When I first contacted the hotel, they seemed professional and efficient and so despite slightly being above my budget I signed up to stay in this hotel and paid fully in advance through internet bank transfer.
Firstly the pick-up. It is complimentary aka factored into the room rates. So I called them the day before I was scheduled to arrive to tell them my train details and expected time of arrival. They told me where to find their taxi driver at the railway station. My train was expected to arrive at 11:50am. Since it was running late by about 30mins I called them up at about 11:00am to intimate them about the delay. It was acknowledged. Then on arriving at the designated place in the railway station I find none waiting with my placard as was informed to me by their receptionist. Then I called them again to tell them that I could not locate their driver and guess what their reply was, Óh you have reached already? Was'nt your train expected only at 5:00PM?' After a tiring and harrowing experience trying to alight the train at Gwalior with family and luggage, that was not exactly music to the ears. OK nevermind their hotel was hardly 200m from the railway station and their taxi driver arrived in 5 mins at where we were waiting. No smile to welcome, nothing. Not even an offer to carry any of the 6 luggage pieces we were carrying. Most of them had wheels thankfully. We reached the hotel in a couple of minutes and while trying to get the baggage out, the hotel's taxi driver showed some inclination to help and was getting the baggages out of the car. He pulled one out with such force that he ended up breaking the trolly wheels of one of the bags. So much for care while handling the customer's stuff I thought. Next comes even more unpleasantness.
I enter the hotel around 1:00PM and the receptionist does not even say a 'hello' or a 'welcome' or 'please be seated'. I was made to fill out a lengthy form, asked for the Id of all family family members, which I had brought along thankfully. Then I was asked to fill-up another form for the sake of the police records. Remember all this has taken more than 10mins and I am doing these standing. I was tired, hungry and they were testing my patience. I asked them if these forms could wait for later to which they replied in the affirmative and so I asked to be shown into our rooms. I had booked 2 bedrooms. At which point they tell me that only one room was readily available and the other was getting ready. The check-in time according to their policy was 12:00 noon. Wonder what they were doing the last hour? I could see a person hurriedly sweeping the floor, change the sheets while I waited for them to get the room ready. I realized at that juncture that they were trying to buy time by making me fill forms and kept my family waiting in the reception lobby.
Next came the worst part. We were given one room on the ground floor and another on the 2nd floor and the hotel did not have an elevator. I had paid for my reservation fully more than a month in advance and this was how I was taken for granted. I tried to explain to them we were a family and that I required both rooms to be on the same floor, that our clothing were all mixed up in the baggage and so we needed the rooms reasonably close together. The receptionist said that he expected another room to be available in the 2nd floor, but I am confident that was a lie to mollify me. As I guessed, they could not find the second room for us in the 2nd floor. We had to make do with a single room until they got the room on the ground floor cleaned up. Thanks to this fiasco my father a senior citizen had to climb up to the 2nd floor twice for his stuff since he did not know how to call up the reception or my room on the 2nd floor.
To add salt to the injury, both the rooms were smoking rooms I guess and reeked of tobacco. And guess what there were no windows either. I get the feeling that me being from the South and staying there for just a day was not of any significant business interest to them and so showed their true selves.
Now coming to the food part. It was barely OK. We had asked for a cup of milk for our son and the milk they got had black particles in them, I do not want to be dramatic and assume something obnoxious. I guess those might have been tea dust particles. We requested it to be replaced and it was replaced. Something to show that they cared atleast some bit for their customers.
Because of all these irritants I was livid and could not bring myself to request their assistance for planning my local sight-seeing. That was something all the other 8 hotels in which I stayed during the trip had helped me with, which in turn helped us to enjoy our tour of those cities.
I should be fair and also mention the positives.
- the bathrooms were clean and hot water was available on tap
- the room service was prompt
- despite me showing my obvious displeasure, when I requested for some info, the receptionist did help me with the info I was seeking
- while leaving their hotel they did help with hauling up the baggage and loading them into the taxi. I suppose they were into damage control mode ever since I told them that they could read about my feedback on tripadvisor instead of asking me feedback through their feedback form.
- sms notifications on room numbers allotted. I wonder if they need all that to glam up and make up for deficient service.
Oh by the way the police information form which was required to be filled up while I was checking-in and which I requested to fill up later, was not shown to be again, justifying my assumption that it was not so important and was used primarily as a delaying tactic when we wanted to check-in.
I should thank tripadvisor for the service it provides in letting fellow travellers be wary of service like this, esp considering that this was the priciest of hotels I had booked into in my entire 12 day trip spanning 8 other hotels.
Conclusion - Search tripadvisor for a while longer and choose a better option if you are going to be put up at Gwalior.
Avoid. Try some other option instead.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.