be good else.....get second grade treatment. For the first 4 days dinner tables dont have napkins or other standard condiments and suddenly on 5th day the layout changes to include all these. Was this to impress some VIP in house or what? Aren't there any basic service standards. Welcomgroup better have control over the staff and their compensation/selection and appoint a few supervisors who can bring professionalism and standard to the service.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank ashishsethi1978
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 June 2013

My wife and I stayed at Grace Cottage hotel for one night during our recent Himachal trip. The hotel is an ancestral home and is about 200 years old. The hotel is located in Old Chari road and is quite difficult to locate. The approach road to this property is a tiny lane and we were wondering if any hotel could ever exist on such a road.

Pros:
1. The legacy and the history associated with the ancestral home. My wife and I are those kinda people who love to read and revisit history. We were thrilled to see the memorabilia and souvenir on display. Letter dating way back in early 19th century and photographs of prominent Indian leaders kept us busy throughout the stay
2. The staff were very courteous and were very helpful. We reached around 3 in the afternoon and were pretty hungry. The staff made us fresh vegetables and rotis.
3. Food is pretty cheap.
4. The rooms are pretty big and are designed in an artistic way. The room that we stayed was named as Lord Mountbatten. Each room carried a theme.
5. The bed was comfortable and clean. There were a geyser fixed in the bathroom which provided hot water (Even though we were visiting Dharamshala during summer, the nights/early mornings are pretty cold. one would need a hot shower)

Unfortunately, there ends the pros for this hotel.

Cons:
1. The access road ... the lesser told the better.. we were looking for old Chari road all conveniently overlooked this tiny road 3 times. My wife, I and our driver just did not look into that direction because the road was so narrow that it would have been tough to even navigate a bike let alone a car through that road. After 10-15 mins of hunt, we did saw a small board on the road which read "Grace cottage hotel" . For a moment we were taken aback as to what kinda hotel we would find on this road. Thankfully it did not turn out to be that bad..
2. The rooms need a face lift. Even though they are elegantly designed, the rugs and the furniture look worn out. Just by adding loads of Gold paint one cannot replicate royalty.
3. Bathrooms are way too basic.. no showers, bath tub
4. Credit cards are not accepted. Thankfully I had read this on Tripadvisor and had cash. Else would have had to run around at the time of check out
5. The hotel is a bit quirky. The lighting in the entire hotel was a bit dull for our liking.

May be our expectations were pretty high when we had booked a Welcome Heritage hotel. This was supposed to be one of the best hotels during our entire trip, but turned out to well below our expectations.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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8  Thank Planet_trekker1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about WelcomHeritage Grace Cottage Hotel

Address: 558 Old Chari Road | Kotwali Bazaar, Dharamsala 176215, India
Region: India > Himachal Pradesh > Kangra District > Dharamsala
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #17 of 79 Hotels in Dharamsala
Price Range: £68 - £90 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — WelcomHeritage Grace Cottage Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
WelcomHeritage Grace Hotel is built in traditional hill architecture, the hotel is a 200 year old country manor and a statement of elegance & courtliness against the backdrop of the richly forested Dhauladhar range. Grace Hotel belonged to Late Mehr Chand Mahajan, the first Chief Justice of India and prior to that Prime Minister of Kashmir during the reign of Maharaja Hari Singh. His son, Yogeshwar Mahajan restored his ancestral home and has adapted it to a WelcomHeritage hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
WelcomHeritage Grace Cottage Hotel Dharamsala, India, Asia

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