I planned a visit to Varanasi with my wife Krishna this October (2013). We were looking for a good hotel while planning our visit. We are somewhat fastidious in choosing our hotels and hygiene and calories are always a big concern with us. Then we came across HOMESTAY on Trip Advisor.
Varanasi, as a city is not very clean and the roads are bad .Going by the reviews HOMESTAY appeared good and we decided to give it a try. But now we consider ourselves fortunate to have stayed in HOMESTAY. Mr. Harish Rijhwani and his wife Mallika is an adorable couple who manage HOMESTAY with style and smiles. He lives in the same premises with his father and two children, a son and a daughter. The family has a very disarming attitude and once with them, you feel as if you knew them ever since. With the family, you experience the rich traditional Indian culture and values of a high class family, where elders are respected and children are loved.
We stayed at HOMESTAY for 3 days. Rooms are excellent, well furnished and very clean by international standards. Air conditioning works perfectly. When requested, Harish ji promptly provided us with mats to perform our daily yoga exercises.
Home food provided by Mallika ji is delicious and perfectly hygienic, cooked in her own kitchen and served in her own dining hall, which also has a pedestal for worship. So you dine in a very serene and peaceful atmosphere. The breakfast has an imaginative menu, and besides that, whenever we wished something special in menu Harish ji was always willing to provide as best as possible. It was a nice experience to interact with an international cross section of guests at the dining table. For our return journey, Mallika ji also packed us a very delicious Veg,-biryani for lunch.
Transportation arrangements are excellent. HOMESTAY owns a new Innova Taxi for a group, presently chauffeured by Mr. Mishra, a well educated, smiling and polite young man. Besides that, sedan / hatchback / auto in excellent condition are always promptly provided depending upon the requirement of the guests. Local trips arranged by Harish ji are excellent and good value for money.
Expertise of Harish ji in advising on local trips and city sightseeing is magnificent, and he gave us best advice to taste the delicacies of Varanasi which otherwise could have taken lot of hits and trials, if at all. Harish ji runs a silk textile outlet himself with very good choice, and we were pleased to purchase very good silk stuff at competitive prices. He also sent us to Fatima Enterprises in Madan Pura where we could buy original hand-woven Benarasi silk sarees, which is otherwise something difficult to find in Varanasi today.
We feel, had it not been for HOMESTAY, we would have found Varanasi a disappointing city perhaps. HOMESTAY never made us feel that we were away from home in an unknown city. Given a chance to be in Varanasi again, we would choose none other than HOMESTAY for us and would advise likewise to anyone planning to visit this city. We shall always cherish the compassionate, supportive and personal touch and affection we got at HOMESTAY, for which anyway you can never lay a price.
Thanks and Best Wishes HOMESTAY family.
Review by: ASHOK SHARMA AND KRISHNA SHARMA, Haridwar
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This Homestay is managed by an Indian family and those who like to stay with a family and share the culture and taste freshly made home cooked vegetarian food would like it here very much.A traditional Indian house built in 1936, with complete teakwood work and antique hand carving workmanship on the doors, windows, decorations and furniture. Lots of open space for natural sunlight and air. Beautiful seat in garden in the front. ... more less