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“incredibly cute” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Fairlawn Hotel

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Fairlawn Hotel
13/A Sudder Street, Kolkata (Calcutta) 700016, India   |  
Hotel amenities
Edinburgh
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“incredibly cute”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2012

Going to Sudder St (a.k.a. backpacker tourist central) and not visiting the Fairlawn is like missing the elephant in the room. Not only is this place famous, it's very cute, and the beer garden offers a small haven of tranquillity from off the street. Whether with friends or on your own, this is a good place to retreat and read your Tagore while enjoying a drink or something to eat.

The rooms are idiosyncratic. Some nicer than others. They have a colonial and highly personalised feel to them. Do look at the price you are paying - don't expect something super swish at these prices, but you do get charm.

It's frequently necessary to book ahead. It has been popularised by Lonely Planet and also a TV programme in which Felicity Kendall speaks about staying there during her childhood.

Room Tip: If there is a choice of rooms, have a look at all the ones available as they are all different.
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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229 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (48)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Auckland Region, New Zealand
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2012

This hotel may have been great in its heyday but our recent visit was just terrible. Double sheet, ripped & frayed down the middle to make a single sheet, toilet that didn't work, dirty and obviously had not been cleaned for years in places in the rooms and rats running around in the outdoor dining room. Should have realised when the first thing you see is rat trap boxes down the drive.
It is run nowadays by grumpy men who are not keen to assist you and do not go out of their way at all to help. We stayed one night, cut our losses as we had prepaid and left. Hysterically dreadful place and not recommended. Might be OK if you are a young, poor backpacker and will put up with anything.

Room Tip: Best to avoid it altogether.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2012

What a unique place! A paradise of greenery and fairy lights, family momentos and showbiz photos, chintz, lace, potted palms and an endless flurry of activity. Its city central location is unparalleled and the small but hectic courtyard bar that you cross to get to Sudder Street helps that transition.into the very real world that is Kolkata.Violet is the centre of attention and is delightful company.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Central, New Zealand
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2012

Fairlawn is one of the few places left in the world retaining its eccentric charm as the larger than life owner, Mrs Violet Smith, 92, sits in the foyer and holds court with regular guests. It’s was my third stay in a decade and this time it was clear change is afoot. My earlier rooms had been strange experiences but this time the main rooms seem to have undergone a significant upgrade. Our room was clean and quiet with a good bathroom and excellent beds. The wireless internet worked well. Outside the door the truly unique décor of the hotel is there, overwhelmingly green and colourful. The hotel is right in the middle of Kolkata; a short walk to Newmarket and its shopping, the Maiden and Park Street with its restaurants. Its off-street nature gives if the flavour of an enclave. I would stay there again, but time is moving in on Fairlawn and its seemingly sprawling garden, bar and facilities a hogging up much needed space in Kolkata. In the short term though, it has one big problem; breakfast. They serve only one menu, it is delivered in a public school hall compulsory fashion and, frankly, it is disgusting. The sausages – if that is what they were – looked like dog droppings and the eggs have no flavour. The bed is cardboard and the coffee is bland… But even then I would return…

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Daegu, South Korea
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2012 via mobile

We arrived in Kolkata in the evening only to find that the hotel we had booked didn't exist. We went from cheap dive to cheap dive around Sudder St looking for anything so we could gather our thoughts after the chaos of having tout after tout following us. We were, after all, fresh meat in their eyes what with our backpacks on.

We stumbled into the Fairlawn and, luckily enough, they had a room for us. It was a bit higher budget than we would have normally gotten but we were in, what we suspect, was the best room. It was a huge room with a brilliantly clean bathroom and hot shower, towels and soap included.

The next morning we asked if we could stay for two more nights and it was no problem.

Our train leaving Kolkata didn't leave until 10pm on the final day and they let us keep the room until 5pm for no extra charge. We relaxed in the nice restaurant until taking a cab to the station.

The staff is incredible. Friendly and helpful and went out of their way to help us. The place has tons of character and is amazingly central in the city. It's also a wonderful oasis from the chaos that is Kolkata. The Fairlawn hotel saved us from us miserable Kolkata experience.

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
almunecar
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2012

An eccentric but delightful hotel. The staff were very attentive, and the owner, Mrs Violet Smith, is a charming hostess. The rooms are basic, but spacious and everything works...hot water, air conditioniong, even the wi-fi. the outside bar in the garden is a magnet for visitors and residents and is a great place for people watching. The memorabilia displayed on the stairs could take you days to read. The location is central and the street life around and about is fascinating. We visited tailors, bough clothes and shoes and ate out - all within a few hundred metres of the hotel. The food is plentiful, portions are huge and breakfast is exactly what you would have got in an english seaside boarding house in the seventies (this is a compliment!)!

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shanghai, China
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2012

Looking back, i would define it as a family museum, where you can see a number of family photos hanging on the walls at every corner of the hotel.

I like the structure of that building. the room was very tidy. you can find a book shelf in the room to read books. not sure whether those book were left by guests or purchased by the hotel.i also donated one of my books in the room i stayed.

While being picky, i were not happy with air-condition which made noise once switched on. maybe the management can consider changing all TVs into LCD ones thus matching the reputation of the hotel and its room rates. the breakfast also needs improvement.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Fairlawn Hotel

Also Known As:
Fairlawn Kolkata
Fairlawn Hotel Kolkata
Hotel Fairlawn
Fairlawn Hotel India/Kolkata (Calcutta), Asia
Address: 13/A Sudder Street, Kolkata (Calcutta) 700016, India
Location: India > West Bengal > Kolkata (Calcutta)
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
#3 Best Value Hotel in Kolkata (Calcutta)
#11 Family Hotel in Kolkata (Calcutta)
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $

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