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“A Haven in Crazy Varanasi”
Review of Aashray

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Aashray
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 22, 2012

Mr & Mrs K make you feel so welcome in their home. I cannot recommend staying with them enough. It is a safe haven in the wonderful but crazy Varanasi. The food is delicious and their knowledge of the area is fantastic. Mr K's boat trip on the Ganges and to Sarnath were both informative and fun. Thank you once again for your kindness and hospitality...

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank althwait
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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141 - 147 of 179 reviews

Reviewed January 2, 2012

We had been a little apprehensive about finding accommadation in Varanasi, as we had heard so many scare stories about how filthly most of the hotels were, but when we booked Aasray and then finally arrived there after a 13 hour train journey, we were so happy with our choice of lodging. After 14 trips to India, visiting many different regions, this was by far one of the best places we have stayed.
Upon arrival, Mr and Mrs Kapur were very welcoming, with a flower garland for each of us and refreshing drink. We had a fantastic breakfast - the first of many amazing meals cooked by Mrs Kapur - and then left to settle into our rooms.
Our room on the ground floor was very spacious and impeccibly clean - with a very large comfortable bed - as was the bathroom, which had little extras such as shampoo and toothpaste, which was a lovely touch. The room which our two friends occupied on the first floor was equally as nice with a great new modern bathroom.
We did the sunrise tour with Mr Kapur, but our highlight was a trip we took with him out into the countryside to visit a village he had connections with and also to a school. It was an amazing day and one we won't forget.
They were fantastic hosts and their knowledge and company was extremely interesting.
Our trip to Varanasi was made complete by our stay of three nights at Aashray and we highly recommend it to everyone.

  • Stayed: November 2011
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3  Thank Willowkins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2011

We finished a two weeks journey through Rajasthan with a 2.5 days/2 nights trip to Varanasi. As all 3-4 star hotels were not well located nor showed any convincing flair, we decided for the homestay in Aashray, also based on the good reviews we had found. We can only recommend everybody to stay with Mr and Mrs Kapur in their house: Two rooms (former children rooms who have meanwhile left home, daughter is also active in tourism (homestays) in Delhi) have been renovated and equipped with an adjoining spacious bathroom. All spotless clean, no water stains in the bathroom nor any wall papers hanging in the room. (We had the one upstairs with a separate entrance from the outside. The other room is adjacent to the families rooms). You stay in a quiet living quarter (the noise from the neighbour, building a stall, was temporarily) with nothing special around. But Location is perfect, ca 15 minutes bicycle Riksha ride (50 Rupee for the Riksha carrying two people!) to the main Ghats, just straight down the road. So no problem to tell the driver, where You want to go. Mr Kapur is a walking lexicon and can give you all insight and info you are open and ready to take. Mrs Kapur is an excellent cook who spoiled us with a huge variety of Indian dishes for breakfast (you won't touch any toast and jam!) and dinner (we did not want to eat anywhere else). Nice gestures at arrival with welcoming tea and flower chain, and with a silk scarf for the lady at departure. Mrs. and Mr. Kapur join You for breakfast and dinner, the rest of the day, You are on Your own, which is a very convenient arrangement. If You want, Mr Kapur organizes boat tours along the ghats at sunrise, logistics to and from airport/train station as well as various tours in and around Varanasi (prices are not the cheapest, but as part of the whole 'package' (with very reasonable priced rooms and meals) it is convenient, You get an informative guide ... and it is no must).

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank TundB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2011

Varanasi is a place unlike any other, we are very glad that we stayed at Aashray during our time there. Mr. and Mrs. Kapur made their home ours, and after spending hours in and around the city, you kind of really need it. The food Mrs. Kapur makes is delicious, we ended up having lunch and dinner there in addition to the breakfasts which are included with the room. Living with them and getting their perspectives on the city, the environment, the history and the politics also made our visit fun and interesting.

One more thing, we left a couple of small personal items in our room at the Aashray unintentionally at the time of checkout and left the city. Beyond our expectation, Mr. Kapur contacted me the next day and volunteered to mail them to our hotel at the next destination without any charge. And yes, the package was waiting for us when we arrived!

This place is in the middle of the city. Although it is not right on the river, one can easily get to and from all the ghats by Tuktuk for cheap. Highly recommended!

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank No_Boundray
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 29, 2011

Mr. And Mrs. Kapur were the perfect hosts; they made us feel at home and so welcome. They were so helpful and full of information; we enjoyed the delicious food prepared by Mrs. kapur, every meal we had with them was a feast and every time I mentioned a dish or sweet it magically appeared on the table! Mr. Kapur was very knowledgable and we enjoyed the tours with him. They took us to this great lassi place that served the best lassi we've ever had; they were the greatest hosts and did everything to make our stay with them a memorable one. We highly recommend Aashray to any traveler. Our room was very clean and comfortable.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Marlene T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 19, 2011

Previously coming to Varanasi I looked at a number of hotels and homestays when I decided to settle on Aashray. I'm so glad I did. We had an amazing stay with Mr & Mrs. Kapur. They took care of us like family and made us feel at home the moment we arrived. The food was fantastic as well as the milk tea. The room was very clean and the bed was comfortable. Mr. Kapur took us on a great city tour and the experience on the Ganges was great. Mrs. Kapur also had her weaver come over (on my request) and I bought a number of beautiful silk scarves at a great price. One last thing I'd like to mention goes out to the more introverted travellers. Initially we were hesitant about the homestay experience, concerned it could be socially draining. However, Mr. & Mrs. Kapur again do a fantastic job at engaging and entertaining you when you want to be and allowing you all the freedom you need for rest or quiet time as you desire. Would highly recommend Aashray to anyone travelling to Varanasi.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank moosab1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 17, 2011

Our stay with the Kapur's made our first visit to Varanasi (of hopefully many!) wonderful in many ways. Our room was comfortable, clean, and filled with thoughtful touches that made it feel like home. The time we spent with Mr. Kapur on the river and touring the city was very interesting and a fantastic way to see and learn about things we certainly would have missed were we on our own. (Including the best lassi we'd ever tasted!!) The meals we ate at their house prepared by Mrs. Kapur were healthy and delicious. All in all we truly felt welcomed and cared for, and would highly recommend a stay with the Kapur's to any traveler.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank lynnmariehoffman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Aashray

Address: 10 Gangapuri | Near Laxmi Cinema, Mehmoorganj, Varanasi 221010, India
Location: India > Uttar Pradesh > Varanasi District > Varanasi
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 240 Specialty Lodging in Varanasi
Price Range: $70 - $164 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Aashray is in the heart of city, yet away from crowd. It's in a colony, but the main road linking the entire city is less than 100 meters away. Railway or bus station, temples, Ghats, shopping centers, mall, craft centers, restaurants, boats, hospitals and eatables, are all available within the radius of three kilometers of the house. Your Hosts: The Kapurs, are mixture of traditional and modern values. Mr Kapur, although a chartered accountant by profession is an avid reader of Hindi literature and devotes a lot of his time in keeping alive the beautiful culture of Varanasi. Mrs Kapur, with a graduation in Indian Classical music, is known more for her warmth and the magic she creates with the Indian veggies (you might almost forget your meats and fish for a while)! They have not forgotten their traditional customs and values but at the same time modern customs and values have been accepted whole-heartedly. Thanks to their interest in Yoga, history of India, local culture and traditions, they are able to share a lot and invite you to be a part of their lives for the moments that you are with them! ... more   less 
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