We were two families on a weekend stay at Kikar Lodge and booked two family suites for 2N3D stay, which included accommodation for 2 Adults and 2 Children less than 12 years on American Plan. We planned our stay on 19th and 20th Oct 2012. We were treated to the worst hospitality and food.
1. We decided to drive from Chandigarh to the Lodge. We were told on the phone that it was very easy reaching the resort as directional signages were placed on many places after we turned left from Ropar. We followed the instructions and yes there was one boards which said Kikar Lodge 30km. But then after that there was no board or sign on the way. We tried calling the phone number mentioned in our booking email for Mr. JS Chopra, which was switched off and no land line number was mentioned in the email. We had to take directions from the people walking/driving around. We got lost and stuck in narrow village roads. Having planned to reach the resort in the afternoon, we managed to reach there at 5:30-6:00pm. The sun had set and it had already started getting dark by then.
2. The resort was very quiet and dead with only one other family staying in. Not only this all the three pools were empty and dead leaves made it look as it has not been cleaned for more than a few days. The passages were not clean and one could see garbage and junk littered on the pathways. Since it was already late and we had missed our lunch we decided to order snacks as all of us were very hungry and tired. To begin with there was no room service menu in the room and was sent to the room only after a couple of call to the front desk. The snacks took forever to come and we were served at 7:30pm. The room service was very slow and they too needed reminders and follow ups. Something as simple as water takes 30-45 minutes to be delivered to your room.
3. At the time of booking we were made to believe that the food would be served and a buffet would be laid out in the restaurant, to our surprise when we walked into the restaurant, no buffet was laid and we were given a very shabby menu to order from the dinner menu. The items we decided from the menu were denied on the grounds that since the occupancy is very low they would not be made available for us. What was available were items which we could have had in any road side eatery on the way. There was only dal, mixed veg, noodles, manchurian and mutton available. We were assured that in the morning the buffet would be laid as more guests are arriving. Tired and exhausted and in the middle of nowhere we had to eat was made available although it didn't seem to be fresh and was very spicy, My kids refused to have food and decided to go to bed with just a glass of milk.
4. The House keeping was requested to make bed and offer the turn down services. To my surprise they had no idea as to what we were asking for. After follow-ups and explanations they agreed to make bed for the children. The make shift sofa-bed which doubles up as an extra bed is the next worst thing to sleeping on the floor. It is made up of two piece cushion and one piece of hard wooden plank measuring 2feet by 5feet each and totalling up to 5feet by six feet floor bed. It is practically impossible to sleep on this thing as the hard wooden board which is part of your make shift bed hurts your shoulders and neck. I have also uploaded the pictures of this extra bed for reference. Not realising the intensity of the situation and the kids amused with the idea of sleeping in the sofa-bed decided to sleep on it. It was the worst decision we made on the trip other than the trip itself. In the morning my younger seven year old daughter woke up to a cramped and bruised shoulder and left arm. We had to call the physiotherapist to help her relax and cure her of the pain. Having slept uncomfortable throughout the night she showed signs of fatigue and pain throughout the day. There was no doctor available on the resort. Luckily for us the only other couple staying at the resort were doctors and he immediately attended to her. I cannot thank them enough for helping me and taking care of my daughter.
5. At night around 10:00pm we realised that one bag was left in the car accidently, my elder daughter and myself decided to get it ourselves as no one was answering the call at the front office/reception. To our surprise on coming out of the room was found out that all the lights including the front office, pathways, periphery, passages and parking were switched off. It was 10:05pm by my watch at that time and no one from the entire resort staff was available or taking calls. Our room was very far away from the parking and to be more precise on the opposite corner of it. We decide to brave the dark with only moonlight to guide us on the passage. There was no security on the resort and since this property is in the forest it was really scary walking in the dark. When this was brought to the notice of the manager in the morning he very casually instructed the front office executive to tell the maintenance person to switch off all the lights after 11:00pm only. This defied all logic as it made no sense to switch off all the lights including that of the pathways and periphery. What would have been more appreciable had he instructed to leave a few critical lights on and switch off the rest to safe energy and at the same time provide freedom and security to the guests.
6. The main attraction for all of us was the Zip Line, so we got up early and confirmed at the Fox Zip Line office about our plan for the adventure and also confirmed that we would be coming in at 12:30pm after we have had our bath and breakfast. Our room number was noted down and we went for our breakfast. To our surprise when we returned as per our commitment we were surprised to find the Fox Zip Line office closed and a board was hung out which said it would open only after 3:30pm. We had also planned zorbing and other adventure activities for the day, but, since these activities are not advisable on a full stomach we simple had to wait till the office reopened.
7. Coming back to the breakfast, once again there was no buffet and we were given a very limited list to order from. The items on the list were Stuffed Parantha, Bread, Jam, Omelette corn flakes and juice. Although there were many items mentioned in the breakfast menu they refused to serve them. The quality of the food served was not up to the mark and even the cheese omelette we ordered was not cooked properly and worst than that one can have at a roadside tea stall.
8. Since we had lot of free time with us and nothing else to do we decided to go for paint ball shooting. I must admit that they do have a large number of markers, but lack on the safety guards and equipments. There are only two overalls for adults with them and also the chest guards and the neck guards available are very ill fitting and of very low grade. They are potentially a risk as one can easily get hurt even while wearing them. Since there are only two overalls for adults, I had to play wearing my own clothes and an ill fitted chest guard. We all enjoyed the game and thanked God that no one was hurt while doing so. Not only this there is lack of management and facilities for this sport and also there is no doctor available to take care of any accident. We are also required to carry our gear ourselves for good distance from the adventure office to the play area which also lacks and decent sitting space. Since the game is exhausting and is played in the sun in the open it is required to have drinking water and other basic facilities nearby, which also were missing. One had to walk all the way back to the adventure office carrying the gear and only after depositing the same can go and have water. Not only this when we asked for water we were told that we should have carried it with us in the first place and no such facility is available in the gaming area.
9. After seeing a few more guests we started expecting that the food quality would improve. Once again our hopes were shattered and not we were not served buffet but a very limited food menu was made available to us as the guests we saw were just there for adventure and no staying guests had arrived till then.
10. Having raised our concern the manager of the resort Mr. Ashok Raj agreed to hear our grievances and assured us that things would improve. He also called in the Incharge of the Zip Line and sought an explanation for the morning fiasco. He tried explaining that since there staying quarters are far and they usually leave early for their lunch and since he was not available in the office in the morning he was not aware of the development. But having confirmed our booking for 12:30pm they could have informed us in the morning which they never did. We booked again for the Zip Line for the evening at 5:30pm.
11. This time the entire team was waiting for us. This activity went as planned this time around and was the only highlight of the trip. Other than the initial hiccup in the morning, the team as very professional on the job and we all enjoyed the adventure. Had it not been this good the entire experience would have gone from Bad to Very Bad. It was an experience of a life time for all of us.
12. Finally the dinner was served, this time it was a buffet, but, again with a limited menu. The only addition was a tomato soup, which too was served without bread crumps and/or bread sticks. This was pointed out to the chef, who refused to acknowledge the fact and said it is not mandatory that soup be served with bread sticks. The dinner was a repeat of the items available last night with nothing new or exciting about it.
13. Morning breakfast was also the same story as that of the previous day. Limited options and paranthas were replaced with channa and Bhatura. Omelette was as bad as ever.
14. They started cleaning the pools and filling them up. The kids wanted to stay in a little longer and enjoy the pool as it was a warm and sunny day also my elder daughter and the son of my friend wanted to go for rappling. So we decided to check out from the room and called the front office to check us out and keep the luggage with them till we actually leave the resort as we planned to spend some more time exploring the adventure activities. We cleared the room at around 12:30pm and asked the bell boy to keep the luggage at the reception.
15. After enjoying the sun and the pool we decided to head back. We went to the reception to clear our dues and pick up our luggage, to our surprise the luggage was not there. On further enquiring about it we found out that our luggage, which included, two laptops, iPad and other personal stuff, was abandoned in the parking area by the bell boy without informing us. Our luggage was found lying good 50-60 meters away from any office or security or building under a tree near the parking with no one watching over it. We raised our concern and wanted to see the manager and report the matter to him. He refused to meet us citing the reason that he was not available on the property which we later found out was a lie as we saw him coming out of the property and there is only once entrance to the resort and we were standing there. We tried calling Mr. JS Chopra, once again his phone was switched off. We were not given any kind of reasoning for abandoning our luggage. We left the resort after clearing our dues but in a very upset and bad mood and memories
All in all this resort has the most ill manned staff and the manager boasting to be a PhD in Hospitality with 30 years experience and the major thing this resort lacks is hospitality. He refuses to listen to your concerns and tries to bully you around. We got a very raw deal and the entire episode at the resort has bruised us all in more than one way.
Don’t stay at the resort, just visit for Adventure and head back. Take your only food and water with you.
Resort or the Rooms look nothing like shown on the website
To my fellow travellers my suggestion would be to not to stay at the lodge but reach early and enjoy...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.