It's easy to be harsh about this kind of accommodation. Located amidst the hustle and bustle of Delhi's Main Bazaar, Hotel Vishal is more or less what you expect from backpacker hostels in the area.
We stayed just the one night, arriving for our final night after two weeks travelling Rajasthan and Agra. We certainly couldn't fault the service. Several people jumped to attention, keen to welcome us, affable, jocular and, above all, friendly and warm. Just what we needed after a hectic couple of weeks! My friend was taken to see the available rooms and came back to report to the two of us who remained in the lobby. She was shown two rooms (there were three of us sharing), one which made her look like she'd rather start walking home now than stay the night there, and the other which made her smile. We decided to pay the little extra for the smiley room. It had the customary features of a Delhi backpacker hostel - rickety ceiling fan, TV with only grainy reception, trickle of cold water from the shower, grime on the walls, but it was fine for one night. The beds were actually comfortable and I slept very well. Throughout out short stay, we were smiled at by the staff (including a seemingly endless supply and teenage boys), who were happy to help us in any way they could, including by arranging our excellent (and cheap!) transport to Indira Gandhi International for the next morning.
The hotel has an adjoining restaurant which claims to be German but is really just a standard hostel eatery. It was entirely open on the front on to the street when we were there (and presumably still is) which made for a brilliant atmosphere, especially as it was packed with other travellers. A great place for swapping stories! The food was fine. You can get your standard Indian fare and they do Western food as well. I had a passable pizza (have to admit I was ready for for my decadent Western comfort food again by this stage!).
Hotel Vishal is not a palace. I also think there are probably rooms that are less comfortable than the one we stayed in. If a more expensive room is available, take it. Chances are it will still be within your budget. Enjoy the banter with the guys who work there. They're diamonds. If you need advice or something arranging, don't be afraid to ask. Chances are you'll have stayed in less comfortable places in India, or you will do afterwards. So if you're backpacking on a budget, consider Hotel Vishal. It's interesting, to say the least!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- One of the oldest landmark establishments in the Main Bazar area. The guest house has gone through extensive renovation after the demolition of summer 2010 throughout the Main Bazar area. The rooms have been entirely redone, with new furniture, bathrooms and amenities. The internet has been upgraded to WiFi access in the rooms. The labyrinth of corridors have now been replaced by open access areas and wide stairways. The roof top restaurant is better than ever. ... more less
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