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“Difficult to get to, but absolute riverside in the centre of Old City”

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WelcomHeritage Jukaso Ganges
Ranked #20 of 80 Hotels in Varanasi
Reviewed September 17, 2013

We stayed at Jukaso in September 2013. I would guess the hotel to be 3+ star, and definitely the highest quality of any absolute waterfront "hotel" in the Old City where most hotels are 2 star basic guesthouse/backpacker style.
The hotel is very close to Ram Ghat / Scindhia Ghat, 5 mins walk from Manikarnika Burning Ghat. This make it a relatively central location in the 6km sweep of the river ghats. The few other higher quality "guesthouses" on the river are more "guesthouse" that I am aware of tend to be at the much more southern Assi Ghat.

Most of the 4-5 star hotels in Varanasi are in the new city, well away from the Old City and the Ganges riverbank. This is primarily due to the fact that the "Old City" which hugs the length of the river in Varanasi has very few roads, making access by car or taxi extremely difficult. To get to the Jukaso Hotel, you will need to get a taxi to one of the major ghats and then take a short boat shuttle to the hotel. Dasashwamedh would be the most likely ghat, as the river flows downstream to the hotel making the transfer quite quick.

This wasn't the case for us however. We visited in early September 2013, not long after unprecedented flooding of the Ganges, only to find the river 6m above its normal level. It had been up to 12m higher than usual in the preceding weeks, so the lower floors of the hotel, and riverbank terrace had been inundated with mud. The elevator was out of action, and the staff were flushing mud out of the lower floors with high pressure hoses. The lower steps of ALL ghats were under water, and to get between ghats meant we had to walk many steps and distances to get between them. All boats had been ordered off the water although some were out on the day we visited - apparently for the first day in weeks. We were unable to be shuttled by boat, so had to walk a kilometre into the hotel from where the taxi dropped us. Luckily the hotel provided porters to carry our bags in and out from the hotel. An adventure in itself! So I do recommend that you ask the hotel if the lower floors have been cleared of mud and debris, and that the elevator are working before you commit to staying.

The nightly rate for the Jukaso Ganges is around 8,500 - 9,500 Rp / night, which I personally think was overpriced. 4,000 – 6,000 Rp per night would probably be more reasonable, however the reality is that there are few if any high quality alternatives on the central riverfront.

The hotel is a 5 floor heritage building, on the absolute riverfront, with a riverbank terrace, and a terrace and small restaurant on the rooftop with expansive east facing river views. There are 15 rooms, most with riverfront views. Rooms are very clean with comfortable beds, good A/C, flat screen tv, fridge, room safe, marble showers with good water pressure. I thought the rooms were nice. The terraces have comfortable rattan furniture.
The hotel is alcohol free, although staff will procure beer for you, but out of respect ask that you drink it in your room, and not in the restaurant, or on the public terraces.

We chose to stay at Jukaso Ganges because we were only in Varanasi for one night, and wanted to get the most experience of the Old City itself but you need to realise that the hotel is at least a kilometre from the nearest road. Access is only by boat on the river, or by foot through the Old City. The Old City is a vast labyrinth of extremely narrow alleys and lanes known as gallies, just wide enough for pedestrians, motorbikes, and holy cows. (lots and lots of cows!) It is next to impossible to find the hotel by yourself unassisted, so make sure you take a card with you if you are exploring.

If you are intending to stay longer than 2 nights in Varanasi and prefer to stay in upmarket hotels, then I recommend considering staying at one of the 5 star hotels outside the Old City so that it becomes much easier to access other areas of Varanasi. (Sarnath, etc).

The hotel provides a complimentary boat tour to view the evening Ganga Aarti religious ceremony at Dasashwamedh Ghat, and can also arrange dawn boat cruises (highly recommended), and walking guides to accompany you in the old city (also highly recommended). The old city is quite dark at night, with lots of cobbled alleys, and lots of cow dung, so I recommend a small flashlight, and closed footwear. This is not a place to wear sandals or other open toed footware! :-)

In saying all of the above, my travelling companions and I were very glad that we chose to stay at the Jukaso, given the short amount of time we had available, and I would happily stay there again.

Room Tip: Definitely riverside. Why else are you here??
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
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14  Thank Brett M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 5, 2013

We stayed in Jukaso Ganges during Holi in 2011.

While i have been to Varanasi on several visits , its the first time I visited Kashi.
In the many firsts it was also first time I touched the Jyotirling in the Kashi Vishwananth temple.
( a small interesting walk from the hotel)

With the Ganges at its doorstop and temples around it, the property is blessed.
Can one ask for anything else??
The boat ride to hotel , swept me off my feet.
There is a boat always available to take you to any of the Ghats you wish.A huge advantage.
All of them can be approached on foot as well.

Walking through the small by lanes of Kashi and discovering temples inside homes was an unusual treat.
We participated in a beautiful aarti on the Ganges, while sitting in one of the Hotel boats.
What an experience!!!

Impeccably kept , it was really neat and clean with many interesting artefacts

The view from the Rooftop is amazing.
I even spotted two large owls in the beautiful building next to the Hotel.

Room Tip: A room overlooking the Ganges , for sure.
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank mukulchand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2013

If not, it is at least the most charming! Located on the Guleria Ghat, it is close to everything, including the burning ghats. Steps from the Ganges, the hotel has lots of public space and views of the river. It's rather small, with a tiny (but good) restaurant, all in what I think is an 800 year old structure. The place is tastefully decorated and the 2 stunning courtyards (one on each floor), overlooking the river, are amazing. Here you can meditate, read, relax and let the craziness that is the city be for a while. For while Varanasi is an incredible place, it may take some getting used to. The hotels have imperfections, like everywhere else, but not enough to warrant complaints. If you are somewhat sensitive to cultural "exposure", or require Western-style amenities like pool and bars, this is not the place for you. Most of Varanasis inner city is "dry".

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled solo
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5  Thank ice-bjorn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2013

Verry friendly staff , good location ,basic room , good wifi but the price/quality don't match ! The food in the restaurant is basic and it isn't nice sitting there ( coca cola refrigerator , nasty lighting and no airco ). The manager wasn't able to feel us comfortable after there were problems with water in the bathroom! we washed us with water out the ganges for 1 day out the shower !

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank THEDAI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2013

The newly renovated old palace at the Ganges River. To get there you need to take a boat... I like the decor - grey, nice. The internet is free but very slow. Restaurant at the roof, with great view, but breakfast is very basic. The big problem is the lift - during our 2-day stay it was several times out of order.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Bajonka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2013

This is a gem in Varanasi--a redone old palace on the Ganges River like nothing else you'll find in the city. The place is 500 years old and there is a shrine room with a 600 year old Vishnu in it that gets its own Brahmin who comes in and puts fresh flowers and incense around it every day. The staff, including the owner Monty, are very helpful. We got a good tour of the city and the burning ghat from Dipak who was recommended by Monty. I found everyone trustworthy and very helpful.

Since the old Varanasi streets are impossibly confusing, you really need a guide and this hotel can provide boats, taxi service etc. They are honest enough to tell you its cheaper if you do it on your own but the prices were reasonable. The hotel is often full in high season and it is one of the more expensive in Varanasi but I don't think you could stay in a more ideal location if you want to experience life on the Ganges in Varanasi.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank Treesawe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2013

The Jukaso Ganges is a newly renovated decent standard hotel with clean rooms and friendly, helpful staff. The food is basic but safe to eat - there are not many places to eat in Varanasi especially if you go out of the main tourist season. The hotels location on the banks of the Ganges is amazing and the sights from the hotel are mind blowing - be prepared to take a lot of pictures. The hotel is also well located to do walking tours around the old town and the ghats. A couple of warnings - Varanasi is built on a river bank so there are literally thousands of stairs - some of them very steep - it is not the place to go if you struggle with stairs or have mobility issues - this includes access to the hotel. Also remember alcohol is difficult to get anywhere in Varanasi - if you are desperate ask your guide if he can "source" a couple of beers but expect to pay over the odds for them.

Room Tip: Ask for a river facing room - the sights in the early morning and evening are amazing. And make sure...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Cindy T
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

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 #20 of 80 Hotels in Varanasi
Price Range: $182 - $222 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — WelcomHeritage Jukaso Ganges 3*
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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