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“A complete experience!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Mitali Homestays

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Mitali Homestays
Ranked #3 of 25 Santiniketan B&B and Inns
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A complete experience!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 July 2013

We visited Shantiketan in late June with hopes to better familiarize ourselves with Bengali literary roots.
What we found at Mitali was a transportation back to an era bygone reminiscent of Bengali 'adda' culture. The welcoming, attentive hosts Mr.Dey and Ms.Sukanya have deep roots in the community and were a wealth of information helping us plan our stay in the area. When not exploring the university grounds and surroundings, hours were enjoyed over tea in memorable conversations with the peripatetic Mr.Dey. The time spent there has left an everlasting impression in our hearts and minds. Mitali and Shantineketan will forever hold very special importance to us.

As for the amenities the moorish style villa welcomes social interaction with its open rooms. Bookcases filled with interesting reads encourage immersion in the Bengali culture. The morning breakfasts and evening meals were had surrounded by the sounds and smells of the happily situated flora and fauna on the spacious rooftop outfitted with a covered dinning area and full kitchen. The hosts were very attentive to our desire to explore Bengali cuisine and we thoroughly enjoyed the creative fare.

On a visit to Shantinekthan, Mitali is full of character and is the only place to stay. It is a welcoming jewel upholding Tagore's vision of the phrase 'Where the world makes a home in a single nest.'

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Vagabond1985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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86 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (24)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
delhi
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 June 2013

we read all the reviews about this hotel on tripadvisor and decided to visit shantiniketan only for THIS hotel(hard to believe but true!), foolish as we were. On our behest, they sent a car to the railway station to pick us up. The car was an old, dilapidated ambassador which quite predictably, broke down midway. We waited for half an hour in the sweltering heat before the driver was able to repair it and take us to mitali. When we arrived, the caretakers Keya and her husband came to receive us at the entrance and we were shown our suite. Each of us(we were a family of 4) were given a glass of sherbet and then we went for lunch which was delicious. In the evening we ordered tea but they had nothing, not even a few biscuits to offer with it even when we were willing to pay. Dinner was as good as lunch. So far, so good. Next day, at breakfast, we were given 2 slices of bread each along with 4 slices of papaya, 4 glasses of grape juice and jam. According to thhem, this was continental breakfast! When we had spoken to them before going to mitali, they had told us that we would get whatever dish we wanted, no matter which cuisine it belonged to- thai, mediterranean, french and of course, indian(in their words)! And mind you this so-called continental breakfast cost us Rs 1000/-!!! it wasn't complimentary and for a place like shantiniketan, we were paying 5500/- + tax per night which did not include breakfast!!At lunch, they had very few dishes on offer and same for dinner!! They had made FALSE PROMISES when we asked them several questions before going to shantiniketan.They did not even give us a bill and on being forced gave a computer print-out to us, clearly to EVADE TAXES. They know how to cheat at all levels. The so-called kitchen in the suite did not even have a gas stove/burner, cylinder, utensils, etc. The bathroom was poorly maintained with no one to clean it daily. Ditto for the 2 rooms in the suite. In the 4 days that we stayed there, it was cleaned only once! Plus, the room is FULL of insects, lizards, etc. The beds have bed bugs which don't let you sleep peacefully. So don't commit the same mistake as us. Review all the farmhouses etc and choose the best one, although this claims to be the best one(SHOCKINGLY!)! Go to shantiniketan if you want to be close to nature and experience village life. But please don't go in June-July because if you do, you'll have no better option than locking yourself up in an air-conditioned room because the humid weather will suck your life out. Take the best decision for yourselves BY yourselves. Good Luck!

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
13 Thank TRUTHDelhi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ulysses28, Owner at Mitali Homestays, responded to this review, 30 June 2013
This review has left us totally bemused, as well as disheartened and disappointed. Bemused because we cannot recall these guests who claim to have visited us in July 2012 (and why an angry review a year later?) either from memory or our own records. Moreover, the so-called facts cited do not correspond to our own reality, rates or arrangements. The Suite has a combined rate for two rooms, a bathroom, kitchen and private terrace of Rs. 4,000 per night with full English (not continental) breakfast included for 3 adults, plus a 5% state tax. If a 4th adult is added, an extra charge of Rs. 500 per night is sometimes added, partly for the bed and partly in order to pay for the extra breakfast and refreshments during the day. According to the reviewer, we were charging them Rs. 6,500 per day plus tax for the Suite, which is inconceivable. I would like to see a copy of the printed bill we were supposed to have given them at the end which reflects this rate. Other facts that I contest:

* We were never informed of the breakdown of any car sent (presumably through a third party) to receive them
• Charges for each kind of cuisine vary and are specified in advance. What “false promises”?
• We do not have bedbugs anywhere in Mitali, but some insects and lizards are part of the Indian housing experience in most locations, rural more than urban We have three cleaners who ensure that every room and bathroom is cleaned thoroughly on a daily basis
• The kitchen in the Suite is fully equipped whenever guests express their desire to do their own cooking there, at no additional expense
• We make fully-transparent payments of the 5% luxury taxes on room rents to the State authorities

We are disheartened and disappointed because we put all our focus on looking after our guests to the best of our professional and personal abilities (the essence of a “homestay” as opposed to a hotel or guest house), and yet, according to the reviewer, we were doing the opposite.
In contradiction to what is implied, we solicit and welcome frank feedback from all our guests on any shortcomings and room for improvement. What is being done in this review, however, is character assassination and casting personal aspersions as well as indicating mala fide criminal intent: …. “they know how to cheat at all levels”…. “false promises” …”clearly to evade taxes”, all in capitals to attract maximum attention. All this, we believe, is unacceptable in a review for a site that has such global reach, and therefore carries the potential for significant and long-term business damage. The review also reflects poorly on the reliability of Trip Advisor as a much-used and objective source of travel advice that hosts serious traveler reviews of accommodation and its quality.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 June 2013

I have been to Shantiniketan multiple times we love to go back to Shantiniketan at least once every six months..... This visit will remain the best till date.Thanks to Mitali, Mr Dey and Ms Sukanya to make it so special. We loved everything ...the ambience , the tastefully done rooms ,fantastic food, the warmth and care made us promise to come back again and stay with you. I have stayed in few home stays but you have taken this to a different level just by adding the extra care and warmth. Will love to come back and spend more time just talking to you and sharing your experience.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank SaubhikM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cromarty, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 May 2013

We spent an enchanting 3 days with Krishno and Sukanya. They were attentive, interesting and informative hosts. It is a lovely property within easy reach of Shantaniketan. We used bikes to cycle to the campus and along country lanes. Krishno is a veritable treaure trove of Bengali culture and contemporary politics. Sukanya provided us with the best Bengali food we tasted all trip, eating on the roof top. She also designs beautiful clothes which we were pleased to see and purchase. They kindly arranged for some local 'Baul' singers to come round to the house, who were tremendous muscians. Another night we had dinner with a famous Indian sculptor. We both felt our holidays had been enhanced by our stay, and would strongly reccomed it to anyone who is interested in Shantaniketan and Bengali culture.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank simon e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ulysses28, Owner at Mitali Homestays, responded to this review, 7 May 2013
It is such a pleasure to host guests such as this doctor couple who came to Shantiniketan and Mitali full of their own knowledge and reading of Tagore, open to new suggestions and brimming with curiosity about all aspects of our local life and customs, nature and its bounty. There could hardly have been a greater contrast from the serene beauty of the Scottish Highlands to the eroded plains of Birbhum in mid-Summer. Yet they visibly enjoyed every minute of their stay, cycling everywhere and to the surrounding villages when they were not exploring the various corners of the Mitali property. We felt at the end of their all-too brief three days that we had made new friends and memories to treasure.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kolkata (Calcutta), India
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 March 2013

Based on the Trip Advisor's feedback, I selected Mitali for accommodation during Basanta Utsav 2013. We stayed there for two nights and disappointed with most of the things. Mitali has a shortage of staffs and is not thoroughly professional. They don't have adequate infrastructure to cater to the needs of the customers. We booked an AC room and found that AC was not working. They attributed the problems to voltage fluctuation and said 'this is the first time such thing happened'. Actually, they don't have a generator to support AC during voltage fluctuation. When we reached the place, the owner (Mr. Krishno Dey) advised us not to run AC continuously for more than one hour. He further added that too much consumption of AC may warrant additional charge!!! Although, we did not get the opportunity to run AC uninterruptedly for one hour and suffered miserably. We strongly asserted our discontent, which led them to change our room for day 1 (as it was vacant at that time) and there also AC was operational for one hour only. The second day we had to suffer entire night without AC as no other room was available. Furthermore, on Day 1 during dinner Mr. Dey met us and expressed that if we were not happy, we might consider discontinuing our stay!!! This was really shocking to us.

They gave us a discount of Rs. 1000 for deplorable service but that was not enough to compensate our plight on a holiday trip during Basanta Utsav.

Other services were also rudimentary. Tea was served in our room, and the support staffs took 24 hours to clear that (with repetitive requests).

Food was comparatively better though not extraordinary. After coming back I heard from one of my relatives that one year back when they visited Mitali situation was no better.

It was our mistake to take a decision based on travel site’s review only.

I will never go back to Mitali or recommend to anyone.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank nbmb72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ulysses28, Owner at Mitali Homestays, responded to this review, 5 April 2013
We have noted the comments carefully and will do what we can to act on the issues attracting criticism. To understand the context, we have to state that “Mitali” is the only Homestays in the entire area, with our own pioneering attempts at introducing agro- and eco-tourism on a modest scale, rather than trying to compete with the facilities (including large and polluting diesel generators) of the much larger hotels in the zone. Very few people who come to us have any experience of Homestays, and this sometimes leads to false expectations, despite all that we do to spell out the differences on our website and through prior correspondence. Since four-fifths of this review is devoted to the issue of inadequate air-conditioning, our response focuses on this issue.

It needs saying that Shantiniketan is a rural setting, and does not enjoy the same infrastructure support of a city like Kolkata. Unfortunately, particular ‘celebration days’ such as ‘Dol’ or ‘Basanta Utsab’ have so much media hype surrounding them that there is a mad frenzy of tourist activity on those few days which far exceeds the electricity and water service capabilities of little Shantiniketan. Not just Air Conditioners, but even the power required to pump up underground drinking water, simply cannot cope with the excessive demand. Seeing the situation on March 26, we had to take the extreme step of advising those who had made bookings several months ahead for the actual festivity date of the 27th not to come, and that was our misunderstood suggestion to these guests as well. All we could do in partial recompense was to offer another room for one night and reduce the rent substantially for the second. We ourselves as owners, and all the other guests staying at Mitali at that time, had to suffer the same heat-coping problems as these guests (including the drastic rationing of A/C use by rotation), and this was a collective response, in the best possible spirit of cooperation, to a problem simply and obviously far beyond “Mitali’s management control.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Baroda
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 March 2013

Our daughter recommended this place for our short visit to Shantiniketan.Mr Dey sounded so formal when I booked our stay but when we met him and Sukanya we got a warm welcome and they made our stay memorable whether talking about his days at UN or Bengal politics or Rabindra music.They had arranged a lovely lunch for us on our arrival and all our meals were special ones-we felt our time with them was not enough.they helped us in arranging our tour of Santiniketa and made sure that we had excellent brunch before we took our return train to Kolkata-that concern was touching.We have to visit again for at least three days.Deys have very nice bungalow with good garden and beautiful surroundings.

Room Tip: All rooms are good
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  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mehtas1939
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 January 2013

We stayed for just one night over Christmas 2012 and wish that we had stayed longer. The hosts were so welcoming and knowledgeable, with excellent food, and an unexpected performance by a group of Bauls in the evening. Hopefully we will be back for longer. Highly recommended

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank laxdaela
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mitali Homestays

Property: Mitali Homestays
Address: Phuldanga | off the Taltore Road, Santiniketan 731235, India
Region: India > West Bengal > Santiniketan
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 25 B&Bs / Inns in Santiniketan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This is an exclusive property (villa) in the Shantiniketan area and guests receive highly personalised attention and service in spacious, natural surroundings. Dining is a speciality, and all meals with accommodation are also available. The emphasis is on maintaining a peaceful and unpolluted base for relaxation. As a Homestay with the owners in residence, care is exercised with the process of guest admission. ... more   less 

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