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“Such potential”

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WelcomHeritage Jukaso Ganges
Ranked #19 of 79 Hotels in Varanasi
Hertford, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
84 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Such potential”
Reviewed December 9, 2012

Such potential but disappointing. The hotel is in a splendid location, right on the ghats. It has been recently meticulously restored at great cost I expect, but alas it is not being maintained. The hotel only opened at the beginning of this year 2012.

India is dirty by Western standards but it does not have to be. Many areas of the hotel were grubby which is probably unnoticed by the staff but I am sure the owners would be concerned that their investment is being neglected. Do not misunderstand me, the hotel is not dirty just grubby. There seems to be no sense of pride by the staff. This hotel has so so much potential with proper strong management and discipline and training of the staff. It does not need much more money at all spent on it. This hotel has the potential to be the best on the river and indeed it probably currently is but it could be and should be absolutely amazing.

The room we had, whilst small was furnished well and with stone walls. It was on the third floor but slightly set back, nevertheless we still had a river view. Remember this is a refurbished old building. Some of the ceiling paper had started to lift in the bathroom, there were small cracks in the joins between the wall and ceiling. Nothing major and what one would expect after a major refurbishment. Most people would have these attended to but it seems as if they are just being ignored. There would be very little cost to remedy these tiny issues.

We were here for three nights including Dev Deepvali, an absolutely amazing experience when all the ghats are lit with hundreds of thousands of candles. It is a must to see it from the river and for the boatman this day is the best day of their year. They can charge ten to twenty. times more than normal for a boat ride. It is though one of those things that you just have to do and if you can afford to stay here then you can afford to be exploited by the boatmen. We had a two hour trip booked to go up and down stream. When we returned after 1 1/2 hours the hotel manager Manish was on the steps as we entered back into the hotel. He asked why we had returned early, we told him that the boatman said out time had finished. Manish said we had paid for a minimum of two hours and spoke with the boat owner who immediately put us back into the boat for another journey.

There was one frustrating incident which I hope was a genuine mistake. On one of the days my wife and I returned to the hotel for 15 minutes with our guide. We ordered three teas, two for us and one for our guide. He was sitting in a beautiful lounge area outside the main door of the hotel (Wonderful to sit and watch the world go by). Our teas were delivered to our room. We were changing into something warmer for the evening boat ride. When we went back downstairs our guide told us is tea had not arrived. Very disappointing but hopefully a genuine mistake.

Breakfast is from a small buffet with eggs being cooked to order. Lunch is al a carte and dinner a buffet. There is a small selection of continental and Indian foods, which implies everything is freshly cooked daily. But why oh why do they sit you down on tables with dirty tablecloths?

My wife and I unfortunately became very ill probably with food poisoning. It occurred after we had been there for 48 houirs and almost certainly we got it from the only oher place we ate away from the hotel. I was so bad that I called for the doctor in the middle of the night. Reception said that they could not call him until teh morning and he could not arrive until about 9-30am. Glad it was not a heart attack!

Manish the hotel manager was superb and constantly contacted my wife to see how I was.

In conclusion the hotel has wonderful views and the best location on the river. I just sincerely hope that it is exploited to its full potential.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank LongHols
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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272 reviews from our community

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English first
Varanasi
1 review
Reviewed December 5, 2012

Many people have posted positive reviews on the hotel which my wife and I would totally agree with- we would instead like to focus on a member of the staff. "Monty" was a staff member- who by the end felt like a friend. He gave us recommendations of things to see and do in the city- helped to arrange tours and transport- and all the while treated us with respect and kindness, something we will never forget after many harried weeks in a country where often this kind of connection and service is hard to find. He is definitely an asset to the Hotel- and for guests visiting in the future you would be well advised to seek his advice and guidance. Thank you "Jukaso Ganges" for a comfortable stay, and Monty for all your help- we will remember you fondly!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Brian L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, New York
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed December 3, 2012

Statyed here for two nights with my wife. The location is incredible. Despite some problems, it's probably the best hotel on the Ganges. We stayed in Room 306 with an incredible view. We had a terrace right above the river.

The room was very basic, but adequate -- not plush or very comfortable by western standards. This is not a four star hotel. The service left a lot to be desired. Staff did not speak good english and they provided us with soaking wet bath towels. Food was average at best.

Under no circumstances hire a guide or car from this hotel. The hotel set us up with a "guide" at an exhorbitant rate (by Indian standards). It is typical to pay more for a guide when booked through a hotel, but the expectation is that you will receive superior service. Not so here. The "guide" we were given was a street person who barely spoke English. Twenty minutes into the "tour" the "guide" was detained by the police for not having a license. When I complained to the manager, he told me that the hotel had hired the street person in order to "help out the community." I'm all for helping out the community, but if I'm going to pay 1,600 INRs, I would like to have a real guide who speaks English.

Room Tip: Go with Room 306 if you can. It has a terrific view with a balcony that opens up to the Ganges. Be...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank RedStorm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
32 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed November 27, 2012

What a great place to stay. It's not cheap but it's not too expensive either considering the value. If you're going to splurge, this is a great place to do it for a couple of nights.

First of all, the location. It is right on the ghats with great Ganges views and very close (within very short waking distance) to both the main cremation ghat and the evening Aarti and main bathing ghat.

The hotel itsel has been beautifully restored and the public spaces are lovely...some quite stunning. I was lucky to be assigned a top floor room with floor to ceiling windows directly overlooking the Ganges. Furnishings and fixtures are well chosen and beds are comfortable.

I found the food good and the Indian items seemed to be spiced to a wetern palate which suited this Anglo-Canadian perfectly.

Staff try hard to please. Based on my research and what I saw while in Varanasi, this is definitely number one in my books.

Room Tip: Bring ear plugs!!!
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank smacdvanbc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Goa, Arossim
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed November 19, 2012

We live in India and somehow knows what to expect and not from the hotels here, stars or no stars. We travel with 2 small kids so many consideration when choosing hotel, and I did lots of reseacrch about hotels in varanasi before we left and decided that Jukaso would be the best hotel to stay by the river if you are not so much on a budget. We were not disapointed, the hotel was beautifully done, the hotel is clean, food is acceptable, and the location is SUPERB (if you walk around to the left side of hotel, you'll find quiet side of the river, but still amazing and very 'photogenic')! We arranged the hotel pick up from the airport through hotel, they picked us up with a/c car, then transer to boat (just like 5 min easy walk) then directly in front of the hotel, no walk at small stret at all, very amazing arrival! By the river for sure this is the best hotel, like wayyyyy better than the rest, this I am 100% sure. I love the little touch they have like free chips, free boat rides, etc. We're glad that we can stay at such hotel by the river. Well done and keep it up.

Room Tip: We stayed at top floor room 402 (?) maybe. big room, excellent
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Nadianad09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
485 reviews
117 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 203 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank TukoPomojaAustralia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IRELAND
Level 4 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
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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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.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 #19 of 79 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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