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“Best Spot on the Ganges”

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WelcomHeritage Jukaso Ganges
Ranked #17 of 74 Hotels in Varanasi
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
486 reviews
117 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 203 helpful votes
“Best Spot on the Ganges”
Reviewed November 16, 2012

You can stay at the Taj (a lovely hotel I'm sure, with all mod cons) but be 8km from the Ganges. We chose to stay on the river at Jukaso and were not disappointed. The advantages well outweighed the disadvantages. You do need to take a boat (500 metres through the old town with luggage would be a nightmare) and get up quite a few steps to the reception (it needs those steps to stay above flood level!). There is a small lift which worked fine for us. We stayed on the top floor and had a great view of the river and the decrepit palace next door. The food was quite adequate (fair to very good) and service good. The restaurant has tables overlooking the river and you need to reserve the best ones. One huge advantage the hotel has is that the evening and morning cruises are so much easier! We also visited temples and the walk through the old town (without luggage!) was certainly interesting. Varanasi is not for the faint hearted. Regarding insects - there are an awful lot - but I don't know what the hotel can do.

Room Tip: We stayed on the 4th floor near the restaurant with good views. I suspect the third floor is also g...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank TukoPomojaAustralia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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269 reviews from our community

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IRELAND
Level Contributor
19 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed November 6, 2012

My husband and I stayed in this property for 1 night only... thankfully. We arrived to the most unfriendly welcome by a scruffy manager who just did not care about anything. We had been travelling in India for 15 nights and this was the worst hotel/lodge experience. The floor of the room had insects both dead and alive. The bath was dirty and the shower did not work and was hanging off the wall. We had no hot or cold water for two hours from 7p.m to 9p.m and because of that we had no dinner. As you can imagine we were not prepared to chance dinner in a place that had no running water. My complaints about the water to the manager were met with indeference. When we went to get into bed we realised that the bed linen was dirty (I have photo to prove same). At that stage it was 10.30p.m and too late to leave.
The staff at this place are very nice except for that terrible manager but they need a huge amount of training and they need to seriously clean up their act. Tableclothes at breakfast were also dirty.
We were originally going to stay at the Raddison but because it is some distance from the Ganges we changed to the Jukaso. What a mistake!! Also the steps in this place are a real hazard. Only thing going for it is the view of the Ganges. Needless to say we will not be back.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Clare1Ireland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JUKASO, General Manager at WelcomHeritage Jukaso Ganges, responded to this review, November 14, 2012
I am most concerned to learn of the shortfalls in our level of service that guest experienced on the visit to our hotel. I have personally looked into the details of the incident. Being on the bank of river Ganges we have insects problem but I would like to assure you that corrective action is already taken.

Every effort will be made to ensure that similar incidents do not arise again in the future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Walnut Creek, Ca USA
Level Contributor
25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed October 25, 2012

All the good things you have read this web site I agree with, and would go even further with my praise of this hotel. However, for anyone with any kind of limitation on their mobility, I see this hotel as posing a real hazard. Why is this so? To enter and leave the hotel, you must handle 5 steep series of stairs, with a total of approximately 60 steps, and there are no handrails. It is a very steep, stone staircase so that if you do fall there is nothing you can find to break your fall. Persons who have had joint replacements, have balance problems, need to use a cane, need to weigh the odds that they can survive a fall on these stairs. Also, the only way to reach the hotel is either by a boat ride from a congested dock, or via the narrow, also congested, narrow streets. All that being said, how can you not like a hotel that gives you a view and access to all the daily as well as evening ceremonies that take place in that area of the Ganges. The building is a 700 year old structure built as a place. The food is excellent, the kitchen presided over by the chef, who visits mornings and evenings with guests, and wll take requests for the evening buffet. The hotel has less than 20 rooms so if this is your choice, reserve early.

Again, for younger, healthy tourists, this is an excellent choice, and if you are on a tight budget, and saving money for a hotel splurge, this is the place for you.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a view of the river, most rooms have that.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank hurley7th
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
276 reviews
79 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 339 helpful votes
Reviewed September 24, 2012

We are so happy that we stayed at this hotel, as we were originally going to stay at the Ramada hotel far from the Ganges. After driving by the Ramada and then staying here, I cannot not imagine having to be that far away. You would miss what is the essence of what Varanasi is, the constant 24/7 sights, sounds, smells and the "vibe" of the place. Waking up every morning and opening our gorgeous floor to ceiling windows to lay in our bed and watch the Ganges life and hear the puja chanting and smell the mixture of spices and incenses and food being cooked in the air was incredible.

Furthermore, the staff of this hotel went out of their way to please the client, whatever we wanted was looked after.The porters will take out through the streets/or by boat to meet your driver, or guide you to any shop, restaurant you want. The rooms are so clean, luxurious and comfortable. The food at the hotel was reasonably priced and excellent. The included breakfast buffet was also very good. I would highly recommend staying here. All rooms are excellent, but when reserving, try to ask for a room that is as close as possible to the Ganges at the front of the hotel.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Salsajo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Level Contributor
52 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed August 8, 2012

Sadly, did _not_ get to stay here but I will definitely do so the next time i'm back in Varanasi!
Had stayed at Nadesar Palace (see separate review) away from the action instead of Jukaso, but thoroughly checked out this spanking new property after passing by on a Ganges river cruise.

You get here by boat/ferry, which is near the main "D" ghat... (i can never remember the spelling!)... and at the "dock", was greeted by a row of 5-6 public urinals whose drain pipes led to the steps, and eventually, the Ganges river... ?!?! I didn't see the point between having urinals and "aiming at the walls" if they're going to leak/lead to the river anyway. It was bizarre, and i'm not sure if Jukaso had anything to do with this as this is not seen at the other ghats... i.e. pointlessly-located urinals.

But step into the hotel and into a world of tranquility and calm amidst the exciting chaos of Varanasi. This is the place to be if you would like an understated luxury (about as luxurious as it gets) while staying on the ghats, in the thick of the action. This is a very new hotel very tastefully converted from a haveli/mansion. Clever use of warm, amber lighting gave it a very romantic and luxurious ambience. I was sold... even before having seen the rooms.
Each room's layout is quite different, but most rooms have views of the river.

Being a heritage hotel, the rooms are small-ish and somewhat cramped, but modern and very comfortable... but in a hotel like that, i'd probably be spending most of my time sitting outside in the gorgeous common areas, the ornately decorated lobby and neat little terraces... There's even a shrine/altar in the hotel, which was unexpected.

This hotel even has an elevator!

During monsoon season, the ground floor is flooded, and the lobby's moved to the level upstairs.

Advice for carnivores: only vegetarian meals are served here, as with most of the hotels on the ghats.

I can't wait for the day i get to come back and stay at this charming little place!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled on business
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Helpful?
2 Thank NikolosSG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
105 reviews
94 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 138 helpful votes
Reviewed April 16, 2012

We were determined to stay on the Ganges on our second visit to Varanasi. Choices are, or so we had thought, very limited, and mostly of the budget type. The result, a river view room at the depressing, horrible Ajay Guesthouse. (See separate review). Having arrived in Varanasi very early in the morning, a boat ride on the Ganges rescued us from the 'hell hole with a view'. Near the Dashashwamedh Ghat, I spotted a row of potted greenery in front of a beautiful building, and was elated to hear from our boatman that it was a new hotel, very recently opened. I practically jumped off the boat to race up the steps, cross the stone terrace, and be welcomed into a beautiful, tranquil, haven of my most favorite kind of hotel- relaxed yet sophisticated design and hospitality.
After a quick trip back to hell to retrieve our bags, we were free to enjoy the bliss and tranquil respite from the often overwhelming chaos of Varanasi's narrow, bustling streets that Jukaso offered.
In the heart of varanasi, on the banks of the Ganges, incredible views especially at sunrise, (even from our bed!), gorgeous surroundings, great food, impeccable service, monkeys joining us for afternoon cocktails. Suddenly, we had it all!
What glorious salvation.
And it's about time there was an alternative to the backpacker accommodation offered riverside.
A bit of a splurge (thankfully we had a credit card) but sooo worth it.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled on business
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Helpful?
7 Thank ritajeff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gurugram (Gurgaon), India
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed April 9, 2012

The Varanasi trip was a birthday gift I planned for my wife, and we really enjoyed our 3N stay at the hotel in April 2012. The property is a modernized Haveli right on the bank of the Ganges, and provides for some grand view. The best part is, even if you did not manage to get a room with a view, you will still have enough opportunities to soak it in from ample terrace spaces including the restaurant. The hotel has some fantastic people as the staff, so expect to be treated royally throughout your stay!

Approach: Since we were traveling with luggage, the only feasible way to approach the hotel is by a taxi to the Bhaisasur ghat and then the hotel's in-house free boat-ride to the ghat from where the hotel is a few flights of stairs up. The boat-drops and pick-ups are free for the entire period of your stay, in other words, you only have to factor in 10-15 minutes of boat journey to reach your car, that is when you plan a trip around Varanasi that involves a car

Reception area: Spartan yet modern and clean, provides a nice welcome to all guests (partly because the lobby level remains under water for a month or so during peak monsoons. Don't worry! It is very common in Varanasi for the Ganges to inundate the banks by several feet each year). The lobby simply is moved up one floor. Also, monsoon is off-season so you are unlikely to visit anyway

Room: Nice rooms with all modern amenities one may need. Great shower in a big toilet, the HVAC works great (the hotel is an open-to-nature heritage building, so most parts excluding the lobby, the rooms and the restaurant are naturally ventilated). Comfortable bed. No carpets, but we didn't miss one at all because the flooring has an antique feel to it

Restaurant: Small, but very functional and comfortable. However, the headline here really is the chef and the serving staff. We had some of the best food ever (yes!) while staying at luxury properties. The chef Mr. Sailesh is a fantastic person as well, so feel free to discuss your special needs/wishes with him. We were treated royally and made good friends with the staff member Spandan

View: One word- awesome!

Location: The hotel is 15 minutes from nearest car-approachable road by boat, 15 minutes from Dashashwamedh ghat on foot, and 15 minutes from Chowk (where we bought Banarasee Sarees). Note that you will cross the Manikarnika ghat en-route to the Dashashwamedh ghat. Manikarnika ghat is the burning ghat where Hindu cremation takes place. Photography on the ghat is strongly discouraged by locals, so it is best to refrain. Also, I recommend you avoid interacting with the locals on this ghat, as some of them may try to con foreign guests. Just keep walking, no one will hurt you or give you a hard time. Since the hotel is on the ghat, you can keep walking along the river bank and reach anywhere in the old city pretty quickly

Guide: The hotel offered to help us find one. Varanasi is the oldest inhabited city in the world, and has labyrinthine lanes and alleyways that are near impossible to negotiate alone esp. if one is a visitor for a few days. Make no mistake, I am not saying you can't do it, but you will likely end up wasting some time asking for your way around. So we found Gopal.

Gopal is a gem of a person. In fact we never regarded him as a guide, he was more like a dear friend to us in Varanasi. He will help you experience the city and will accompany you all along. He knows the lanes really well, speaks good English and is a fairly trust-worthy dude. Ask for him at the reception

Jukaso Ganges is not a gigantic property and therefore, unlike bigger hotels, offers personal touch. What they may lack in way of outright luxury for the money you pay, they will more than make up for it by making your stay peaceful and happy. I recommend the hotel highly.

The reason I am yet to award 5 stars to this hotel is because it still needs to cross some t's and dot some i's to become a really complete package (e.g. the safe in the room did not work, the minibar was actually hot inside, the toilet needed more attention for details, wireless internet availability extremely spotty etc.). In case you have a short to medium length stay in Varanasi, and need a good balance between luxury and location, this hotel could be your best bet for now.

People I would like to mention: Reception manager Rajesh (go-to man for all your planning and stay questions), chef Sailesh, restaurant staff Spandan, guide Gopal, boatman Gokul, and of course the manager Mr. Manish Kumar Singh. Thanks to these people for making our stay a pleasant one. We will be back!

Room Tip: Ask for rooms with Ganges view on the 3rd and 4th floors (facing East)
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
10 Thank Soumit B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about WelcomHeritage Jukaso Ganges

Property: WelcomHeritage Jukaso Ganges
Address: Patni Tola Chowk Ck 1/14 | Between Bhosle and Ram Ghat, Varanasi 221010, India
Location: India > Uttar Pradesh > Varanasi District > Varanasi
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Ski-In / Ski-Out Spa Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #17 of 74 Hotels in Varanasi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — WelcomHeritage Jukaso Ganges 3.5*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
WelcomHeritage Jukaso Ganges at Varanasi is built on a sloped embankment called the ‘Guleria Ghat’ on the banks of the Holy Ganga River is typical of the riverfront architecture of Benaras. Sandstone quarried from the Chunar Area has been extensively used in the structural beams and columns of this property. The property has 15 Well appointed rooms and most of them are east facing which provide the guest with the advantage of a river view and a soothing breeze blowing off it. ... more   less 
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