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“Excellent Place - Home from Home in Delhi”
Review of Colonel's Retreat

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Colonel's Retreat
Ranked #4 of 1,076 New Delhi B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
New Delhi, India
Level Contributor
30 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Excellent Place - Home from Home in Delhi”
Reviewed September 18, 2012

I have stayed here many times and am always made to feel like I am coming home.

Location is excellent quiet but central with good bars and restaurants near by.

Transport links - Metro and taxi are excellent.

The rooms are big clean and comfortable with plenty of hot water.

The staff are delightful - friendly and helpful.

Arun the owner of The Colonels Retreat takes great pride in making sure that everything goes just right. He has also travelled very extensively in India and is a mine of useful information, contacts and advice.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Putneyhill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Tuvalu
Level Contributor
32 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed September 16, 2012

The Colonel’s Retreat is a set of flats in a block/old house that has been converted to hotel rooms. It is in what is considered to be a plusher part of Delhi. However, I have real issues with this place and I will go through them one by one:

ITS CLAIM TO BE 300M FROM METRO IS MISLEADING:
The residence is in South Delhi, in a more ‘salubrious’ part of Delhi. These neighbourhoods are essentially walled off in their own compounds. If you look at google maps, yes, it is within a certain distance of a metro station, however, most of the road that connects to the metro is sealed off by a fence which has a small gap in it that one can squeeze through to get through to the main road where the station is. You will not see this by night and it is easily missable during the day.

Futhermore, the Delhi metro is immensely busy, even into town in the evenings. The residents do not let you out of the train first either. This is OK if you are significantly bigger than the vast majority of Indians (as I am) and/or get sufficiently angry to get in the mood to wrestle 20 Indians (I do not exagerate) out of the way to get out (as I did). To add to this, your line is the blue line. To see most of the sights in the centre of town (i.e. Old Delhi) you will need to transfer to the orange line, which basically guarantees you an Indian railways style journey for part/all of it. On wikitravel, it says that the Delhi metro users are metropolitan university types - this is totally wrong - these types are absolutely rare in Delhi. The metro is vastly underpriced, even for Indian standards (30p return for most journeys) and it is not your metropolitan types that use it. Your journey into the city centre will take you at least 1 hour.

IT IS RIGHT NEXT TO AN OPEN SEWER:
Leave the hotel, walk 20 metres and turn left. Stick your nose in the air (as well as see the gushing water from which this smell emanates) - and yes, it is an open sewer. The way the ‘Defence Colony’ suburb of Delhi works is, as an almost gated community, it has its own ‘town centre’ where shops, restaurants etc. are located. To get here (and in fact pretty much anywhere) you have to walk down the open sewer, which runs parallel to the road which gets you either out of the suburb to the main road or to the town centre. The walk to the town centre can be a bit disconcerting at night (no street electricity, some stray dogs and the smell of raw sewage). You may think that you will not eat in the suburb, but trust me, Delhi WILL tire you out and you will want to eat somewhere not right in the centre of town.

IT IS NOT CHEAP:

We paid £54/night for a double room in, what was essentially somebody’s converted house. Yes, it had a western toilet, air conditioning, 24 hour electricity and WIFI, but you do feel very much that it is somebody else’s house, and that you are an ‘interloper’, particularly when you come back at night and see the staff watching TV etc. in the communal lounge area, or when the staff are not there, not knowing who you can phone etc.

I suggest paying a slightly higher price for what, most likely, is a short stay of 4 nights maximum, staying in a real hotel with communal facilities, perhaps a fitness centre, swimming pool and a better choice of food and tourist knowledge (see below).

THE OWNER IS RARELY IN AND HIS STAFF ARE INCOMPETENT:

This has been picked up by others as well. When we stayed, the owner was in the US, a few weeks later, he was in the UK.

His staff failed us in three big ways:

1) They offered to get us 2 mobile SIM cards, which cost us about 1-2000 Indian Rupees (SIM plus photos). We got 1 phonecall out of these SIMs, and the staff never fixed the problem.

2) When we checked out, the staff did not know that we had already paid, because the owner, who was away, had the details (as the staff member Mercy told me).

3) The biggest cock-up was their arrangement of a trip to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. They organised this for Friday - the Taj Mahal has been shut for FOUR YEARS on the Friday. The round trip to Agra takes 8 hours. We therefore saw some other secondary sites in Agra and went on to Fatepur Sikri - and the hotel wanted full payment for this bungled trip! We offered to pay half, but staff member Mercy would not accept this, as it was less than the full amount. We therefore left without paying. The owner has since sent many emails (of which I am happy to show the webmasters of this website) as well as visiting the UK (soon after his trip to the USA), calling me on my phone and 'threatening' (so he feels) to come to my home to extort money!

I just don't feel any of this would have happened in a bigger hotel, where surely they would've known the opening hours of their biggest and most famous tourist attraction (the owner claims it would've been presumptuous to assume that a trip to Agra was to see the Taj Mahal). This whole episode also demonstrates how this business ultimately views its clients, as not once have I received a genuine apology for their mess up, just strawman arguments (my staff cannot control the opening of the Taj Mahal) to the aforementioned rubbish.

We came back to Delhi on the way out of India and we certainly did not stay in this hotel/whatever at this time.

So, in summary, this is a poorly located hotel, with unprofessional staff headed by an unprofessional manager who lacks humility and the ability to address clients properly when things do go wrong.

p.s. I would advise readers of this website to look at the reviews of people who have reviewed many places - you will see all the points I covered re-iterated on these.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank mr_drabu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ghori90, Owner at Colonel's Retreat, responded to this review, October 2, 2012
I am sorry you had a rough time in Delhi. You didnt like the city, you didnt like the Brand New Metro and you didnt much care for our place either. Whats more you chose to go to Agra on a day the Taj was closed . My apologies .

98 % of our guests feel we are well located, clean and good value for money.

It is our earnest endeavour to try and convince the balance 2% . You win many and then you lose one. What can i say - i am sorry you came all the way and had an unhappy experience. I hope you come again and give us just one more chance to change things around. You still need to see the Taj!!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berkeley, California
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed September 15, 2012

After years of looking for a nice hotel in Delhi, Colonel's Retreat proved to be the best! The rooms and living room/dining room area were spotless and decorated like a home instead of a hotel. I would highly recommend anyone to stay at this hotel any day!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled on business
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Helpful?
2 Thank wenyanking
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Agra
1 review
Reviewed September 13, 2012

I had a great stay at Colonel's Retreat. I was travelling solo in Delhi and was delighted to find such a home feeling place. Staff is extremely kind and helpful. I enjoyed the room and the bathroom very much, everything is sparkle clean, and I loved the welcome message as well.
I will be coming back to Delhi in the coming months and will be staying at Colonel's retreat again for sure.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Laure P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 12, 2012

I had a lovely stay at Colonel's Retreat. I was made to feel very comfortable and at home. All the staff were extremely friendly and jump at the opportunity to help. The rooms were spacious, clean and well designed with A/C of course. The breakfast was made to order and delicious. I would choose to stay here again highly recommend it.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank jonnypoye
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Delhi, India
1 review
Reviewed September 3, 2012

what a great start for my trip to INDIA.

Rooms are spotlessSheets and Towels are white and the bathroom sparkles.

.Extremely courteous and polite staff..

The owner Arun was very helpful and I really thank him for his valuable suggestions and guidance.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Asangla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Delhi, India
1 review
Reviewed August 30, 2012

Of all the 20 different places we have stayed in, across India,Colonels Retreat is at the very top of our list.The sheer helpful attitude of the staff and the owner who has an excellent sense of hospitality and warmth.The clean rooms and especially the bathrooms with the high pressure showers which give you the nice relaxed feeling
The best part being the homely breakfast which sets you up for the day.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank tanvi2807
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Colonel's Retreat

Property: Colonel's Retreat
Address: D - 418, New Delhi 110024, India
Phone Number:
Location: India > National Capital Territory of Delhi > New Delhi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 1,076 B&Bs / Inns in New Delhi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Colonel's Retreat 2.5*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A great favorite with business travelers and overseas tourists alike, offering a truly comfortable, elegant place to stay. Colonel's Retreat has been lovingly created by people who are frequent global travelers themselves and who take pride in maintaining the highest world-class standards of hospitality. All rooms are air-conditioned rooms with cable TV, refrigerator, free wi-fi, electronic safe. Attached baths, with hot and cold running water. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Colonel`s Retreat Hotel New Delhi

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