We chose to stay at Sai Palace because it had decent reviews, is walking distance to the Taj, and was good for the budget minded (800RS for a double air-con room). Other than the location and okay restaurant, I cannot say enough negative things about this hotel.
Sai Palce, like many budget hotels in Tajganj, offers free pick up from the train station, yet the driver's who come get you can be very belligerent and pushy. While this isn't entirely the fault of hotels like Sai Palace, it doesn't make for a positive first impression. We tipped our driver quite nicely and politely declined his services for the next day SEVERAL times, but he got frustrated, stormed off, and muttered rude comments about me to the management (while I was standing there), but the staff didn't apologize or say anything about it. Needless to say customer service wasn't a strong point at this place.
The room was just generally unclean. The bathroom door didn't shut or lock, and there were several open air areas that let bugs into the rest of the room. The shower head tap fell off while I took a shower, and the water was rust coloured!
The room we booked was advertised as a 'double AC room'. After settling in we asked for the AC to be turned on (it's often left off until you ask them to put it on), and they told us they 'didn't turn it on until April'. What? In March it's getting pretty damn hot in Agra, and to be paying for AC and then not to have it is a major annoyance.
Check out time is a ridiculously early 10 AM. Considering many people visit the Taj for sunrise, it's quite a rush to come back and shower/eat breakfast/ pack your things by 10 AM.
Overall, not a good option for the price. While many of the hotels in Tajganj are a bit scuzzy, I imagine you could get something cleaner, better secured, friendlier and with AC BEFORE April for around 800 RS.
The room right by the restaurant is not a good choice.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.