We stayed 3 nights at Alka, and definitely enjoyed our time there. We stayed in a budget room (550Rs) at the bottom of the hotel. It was small, and didn’t have the best noise proofing, but the room was clean, cool and mosquito free. The bed was comfortable, so we slept well. The bathroom facilities were clean, everything worked and the shower was fine).
The location is excellent, but its tough to find, especially if you arrive at night, as rickshaws cant get near, and unless you use the prepaid booth at the train station, they'll probably try and take you elsewhere anyway. We found that walking to the Dasaswamedh Ghat (via Dasaswamedh Ghat Rd) and then walking north along the ghats themselves to be a good way to find the hotel without getting lost in the narrow lanes. (Probably wont work in the monsoon season though!).
Food at the restaurant was pretty good, and there’s a wide selection (although its all vegetarian & egg free) of items on the menu. There’s a nice view straight across the Ganges from the outside dining area, and a nearby balcony (and a handful of rooms) has excellent views all along the ghats to the north and south. We noticed there were a couple of tables on this balcony, but we couldn’t tell if they were reserved for certain rooms or not. Service was pretty good throughout our stay. The hotel has internet and laundry.
The hotel can arrange 1 hour dawn river boat trips, and all day tours of several Varanasi temples and nearby Sarnath, courtesy of the very friendly and professional Munna. We really enjoyed the tour, and learnt so much about Varanasi. But be aware and prepared however that the whole day trip does involve a couple of (perhaps inevitable in Varanasi) silk shop stops.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel Alka, a synonym for customer-oriented services from years, believes in providing an adorable environment to its guests, where not only they find peace in dwelling but also experience a the highest degree of dedication from the staff. And what more can one ask for? Hotel Alka is located right in the core of Varanasi, a place where even holiness is re-defined. Its evidently a must visit place for all in life. Varanasi (the ancient Kashi or the medieval Banaras) is one of the oldest cities of the world and is considered to be favourite, of even the almighty. Varanasi's prominence in Hindu mythology is virtually unrivalled. Mark Twain, the celebrated English author , who was enthralled by the legend and sanctity of Banaras, once wrote : "Banaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together." ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Alka Hotel Varanasi