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“Great location, fine for sightseeing”
Review of Hotel Alka

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Hotel Alka
Ranked #5 of 80 Hotels in Varanasi
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 9, 2011

The place has a good roof top restaurant and bar (serves beer) and is located well for sightseeing, but it is nothing special. The communal bathrooms are a bit dirty. I felt like I could have found better.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled solo
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2  Thank James_N_E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 28, 2011

I picked the Alka from TA and was not disappointed, to say the least.
We booked by email about two weeks before we hit India and arranged a pickup from the train station. I would recommend that you book ahead for the alka. This is fairly important as the Alka could be a little hard to find (it's on the Meer ghat) if it's your first time in Varanasi. The train (Delhi to Varanasi) was 3 hours late but the guy was still there waiting and the pick up was a 100 rupees, money well spent indeed!
The hotel is situated right on the Meer ghat, which is about 2 ghats up from the Main ghat and about 3 ghats away from the burning ghat.
There are a variety of rooms you can stay in, ranging from 400 Rs for a fan room without a view and a shared bathroom up to 1700rs for a view over the ghats with aircon, own bathroom, hot water etc. Whichever room you get, you are only metres away from a sensational view over the Ganges. We lashed out a chose the 1700Rs room, which was sensational. It was massive, very clean and had its own little balcony from where you could watch the sunrise over the river. Something to note; if you look at the hotel pictures, you can see two "wings" jutting out over the ganges with rooms. If you stay at the top, on the left of the picture, you get the best rooms and the biggest balcony, but this is not a private balcony and is used by everybody as it has the best views. However, if you stay at the top on the right 'wing' you get your own small, but excellent balcony with great views. If you go in April, I suggest you spend the extra money and get aircon, you will need it.
All rooms look over a central courtyard/restaurant. LP said that there had been some problems with the food, though we ate there regularly had had no problems. You can get beer at the Alka, which is a bit of a rarity in Varanasi. You can't get alcohol in many places at all.
The hotel staff could not have been more helpful and were happy to answer questions and help out whenever they could. If you are going to stay here, i recommend that you book ahead. When we booked, they didn't require any payment up front, just when we checked out.
Like all hotels in india that we stayed in and booked ahead, I sent a number of emails requesting information and confirmation with dates, train times etc. I found that this tends to make sure that you actually have a room when you get there. Print out the emails and take them with you:)
Overall, this is a fantastic place to stay and would stay there again.

Room Tip: Book ahead.
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  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank laverysean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 28, 2011

Good budget option with an excellent view of the Ganges... the hotel is riverside and the back patio overlooks the river and you can get some great sunrises there. Access to the ghats is right around the corner (2 minute walk) and staff is pretty good. Getting to the hotel can be an issue as taxi's/tuk tuks cannot make it there (streets too narrow, built pre-automotive) and the winding alleys can get confusing. The taxi that dropped us off ended up arranging for porters to carry some of our bags in the heat as well as lead the way because trying to find the place in the Indian sun carrying a bunch of bags would not have been fun..... at all.

Pros:
EXCELLENT location
Good pricing (depending on option you select)
Staff helpful (helped book train tix to Delhi)
Internet on site

Cons:
Food not that great
Local "flycatchers" outside hotel doors trying to sell you trips and boat rides just about every time you step outside

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank gred78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 9, 2011

Great location, you may want to pay to have suitcase lugged in and out (or backpack), your about 15 minutes from nearest auto or Tuk Tuk through an extremely, crowded at times, main street and then a maze of safe alleyways. Hotel has patio overlooking Ganges, food is OK, quiet and relaxing, rooms are minimal but sound , bathroom unique to say the least. don't come here to spend much time indoors but to enjoy the center of Indian culture in the center of the old city , great walks everywhere.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled solo
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5  Thank sidelinebob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 26, 2011

Get room 134 - it has the best view and a private balcony. The hotel is on the ghats with great views and access. The restaurant is OK - basic but safe.

Stayed: March 2011, traveled solo
Thank DennisUSA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 24, 2011

First of all, let's consider one thing, if you are planning on travelling to India, you are not an ordinary traveler. So, wait to see the most different "everythings" you are used to. Of course, when it comes to hotels, It isn't diverse.
Alka hotel is great to see the wonderful river ganges and is also very close to the main ghat, where the daily ganges ceremony is held at 6:30pm.
But expect a chaotic experience to arrive and depart from the hotel once It is in the middle of the old town and the tuk tuk or taxi will leave you away from It. You will have to walk in a labyrinth with thousand os "guides" crazy for you money. But "what the hack" You will love IT!

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled with family
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4  Thank bichoturista
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2011

This place has a reputation as being the place to stay in Varanasi for budget travellers and we weren't disappointed. The room was better than we thought it would be for the excellent price. Location is extraordinary with amazing views over the Ganges from the large terrace areas. Restaurant okay. Staff very friendly (which for some reason I wasn't expecting in such a popular place). Highly recommended. Book in advance as we saw people being turned away for want of space.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Stazzas
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
#1 Family Hotel in Varanasi
Price Range: $10 - $134 (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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