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“Best service and cozy rooms, sincere owner” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Gaia's Garden Guest House

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Gaia's Garden Guest House
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Auroville Rd, Auroville 605101, India   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 15 Auroville B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence 2014
New Delhi, India
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Best service and cozy rooms, sincere owner”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014

I and my kids used to stay at Gaia's since in 2008. There are a big, beautiful garden and atmosphere is much different with other GH. For my family, we fully enjoyed it. specially My 2 kids felt comfortable like home. Kireet and Gaya , they are always sincere and try to offer the best service. I recommend here one of the best place in AUROVILLE.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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49 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Chennai (Madras), India
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2014

The rooms are spacious and the staff (there was only one when we went) was courteous.

It is a bit away from the road, so make sure you have a car when you go. The internet didn't work whole day when we were there though. The room was split into a hall and a bedroom and there was an AC inside. You also have a small kitchen with utensils for cooking.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vlaardingen, The Netherlands
Top Contributor
144 reviews 144 reviews
57 hotel reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
169 helpful votes 169 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2014

If you come to Auroville for the philosophy of Mother and Sri Aurobindo, then this guesthouse is exactly the opposite of their philosophy!
We have been coming here several times for months, in the last couple of years. But the atmosphere has changed completely! The owners Kireet and Gaia are only interested in money and they treat their staff shamefully bad, the words “equality and humanity” are totally unfamiliar to them. Kireet is not running the guesthouse anymore, his wife Gaia has taken over and she is unprofessional, rude and has no idea what she is doing. In the 6 weeks time we spent there, most of the guest had fights with Gaia, left very angry and had problems with their bills. Overall in Auroville she is known for her rude, greedy and very unpleasant behavior.

The garden is beautiful though and the guesthouse is very nice looking, with large terraces. Rooms are decent and clean, but hot and noisy due to the water pump, and the top rooms are noisy due to the terraces.They have ac rooms, but during the regular power cuts the ac will not work. There is always hot water and power they have solar, all rooms have a nice view. The staff is very friendly and helpful. They do their best, but their hands are tight due to the owners. Meals are not provided, but they have a kitchen you can use.
It is quite far located from everything and you need transportation. Be careful along the road, recent attacks have happened; especially when it is dark it is very unsafe for women! And they become more frequent.

Besides this, there is no service at all. Internet is poor, slow, and they switch it off all the time, especially in the evening/night. There is no wifi in the guesthouse or the rooms, and it is only available on the top terrace. Although they offer you free internet, at the same time they tell you that you should go to an Internet café. Also no phone reception inside your room, or inside the guesthouse, you have to walk outside in the garden.
They don’t clean your room, you have to pay for this. Also no free laundry service, or even toilet paper, soap hand towels etc. Keep a good record of all your laundry/cleaning bills, because many guest had problems with this.
Mattresses are a nightmare, they simply won’t replace them and everybody complained about this. If you ask for better ones, Gaia ignores you first, or says: do you know how much new mattresses cost! Later on you will hear that you were complaining. If you really have bad ones, bad luck and you have to wait till other people check out, so you can take the mattresses from that room.
Check out time is 10am, if your flight is at 2pm, even though you've stayed for weeks or months, they don’t care, and you have to pay the full rate for that day, nice.
It is very noisy! A temple is nearby, so if you are unlucky, like us, you will be facing weekS of loud music, starting from 5 am till 24:00.
They have 3 huge dogs, so do the neighbors, and they let them bark, starting at 06:30am. Especially when Kireet is not there, Gaia lets them bark for hours. A lot of other wild dogs are in the neighborhood, very irritating. We have been to different places within AV, but only faced this problem in Gaia’s Garden.
Next to the guesthouse there is a private house, first this was a brothel, but the new renters scream for hours a day!
They don’t control the chipmunks, they are in and on the guesthouse, nests everywhere, they will wake you up at 5:30, and they are like car alarms that go on forever. Everybody complained. Kitchen equipment needs some serious replacements. Everybody complained. But they are not interested to do anything about this, because that will cost money and some effort.

In our case, our bill mentioned a lower amount than we actually paid, because they don’t want to pay Indian taxes. They also want you to pay in cash, and not to transfer it to their AV account, which is standard in AV?

They didn’t inform us that there would be heavy renovations going on, but instead let us pay a full month ahead. We got a discount because it was low season and we paid ahead. Later they said that this was due to the renovation? This was untrue; we would never have stayed if they had told us that we would be facing weeks of hacking into bathrooms right above us, heavy construction at the cottage, dirt everywhere and construction men for weeks. They lied about everything, and when we confronted Gaia, she ignored us, didn't talk to us anymore and didn't want to give us another room for the day, so we were forced to leave for weeks during the day. When we asked Kireet when the renovations would be really over, Kireet became very aggressive, shouting and screaming! They don't recognise you as paying guests, they treat you like their employees, you should simply pay and shut up. We know them for years and we were shocked and wanted to leave, but Gaia also refused to give us back our money for the remaining days. Unbelievable how they not only treated us, but also the rest of the guests and their staff.

What a shameful behavior! We will never come back to this guesthouse

Room Tip: The top rooms have terraces around them, so people will be sitting around your room. Two rooms have...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gerard J, Owner at Gaia's Garden Guest House, responded to this review, August 10, 2014
We can understand their frustration, since we asked them to leave Gaia's Garden Guesthouse. We know it's very unusual, especially in the off-season. We took a hard decision in order to make our place again a quiet and peaceful atmosphere among guests and the staff.

We received several embarrassing complaints from our Indian guests and the staff about their behavior and a personal insulting experience.

Every end of the year we checked the condition of the mattresses. The long monsoon would make them moldy. We changed altogether 10 mattresses in this time.
When they arrived they demanded our staff to change the mattress from another room. I told them I couldn't ask our guests to change the mattress and their mattress was 3 years old. One of the other guests exchanged the mattress with them, she told us later that their mattresses was actually quite alright. Nevertheless we felt sorry for her, so we bought new mattresses for them.
This has happened already before another stay and also then we gave them new mattresses.

One night Tessa went to the room of another guest, complaining about noise and talk. The guest came to us in the morning and told us he only shifted the bed before going to bed. They came for their daughter's exam in the Pondy University and needed a good night sleep themselves.

They patronized a young Indian couple, regular guests of Gaia's Garden, about kitchen equipment. There were two electronic kettles in the main kitchen and the couple had just taken one in the room. Since she was a pregnant, he wanted to boil the water in the room. He started cooking for his wife although he wasn't familiar with kitchen work. The couple felt so embarrassed that they stopped coming to us..

Gaia's Garden Guest house does not belong to us personally: It's a service unit of Auroville. Their bill was issued and we gave the original bill to them. They are mostly welcome to collect the copy from us or from the Auroville Auditor. They took the Aurocard. We sent a mail please to return, which didn't happen yet.

In the guest letter we clearly stated that our check in time and check out time. if our guests want to stay longer, he/she has been always welcome to stay in the living room or one of the terraces except the room. We have to clean the room for the next guests. For a longer stay in the room we charge the half day.

From the first year onward every Summer we have been doing maintenance work for the guesthouse. Each room and the contents of the room will be taken care of for at least a week. We do not only clean the room but also paint, polish, etc. The new interiors for the room, or the fabric related maintenance are generally taken care in the end of November, after monsoon. While we do the maintenance work of the bathroom, mistakenly a mason broke down the toilet. It took longer than we expected. The other hand there were more beautiful tiles and new toilets were available.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2014

We have been to Gaia's Garden, last one being in June last year. Its situated at a quiet corner of Auroville and provides a lovely atmosphere to stay and just relax. The garden's around are beautifully maintained and provide a lovely opportunity to click snaps.The location is bit away from Matrimandir but located nearby to the beach and eateries. We stayed in the cottage and it was in a separate building and provided a homely feeling.

I would recommend this to anyone who just wants to have a quiet relaxing holiday in Auroville.

Room Tip: Select the Studio/Cottage for the stay
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bengaluru (Bangalore), India
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2014

A beautiful place to be in when you are in Auroville. Located in a silent corner of Auroville and very close to Matrimandir an excellent choice for stay when you are in Pondicherry. The beach is in close proximity and a short drive.

Room Tip: Take rooms on Ground Floor or go for an A/C room.
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bengaluru (Bangalore), India
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2014

We visited this place during the week of mother's birthday. Place is really nice. Rooms are clean and spacious. They have beautiful garden surrounding the building. The place is a bit far from matrimandir and you will need bike. But new creation pizzeria, auroville bakery, etc are within two KM range.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bengaluru (Bangalore), India
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2014

Travelled to Gaia's in Jan 2012 (not able to select this date though in Tripadvisor UI, probably since it's quite some time back) and was amazed with the ambiance of this place, the peace, quietude and greenery around. The houses are built with great care, the furniture is carefully chosen, the rooms are cozy, the interiors airy. The garden is beautiful with a wide variety of flora and fauna, very well maintained, and single handedly maintained by Kireet, the amazingly warm and sweet host. Thank you Kireet for hosting us with extending such wonderful hospitality! We look forward to coming back to Gaia's soon - with a new member added to our lil family now - my lil daughter :)

Room Tip: Any room that fits you and your pocket is equally good.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gaia's Garden Guest House

Address: Auroville Rd, Auroville 605101, India
Location: India > Union Territory of Pondicherry > Auroville
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 15 B&Bs / Inns in Auroville
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 10

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