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“A Marmite place - You'll either love it or you won't at all” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Laboos Cafe

Laboos Cafe
Outside the Fort, | Maheshwar, Maheshwar, India
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Ranked #1 of 4 Restaurants in Maheshwar
Cuisines: Coffee Shop
Restaurant details
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“A Marmite place - You'll either love it or you won't at all”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2014

Labboo's Cafe is more guest-house than hotel, and use that distinction to decide whether it is for you or not. If customer service and being waited upon for every little thing makes a difference to your holiday, then know that it is almost non-existent here - and to be fair, they don't really charge you for it. After 6:30 there's no staff other than the watchman, for example. There's no phone or bell in the rooms; Mohammed must always go to the mountain. You get the idea.
I personally prefer places with non-intrusive staff so that I don't feel like I'm trapped in a hyperreal theme park. And so I think other backpackers/independent travellers would lurve the place, while families with more demands on hospitality may find it a bit inconvenient. Having said that, the four-five staff members who take care of Laboo's Cafe are such genuine and sincere people that I'm sure they would've helped me if I'd asked. And they were fun to chat with at breakfast (breakfast is included in the tariff, so is a bottle of water a day, nice).

Go solo women, go! It is located in a quiet corner of the fort, and is a "Rajaji's property", same as the super-luxurious Ahilya Fort (at a tenth of the tariff). This also makes it a super safe place for women travelling alone - for obvious reasons. At the time I visited there there were only two occupants, and both of us were solo women travellers in a place run by five men. Neither of us (we discussed it) spent a moment worrying about our safety, or even being annoyed by unwanted attention.

The location is super! It is so close to the main attractions of Maheshwar (the Narmada, ghats, temple, fort) that when I desperately needed to use to the loo one morning, I ran up the ghats/stairs and back to my room in three and a half minutes! The single AC room that I opted for was simply but well-appointed, and the bathroom was so clean I didn't need my slippers. But the architecture was the highlight - the room fully captured my imagination with it's two staircases, jharokha windows, jharokha niches in the wall for books, and cute open plan bathroom. Each time I returned to the room I felt like an Indian princess, or at least a poor cousin of one, which is good enough! I think the room was absolutely fine for the price. If you like, carry your own pillow-case and sheet and use it over their linen (I did).

The cafe: Mohanji is like the cook in that friend's house everyone secretly harbours intentions of poaching some day. Anything he touches turns to gold, and he does it most effortlessly in a matter of minutes. His masala chai, aloo paratha and poha are worth mentioning and spreading the word for. Food is prepared fresh and you really taste the difference. The courtyard is a pretty and peaceful place made to read, write postcards, listen to music, or have a good conversation. With tall trees, potted plants and the grand backdrop of the fort walls, it could easily be a very hip up-market cafe extension of the Ahilya Fort if they chose to be greedy, so it's worth appreciating that the most expensive item on the menu there is 45 rupees. The cafe closes by sunset, which means no dinner (which is just as well, so you can experience the scrumptiousness of Gurukripa's thali, which I went back to again and again).

All the single ladies (gentlemen too), go visit Maheshwar, and stay in Labboo's, I say you'll love it. I can't wait to return for a longer stay.
For the rest travelling as couples and families, if you're sure you don't need/expect much in way of service, I don't see why you won't have a nice time. If nothing else, the kids would be thrilled to run around in that beautiful courtyard and up on the fort walls, and the elders will appreciate its proximity to the ghats and temples.

Visited April 2014
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10 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“different place to stay with average service..”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2014

loved the place specially the architecture...and the unique concept of staying in gate of fort....loved the open bathroom concept....and no tv in the room...stay here only if u r in no hurry to go elsewhere...enough peace to let ur thoughts wander.....very near to the ghats of ahilya fort....service is nearly non existent...but good home cooked food and fantastic tea....and parathas....order well in advance....other wise all basic amenities r there.....nice details in the room....

  • Visited March 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
“Decent, highly overrated !”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2014

Good place, to sit quietly for a cup of Cardamom tea ( was really the best tea of that kind i've ever had )

Other than that, this cafe (??) has nothing to add to your rhyme or reason. Most things that were written on the board were not available, or we were told that those dishes are available only in the morning and we had to satiate my every hungry tummy with a mere cheese sandwich which was very very average. Staff didn't look that they were any interested in serving guests !!

Disappointed, more so when i read other people raving so much of this dull place !!

  • Visited March 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pune, India
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Unique place to stay”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2013

We stayed for one night at their hotel. Its unique in that they have converted the spaces of a massive fort door gate into hotel rooms. Service is decent but you have to order your meals well in advance. Although the price to stay is reasonable the meals are quite expensive comparatively. But atleast they were typical home style cooked Indian meals that we craved for.
Some of the std and deluxe rooms do not have TV but they provide plenty of reading material if you so desire. Stay here if you want to stay inexpensively in a fort like environment

  • Visited December 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Top Contributor
130 reviews 130 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“A QUAINT CAFE NESTLED IN THE AHILYA FORT”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

A pleasant surprise to have a small and serene place tucked in the historical area of the Ahilya fort. A stop over to enjoy a snack and drinks to soothe and relax with a book or enjoy company. Loved being there!!

Visited March 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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