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“Good rooms and good location” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Willow Banks

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Hotel Willow Banks
Ranked #12 of 110 Hotels in Shimla
Certificate of Excellence
New Delhi, India
Level Contributor
30 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Good rooms and good location”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2014

The hotel is near the lift so even if one is without a porter it’s not too much of a trouble to carry the luggage. As we were their only for three days, we did not have too much to carry. The exterior of the hotel has got the heritage charm. We stayed in their deluxe room, which was clean and spacious. We chose this room particularly for the view as it had a decent size balcony to louse around. However, we were given the corner room which didn’t really have much of the view as half of it got blocked by hotel’s another wing and the other have had sights of a ransacked huts. Even after complaining to the manager, they did not change our room which was the only let-down during our stay. I felt the front desk was not as friendly and cooperative as the other staff, who were always available for service. We were initially having too much trouble with the air con and it was freezing. Upon requesting they got us heaters even though the hotel is centrally heated. The food at WB is expensive but worth a try. The washroom was big and clean. We had hot water available all the time. My husband and I went there on Holi so the hotel was kind enough to give us some colours to celebrate in person.

Room Tip: Go for the higher floors and choose either super deluxe or premium rooms
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Lipika R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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412 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (128)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Hebrew first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2014

We stayed for two nights 0f 4th & 4th June. Our driver was quite familiar with Shimla and we were 10 minutes from the lift when he phoned them to send a porter.On arrival at the lift no porter. It was not a big deal. When told the receptionist about it he started to make excuses. The room we stayed in was quite o.k. Clean and everything we asked for was provided. We had booked with Buffet dinner but there was no Buffet for the 2 days we were there. The Restaurant Manager told us that we can order what we wanted from their a la carte menu.The food was good,service was good and as we were leaving early we wanted breakfast at 7.00 a.m. The waiter in the restaurant arranged it all. He even packed us a couple of sandwiches to take away.On the whole it was a very good experiance. The waiting staff were more accomodating then the front office staff. We will definately go back again to Willow Banks.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank shamsh k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Delhi, India
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2014

I booked the Hotel basis review on the Trip Advisor but it certainly was exceeding expectations.
Apart from loaction/roomdecor /service the dining is also reasonable and good.
But as a precedence no A/c in Hotel which may be checked if travelling in very hot weather.
Good value for money spent.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank neerajg99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ludhiana, Punjab, India
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2014

This is very good hotel and ofcourse the location is pretty awesome as it's on the Mall Road. We booked two super deluxe rooms and enjoyed the stay overall. We got breakfast & dinner complimentary with our booking and definitely the food was good.

One MAJOR thing that you gotta keep in mind is that - it is "difficult" to reach this hotel if you are visiting in peak season. This applies to any hotel on Mall Road, except few. The reason behind this difficulty is that you will not get parking easily and then you will have to "walk" till the lift and then wait in the life queue to get in. We reached Shimla at 1pm when the sun was scorching at it's peak and we had to walk with kids, yep that was tough!

You get "token coolies" in the parking lot who can take your luggage to the hotel, but even then you have to walk till lift and then wait in the queue to reach to the hotel. Coolies are expensive as they charge anything they want to, and yep the lift is also paid.

At first, we got really frustrated because of this but then we had no choice but to follow what others were doing. By the way, if you are fitness freak then you can walk instead of using lift and can easily reach to hotel.

The hotel's front office is staff is "not at all" friendly. The housekeeping or room service staff is pretty nice and helpful. I believe they are like this, because they have good hotel, and best location. If you can ignore the arrogant staff and the experience of lift, then I believe this is one of the best hotels available on Mall Road, Shimla.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank SachinKhosla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Delhi
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2014

We got to stay in this hotel because we didn't able to get a reservation in combermere...but i must say that it is really a nice place to stay. Located on the mall road and in close proximity to tourism lift...it is really a nice property specially for the aged and children. It has an easy approach to mall road making it a more preferable stay. Also the rooms are very nicely done with a luxurious approach. Although we had a problem when we reach the hotel as our rooms at the road level were given to someone else but it was a confusion which was later sorted out . Overall the hotel is good with average services and food quality but still i would recommend you to stay there at least once as it is an overall nice experience.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Shweta_16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Level Contributor
67 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2014

we read about it on trip-advisor. It is a good hotel but without A/c. As we have visited in first week of june,2014 it was hot in Shimla and yes a/c is needed. We have booked premium room which was good. Although it is little on expensive side still we will prefer this hotel. specially the location and the complimentary break-fast was good.

Room Tip: always book premium rooms only preferably 4th floor.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Rajesh J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Delhi, India
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2014

We visited Shimla during June 1st week. Check in at Hotel Willow banks was smooth. The hotel is located at the Mall Road and very near to the Tourism Lift. But soon one realizes that location is the only thing which is perfect for this hotel. Not that it is bad in its services but I expected more from a hotel rated 4 stars. We stayed in a Premium Room. The rooms are very good, spacious and very airy. You don't miss an AC. The balcony opens to the city view and you can see the Ridge as well. Bathrooms are big and clean. We opted for the CPA plan. Buffet breakfast was good but they could have added more options. I found variety lacking. Although staying on the mall road, you can explore so many other eating joints as well. All other services like Gym, Sauna, Jacuzzi and stuff are payable and not complimentary for the resident guests. I didn't quite like it. At least Gym should be made free for resident guests. They do have a bar but it was so sad and dull looking I never wanted to visit it once even. Their restaurant Cafe Willow is good, very English setting. But I cannot say the same about food quality. I felt it was highly compromised. Chef needs some serious shaping up or shipping out. They don't have children's activity room/ kids club kind of a thing as well. And my son missed it. All in all it is an extremely good hotel and given its location if they do something about their pricing and food, it can become one of the best hotels of Shimla. Though staying in Shimla is expensive, I don't think it is value for money . You can get better options in the price that you pay here. But I will give them ten on ten for hospitality and amiability.

Room Tip: Go for Premium Rooms on higher floor, they are sunny and spacious. make sure they dont give you room...
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank EktaLallDelhi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Willow Banks

Property: Hotel Willow Banks
Address: Opp Tourism Lift, Shimla 171001, India
Phone Number:
Location: India > Himachal Pradesh > Shimla
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#5 Spa Hotel in Shimla
#5 Luxury Hotel in Shimla
#11 Family Hotel in Shimla
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Willow Banks 4*
Number of rooms: 45
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

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