Upon arrival in Delhi, we had already booked our room with the sunder and they were suppose to pick us up from the airport. However this did not happen until we had been conned into a taxi, as the airport security wouldnt let us back in, and taken to a rough part of Delhi, threatened with gang rape, taken to a tourist information who told us the hotel had been cancelled, so the taxi would take us to look at some more hotels. After leaving there we demanded to be taken back to the airport, where finally a woman would let one of us go in to use the phones so I could ring the hotel. Do not leave the airport unless you are sure the pick up is there! After an hour they came to pick us up to take us to the hotel, with no explanation of why they wasn't there to pick us up in the first place. Arriving at the hotel it looks nothing like the pictures on the website, paid for the room they told me the first transaction had declined so I needed to pay again, and with being so tired I never thought twice until checking my bank statements and they had taken 2 lots of £96.30 out of my account, also you don't pay the price it gives you on bookings.com they add all the extra taxes on after, so it's not so cheap as made out to be. The room was ok, we used our sleeping bag liners as the bed looked a bit dirty, we got a heater cause it was so cold, and went to bed for a couple of hours. We were woken up by the tour operator asking what time we wanted to go to see him, and after they kept ringing and was really persistent we needed to go down to see him by 5pm
Tinku the tour guide...
We went down to see him about 5 o' clock in the evening, where we discussed what we wanted to see and worked out we didn't have enough time to see northern India then venture south to Kerala, Goa and end up in Mumbai for our next flight. He arranged a tour of Rajasthan over 18 days with hotels and a driver included, who would be a good English speak, however this not the case, a flight to Goa, accomodation in Goa for 8 nights, and finishing with an overnight train to Mumbai. His first price offer to us was £1200 each, this we turned down as we have a budget for 6 months. He offered us a package for £700 but it would be basic hotels. So we asked if we could do one in between with some basic and some good hotels. And we paid the £950. We also added a jeep safari and a camel safari. If you want to book through Tinku you need to take the plan away and think about it do not let him rush you into a decision faster than you want to make one.
We started the tour next day even though we had booked and paid for a week at the hotel. Tinku told us that he had taken that into account with the tour costs, which we now believe to be untrue. Also Tinku will tell you the government charges for paying on a card is 6% but it is actually 2% so don't be fooled into this.
Delhi tour - this was with the car and driver that picked us up from the airport. We went to see the light of ghandi, ghandi museum, qutb minar, lotus temple, we drove past the gate of India so didn't get a photo opportunity. However out of all these we only wanted to see qutb Minar and the red fort which we never got to, as we went to a Indian clothes shop and the driver didn't like the fact we bought nothing so he took us back to the hotel early.
The Royal Residency in Agra- breakie was good and cooked in front of you, clean rooms, shampoo, soap and towels provided. Tinku told us we would be able to see the Taj Mahal at sunrise, but security didn't open the gates until after sunrise and we had paid for a guide through Tinku that didn't turn up until 9am so we went around by ourselves.
Sonar Haveli in Bharatpur- we used our mosquito nets as our room was full of them, also used sleeping bag liner, room was dirty, food was so salty barely edible, an the chicken was still raw. Tablecloths in the dining room looked like someone had eaten there curry off it without a plate, the dining room was also freezing as they had all the doors open and we are pretty sure the kitchen was outside in the open air and they cooked in the dark. As soon as you walk out of your room everyone stares at you. On the plus wifi works in your room and its free.
Ankur Resort in Ranthambore- we also used Mozzi nets as there were a few flying in the room. Tried to charge us 100 rupees for each device using wifi for 24 hours, but it only worked in the lobby. Food was amazing and good service in the restaurant. Shower was good but you needed your own towel. Disappointed with the safari as we were told we would be in a jeep with another two people but it was another four people so it was a squash and I had brushing all down my left leg. Also the guide was rubbish as he just told us every so often there were more trees.
Rajputana Haveli in Jaipur - the food was good, nice room apart from cockroaches in the shower which is also cold all the time. Wifi only works downstairs. Staff are good. The guide arranged through Tinku took us to the amber fort on arrival, after the very quick tour of the fort we got taken to yet another shop, where we didn't buy anything, I enquired about the cost of hand bags that you can buy the same style over south east Asia and they charged more so decided not to buy one and get one further along the line. After refusing when the guide invited us back to his house for a party that night, next day for the tour of Hawa mahal, jantar manter and city palace he didn't turn up so again we had to make our own way around.
New Park in Pushkar-don't have the pizza if you think it will be a nice change from curry cause its not. Toilet in the room smells and you need your own towel as there's are filthy. Beds uncomfy. And they tried to give us mucky cups at breakfast time. Tv signal is bad. Oh and don't take flowers from anyone in Pushkar it's a scam and even though they say its free, they are not.
Picholaa Haveli in Udaipur- great restaurant and good staff and good food. Everything clean, wifi occasionally worked in rooms but mostly you need to be downstairs. The bath was mucky and water cold in the shower. Laundry service was good. Good for shopping in the town.
Chahdrai Hotel in Ranakpur- nothing to do here apart from to go out for a walk and go see the Jain temple which you can get in for free but you have to pay 100 rupees per camera, so make sure you haven't got any other devices on you like phones or iPads or they will charge you for those. No wifi but they have a very slow computer you can use for 60 rupees per hour if the electric doesn't cut out half way through. Swimming pool is empty and looks like it hasn't been used for years. The restaurant is cold, meat dishes are chewy. Had to ask for toilet roll, staff didn't speak very good English, and while we ate the staff just stood and stared at us, then said when he brought us the bill his tip wasn't included in the bill, when we gave him no tip he walked out of restaurant and slammed the bill back down some where else. On the good hand we got some free matches
Kuchaman Haveli in Jodhpur- again electric kept cutting out. Nice hotel though. We waited about 30 mins to order lunch. For tea we ordered room service but only half the order came and we had to argue with the manager to get what we had originally asked for an hour before.
Royal Haveli in Jaisalmer- was this the Royal Haveli not really sure as it had a different name over the top of the door. The wifi doesn't work you have to go next door to the royal. Cold shower. We were given wet grubby towels. Needed Mozzi nets .
The royal in Jaisalmer- great hotel, breakfast not so good. Had toast and boiled egg.
Sagas in Bikaner- great hotel and good food.
Heritage in Mandawa- needs some updating, food wasn't nice, ordered a bananna lassi which was warm and a lemon tonic but they said the lemon was already in it, but it wasn't. Our tea was bland and the chappatis doghie and found a hair in the curry so we didn't eat anymore. Left at 6 am to get back to Delhi and had to pack in the dark as there had been a power cut.
Hotel Bala Ji in Goa- rooms are clean, bed is hard, cockroaches in the rooms and a leaking pipe in the bathroom. Breakie not good and staff can hardly speak any English and dont understand when you ask for a black coffee with cold milk, so we asked for juice and they didn't have any. At breakfast time they bring water around the tables that they have filled up from the water tap in the kitchen, in bottles people have left in their rooms. The cleaner opened the door at 9am to come in and clean the room without knocking on the door first, while we were still asleep and woke us up. We hadn't been down for breakfast so we obviously wasn't up yet. The bed was also broke so they put us in that room and brought a repair man in to fix it whilst we were in the room, why didn't they just put us in a different room, swimming pool was dirty and every time we went out there was no one on reception to leave the key with so we had to go looking for staff.
When we tried to discuss the transfer to train station with hotel staff they didn't understand and told us it would take about 2.5 hours to get there. So we rang Tinku and told him that the staff couldn't speak english, so he said he would ring them which he never did. As agreed with Tinku we waited in the hotel lobby for a taxi at 3pm which didn't turn up. Which was when he first spoke to the staff in the hotel or more like argued with them as they were trying to take us to a different station other than what was stated on our ticket. When the taxi dropped us off he took us to the wrong station which was only half an hour away so we had a 3 hour wait in the station before a 11 hour train journey which was reasonably comfortable.
We had decided in Ranthambore we didn't want t o do the camel safari and at first Tinku wouldn't change it for us and after being persistent he took it off and gave us the royal haveli for a night in Jaisalmer which we feel we should have been in the original hotel as when the first itinerary was written we had paid for two nights at the Royal which was never deducted off our new itinary when the camel safari was added on.
We had met some other tourists on our way around Rajasthan who had paid a lot less than us and we got £250 back each from Tinku as we felt cheated out of our money so the trip actually costed us £700 instead of £950 but that included the £96.30 we had originally over paid in the hotel sunder.
Tinku asked us not to write a bad review about the tour or hotel the sunder, but this is an honest review about our experience, take it as you will.
If you are thinking of booking a tour and would like contact details for a good tour operator don't hesitate to contact me through this review.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel The Sunder , located most centrally in the heart of the city and is less then 1 Km from world famous Connaught place. Hotel The Sunder, provide the perfect accommodations for the budget travelers. Only 10 minutes walk from New Delhi Station, 20 minutes walk from Connaught Place & Janpath. The city’s busiest shopping districts, Karol Bagh, Chandni Chowk, and Palika Bazaar are all nearby, and easy access to other main tourist attractions !! In this regard, we wish to submit that we will offer free Airport/Railway Pickup to all the guests received through your network to ensure a hassle free transfer from the airport/Train Station.We feel proud to add here that our rooms are a perfect combination of elegance and comfort to suit your lifestyle. Along with the elegantly furnished rooms, we have many other extra facilities for our valued customers. These include Wi-Fi, Money Changer, Travel Assistance Desk, Laundry Service, 24 Hour Room services, 24 hour power supply, Cable T V with International Channels, Doctor on Call,In-house catering, all major credit cards accepted, Elevator, Fax, Photo state and STD. Our hotel has luggage storage facilities. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Sunder Hotel New Delhi