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“The best location in Varanasi, and the best guide Moona!” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Alka

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Hotel Alka
Ranked #6 of 76 Hotels in Varanasi
Certificate of Excellence
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“The best location in Varanasi, and the best guide Moona!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 24, 2013

We stayed at the Alka Hotel for 4 nights in early May, after having spent 2 weeks in Bhutan. We arrived in the chaos that is Varanasi and our driver was waiting for us at the airport. Be advised it is about an hour's drive from the airport, we weren't expecting this. As other travellers have remarked, it's then about a 10 minute walk through the maze of the old town to the hotel, but the hotel provided porters for our backpacks, so the walk was fine.
We took the best room in the place, seeing as it was 45C and we had travelled all day, and this room has the best balcony in the hotel. The other cheaper rooms advertised with a balcony (which we had booked) have balconies, but there is a wire mesh covering them so we felt a little too clausterphobic with this and changed our room. Our room's balcony was shared, as it's immense and is the one that has the best views (you can fit about 30 people!), but we had it mostly to ourselves except for 1 or 2 nights, when there was a large tour group staying at the hotel. The hotel also made sure to remove the guests from the balcony at 9:30 or 9:45 so that we could sleep without any noise from the guests!
The restaurant was convenient and good and I would recommend eating there. The front desk staff were also helpful in getting us a tour agent to arrange plane and train transport for the remainder of our India trip, and this was at very reasonable prices.
However, the thing that makes this hotel is Moona, who was the nicest, most helpful and cheerful person we met in India. He basically runs everything at the hotel, except the front desk. We booked a tour with him, which I highly recommend. He protected us from all the hawkers and people as he negotiated the alleys of Varanasi and was always attentive to us and checking if we needed anything. Moona is certainly the heart and soul of this place, without him, we would not have the fond memories we have of the Alka Hotel!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Rosemary P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,145 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (321)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Czech first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
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English first
Santiago, Chile
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 22, 2013

We had a wonderful stay at Alka Hotel during March-April 2013. We recommend rooms with view to the Ganges river. It is awesome to wake up with the noise of people taking baths at the Ganges. We also had a very good time visiting the most important places and temples at Varanasi. The tour that Mr. Muna leads is excellent. The restaurant is quite good and the staff is very nice. Alka gives you peace.

Room Tip: rooms with view to the Ganges rives are the best.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank angel294305
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane
Level Contributor
19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 20, 2013

Stayed for three nights from Friday 5/4.A guide met us at station with a tour group from Czech Rep.Went by tuk tuk as far as we could go & walked for approx 10 minutes to Hotel. I paid RP500 a night for a basic standard room next to main eating area. Room basic ,clean ,a fan & quite large to compared to other rooms I stayed in over my 5 week adventure.
The staff were helpful, & attentive.
The highlight for me was undoubtedly the location.I never tired every night with the sun setting sitting on the veranda overlooking all the Ghats sipping on a cold beer & just gazing at the view.It was there I met fellow travelers from all over the world----an excellent opportunity to hear of their adventures which I never tired of----the lovely Sophie from Germany --on her 10th visit to Varanasi-----doing her PHD on the social injustices of women in Varanasi,the young couple from Argentina & numerous English couples.
Being a geriatric backpacker [69 y.o.] I maybe excused for appreciating the comforts I was used to & missing them.On the contrary I was more than happy to put with one or two minor inconveniences.
The only area of concern for me was the toilet .For my bulk it was not easy to do my business but that was my own personal problem ---at 188 cms & 112 kgs!!!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Kemsley A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
edinburgh
Level Contributor
37 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 20, 2013

We were a little worried when getting there as you cant drive right up, we were dropped about 10 min walk away through narrow rambling streets. But on arrival it wasnt so bad.

We got a room with a private balcony on the ground floor. It was basic but clean and had aircon so no complaints.

The terraced area was great to sit at night and look onto the Ganges with a few beers. the food was really good too.

staff were friendly and helpful. we would recommend this hotel to budget guests and backpackers

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank stephers84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kolkata, India
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 16, 2013

It was a scorching hot there in Varanasi in May this year...But as soon as you get there in the Biswanath Gali(narrow lane),dodging the Bulls(Nandi ji) and the unruly Bikers, you can feel the divine warmth hugging you with bliss..Thats the magic of Varanasi...A divine ecstasy would engulf you...Alka Hotel is a mediocre hotel just on the Bank of Ganga (@Meer Ghat)..If You have a massive trolley with a Big back pack, avoid this Hotel as you have to travel along the narrow lane a t least 700mt by foot to check in. But as soon as u get there, the view of the Ganga ji would certainly justify the sweating.Rooms are average(some rooms are too small in dimension as Room No-129) with a clean but minimum accessories in the Toilet.No lift to climb up..If you get a pinch in the waist/back,then avoid the upstairs room as the Stairs are just Horrible(Iron ladder type stair to climb up 2nd floor).Food is average but bit expensive comparing the quality and standard.Air conditioning is a big relief. Rooms are clean.But unfortunately room service is horrible.Service boys(inadequate in number) are polite.modest and honest. Front office is bit snobbish and unfriendly.They are too lazy to wish u a sweet "Good Morning" or "Good evening" with a smile. But they are professional. Not informative and friendly.(They seem to be too satisfied with their present business volume thanks to the folks abroad).Sometimes they can differ the service charge as agreed on mail booking citing the lame excuse as "Rates hiked very recently" :) But overall your stay on the Bank of Ganga with an awesome view would balance the odds there.
As the Kashi experiences min 10 hours a day power cut, it's a boon to stay there as they have a Power back up in A/Cs in night(In day time only they have a power back up on light and the Fans.
Pros: Location(for staying only , not an ease to reach there), Power back up on A/Cs, Awesome view from the Balcony,
Cons:
1)To tough to reach there with luggage as have to travel 600 mtrs on foot to reach there along the narrow lane.
2)Unfriendly gloomy front office
3)Foods are not up to the mark, Varanasi varieties are too limited
4)Rooms services are horrible
5)Rooms are small in dimension with limited power point jack
6)Toilets are clean but minimal with no exhaust fan.
7)No lift...Stairs are funny(Iron ladder type up 1st floor) and taxing.

Overall a good experience. Can bet on this considering the location.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank SANDIPAN G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 12, 2013

Hotel Alka has great views of the Ganges. If you take a river facing room, you get a small sit out area, and you can watch boats go about their business, all day long. Has a good vegetarian open air cafe. The food is pretty good if you go for the simple stuff. I would very much recommend their mushroom and cheese burger.

Rooms are clean and the toilets too. We stayed in a deluxe double room and it had much better furnishings than the executive rooms. Most important, clean sheets and towels and very attentive and caring staff.

The hotel is on Meer ghat and is very close to Kashi Viswanath & Dasaswamedha & Manikarnika ghats. Almost all important sights are easliy accesible by foot or boat from here. Renting a boat is as easy as walking out of the hotel and down onto the ghat.

Great budget place. Awesome value for your money.

Room Tip: The deluxe room with the common balcony is a better value imo.
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Chandanmohanty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 5, 2013

I stayed here with my sister for 5 days in the beginning of April and had an absolutely fantastic time. The rooms are nice and clean and the location is great with excellent views over the Ganges. The food is also very good, especially the Thali, and the attached restaurant is great for meeting other travellers.

But what really makes this place shine is the staff. Very friendly, personal and helpful. They really care about their guests here. My sister fell ill during our stay here and all the staff members took such good care of her and made sure she ate and drank the right things. I can't recommend this place enough.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank aarlev
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Alka

Property: Hotel Alka
Address: Meer Ghat D 3/23 | Dashashwamedh, Varanasi 221001, India
Location: India > Uttar Pradesh > Varanasi
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Restaurant Room Service Spa Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Varanasi
#1 Spa Hotel in Varanasi
#2 Best Value Hotel in Varanasi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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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