We booked the superior room overlooking the valley. The room was large and the bathroom was in good condition. Room also had a balcony. Heating started at 5pm and shut down at 8am. We were also provided with a electric space heater.
Arrived the day after a storm so Mall road was iced over, and roads above Shimla were closed. It was a pain to get to the hotel as we had to take the elevator (stairs were coated with ice). The coolie took our bags to the hotel. The area by the elevator was iced over and crowded, and of course with our luck only one elevator was working. Peak season you are better off taking the stairs. The hotel is located close to the elevators and the stairs.
Hotel is on the quieter side of the Mall road. The hotel had very few guests at this time so buffet was not available. However you could order a la carte and the food and service was really good.
Since we traveled during winter, the Mall was not as crowded (relatively speaking). I am not sure if I would stay at this hotel in peak season. You may be better off getting something away from the Mall. Shimla has become over commercialized so finding a hotel in one of the nearby villages/areas might give a better overall experience.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Willow Banks was established in the year 1871, a landmark estate which spells history and exemplifies an era of gracious living. Originally owned by Arthur James Craddok, "Architect and Builder of Shimla," in a fitting tribute to his memory the building has been redesigned into a hotel, endowed with all modern amenities and comforts, effortlessly blending into the surrounding pine trees, landscapes and enhancing its beauty. The hotel is located on The Heritage Mall Road, a pleasant walking distance from the famous Ridge, Scandal point, Lakkar Bazaar, Gaiety Theater, Ancient Kali Bari & Jakhoo Temple, High Court, Secretariat, C.M. Residence and Raj Bhavan. Amidst the age old Deodar and Pine trees, Willow Banks Estate on the Mall Road overlooks the lush green valley, the majestic mountains and the complete well lit town of Shimla. The hotel is easily accessible from the High Court Parking and the Tourism Lift, making staying a convenient proposition for one and all. The charming walking trails of Shimla are a pleasant stone's throw away from the hotel. Whatever the purpose of your visit, relaxation away from the busy city life, exploring natural beauties that the town has to offer or pumping adventure trips, Hotel Willow Banks at Shimla guarantees to make your vacation worth remembering. The blend of extremes, modern facilities in a heritage estate and picturesque views at the Mall Road level, make Willow Banks arguably the best hotel in Shimla. Also rated by TripAdvisor as amongst the top 10 Jewel Hotels of India. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Willow Banks Hotel
- Willow Banks Shimla