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“Comfortable Hotel” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Clarkes Hotel

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Clarkes Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   The Mall, Shimla 171001, India   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #9 of 95 Hotels in Shimla
Edinburgh
Top Contributor
143 reviews 143 reviews
45 hotel reviews
Reviews in 79 cities Reviews in 79 cities
200 helpful votes 200 helpful votes
“Comfortable Hotel”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2008

This was a hotel of two halves. First the good - the very pleasant staff on the front desk and the location, right on the Mall, the main pedestrian street through the town. The room was also very pleasant and spacious with a separate lounge and a further seating area in a bay window with views over Shimla. The bad - the dining room - a cavernous space with all the ambience of a school canteen and very haphazard service. We ate here the first night and the buffet dinner was lukewarm at best. Despite there being numerous waiters hovering around it took ages for our drinks to appear. Decided to eat out on the second night and had an excellent Mexican at Cafe Sol on the top of the Hotel Combermere. Having already experienced an excellent colonial period hotel in Darjeeling (see Windamere review) we were slightly disappointed with Clarkes.

  • Liked — Location and front desk staff
  • Disliked — Poor service in the dining room and lack of ambience
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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236 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (65)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
London, England
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2008

Myself and my wife and our two children stayed for three nights at Clarke's Hotel in April. We wanted somewhere with some character and history as opposed to an expensive plastic palace . Clarke's was exactly that. The lovely smell of jasmine filled this old hotel. The staff were all excellent and friendly. The service was excellent. We ate for dinner for each of our three nights as the food was very good and the advice and service was wonderful: we wanted to eat Indian and local food, and the staff advised us on the menu. Our rooms were very spacious and clean with big beds. The hotel is well placed at the end of the mall. This was Mr. Oberoi's first hotel and apparently he holds affection for it. We thought the hotel offered good value for money: you can pay a lot more in Shimla and you can pay a lot less, but if you want somewhere with some style, that is comfortable and with some character and history, Clarke's is a good hotel for you.

  • Stayed April 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sussex
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2008

I arrived in Shimla late one afternoon without a reservation, and in truth Clarke's would not have been my first choice. However, as everywhere else in the vicinity seemed to be unexpectedly fully booked, Clarke's secured my custom by default. I have to say that I think I struck lucky; the hotel is charming, and although the lack of modernisation shows in various respects (the corridors are noticeably draughty in the winter, for example), my room was cosy and comfortable. The restaurant would probably not win any prizes nowadays (I guess that it might well have done in the 1920s though), but the staff were unfailingly helpful and friendly. Not cheap, but nowhere near as expensive as its more upmarket cousin, the Cecil, and I enjoyed my stay here.

  • Liked — Friendliness, comfort and location
  • Disliked — Public areas a little chilly in winter
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port of Spain, Trinidad
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2008

Stayed for five days. This hotel was one of our favorites during our four week trip to India. Its a throwback to the Raj. The hotel is more than one hundred years old and fits the ambiance of Shimla to a T.
Our room, after staying at the Taj in Delhi and Mumbai, was certainly not as fancy, but was huge. We had a sitting room, a large bedroom, a dressing room and a bathroom. Our teenage kids were in an adjoining room with connecting door , In all our joint suite was more than 1200 sq ft.The rooms were very comfortable, except that the bathroom was cold in the mornings (no central heating). Great value for money
The service was excellent and very friendly. The location, at one end of the Mall was perfect allowing us to stroll along the Mall several times a day.
We used our time here to recover from our rather hectic trip, much as Shimla was used in the Raj.

Loved the hotel.

  • Liked — Loved the rooms. Great location
  • Disliked — Cold bathrooms during the winter
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Avoca Beach, Australia
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
50 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2007

Great service and friendly staff are the defining characteristics of this hotel. Well-situated, at the eastern end of The Mall, this hotel has a great view over Shimla. Rooms are old and tired however, and their is a distinct lack of services such as internet access and air-conditioning. Breakfast consisted of eggs any way you want them -but only eggs! This hotel is good if you are on holidays and just want somewhere to rest your head at a reasonable price; look elsewhere if you want more.

  • Liked — location, friendly staff
  • Disliked — no internet access
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2006

We decided to stay at Oberoi Clarkes to experience a piece of Shimla's history, eg constructed in 1898 it is one of Shimla's original hotels, and also the first in the Oberoi chain. The interior retains a genuine pukka atmosphere and the position at the eastern end of the mall is close to everything. Our room (51) was huge and comfortable with magnificent views, and contrary to a previous contributor we enjoyed some of our best local food during our 4 weeks in India. The dining room was cosy, the staff friendly and conversant with local history and customs - the barman made excellent martinis! An impressive final touch to our stay was when the hotel driver arrived in our train carriage with my husband's glasses which he had left in our room - a touch of old time chivalry much appreciated.

  • Liked — Pukka ambience and the sense of being in an historical hotel
  • Disliked — No direct vehicle access
  • Tips/Secrets — Arrange with hotel to be met and transported
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2006

We were really disappointed with this hotel. Surprisingly lonely planet had recommended it and because it was all very last minute we had to go for the "suite". Although reasonably priced, the suite and a lot of the hotel was falling apart. Our room was old and dated with an ancient fan, grotty bathroom with a lightswitch over the bathtub which got soaked every time we had a shower (thought we would get electrocuted). The room overlooked the noisy carpark where music, shouting and car horns went on for most of the night. The sheets were full of static and the experience was unpleasant. Would not recommend Shimla either - everyone was out to cheat and give false information and the streets filled with litter.

  • Liked — Check out
  • Disliked — The room
  • Tips/Secrets — Don't go here
  • Stayed June 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clarkes-Shimla, General Manager at Clarkes Hotel, responded to this review, August 11, 2010
Management response from
Mr.D.P Bhatia,Geneal Manager

Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention and that you will have no further cause for any complaint in relation to our product or services.We regret any inconvenience you have experienced, and we assure you that we are anxious to retain you as a satisfied customer. I apologise once again for the annoyance that this may have caused to you. Looking forward to welcome you again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Clarkes Hotel

Address: The Mall, Shimla 171001, India
Location: India > Himachal Pradesh > Shimla
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Shimla
#7 Romantic Hotel in Shimla
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Clarkes Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 32
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Also Known As:
Shimla Clarkes Hotel

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