I stayed here for around a month in February because I was in transit while trying to find a permanent residence in Delhi. In my opinion, this guest house is not recommended for travelers. Other than the decor and cleanliness, there is nothing more to this guest house. It is not as comfortable as it seems like from the outset if you are an experienced traveler; there are various reasons for this. But mostly, it is because of their negative nature that I will never go back there again or recommend Bed and Chai to anyone I know.
-The owners are rude, cold, and indifferent towards people who are not European. Their friendliness is superficial, and their attitude towards Indians is not very nice at all. I was yelled at for switching on the heater in the dormitory and the living room because "it consumes too much electricity". Then why invest on heaters in the first place? And this makes me wonder about what they have to say about using their ACs in Delhi's grueling summers. When other European guests used the heaters, they were not told anything. The owners are miserly, and seem to be running the place only for their own network of people, and for a non-inclusive European community in India.
-The owner initially booked the dormitory bed for me till March, and when I told her I'd like to check out for one day and return back on the 26th or 27th of February because I was trying to set up my new house, and also because they wanted me to shift to an expensive room, she got offended and told me she could not give me a room/bed anymore. I was shocked at the way she changed colours, and refused to maintain her dignity, by speaking to me in a rude and loud manner, and failed to keep her own word which she had given me.
There are other things that I found disadvantageous with this guest house as well.
Lack of local resources:
They don't have too many local resources. The information for travelers on local things to do in Delhi is insufficient to say the least, as they hardly seem to know much about the city. Madhu, who helps them out with things and takes care of the dormitory, is from Nepal, and has been in Delhi for only around three months. He is a helpful and nice guy, but doesn't know anything much about the city at all.
The breakfast is dry, has no variety, and again, does not reflect local Indian tastes at all. The tea is not true to the way tea is made in India. They don't have a sense of proportion even where adding sugar is concerned! From a European point of view, the breakfast is not good either. I have stayed in cheap BnBs in Europe when I traveled there 3 years ago, and had excellent breakfast buffets filled with fruits, vegetables and pastries in Berlin and Prague and Rome. This one is not a match to those. They have only bread and eggs every single day, and the fruit often looked like it was cut and refrigerated the previous night. This kills all the nutrition in it, and is not ecological at all.
Their attitude towards India is very, very negative, and this was a major put-off for me. Most of the guests there (with some rare exceptions) were only criticising and complaining about the noise, and the traffic, and the "culture", which the owners are clearly responsible for encouraging, and they did nothing to try to get out of the guest house and their Western community to explore the city and Indian culture, despite having paid so much to come all the way. What a pity.
The dormitory bunk beds creak all night. Whenever someone would occupy the bed above mine, even a slight shuffling and turning would get noisy enough to wake me up from my sleep. There is a serious space crunch in the dormitory, and not much space to keep luggage either. There are no lockers or cupboards for the dormitory residents to keep valuable/expensive things inside. You have to live out of your suitcase. I had to always lock my expensive things, like my laptop and wallet inside my bag when I went out. There is also only one bathroom between the 8 potential guests in the dormitory, and it is uncomfortable to dress up inside. I had an important meeting to go for; the bathroom was occupied; there were other men in the dormitory; and I requested one of the owners to let me change in one of their vacant single rooms, and she refused blankly, and rudely. One of the guests volunteered to wait outside the dormitory, which is why I could finally change and leave. This can become a problem in the mornings too if you have to get somewhere on time and are staying in the dormitory when it is full. There is not even an extra bathroom in the guest house for emergency situations. All bathrooms are connected to private rooms.
You cannot have a phone conversation after 10 PM in the guest house, and this can be extremely inconvenient. There is no sound proofing in the walls and the voice travels everywhere. I would often have to go to the terrace or the balcony or the steps outside the house to talk on the phone. Despite that, the owner was rude and yelled at me! She even made a prejudiced remark about me not understanding the European need for "subtle-ness and silence". There were times I lost sleep too because of other people's chatter, but I did not complain because I always thought it would resolve itself out. It did not, unfortunately.
The only things that were good about this place was that it was clean, warm, and had a nice decor, and is located in a fabulous place (2 minutes away from GK I's M Block Market), but that's about it. The blankets were good, though I didn't find the mattresses too comfortable. I like strong, flat mattresses to sleep on because that is better for the posture of your back. The Indian guy (Ganesh) who cleans the dormitory and rooms scrupulously every day, is excellent at his work. Madhu (who is from Nepal) also does try his best to do as much as he can. But because he is not from Delhi/India, he doesn't know much about traveling within the city or where to go either. And the owners' attitude is just not correct.
For this reason, I would not recommend Bed and Chai Guest House if you are in Delhi for an intellectual travel experience, and, of course, if you are not from Europe, Britain, America, or are not friends of the owners. It's just about alright for a night's halt, but that's not the way to spend your time in Delhi if you do come here. You need to explore the rich culture of the city if you are spending money to travel all the way. Bed and Chai could have been a great cultural platform and point of interaction between people from diverse national and international backgrounds, but it isn't, unfortunately.
The bottom line: Live with a guest house or BnB in Delhi that's run by a local Indian family. They will give you fantastic local information on where to travel in Delhi and around, feed you with delicious homemade Indian food, and give you love and warmth, all in the same price, more or less. It'll make your trip much more memorable. Take my word for that.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to Bed&Chai, a cozy and modern accommodation located in one of the most attractive areas of Delhi, to enjoy the best Chai (Indian tea) of the city.We are two French women who have been living in India for several years. With our experience and numerous trips all over India, we know exactly what level of comfort you need to enjoy your stay in India. We offer several facilities: - Free Wi-Fi - Breakfast included with your stay - Fully-equipped kitchen facilities ... more less
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