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“Great little place that took me back to my previous rural Bengali experience.”
Review of Mitali Homestays

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Mitali Homestays
Ranked #4 of 25 Santiniketan B&B and Inns
San Antonio, Texas
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great little place that took me back to my previous rural Bengali experience.”
Reviewed 16 October 2013

I recently stayed at Mitali Homestays after reading an older review in the New York Times and I was really impressed. I learned about R. Tagore when during my previous travels to India and when I lived in Bangladesh for a couple of years. Since then, I've been a big fan and always wanted to travel to Shantiniketan. So, I made sure I made it out to Shantiniketan for a quick weekend trip. The owner, Mr. Krishno Dey, was extremely helpful from the first day I emailed him about staying. He provided his availability and rates, guidance on what trains to take, getting a taxi, and what there is to see in town. He also asked about special requests such as diets, etc. I arrived in Shantiniketan on a Saturday afternoon and was provided with a single room when I first arrived and with a good Bengali dish. If you like Bengali food, then Mitali is the place to eat. Mr. Krishno's wife is a great cook and loves to feed her guests. The homestay is a beautiful home with a relaxing atmosphere and is designed to provide a fresh breeze during the day. I quickly became acquainted with Mr. and Mrs. Dey and joined them on a short trip to the local fair/market where there were many arts and crafts vendors. The rest of the night was spent relaxing at the Mitali homestay and then watching an old Bengali film with Mr. Dey. I spent the rest of my weekend riding a bike around town and the Visvas Bharati University. I found some bookshops and local boutiques where I bought some beautiful Bengali art pieces. More importantly, I enjoyed the simplicity. Bengali villages can offer you a very simple and beautiful experience. And, that's what Shantiniketan is all about. If you're tired of visiting the big tourist sites in India and just want to get away from the big cities, then I highly recommend Mitali Homestay in Shantiniketan. You'll get a small taste of the simplicity that Tagore advocated for and have great hosts in the owners of Mitali Homestay. If you just want to be alone, then this is the place to be or if you want to have some good conversations, then this is also the place to be. I'll be going back for sure.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank ParDog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (24)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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English first
Kolkata, India
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 October 2013

I'd read the TripAdvisor reviews on Mitali in lieu of my work as a travel writer and honestly, I just fell in love right then. I think part of our plan to visit Shantiniketan during Durga Puja was about getting away from the incessant city scene and escape into the peaceful abode maintained so well by Mr. Dey, Ms. Sukanaya and their multitude of helping hands.
On arrival we were greeted by the hosts themselves and shown to our room (which was lovely and so homey). There was the presence of the Shantiniketan-y beauty in everything; a lovely sophistication and quiet beauty. Books are one of the main features of this homestay and the range of topics to choose from is neverending. I think I might go on forever if I had my chance, but truth be told, everything about our little trip was memorable. The food was delicious and being a foodie, I was in heaven at getting a chance to taste some really delicious cooking by Ms. Sukanaya. Local ingredients grown in their own farm are used... I have to mention the Mushroom and cheese crepes and the chocolate mousse specially! Ms. Sukanaya has a DesignAsia boutique that we visited and I chose a piece for a dress which was ready before we left. Also worth mentioning are the helping hands, especially Santosh who works with an ever-present smile on his face.
Even our driver was impressed by the entire experience.
The property is spread over so much green that one cannot miss feeling that inherent peace. We were met by the after-effects of Cyclone Phailin, but thankfully missed any lasting effects, except a short power-outage. Not that it was bad, we actually got to sit out in the veranda and revel in the windy awesomeness. I don't see why some people complain really, we have not a single thing to whine about.
We're going back...and this time, we'll be visiting during winter so as to experience the beauty of the local flora and fauna.
Thank you Krishno uncle and Sukanya aunty for letting us experience a bit of heaven!!!!!

Much love - Trisha & the Rudra family

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sapphiredaze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
kolkata
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 September 2013

Mitali homestay is a unique experience- its really home away from home.Enchanting setting with well manicured lawn and beautiful sprawling garden-an array of vegetables, trees laden with fruits, lovely flowers.Every nook and corner is a blend of traditional and modern layout.Rooms are very aesthetically decorated with interesting knick knacks and a huge collection of books belonging to the family.Our hosts erudite Krishno and effervescent Sukanya with her charm and efficiency made our stay very comfortable.Sukanya ‘s culinary skills ranging from our very own Bengali to some great continental cuisine was a delight.Design Asia was a bonus.very nice collection
It was indeed a very exclusive holiday for our family.

Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank padminiraydasgupta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
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
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Helpful?
1 Thank Vagabond1985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
delhi
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
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
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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 3 Contributor
19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
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
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Helpful?
4 Thank SaubhikM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cromarty, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
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
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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
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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 > Birbhum District > 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 #4 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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