Travelled and spent two nights in Narkanda. The town is tiny, a few random shops, and one pharmacy / net cafe / ticketing agent / bed and breakfast agent, all in one.
Either way, the hotel is off the main road, which runs right through the town. The journey (atleast in september, after some of the heaviest rains seen in a while) was long, uncomfortable, and unpleasant. I had seen a decent amount of work being put into streaches of it, so it might be better now. Or perhaps with winter, and snow/slush, it might be worse?
Either way, it costs about 1500 rupees from Shimla (the prices will vary, according to your starting point/size of vehicle etc). And when I did it, about 2 and a half to 3ish hours.
It`s not a big hotel, and does not have a lot of rooms, and again, someone just hopping from one destination to the next, would be disappointed, because unllike your usual indian hill station destination, it does not have a list of random places to visit, almost like your going through a check list. I loved Narkanda, and the hotel itself, because it was quiet. I could sit out on the lawn with my wife, read, take in the valley and mountain view, and not have a thousand people posing for photos, or even talking. We spent the days talking, reconnecting, just lazing around and not having to go anywhere.
The next day, we chose to hire a driver and car, to take us to the top of Hatu peak, and I cannot understand how people would not like it up there? But then again, at the top, there isn`t a list of things to click off a list, just a brilliant view, even encompassing snow covered peaks in the distance.
Again, a few people, who left minutes after they took photos, and we could sit, with all of it to ourselves. I personally love to sit, look, think and reflect. Using beautiful surroundings to focus thought. (The ride up cost 500 rupees, and the hotel arranged it for us).
We ate all our meals at the hotel, and though we were only eating part of the menu because of our religious beliefs, a lot of what we had was passable to very good, and well you can always try something else in town?
The rooms were clean enough, and so was the bathroom. The heater worked well at night, and well, even in September, at night, it was properly cold.
One of the reasons why I chose Narkanda, was the fact that it was out in the middle of nothing. Hence, at night, all you have to do is sit in one of the hotel`s darker areas, or walk about 10 feet away, and the view of the night sky, will stay with you, especially if you are someone who lives in a city that at night, is as bright as mine, for a long, long time.
I did not find the rooms, or the bathrooms filthy. Some of the blankets were a little musty, but again, it isn`t the hilton, I wasn`t paying hilton rates, hence Im not complaining.
I don` think there is any internet access at the hotel though, including reception. Hence, if you have an internet booking or the like, print out a conformation, and bring it with you.