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“Deceptive & volatile owner :-(”
Review of Rudra Guest House

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Rudra Guest House
Ranked #47 of 215 Varanasi B&B and Inns
Seattle, Washington, United States
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Deceptive & volatile owner :-(”
Reviewed March 4, 2013

This hotel has multiple personalities, so I'm kind of writing two reviews. I'll start with the bad (the management & ethics), and then the ok (the hotel itself.)

The Management & ethical concerns (1-star rating for this):
Although Lalu, the owner, seemed friendly and helpful at the outset, he showed a volatile and unethical side on my second day. I had friends in Allahabad who were interested in coming to Varanasi for a few days towards the end of the Kumbh Mela (a time when rooms in Varanasi were very booked and the odds of finding a room on arrival late at night were not good.) While on the phone with friends, I relayed their needs to him: 4 people, ideally two rooms. He said he had only one room that night but could put in 4 beds, and could have 2 rooms the next day. We asked the price, he said 1400. Great! Friends arranged a taxi and headed to Varanasi. On arrival, around 11PM, they were told that the price for the room was 2000! When my friends and I objected that he had said 1400 on the phone a few hours earlier, he insisted that we never discussed the price for a "double" room, which was 2000. Total bait-and-switch! When my friends questioned him on this, he became hostile and volatile and said there was no longer a room available for them and he would not allow them to stay (even though he had just told them he'd prepared a room with 4 beds, and even though they were willing to negotiate on price). When I tried discussing this with him, since I'd brokered the original deal (and felt responsible for my friends coming to Varanasi and now having no room), he became angry, snapped at me, turned his back, and then ignored me for the rest of my stay (I had pre-paid three nights on Agoda, so was unfortunately committed to another night.) During my stay I also witnessed him in a shouting match with another set of guests.

The "Brown Bread Bakery" on the roof has the exact same enormous photocopied menu as the other two Brown Breads in town, but serves only a tiny fraction of the menu (and almost no bakery items) out of its postage-stamp sized kitchen. The cook is a good cook, though.

The hotel itself (would have given 3 stars if it weren't for the above):
It's a new-ish hotel in the old city (not really a guest house as no family lives here) with plenty of hot water and cleaner than average for budget India accommodations (if you consider 1400 rupees "budget.") My room had bright paint that was cheerful, but no window (ug) and the only furniture besides a bed was a fold-up chair and a very small night stand, so there was no where besides the floor to put my things. Linens on the bed (bottom sheet only and one blanket) seemed pretty clean. They did not give me a towel. The bathroom had two small square holes cut out of the wall (for light or ventilation?) that were not covered in glass or even mosquito netting, so mosquitoes came in through there. However, the fact that it was relatively clean and actually had hot water is a plus. They cut the power in your room when you're not in it, so you can't charge camera batteries or computers, etc when you're not in the room (though this is typical in India.)

The location is great. You can see the Ganges from the roof top and it's a 2 minute walk from Daseswamedh Ghat (the main ghat.) The rooftop terrace is a comfortable place to hang out with pillows for lounging and low tables for your laptop or meal. Good place to meet other travelers. The wifi is free and slow but mostly worked on the rooftop, but did not work in my room.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Playapixie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
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English first
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 2, 2013

The manager help us organize our weekend and made it a wonderful experience. He offered us the help of a guide (Mogli) who showed us the old town, took us for a boat ride on the Gange, and explained to us the history of this town. We would not have enjoyed our time as much here without their assistance. The food was good as well as we enjoyed a couple of nights/morning on the rooftop. Nice place and make use of the personnel as they know their city.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Martduf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 28, 2013

After a really crazy time getting from the airport to the guesthouse, we were greeted with warm smiles and friendly hello's. The staff are all wonderful and very helpful. The room was clean and the hot water runs 24 hours. Very nice in comparison to other places I have stayed in India. The location is amazing, only 50 meters or so from one of the main ghats. I am also happy to know that the hotel donates part of its profits to charity, Learn for Life school and also Women Empowerment Group. I would recommend this hotel to others, and I will definitely stay here again in the future.

Room Tip: The streets are very narrow and confusing so I found it very beneficial to have the hotel organize t...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Amy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 12, 2013

We have booked 3 nights in that guest house in february 2013.

First, it is not a guest house. It is an hotel. When people of rudra wants to help you, to book a boat for exemple, it is just to make you pay 10 times the price to have a commission. The guy tried to sell us 2 hours of boat in varanasi for 5000 inr ; we went directly to the river, we have paid 600 inr for the same service (private boat for 2 people, 2 hours).

Secondly, we had experienced an overbooking. We stayed 2 nights in that hotel, the 7th and 8th february, then we wend to allahabad, and we came back for the 10th. We paid when we arrived the 3 nights. At our arrival on the 10th, no room available. We had to wait more than 2 hours for the boss to come back. He finally moved us into a smaller room. It was our last day in India, so we missed the last service of the restaurant where we wanted to eat.

Third, we have paid 2500 inr each night. You can look at the picture to see the room. At that price, I advice you to book another hotel, the value for money is extremely poor.

About the room more precisely, there is not mirror in the bath room, no tv. When we arrived the 10th, no hot water, so we had to wait 1 hours after 7 hours of trafic jam to have a shower.
The roof top is in a very bad condition.

Finally that is too bad because the location is good, close to the river, but they don't even try to make you enjoy your trip.

Room Tip: I am afraid to say that all the room I have seen have the same poor condition. Just one thing, the...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Richard L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 12, 2013

we arrived varanasi 3 in the morning and every hostel was fully booked or locked. BUT here the staff gave us their room and they slept on the sofa near reception. They are always trying to help you. Very sincere.. The room is clean. Nice location. Just 3 mins to the main Ghat. I strongly recommend Rudra Guest House.

And these people are helping poor children in a school named Learn For Life. 25% of the profit from running this hostel goes to them!

  • Stayed February 2013
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Helpful?
3 Thank RUPALRAHUL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 9, 2013

I arrived at the station and was picked up as promised. Throughout my stay Balla who works at the hotel was fantastic. Nothing was too much trouble, showed me sights, organized my boat tour, was very helpful and spoke excellent English which was so convenient. He also helped me get a train ticket when there was a long wait list. I was travelling alone so it was great to have someone looking out for me. Lulu the owner was very friendly and keen to ensure my stay was a good one. The location is awesome just 1min walk from main ghat.
The roof top restaurant was a great place to watch the sunset and kites flying in the evening. Can't wait to come back with my family.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank MardieG123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 8, 2013

We spent 2 nights here.The place is very good located but not easy to find. The staff will definitely pick you up if needed.The rooms are clean and usually they have hot water...power shortages are normal everywhere ;-)
There is a new branch of the brown bread bakery on the top of the guest house.It's a nice terrace with cushions.Good place to relax and soak up the sun. You can also get a guide at the guest house who will show you around and provide you with details about the city.
Overall : good place,helpful and friendly staff!

  • Stayed February 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank BoubeB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rudra Guest House

Property: Rudra Guest House
Address: D 17/71-1 Bansigali | Dashwamedh, Varanasi 221001, India
Location: India > Uttar Pradesh > Varanasi District > Varanasi
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #47 of 215 B&Bs / Inns in Varanasi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:1 star — Rudra Guest House 1*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Newly opened in December 2010, Rudra Guest House is located in the heart of Varanasi, within a minute to the main ghats, shopping and vegetable market and the winding alleyways of the old city. The staff at Rudra Guest House will ensure that your stay is enjoyable with modern, comfortable and spacious bedrooms (AC and non-AC) and all with western style en-suites. The guest house also has indoor and rooftop dining run by the Brown Bread Bakery. 20% of profits are donated to our main project, The Learn for Life Society. ... more   less 
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