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“WONDERFUL homestay amid the gorgeous chaos of Varanasi”
Review of Aashray

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Aashray
Certificate of Excellence
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“WONDERFUL homestay amid the gorgeous chaos of Varanasi”
Reviewed October 23, 2012

My nephew and I had the pleasure of staying 2 nights with Mr and Mrs Kapur in October 2012. We had been spending several nights prior in hotels, and 2 weeks prior to that volunteering at an orphanage and so this homestay experience made for a fantastic change in pace and surroundings. Immediately they made us not only feel at home, but as part of their family. While the Kapurs engaged us in lively discussions on almost any topic, Mrs Kapur filled us to the brim (and beyond) with her amazing (AMAZING) cooking. I am still drooling at the thought of her amazing cooking. As my nephew is 17 and still growing, Mrs Kapur would always cook a little extra and wrap it in foil in case he got hungry (which of course he did) in our adventures through the city. They were also extremely insightful in helping us decide on what we wanted to see in Varanasi, as well as assisting us in hailing down a rickshaw to take us to the handicraft markets (ensuring we weren't taken advantage of). We had a twin room (two single beds) and it the room was clean, bright and spacious.
As for the actual cost, truth be known this was booked this as part of a 7 day tour with Trinetra Tours so I don't know the actual cost per night, but I do know as part of our tour it was in line with the high quality of hotels we had previously which were all (as part of our entire tour) very well priced.
Location wise they are a quick 40 rupee / 10-15 minute rickshaw ride from the Ganges (about 2-3kms). They also provided filtered water which was a bonus, along with wifi.
I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone wanting a change of pace from hotels.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Magsalama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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168 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
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glasgow
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed October 14, 2012

We stayed for 2 nights with the Kapurs and really enjoyed their company. The standard of service was, as confirmed by others, very high indeed. The house itself was lovely and this extended to the bedroom and attached bathroom. The location was OK as it is within a few minutes rickshaw ride of the main Ghat. A real highlight for us was the home cooked food which was unmatched in quality throughout the rest of our 3 weeks in India. Additional excursions are charged at a premium and the room charge is relatively high but in our opinion this was good value given the quality of the environment and service on offer.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Samuel B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Heraklion, Greece
Level 5 Contributor
73 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 707 helpful votes
Reviewed October 5, 2012

What a lovely pair are the Kapurs? kind and considerate, flexible and friendly, always ready to assist and give you every bit of information about India!
We stayed for 2 nights back in February 2012 - are still discussing how lovely the room was! After having stayed in many places with....organizational issues, let's say, the Aashray was definitely an oasis!

Mrs Kapur cooks fantastic meals, and Mr Kapur can give you a tour of Varanasi, early in the morning, which is amazing! Although we found the streets of Varanasi too overcrowded for our liking, the morning tour with Mr Kapur, we will never forget!

He also helped us find a good restaurant to eat, our first night in Varanasi, and was not at all annoyed, after we returned the next day very late at night after a difficult day.

You can easily picture the Aashray as a B&B in a European City, no comfort is spared, no and you also get a deep sense of the origin of its people.

Definitely a not-to-miss experience!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Curioustraveler99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ljubljana, Slovenia
2 reviews
Reviewed August 7, 2012

The first thing that comes on my mind when remembering the time spent at Kapurs is - home! It really feels like a home when you most need it. When you travel thousands of kilometres and you are tired of constant hassle, this place really is a haven amid this chaotic city. It is clean and spacious, but the true added value are the owners, Mr. and Mrs. Kapur. They say, you come as a guest, but you leave as a friend, and that is the way they treat you. Be sure you come hungry, hungry for knowledge and hungry for food. You will get it both. The best food you can imagine, still, you will have difficulties eat it all, as Mrs. Kapur treats everybody as her own family. Mr. Kapur is a walking lexicon, you will get an insight of it all, from politics to religion, to best guided city tours. Every question given is answered with enthusiasm. And the most important thing, specially when in India, they are people on who you can rely on! Even when leaving their place, they are willing to help you. I definitely recommend staying at Kapurs. It might be a little bit more costly, but this will be an investment into you, it is not just a stay, it is an experience.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Blaz K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 6 Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed July 16, 2012

Here’s how hospitable the Kapurs are: We arrived in Varanasi more than 6 hours late, victims of a flat tire and a hired driver with a wayward sense of direction. We had called Mr. Kapur when we reached the city, but it was getting close to midnight and our driver was totally lost, cruising up and down the same streets asking passersby for directions. As we made our umpteenth turn, we spied a pajama-clad man out in the street: Mr. Kapur had come out on foot to look for us. Once at the house, we discovered that Mrs. Kapur was up and at work in the kitchen, making dinner for us hours after the household had eaten and gone to bed. And not just some hastily thrown together snack, but a full multi-course dinner that was the best thing we’d eaten in days. In the circumstances, it was the sort of welcome you’d expect no one but your own parents to give you. And by the end our visit, that’s what the Kapurs felt like.

Staying in someone’s house is, of course, a very different experience than staying in a hotel or guesthouse. If you want the anonymity and beck-and-call of a regular hotel, you won’t be happy here. If, however, you want to be welcomed into a home, to talk with interesting people, and to feel like you’re getting a glimpse of what it’s like to live in this fascinating city, you would be crazy to stay anywhere else.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Crans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KamalKapur, Owner at Aashray, responded to this review, July 19, 2012
Namaste Crans,
Thanks for taking the time to pen your honest feedback here. We appreciate it.
Thanks and regards,
Kamal Kapur
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 9, 2012

Beautifully well-ordered, comfortable and clean and in a quiet area with great home-cooking. The rooms were also very comfortable. The only downside was that, though the area was quiet, the guest house was noisytill about 10.30pm with people calling out and talking loudly. As we had had 2 nights with little sleep, we were exhausted but couldn't get an early night there. Mr and Mrs Kapur were very friendly and helpful and overall it was a good experience.

Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank glenys h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KamalKapur, Owner at Aashray, responded to this review, July 23, 2012
Namaste Glenys,

Thanks for your honest feedback, i deeply regret that you couldnt have an early night. We would do what it takes to ensure it never happens to other guests. Usually the household remains quite and it must have been one of those rare occasions, I wish you had brought it to our notice then itself ..but I completely understand your situation and apologies for the same,

Thanks and Regards.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huntingdon UK
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed April 9, 2012

Varanasi is just mad! It’s a combination of a dustbin, farm and church/temple. Where else could you get buffaloes coming down to bathe unattended in the river between people washing clothes and others being cremated ! Weird but wonderful. And for the perfect hosts to explain this madness you could do no better than Mr and Mrs Kapur who make it easy. We took both rooms in the house one near to the sitting room and one up an outside but covered stairwell. Both rooms were very clean, comfortable, quiet and discreetly situated away from the main living area. Mr Kapur was born in Varanasi and is an accountant. He is clearly a very well established member of the community and will tell you all about the city, it's history and the people. In the morning he took us for a truly remarkable boat ride on the Ganges as the sun came up and then for an escorted walk through the old city pointing out many things we would otherwise have missed. We went back to the house for superb breakfast. Mr Kapur also arranged for a driver and car who took us to a number of tourist sights within the city some of which we did not know existed and not once did we get taken to his cousins carpet factory, etc! Mr and Mrs Kapur are very friendly and at no time did we feel awkward in their house. They are very informative and also keen to hear about where you come from. Mrs Kapur's meals are very good and you could not want a better person to show you around than Mr Kapur. Slightly eccentric he may be (joining us for dinner in his smoking jacket and slippers!) but highly entertaining. I would highly recommend Aashray.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank hilltopbob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Aashray

Property: 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 #7 of 215 Specialty Lodging in Varanasi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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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