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“Excellent view with some crooks running the place !!”
Review of Palace on Steps

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Palace on Steps
Ranked #18 of 79 Hotels in Varanasi
Reviewed March 6, 2013

Came back from Varanasi yesterday and stayed in Palace on Steps for a couple of stays. The location and property is very very good with an equally horrible service and nasty behviour. Some oversmart UP Guys probably the biggest crooks I have ever seen, run the place (no idea who the owner is). We had booked standard rooms and once reaching there wanted to upgrade to a ganga view room. They gave us a rate (which was verbal and not matching the tarriff card) which suited us, but while checking out we were told that we would have to pay that agreed rate on top of our standard room payment and not a differential rate for upgradation. When argued we hear that travellers from Kolkata are troublemakers ! Though I have given my piece of mind, would recommend not to stay in a place where you do not know what trap you would get into. Sevice is very ordinary and food is very average. We go for a holiday to unwind and not to come back with a nasty experience.

Room Tip: Ganga View rooms are advisable. But they can charge any rate as per their wishes. So be very very ca...
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Nanda1976_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 6, 2013

BEWARE !!!"The Palace on the Steps" doesn't actually exist it's the website name for a group of 3 atrocious guesthouses.This place has to be the worst hotel I have ever been conned into booking, It's absolutely disgusting ( and Iv'e seen a few) I thought the other reviewers must be fussy first time tourists, as some of the reviews were quite good." Palace on the Steps" !!!!...... [--] a [--].... nothing further from a Palace could possibly be imagined. My room with a view was barely larger than the bed, There was nowhere to put anything except on the floor.The bathroom was a small cupboard, perhaps I was meant to sit on the toilet to have my shower? The blind fell off when I touched it and the windows wouldn't lock. This couldn't be the "de luxe double" that I had booked for $60.00 ? ( It was worth about $15.00. ) Yes it could........ it's amazing what a wide angle lens can achieve.....However It did conform to the advertising blurb and had a fan, air con, and a flat screen TV on the wall ( there was nowhere else to possibly put it.) and the bathroom was new and everything was freshly plastered and painted, but this still didn't mask the fetid odour of rank mould. Oh well it was too late to change it that night and it did have the view. Of course..... there was no other room available.

So off I went to check out the Ghats with a warning ringing in my ears of "Be careful madam there are some very bad people out there, do you want a guide?" To get to the Ghats I had to go down many STEEP steps, and around a corner all through a dark tunnel........ on the way back at night this was PITCH BLACK and I couldn't see a damn thing so I had to crawl on hands and knees to negotiate the steps and the twists and turns..
The next morning 7.30am I found a REAL Palace, "Would they ring my hotel and make sure it will be OK for me to move. I don't want any dramas on my return.?" No that will be OK ......so off I go back down the ganges in a rowing boat to collect my bags and move.Or so I thought.....when I get back they deny any knowledge of a phone call and of course I can't just leave, I have booked for two nights and I must pay for them. Fortunately there were so many managers and sub managers (for the three properties) that I just gave one of them a nights money, got the boatman to grab my bags and just walked out amid the confusion.

I am in the boat about to take off when they all come charging down to the waters edge and start demanding that I get out of the boat, threatening to charge my credit card double and calling me a wicked woman coming and cheating people in the holy city of Varanasi. So I am trying to keep calm but I accuse them of false advertising and charging tourists outrageously for terrible rooms and they should be ashamed of themselves.They even tried to get the boatman to turn me out saying I must walk with my bags myself... then i just lost it and threatened to call the police and told them they could charge me if they liked but I was leaving their disgusting hovel. With that my boatman rowed me away..... with Indians gaping all around us. My new "Palace on the Ganges" was fabulous. Moral: Always read and take note of the reviews.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank SylviaScaglia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2013

My friend had a good room for a few days but most of the guest houses associated with hotel are not high quality. Some have hot water; some don't. Beds are typically hard like most places in India. Had to ask for towels and linens. WiFi only works in main hotel lobby. Restaurant has a nice view and is agreeable. The steps down to the river are dark at night so take a flashlight. Very close to the nightly Aarti. Took a boat ride with young Raju to the other side of the river for a bath for 100 rupees. Negotiate for a good rate and don't be afraid to walk away. Hotel staff met my van to carry luggage to hotel. There is no taxi access. My friend had a wild motorcycle ride down the narrow alleys to hotel. The way is crowded with people, cows, dogs and manure.

Room Tip: Be sure to book a view room in the main hotel, not the guest houses.
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank coolburt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2013

This place has more names than there are Gods in Hinduism...Palace(sic) on the Steps,Hotel Elena,Ajays etc etc..it's the same place strung out through various alleyways and stairs.
So it has great views,but boy do you pay for it!..The Management/Owners have to be the biggest bunch of crooks in India but incompetent with it and haven't a clue what is going on around the place and are exploiting their staff by stealing their tips and generally abusing them..Fools,but dangerous fools....be careful if you have to stay here..
Two redeeming factors and shining lights are..Kaloo the dog.... and the best guide in Varanasi,Lalit Verma who is based here and will show you everything that needs to be seen.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank kali62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2013

this is the worst possible hotel under the sky. they have some wow pictures on the website to attract the guest. we were attracted too as it is just beside the ganges. we were told that they have parking facility which actually exists only in pictures and books not in reality...we had to park the car 2km away from the hotel and then walked through the narrow dirty cheap gullys to reach the entrance with no street lights..and the entrance was completely dark and haunted.
we didnot stay there..however they didnot cancel the reservation neither was the money refunded
we were cheated badly...and this place is not suitable for familys because of the surrounding specially if u have young girls travelling with you.
My humble request to the owner of this place is kindly please upload some correct pictures

Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
Thank Sumaana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2013 via mobile

This place is untraceable without a Google map...its entry and exit places are really dirty..and if you are indian and booking this place they do not give room in the hotel you see in picture put you to another back lane shabby guest house. So be carefull the viewfrom this roof top restaurant is good but the hotel has only basic facility. So once you book be ready to spend some for the guys who take you from place to place ..other wise you will get lost....think well before booking. Lot of monkeys,cows and dogs around this place...

  • Stayed: February 2013
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Thank grnk11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2013

The hotel has a great location some rooms a nice view on the Ganges.
Had booked a suite but the guys wanted to give me a different room. After some arguments I finally got it. This is like a little pavillon with private small balcony, quiet charming. 24 hours hot water.
But the rooms are dirty, bed sheets, pillows and towel as well. With this experience I did not try the breakfast.
Overpriced.

Stayed: February 2013, traveled solo
Thank eltoxtli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Palace on Steps

Address: Rana Mahal Ghat D - 21/11 | Bangoli Tola NEAR DASAWAMEDH GHAT, Varanasi 221001, India
Location: India > Uttar Pradesh > Varanasi District > Varanasi
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Best Value Hotel in Varanasi
Price Range: $13 - $52 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Palace on Steps 2.5*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Varanasi a mirror of ancient spiritual India and a destination swinging to the of India,s vibrant culture is a must visit for any traveler wishing to experience real India. To experience the real essence of Varanasi it is essential to discover and explore the ''old city' and the ghats the steps leading to the holy Ganges and the ghats the steps leading to holy Ganges. The hotel Palace on steps ,located at a prime location in the holy city, holds the distinction of having the maximum number of rooms offering an unparallelled view of the Ganges. Besides the hotel is a true balanced blend of luxury and comfort for the travelers ready to experience Varanasi in all its glory interestingly the hotel is designed aesthetically with a touch of true Indian history as showcased in the castle design which dates back about 400years. therefore the guest have an attraction of experiencing the splendor of medieval Indian architecture. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Palace On Steps Hotel Varanasi
Palace On Stepss Varanasi

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