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“A rewarding location.”
Review of Hotel Alka

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Hotel Alka
Ranked #5 of 80 Hotels in Varanasi
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 13, 2011

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.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank katyandmark_1710
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 12, 2011

My husband and I stayed here for 5 nights during Diwali, which was wild. We had to move rooms 3 times, due to the availability of private rooms during this time. We had booked ahead, so we had rooms, but they were not all the same type, and therefore we had to move. The room-cleaning process was not efficient, leading to us having to wait with our bags each time we had to move. For our first 2 nights, we stayed in a private room for RS750/night, which had a TV and private bath. It was quite nice. The following night, we stayed in a tiny box of a room with shared bathrooms (disgusting showers and squat toilets). Thankfully, for our 4th and 5th nights, they moved us back to a room with a private bathroom. These rooms on the upper floors were much nicer. The hotel has a vegetarian restaurant overlooking the Ganges. The service was almost always slow and the waiters are very inattentive (unless you are a single woman). Overall, I enjoyed the stay here -- although if you visit during Diwali, beware of the fireworks and firecrackers shooting everywhere (including straight into the hotel buildings).

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank DrifterTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 8, 2011

We went to the Alka Hotel but it was full. So they showed us the Teerth Guesthouse, not far from the Alka. It's a sister company.
Very nice! Very clean and spacious rooms. And the staff is very friendly and family like.
After one day, they knew our names!
You can easily go to the Alka for lunch or diner. But we really recommend you to stay in the Teerth guesthouse. Because it's quiet and clean.
One thing: If you have a room on the top floor, don't leave anything outside, because the monkeys will take it!

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Jossie78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 7, 2011

Hotel Alka is situated right on the famous varanasi Ghats..., we had the most cosly rooms of this hotel, but even these would hardly comparable to the average room of a budget hotel. But it was acceptable for the price we paid.The hotel building is quite old and hence lacks most modern facilities. The toilets were also of Squat type. The main attraction of this hotel is its location, it is situated right in the Ganges Ghat. You can have amazing view of events at the Ghats, while sipping your morning coffee from the hotel balcony. For food we preferred other popular restaurants. The by lanes of old varanasi are just behind the hotel, many good local shops can be found in these lanes for purchasing gifts etc.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled with family
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Thank PeeNPee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2011

I booked our room well in advance (in December). I opted for their balcony room. That turned out to be the best room of the hotel. It was on the top floor and the balcony was huge. We paid 1700 INR plus tax per night. What a great bargain for such great views! The room itself had all the basic amenities: TV, hot shower, etc. Remember to bring earbuds, because it's quite noisy at night in Varanasi! :)

Getting to the hotel was easy for us. We asked a pickup from the airport. The price is 550 INR. I suggest people to use this pickup service from the hotel, because the hotel is very hard to find on your own. I guess they can arrange pickup from the train station as well. First the guy drove us from the airport to a place where two guys were waiting for us. They carried our bags through all the corridors and brought us to the hotel. We tipped them a bit and they were grateful. It would've taken much much longer if we tried to find the hotel ourselves.

The hotel itself has a vegetarian restaurant. We ate there couple of times but as we like the eat some meat also we visited other restaurants nearby.

Last, but not the least I'd like to thank the hotel management for arranging a doctor for me. I got a serious food poisoning from one of the restaurants we visited. I don't know which one it was, but it doesn't matter. We had a flight ahead in the evening and I "seriously" ill. They called a doctor in for me and in an hour he arrived, gave me some shots (antibiotics) + gave me other medicines. After that I felt well enough to fly and I managed to get to my next destination. The doctor charged me only 300 INR for his service. The guys at the hotel picked the medicine for me from the pharmacy near by. Great service!

Last funny thing to write is, that all the stories I read about electricity outages were true. There were outages every night! Glad I took my flashlight with me :D Good thing is, that the hotel uses a generator when outages happen.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank manumFI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2011

I stayed in this hotel for 2 weeks because I felt so comfortable there. The views over the ghats are terrific, and it is right in the centre of the old part of town, so a great location. It has 2 terraces which are part of the restaurant, so you can eat and discreetly watch all the Ganga happenings below. The food is very good (although Lonely Planet suggests that it may not be), and the service pleasant and efficient. The only problem with this hotel is getting in in the first place - it's a popular place and rightly so. Just persevere!

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled solo
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Thank pennyredLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2011

the location is just superb, two steps away from the ganges. the view is amazing.
we liked the room, large and clean. the shower is just average, but we could take a nice hot bath, since it dont take too long.
nice restaurant with really good food. the breakfast is not included but the price is ok.
the way to the hotel is a litlle trick, cause the cars can't entered the narrow roads, so we walked about 10 minutes, running across dirt, cows and curious locals. nothing to be scary, but do this during the day, please. I saw nobody on the streets by night. the old town sleeps early.
its a hotel backpacker stile, but is a really good deal. we felt very safe there.

  • Stayed: December 2010
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Thank alferreira
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Alka

Address: Meer Ghat D 3/23 | Dashashwamedh, Varanasi 221001, India
Location: India > Uttar Pradesh > Varanasi District > Varanasi
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Restaurant Room Service Spa Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Varanasi
#5 Best Value Hotel in Varanasi
Price Range: $10 - $105 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Alka 3*
Number of rooms: 36
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

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