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“For the experienced backpacker in India - good choice in Pahar Ganj”
Review of Smyle Inn

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Smyle Inn
Ranked #18 of 1,095 New Delhi B&B and Inns
London
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“For the experienced backpacker in India - good choice in Pahar Ganj”
Reviewed June 30, 2009

The Smyle Inn is an excellent place to stay in Pahar Ganj if you are the backpacker type. It compares favorably with other places of the same price around India - and I would be quite happy to go back there.

The place is clean (no bed bugs, no dust or grime, and clean toilets). I got hot water in my room. There is an internet cafe with half-a-dozen computers and a travel desk on the third floor (though they don't pressure you relentlessly to go through them). There is also a little rooftop terrace, though they only serve snacks (but you can walk to the excellent Sam's cafe just 5 mins walk away). The staff are friendly, and they even made us a packed breakfast (complimentary) because we was leaving early in the morning.

It is less than a ten minute walk from New Delhi Train Station. A little difficult to find, since it is off a side alley from the main street, and signage is poor. Ask the more sleepy looking shopkeepers for directions and they tend not to tout you! The side alley around the Smyle Inn has all the usual amenities of internet cafes, laundries and grocery shops, travel and exchange shops. The advantage of the location is that you really are in the center of Pahar Ganj - and can walk there easily from the train station. Being in an pedestrian area of Pahar Ganj, it is "relatively" quiet.

However, one of the major down sides is that the doors and walls are thin here, and the bathrooms vent onto the hall (not just into other peoples' bathrooms as usual!) so noise from the reception filters in (and vice versa .... be warned). This is the only thing that counts as a criticism - but it is not enough to make me not want to go back. A good pair of earplugs will do the trick (generally essential for Indian travel anyway!!).

Please be advised that this review is given as a backpacker review, and the Smyle Inn is compared with other backpacker style places of the same price in India.. But if this is your first night in India, or you are not used to backpacking, you may prefer a more expensive hotel. I would classify the Smyle Inn as an up-market budget hotel, above the cut in Pahar Ganj. If you are used to backpacking in India and you know the score, I would say definitely give the Smyle Inn a go.

  • Stayed January 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jusef87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Iowa
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 30, 2009

Rooms were basic, but clean. Each room I stayed in had en-suite bath plus tv. It was really nice having an hour of free Internet to let my friends and family know that I'd arrived safely. Breakfast in the morning is pretty good as well. Overall, a good place for me to get my bearings (and good value) arriving in India for the first time.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank chellestravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed February 7, 2009

I booked this hotel online and I thought it would be good as the price wasn't too bad at 400Rs/night (though you can get cheaper I'm sure).

The airport pickup went OK, though at 450Rs it was much more expensive than the 220Rs for a pre-paid taxi (according to Japan Airways magazine).

The street outside was dirty though they got me to the hotel OK, there did seem to be expectations of baksheesh. The room itself was OK, though not particularly clean, it didn't have bed bugs, which I suppose is a positive. The room was also fairly noisy, but as a seasoned traveler I used earplugs as usual so it wasn't a big deal.

The next day the problems started however, I wanted to head to the station to catch the metro into town, but I was lead in the opposite direction by the hotel. Also no mention of the touts that come up and chat to you and unlike the rest of the world don't instantly try and sell you a service was made. This does seem to mostly only be an issue in the Pahrganj area near the railway station.

After returning to my accommodation in the evening I was asked directly why I hadn't purchased any tours from them, I was shocked as I'd booked my train tickets online before arriving in India on the internet following the advice of Seat61. They also appeared to have gone through my stuff so at that point I checked out into alternative accommodation which was better.

  • Liked — Internet Access
  • Disliked — Everything else
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Matthew H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
belfast
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed December 27, 2008

This was our first time to India and Smyle Inn was our first stop in Delhi. Oh dear....We'll begin with the positives. On the up side, our pick-up was pre-arranged and this was fine although the driver was upset when we didn't give him a baksheesh on arrival. The first night we were in a ground floor room next to the sound of cows, workmen and dogs on the street - we got no sleep...be warned there are no windows and ear plugs are a necessity for this place. The second night was fine - spent in a first floor room.

In summary the positives: clean, basic rooms near the train station - breakfast is even included.

The negatives - in a dark noisy alley, staff not always helpful and in one case the agent at the travel desk tried to sell us trips around India even though we had already pre-booked our trip in advance - " you can cancel your hotels..." We felt pressurised to buy into the trips and expeditions offered by this hotel.

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank travellerniBelfast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed November 1, 2008

Having researched Delhi accomodation before arriving we made the choice of this hotel as reviews on hostel world and hostel bookers looked good. We emailed the property directly and pre arranged a room and airport pickup aT a very reasonable price.

The hotel is amoungst Paharganj district (which as a warning is quite different to western societies) however don't be put off...the staff are extremly helpful and friendly and the rooms are basic but clean, inc free linen, towels and breakfast and internet For a non ac room 513rs for ac room 741rs a great price for the both the location to train station and the busy backpacking area!

As two girls travelling together we felt extremly safe and met many travellers here.

  • Liked — the staff
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank bexstar84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chester, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
98 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed October 29, 2008

I had paid for a car to pick me up from the airport in New Delhi, through the hostel, and when I got there my fears of driver not turning up were allayed as I saw my name held on a piece of paper. Following the driver, who was polite and carried my bags for me, we made our way to a carpark that was out of the way, passing through the cars I could see the state of some of them and found myself praying that it wasn't that car coming up, or it wasn't this car in front of me that seemed to be falling apart and battered within an inch of its working life.

The car turned out to be a deathtrap on wheels, but I didn't have time to worry because soon we was off, darting into the traffic that seemed to threaten the very existance of everybody on the road.

Soon we made our way into the centre of Delhi, littered with humans, cows, rubbish, fruit and any other thing that you could possibly care to imagine, the driver eventually stopped and indicated that my hotel was "down that alley".

Off I set with my backpack, guitar and holdal heading down an ominous looking side alley, eyes following me suspiciously until I found it, tucked away in down this suspicious alleyway, where I felt surely I would be seized upon for my western jewlery, money and any other form of expensive goodies for the locals to take.

Making it to the hostel safely I was led up to my room by a bleary eyed counter hand and shown to a room that was small and stuffy, which was fine for me, I was only staying there for 3 nights so it didn't bother me too much, I dumped my bags and had a look around, the walls were peeling paint, the bathroom was also a shower room and the fan rattled as it spun, but I reminded myself, only 3 days.

I crashed out on the bed and was rudely awoken about an hour later by workmen working outside my bedroom on the tourist information booth, the work atarted at 9am and finished at about 8pm at night, non stop sawing, hammering and general havoc, making it nearly impossible to sleep. I got a phone call eventually and was asked if I minded moving rooms, which was promising. I grabbed all my bags and was led downstairs to another room, blessedly away from the noise of the workmen, I dumped my bags again and then another hostel hand come in to me and said, no sorry, this isn't your room, its back upstairs.

Led again back upstairs in my jet-lagged state I was put into the room next to the room I was originally in, which had a pile of 6 cardboard boxes stacked outside of it, after being unceremoniously pushed out of the way I was led into my new room, which was bigger, and better suited for me.

I laid back and tried to sleep again, nearly impossibly due to the building work and eventually slipped into a disturbed slumber. The rest of my time at the Smyle Inn was spent waking up early and going to bed early as the computers kept on packing up and were unable to be used for 48 hours.

The hostel wasn't bad, and I am sure the area would be more suitable for a group of friends or people not travelling alone, but for me? Smyle Inn was the base of my Indian holiday, and no emotion but sadness was attached to the entirety of my time there.

  • Liked — It was cheap
  • Disliked — Location
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Keira J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed September 16, 2008

Most people begin their Indian journey with Delhi. If this is your case, bear in mind that you will be in a cultural and hygienic shock for some time. You'll feel dirty, you'll feel like you want to go home to a civilized place. Well, fear not, it will probably be worse :). We got out of this sad state of mind by doing some massive shopping, and Pahar Ganj (where this hotel is located) was the best place to shop in all of India (don't shop in Agra, it's the worse; Jaipur is so so, good for silver; Mumbai is also ok).

The hotel is ok if you forget your standards and if you rember to bring travel sheets (this is probably the most important advice i have for you). The rooms are small, there is some water infiltration, the bathroom is also small and to get hot water I had to rewire the AC. The room and bathroom were clean enough, but the towels and sheets were not (like everywhere in India).

A good sign that this is a good hotel is that it is packed with foreigners. So book in advance, preferably give them a call. As a general rule, book AC rooms - the difference is around 100 INR and well worth it.

The breakfast is actually quite ok - eggs, milk, cereals, juice - a good jumpstart for the day. We weren't able to find a lot of restaurants nearby. Don't order pizza, it's horrible.

The manager have that "i want more money from you" kind of look, but they won't try anything funny if you are careful (besides, they need to keep up the reputation of the hotel). They helped us with the airport taxi. Don't get the city tour - you'll be a lot better off with the metro (it's really clean, fast, and it costs 8 INR versus the 800 INR the hotel asks for a taxi).

  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank bogdang83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Smyle Inn

Property: Smyle Inn
Address: 916 Gali Chandi Wali | Main Bazaar, Paharganj, New Delhi 110055, India
Location: India > National Capital Territory of Delhi > New Delhi
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 1,095 B&Bs / Inns in New Delhi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Smyle Inn 2.5*
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Experience potpourri of colours, sights, taste and smells of historical Delhi at award winning hostel within walking distance to City Centre (Connaught Place), New Delhi Train Station, Airport Express and two Metro Stations. Discover true Delhi..... Smyle Inn is an award winning family run Hostel in Delhi welcoming international guests since 1996 . Smyle Inn is located in the heart of Delhi within walking distance to City Centre (Connaught Place), New Delhi Train Station, Airport Express and two Metro Stations. It is situated off the colourful Main Bazaar, Paharganj in a quiet street. Area is the first choice for anyone on a budget and looking to experience & explore historical Delhi. Nearby train & metro stations make your day trips to Taj Mahal(Agra) and sightseeing within the city very easy. Smyle Inn offers the best value for money with following facilities: Free Breakfast Free High speed Wi-Fi Free computers for Internet Free Delhi Map Free Travel information * Booking services for sightseeing tours, flight, train & bus at best prices * 24 hr Airport / Station pickup and drop (at very reasonable prices) * 24 hr Taxi on call 24 hr Power back up 24 hr Check in & Check Out * Laundry service at reasonable rates * Beverages and Vodafone Sim cards available for sale at the reception The common room in Wing 1 has seating for around 20 people. This is where travellers meet and interact with each other. There is a book exchange corner and computers to browse internet. Smyle Inn has standard rooms in Wing 1 and superior rooms in Wing 2. All the rooms have been refurbished and have the following facilities: * Windows opening in the street in most rooms. * Air-conditioner with ceiling fans * Telephone * Flat screen T.V with 120+ channels incl. CNN, HBO, BBC etc. * Modern private baths with H/C shower * Bath towel & soap * Writing desk and sofa cum bed in Superior rooms (wing 2). Smyle Inn is actively involved in community service through various non profit social organisations. A part of your spend at Smyle Inn, is used to bring SMILEs on the faces of underprivileged. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Smyle Hotel New Delhi

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