I arrived very tried at SRM Hotel at 11:30 at night after a 8 hour car journey. My colleague had made the booking and I did not know what the Room Tariff was. The person at Reception said that he would require an advance payment (Rs. 2500) in order to check us into the room. 3 of us provided our credit cards for this ‘advance’ payment. He then proceeded to another area of the lobby (out of sight) to ‘process’ the transactions. When he reappeared about 5-10 minutes later with our cards, I asked him how come he had to go away to process the credit card? His response was – they only have AmEx processing capability at the Reception. For Visa or Master, he needed to go elsewhere. Already warning signs were going off in my mind. AmEx is the least common of cards used in India, I could not figure out the logic behind only having AmEx capability at the Reception.
Finally got checked in and I proceeded to the elevator to get to my room. My room key said 210. So I pushed ‘2’ on the elevator (this seemed logical to me). I got out of the elevator and found that the rooms were all starting with ‘3’. Hmmmmmm, second disappointment and I have not even made it to my room. I had to get back to the elevator to go down 1 floor with my luggage.
Got to the room. Carpet had holes in places. The closet doors were barely holding it together. Two single beds. Space wise the room was adequate. Also had plenty of table space to sit and work.
Bathroom – Was quite scary. The area around the overhead Tube lights in front of the mirror had considerable evidence of water leaks and rusted fittings. The shower curtain was dirty and did not even cover the Bath tub completely. One of the two towels (originally had been white) was quite yellowish and scary looking. I set this aside and used the other one that seemed a bit newer. Overall the condition of the bathroom was borderline and in bad need of better maintenance.
Lights, TV and Electrical Outlets – This is the most strange and ridiculous part of the room. As soon as you entered the room, the first switch to the right operated all the electrical plugs in the room, the TV outlet and 2 lights on the far wall. This is how I found out how this switch worked. I had wanted to plug my Mobile phone to charge it overnight. I wanted to watch the News for a few moments before I fell asleep. I did not want to get up and turn the lights off after watching the News, so I turned the lights off (thinking I would only have the TV on for a few minutes). But apparently if I turn the lights out, the TV goes out and the Electrical outlet that was charging my phone was off too. Never seen anything like this. So THE ONLY OPTION I had left was to open up the domes on the 2 Lights, remove the bulb, leave the switch ON at night so my mobile phone can charge and I could watch TV for a few minutes before I went to sleep. I HAVE NEVER SEEN A MORE RIDICULOUS arrangement for a hotel room.
Checkout – We had to leave by 8:30 am the next morning. After having breakfast (service was rather mediocre) we proceeded to Reception to announce our intent to checkout. Turns out their Printer was not working and they could not give us a Paper Receipt of our bill. They took my email address and promised to send me a scanned copy of the bill. Also, to make matters worse, the Receptionist at night, in his zeal, had taken Rs. 2500 each from us as an ‘advance payment’ when the actual Room Rate was Rs. 1947.50. So they had to refund Rs. 552.50 to each of us. I gave him my credit card to ask him to put it back on the card. NO, this is not possible, can only give you cash. Next we got into a circus on finding exact change to refund 3 of us Rs. 552.50 each.
Overall, the SRM experience was bizarre and fraught with hassles. Unfortunately, in the area where they are, the other options for hotels are perhaps scarier.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Srm hotel , chennai located in ecofriendly environment in all in one campus ( hotel located in midst of world known srm university with all facilities in one campus like banks, atms, hospital , supermarket , higginbothams book shop , huge campus with green nature environment , lake , walking track and goes on easy access to mncs :- we are located near to ford , bmw , renault , daimler and indian giants like infosys, wipro , mahindra, tvs , motherson , tafe , india piston etc etc tourist attraction :- vandallur zoological park, kancheepuram silk city, mahabalipuram sea shore temple, vedathangal birds sanctuary and lot to add ...... We serve on cp plan , but also offer ap , ep plan on guest request , with one 24 hours coffee shop pool view, and multicuisine restaurant spice of india , cheers bar , swimming pool and gym we offer complimentary wifi , usage of gym and swimming pool for the room guests we do offer airport , railway station pickups and also organise for sight seeing tours ... more less
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