This charming guest house is well-located, right in the midst of ancient history. My companion and I booked 3-nights here after a one-month stay in an ashram, and we are glad we did. Old Varanasi streets cannot accommodate vehicles, so you will be met and escorted to the property, a short walk through winding cobblestone streets. We were elegantly and warmly greeted with beautiful and fragrant malas (necklaces made of fresh roses and marigolds) and a cold drink, a lovely reception. Be prepared to climb -- there is no elevator and a lot of steps to rooms and the restaurant. This was not a problem for us.
We booked the least expensive rooms, and they were perfectly adequate for our needs, as we were out and about most of the time. My room was spotless. However, the "mattress" (actually just a 2-inch worn out pad) was truly inadequate -- I felt like I was sleeping on the floor, but I appreciated the freshly pressed pillowcases every day. I understand the much more expensive river-view rooms are quite lovely, but we were content to enjoy the views from the nice rooftop Dolphin Restaurant, which we thoroughly enjoyed. We found the food and service there to be excellent.
What made our visit so special is that, at our request, the hotel arranged for guide services from Pappu, an extremely knowledgeable and generous Varanasi native. Pappu booked two private boat tours for us -- one in the evening to visit the nearby burning ghats and the nightly chakra ritual -- moving, fascinating, humbling; and an early morning sunrise tour, which was extraordinary. He took us on a walking tour, including a stop at Blue Lassi, and steered us in the right direction (at our request) for silk and jewelry shopping. Pappu closely listened to us, and he included a few unanticipated surprises in our itinerary, which we very much appreciated. He also arranged our trip to Sarnath. (A tip: use car service instead of a tuk-tuk. It's an hour-long ride over bumpy and very dusty roads).
A visit to Varanasi is not for the faint of heart, so be prepared for the assault on the senses. I am extremely grateful to the fine staff at Rashmi Guest House and to our outstanding guide Pappu for helping us have a most memorable experience in the world's most ancient city. I felt protected and cared for and quite at home in this little gem.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A Palace on River (Rashmi Guest House) is a newly opened hotel on the edge of the River Ganges. We are located at Manmandir Ghatt, Varanasi adjacent to Raja Mansingh's Observatory. Although it is a guest house , we try our level best to provide the services at par with that of five star hotels in Varanasi . It is the only guest house in Varanasi which is run by a competent 3 year Diploma Holder in Hotel Management , catering and applied Nutrition ( Ramesh Verma). This hotel has got a team of well qualified and experienced professionals.We leave no stone unturned in making the guest feel comfortable , their home baway from home . As for the restaurant , we serve a wide variety of dishes catering to all shorts of individuals. Overall we believe in better and better services from each and every stand point ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- a Palace On The River, Rashmi Guest House Hotel Varanasi