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“Pretty good budget hotel but out of the way” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Scindhia Guest House

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Scindhia Guest House
Ranked #28 of 206 Varanasi B&B and Inns
New Delhi, India
Level Contributor
489 reviews
73 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 226 helpful votes
“Pretty good budget hotel but out of the way”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 3, 2012

Scindia Guest House is located right on the river with excellent views. The rooms are neat and clean, with comfortable beds. The bathroom could use a little more attention to the floors and walls as far as cleanliness is concerned, but otherwise it’s fine. For a non-a/c room with river view and no balcony, the rate is only Rs.550. There are rooms that are cheaper and ones with balconies that are much more expensive.
Plumbing in room 112 is functional. Good, large geyser with a working shower.
They have strict rules about no alcohol and drugs and also a curfew, when they lock the door. They have internet, which is more expensive than most; and they don’t let you connect with the laptop. I have a feeling that all of their services are a bit expensive. Mineral water is Rs.25.
The guest house is hard to find unless you walk along the ghats. If you go by the gali, you are sure to get lost the first few times. Even if you keep asking, you are likely to end up going the long way around.
Manikarnika Ghat, one of the burning ghats, is the next ghat over. From my room, it’s not possible to see (or smell it), but that might not be the case with all the rooms.
The restaurant is not particularly impressive, though I didn’t have much to eat there.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Peregrineri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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148 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
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Montreal
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 21, 2012

Out of the 2 weeks we stayed in India, this was the worst place we stayed at. The attitude and service from the manager - Kush, ruins the stay. If and when you call for any questions or pickups, his answer are rough quick answers. His english is good, so that was not to be blame for the way he talks. The day of our reservation, we arrived at 9 am. Bonus if we are able to check in early, but We didn't it. Kush never came out of his office, and just talked loud from his desk to tell his staff to tell us to bring our luggage up to the locker. I asked the assistant if I can just come back at 6 ish to check-in, since we are meeting our tour guide to do our tour for the day at 10 am till 6pm. He said, No, come back at 12! I was like, ummm...can I meet Kush now, do all the paper work, and just come back then. Cause I don't want to ruin the flow of the tour and comeback halfway. He said no, come back at 12. So, no choice, I asked our tour guide, Mayur - Who is great by the way, and play around with the schedule for us to come back.

When we got back around 12 ish, there was another couple waiting to be check-in. Assistant told us to sit and wait. Waited for 30mins. The whole time Kush was sitting in his office doing his thing. Then he screams something in Indian to tell us to go in. Assistant says, ok, go in. We all stood up, and said, No, One at a Time! So, my wife and I goes to the Door, and says, No, 1 at a time. What The? I get to his door, he looks at me, doesn't even say hi or tell me anything, but again screams to the assistant something. Assistant looks at the other couple, said You first! I was dumbfounded. I sat back down, and look at my wife, and said I Really feel like I am back in school where I just got in trouble and have to see the Principle!

When it came to our turn, I went in first. He doesn't even look up. Just say, passport, sign here, the other person can come in now. Sign here! Hands over the key.

Really? Felt like I was doing him a favor with us staying there.

The server at the restaurant on the rooftop. Even worst manners. I'll keep it short. Plops the menu, write yourself. He comes back - How many each? Whole time yawning, moping around.

I will give it 1 star for the view. I do believe if you choose any guesthouse along the river, and request a balcony, you will get the magnificent view. And there are plenty to choose from. Not worth going to a place where you start off with a sour note.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank excentrix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 8, 2012

to clarify something that seems to pop up a lot on the varanasi reviews...you CANNOT take a vehicle (except scooters) to almost any of the hotels/hostels in the old city so you will be required to walk between 5 and 15 minutes through a poop-littered maze of alleys to get to your place. prepare thyself.

and scindhia is no exception. kush (manager? owner?) was kind enough to send us a rickshaw to the train station and the driver guided us on foot that last bit to the hotel. all good.

a group of people had been waiting for their room for 3 hours when we got there (but it was just check out time...why they didn't go explore the town or grab a meal, who knows?) and i have to say that kush was rather brusque with them when they asked how much longer it would be.

our room was quite pleasant, with a private bath and a gorgeous view of the ganges. it had shelves and was quite clean.

however...the "restaurant" was a joke. i've seen images of prison canteens that were more attractive dining spots. caged in (as many places are in varanasi, to be fair) to keep out monkeys, the dining area has zero decor and cheap plastic furniture.

the ONLY server is an unfortunate, harried older man with no english who has to ascend and descend a couple flights of stairs to take in and bring out orders! because breakfast and dinner are served in a tight time frame, everyone appears pretty much at once and the poor guy becomes hopelessly overwhelmed.

we waited an hour for a banana and a bowl of cornflakes.

when we approached kush (manager? owner?) to cancel our order he was cool, but when we suggested that maybe, just maybe he should get one more person to help during the breakfast rush, he told us that we should just go somewhere else for breakfast if we were in a hurry (in a tone that lacked much in the way of courtesy).

there is no real social area in the hotel either.

so, for some people, scindhia was probably great...for us, mainly due to the crap restaurant and kush being discourteous on two occasions we would just give this place a basic "MEH" (picture a shrug of the shoulders as if to say "so so")

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ianwalk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 7, 2012

Yes..its 10 -15 mins walk from Auto stand but its no issues at all;
You will get Potters who will help with your luggage at affordable rates. The lanes and Bye lanes...through famous Kachori gali/lane or may be Khowa gali , will give you the essence of true Varanasi.
I along with my wife and child really enjoyed. Well my parents had bit difficulty in walking through the narrow lanes and climbing down the stairs at the ghat of River Ganga;

Kushagra , Manager, was very helpful and ensured we had a pleasant stay;

Food cost is bit high and SGH should also start Lunch facilities;

Rgds,Vishal Jaiswal( Kolkata)

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Vishal-Rashmi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bellingen, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 24, 2012

it has taken us so long to write this review because when we returned to australia from varanasi things became full on for us. we had wanted to go to varanasi for many decades so finding the right place to stay was important to us . the scindhia was an excellent choice.. mr kush arranged for us to be picked up from the airport and that all went smoooth. the taxi can only come in so far to the ganges area and we walked about 15 minutes in to the hotel with the porters which was a great way to come down to the river. our room on the top floor was simple, clean, comfortable and quiet. we liked it straight away. the view from the balcony on the top floor was fantastic and became our favourite view of the river all alon g the ganges, the scindhia is in a particularly holy area of old varanasi near the burning ghats and all the legends that surround them. there was no unpleasentness being close to the burning area. we experienced some lovely meditations in our room throughout our stay of 20 days at scindhia. mr kush and his staff were beautiful to us and we became very fond of them. the restaurant food was very good ( particularly the onion pakoras made fresh when ordered FANTASTIC) and we ate there often during our stay. sometimes you did have to wait for the food but it was obviously freshly cooked and worth the wait. i read in some of the reviews that the scindhia was difficult to find and difficult to walk to, we were really surprised, we are 60 years old and had no problems at all. when we return to varanasi we would stay again at the scindhia. sue and peter australia.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank 432sue136
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hokkaido, Japan
Level Contributor
57 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 8, 2012

Varanasi is an exciting and overwhelming city, so a peaceful retreat, with simple comforts, clean rooms, character and kindly service, makes for a wonderful oasis amongst the chaos.

Scindhia Guest House is located right by the river overlooking the most picturesque of the famous ghats (Schindhia Ghat), which is next to the famous burning ghat. Mr Kush Barman, the owner/manager, is a helpful, charming host who can arrange sightseeing boat rides along the river (well worth it, both in the morning and evening) and side trips to the Buddhist centre of Sarnath. The restaurant, with a view of the river, serves excellent Indian dishes.

My daughter and I stayed here in December 2011 and had a marvelous time. We stayed three nights, but could easily have stayed longer. This will be the place I return to in Varanasi. As others have written, don't try to find the place on your own, phone Mr Kush from the railway station and he will send a tuktuk for you. The final approach requires walking through the narrowest of alleys - an adventure itself - and taking a porter is recommended. If you have no sense of direction and plan to wander away from the riverside, carry a compass and a business card from the guest house. We found the people of Varanasi to be kind, helpful and friendly, and very willing to give directions when we were lost. Vendors by the river will of course attempt to over charge you for anything, so take this in your stride, either calculate a reasonable price in your own currency and pay that, or seek advice from the guest house before you shop anywhere. Mr Kush Barman was helpful in so many ways, and I particularly liked his very positive attitudes towards cleanliness and security, and the fact that this is a drug free lodge.

Making reservations ahead is strongly recommended, as there are few rooms, and the upper floor rooms are particularly desirable.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank StellersEagle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
56 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 26, 2011

We chose this place on the reviews from tripadvisor and Lonely Planet. We didn't book and so when we turned up they only had one room left, the double AC with balcony. We splurged for the 3 nights and weren't disappointed! the view from the balcony was amazing, the sunrise over the river Ganges and the city were great everyday. the room is very, very clean, including the bathroom. Actually the bathroom is huge by Indian standards. The only disappointment was that occasionally there was powercuts and the AC was off, however if whenever we mentioned it to the man in charge it was amazing able to be on. The cheaper rooms would be great value I reckon.

That aside the laundry service was great, the clothes came back really clean. the position of the guesthouse is right on the waters edge in old varanasi. when you arrive the auto rickshaws can't take you all the way. We got ripped off by out auto rickshaw guy who dropped us in the middle of the main road. We knew you couldn't get all the way by auto but he obviously was pissed we didn't want to go to a hotel where he could get commission. If you don't have a transfer organised asked the rickshaw driver to drop you at the archway to old varanasi on Dasaswamedh Ghat Rd or at the autorickshaw stand on mandapur rd - then just ask for directions. Don't follow someone unless you want to tip them, just ask shop owners, they are really helpful. We found this many time when looking for something obscure in the alley like streets of Old Varanasi.

The guesthouse is just around the corner from the main burning ghat - Manikarnika Ghat. Everytime we needed to leave the guesthouse and get around we had to pass this ghat. This meant that we saw loads of bodies being carried to cremation. it sounds creepy, but it's not, it' s really quite amazing to see. If you do stay this end of Varanasi, make sure you go to Madhur Milan Cafe next to the archway. It is still the best and cheapest Indian food we have had since being here (2months).

The only negative was the in-house restaurant. We had breakfast there on our last day was we had a morning train to catch and the service was pretty slow, but standard for tourist places. Local Indian places have much faster service, but that is normal.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Emma C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Scindhia Guest House

Property: Scindhia Guest House
Address: Scindhia Guest House Next To Manikarnika Ghat, Varanasi 221001, India
Location: India > Uttar Pradesh > Varanasi
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #28 of 206 B&Bs / Inns in Varanasi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Scindhia Guest House 3*
Number of rooms: 26
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated ideally in the crescent on the left bank of The Holy Ganges is The Scindhia Guest House just adjacent to Manikarnika (The burning ghat) offering excellent panoramic view of the river on both the sides.Breathtaking sunrise to the scintillating evening view of the river and the ghats can be enjoyed from all the available balconies in the property. Enchanting ringing of temple bells is simply nostalgic.AC / Non-AC rooms are neatly laid with attached toilets equipped for round the clock hot and cold shower. Super-Deluxe rooms have TV, Refrigerator and intercom too.Internet is available on demand.The Roof top (river view) restaurant offers sumptuous refreshments cooked under strict supervision in very hygienic conditions.Pick-up service on request is available from the railhead as well as the airport (Payable).Medical aid is available on call.As a policy matter, Scindhia Guest House does not allow consumption of Narcotic Drugs / intoxicants of any kind and nature within the property. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Scindhia Guest House Hotel Varanasi

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