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“Wonderful, Honest staff. Best view in Varanasi”
Review of Hotel Alka

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Hotel Alka
Ranked #6 of 79 Hotels in Varanasi
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 27, 2013

I wish to thank all the hotel staff and managers for a wonderful stay my family had at Alka hotel during last week of december, 2012. The view from the room was awesome. The proximity to Dasaswemedh ghat is another added advantage. Everyone on the staff especially the managers Mr Vinod & Mr Rajesh were very helpful. I was also surprised at the honesty of the staff. They had forgotten to deduct the advance amount of Rs 1000 from my final bill which I also overlooked. However, they refunded the same to me by money transfer when they realized the same. I look forward to visiting them again.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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Thank mitra_supriya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 27, 2013

This is a fantastic place to stay in Varanasi. It's a heritage property right on the ghat, and from your breakfast table you can take in all the activity of the River Ganges. Food and drinks are very nice and staff are friendly, respectful and extremely helpful. We were fortunate to be at the Alka on New Year's Eve, when the owner put on a free meal and classical Indian music and dancing concert in celebration. The business centre and telephone are much appreciated by the clientele. People from all over the world coming and going but the staff never seemed flustered. Thank you to all for establishing such a relaxing atmosphere. Highly recommended.

Room Tip: Just a note about the hot water - you need to ask how to switch this on.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Roslyn T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2013

The position of Alka Hotel is hard to beat in Varanasi. The hotel overlooks a Ghat that is close to Dasashvamedha ghat where the evening ceremonies take place and the Marikarnika ghat or Burning Ghat where bodies are burned day and night. You can catch a boat directly below the hotel for your early morning sunrise tour and its easy to negotiate decent rates.

Access to the Hotel is not easy - through the old market which is easy to get lost in - so I recommend you get a pickup from the station or airport. We arrived very late and they were still waiting for us.

Only the end rooms have really good views over the river. Our room (super delux as I recall) was one back from that room and had a balcony so tiny that you could barely fit two people on to it but the room itself was spacious with standard thin Indian mattresses.

Our children had the non-balcony rooms (delux) which could barely fit the two beds so generally don't expect lavish accommodation. Note that the geysers (5 litre ones) have switches on the wall of the bathroom. If the light is not on - try the switches until it comes on (otherwise complain if it doesn't).

Rooms were generally clean but are not cleaned every day (unless you make it clear that you want this to happen). As is often the case with budget accommodation in India, the wiring is suspect for the geyser, but was not dangerous.

The restaurant is a separate business and has reasonable food and good views, although there are better places to go in Varanasi. There is also another restaurant on the stairs down to the river (small door on the left) which is basically set in a passage and has great food.

The Hotel is very secure and there are at least 3 people at the entrance at all times keeping an eye on who comes in from the streets. Receptionists aren't super friendly but they have a good understanding of English and also take credit cards.

Room Tip: The end rooms seem to be the best ones. Balconies are tiny but the balcony rooms are spacious.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank hbblogger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

It is so well located looking over the Ganges that seems that all managers (they are differents: restaurant, hotel, transport services) taked it for granted and neglected customer care. My booking was not kept, they offered me a 4th floor room on the street side (extremely noisy), hot water was not working so they offered a hot water bucket - one guy carried it up the 4 floors stairs !!!. Service at restaurante was also worst than 2 yrs ago, and a simple byriani rice was uneatable! Not anymore. If you want to have a look of the puja from there, you'd better go just for a drink at the terrace.

Room Tip: Avoid terrace rooms - where the restaurante/bar is - 4th and "underground" floors
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank Cata M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2013

Due to a very delayed train, we arrived at the Alka Hotel several hours later than we said we would. Although we had arranged for a pickup at the train station, we wound up hiring a driver at the station to take us there, since the timing was all off. I would NOT recommend this, as he dropped us off, waved in the general direction of the hotel, and then drove off. We wound up having to hire a street kid to show us where the hotel was- a long 10 min. walk in the pitch dark (due to a power cut) through winding alleys, walking through sewage. Not pleasant.
However, upon our arrival, we were pleasantly pleased with the hotel staff. Since we had not arrived when we said we would, they had given our hotel room away, but gave us the last room they had free, at a reduced rate. Since we only had one night and a morning in Varanasi, the staff helped us plan as much as we could do with the time we had. They arranged a boat ride for us in the morning, as well as a driver to take us to the airport the next day.
We ate at the restaurant for dinner and breakfast, and the patio dining was lovely. This hotel has perhaps the best view in all of Varanasi, and the price of the rooms can not be beat! I only wish we had had more time there to take advantage of their tour options, as well as massage and henna, all for reasonable prices.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank travelerKristenB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2013

I loved this hotel and our room had fantastic views, possibly the best in Varanasi. We upgraded to a lovely room at the very top of hotel which did not cost much but had to be the best as it looked directly on to the sacred Ganges and from our balcony we could also look out and see sunrise and sunset plus all life on the riverside below and to the side of the Ghats.
After terrible experiences in an Agra hotel my hopes were not high when we arrived in Varanasi but I can honestly say this hotel ,and Varanassi was the high light of our travels. The room was clean spacious, quiet and peaceful. There was lots of hot water available all day for showers in our en- suite bathroom...again something hotels in India don't alway supply!
The staff were kind and proffesional, no hassle from them to go on tours or to shops and they respected our privacy which can be a rare thing in India hotels. They were there for us if needed but were not intruding which made our stay very relaxing.
The open restaurant also looks out onto the Ganges and serves really good freshly cooked food at very reasonable prices . The waiters and staff are helpful and served food till 9.30/10pm , all fresh. I wish I could have stayed longer , loved this hotel and loved our room. Highly recommend .

Room Tip: Ask for room overlooking Ganges, slightly more expensive but well worth it!
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank sylviaatdurham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2013

We arranged an airport pickup, but unfortunately our flight was grounded at Lucknow and we had to travel 8 hours by road. We called the hotel who were very sympathetic, they held the room for us, and on arrival in Varanasi in the dead of night, without knowing the exact location, the hotel staff came and collected us leading us through the narrow lanes, they put us in the best room with it's own private terrace with the best view of the ghats you could ever imagine.

The staff were brilliant, they also helped with travel arrangements for our on going journey. The food and service in the restarant was very good, and the masala chai is delicious.

I hope to return again one day. The Alka hotel is a very special place.

Room Tip: If the opportunity arises for a room with a veranda (only a few available), it's a treat worth t...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Cathy H
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 Family Hotel in Varanasi
#2 Spa Hotel in Varanasi
Price Range: $10 - $139 (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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