You might say we asked for it as this was our third stay at the Mayur over a period of 5 years, each time when escorting family members or friends to see the Taj / Fatepur Sikri. The first time it was really nice getting out of the heat, dust and generally frenzied atmosphere of Agra. The Mayur is in a quiet park-like setting with bougainvillea-covered 2 bedroom cottages scattered around under mature trees, including frangipanis and other fragrant vines and bushes. We had one of the cottages, and with a bit of stuffing around re-starting the AC from time to time (totally standard in India with its constant electricity fluctuations and outages), we were quite comfortable. The hot water was also dodgy, but that didn't matter in 40 degree heat.
The next time, a couple of years later, we found the place had deteriorated further. Both rooms had problems with the AC, and we had a hard time getting anyone to do anything about it. However, the rates were low, and the setting was still lovely, especially in contrast to the rest of Agra.
This last visit a week ago was the last straw for me. But here's the full story - stay at your own risk.
I booked through Hotel Pushpak system, having had no luck getting anyone on the phone at the Mayur itself.
The first problem I had was the system displaying my booking for the Hotel Pushpak itself, in Bubaneshwar, but when I called them to enquire about this I was assured that the starting-point screen was the important one, and my selection there would be confirmed by email within half an hour. The staff member also confirmed I would be able to get a late checkout at 6pm on the second day.
With a few days up my sleeve to sort out any problems, I went ahead, and booked "2 deluxe AC doubles" at the stated rate of 1700 rupees per night each, with a 10% discount for booking online. Total = 3060 rupees, duly deducted from my credit card.
The first confirmation email again listed the booking at the Hotel Pushpak, but sure enough, shortly afterwards a second email got it right. But, the rate was described as 4400 rupees, and my payment as "deposit" only.
I called the Hotel Pushpak again and after arguing with several staff finally spoke to the manager there who told me there were "technical difficulties" with the site (which I had already seen for myself) but that he would try and negotiate a discount for me!
I replied that I was not asking for any favours or any discount, but only for them to honour the contract that was created by their online offer and my acceptance and payment. I warned that if they made any further deduction on the card it would be declined, and in my opinion they were on shaky legal ground charging more than the site stated without any warning. I also said if they did charge the higher rate I would make a point of telling other travellers through Tripadvisor.com and other websites. He then said that this "technical problem" could be rectified by us coming to the Hotel Pushpak itself, where the rate was 1700 rupees as stated, and as I had paid!!! (Yeah, see the Taj Mahal, via Bubaneshwar!)
Arriving at Agra we found the hotel itself has continued its slide into dilapidation. This time both rooms had problems with the AC either not working at all or only running its fan, not the cooling. In our room it was not fixed until an hour before we checked out. As the temperature during our stay was a record 47 (!) degrees on the first day and 44 on the second, I think this was a serious failure of service.
The numerous complaints we made about it were more difficult to deliver because the phone wasn't working either - and did not work at any time during our stay, despite our requests for repair, and their claims that repair had been made while we were out at the Taj and Fatepur Sikri.
Staff moved at all times at a snail's pace, and while the heat was stupendous, twenty minutes to bring a bottle of beer across the lawn is really stretching it.
The 2 rooms were comfortable enough otherwise, though sparse furnishing did not include a fridge. One TV was antique enough not to have video inputs.
As other travellers stated, the restaurant is always empty - I have never seen another customer there on any of our 3 visits - and for good reason. The food ranges from just average - simple stuff like toast and eggs - to terrible - also simple stuff like sweetcorn soup which was salty enough to be used as an emetic.
Also, as seems common, the swimming pool was not in usable condition, explained as "water restrictions". (On all 3 of our visits it has been either empty or not useable, with varying reasons given.)
I found that the Pushpak booking system had not made arrangement for late checkout (tho' that wasn't a problem as we seemed to be the only guests for most of the time), and that although the additional amount had not been charged to the card, the hotel did expect to be paid another 1400 rupees.
I did not waste valuable energy arguing over approx $10 each, but I did tell them I thought that they would have trouble with their credit card facility if they made a practice of bumping up the rates after making a booking, and that I would be warning other travellers online.
Ok, consider yourselves warned !
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- Also Known As:
- Mayur Tourist Complex Hotel Agra