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“In need of TLC.”
Review of Fairlawn Hotel

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Fairlawn Hotel
Ranked #54 of 224 Hotels in Kolkata (Calcutta)
Reviewed March 8, 2014

Sorry, cannot agree with the reviews marked as excellent. Yes a very quirky hotel. My room was accessed off the dining room, the pink room? It backed onto an ally were teenagers gathered at night making much noise. The food was poor and the dining room not to clean. We had to wait in a dark dining room for breakfast as the staff would not turn on the lights until 7:30am. Used a different hotel on our return journey.

Room Tip: Maybe the upstairs room were better.
  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with friends
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2  Thank capt_moonraker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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95 - 101 of 348 reviews

Reviewed February 27, 2014

Do stay here, if you enjoy the authentic feeling of bygone times. In the morning after a full English breakfast, you will be able to meet the 93year-old owner and she might like to have a chat with you, a chat spanning almost a century of Kolkata's history.
The house is even much older and the last visible renovations do not date from yesterday. But if that matters for you in a brilliant location just around the corner from the New Market with a relaxing, green garden, big rooms, functional bathrooms and the nearest you will ever get to the remains of British India, then do stay in a modern chain hotel.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank Katharina K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2014 via mobile

Had a good stay here. Central location but to be honest the main reason I booked here was for the beer garden. Ended up a great idea because you can explore then come back for a relax and a cold one then head of again. The owner is friendly and loves a chat as do the locals

Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
Thank Gillian44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 18, 2014

The Fairlawn Hotel offers the traveler a welcoming, clean, pleasant home base while visiting Kolkata. It is located in the New Market part of town. It is 45 min to and hour from the airport depending on traffic but I believe worth the trek. It is not for everyone. It offers an old school, english Raj feel. Mrs. Violet Smith and her support staff are welcoming and helpful. They will arrange airport taxi pick-up a huge help late at night. The family style meals, and afternoon tea time offer an opportunity to met fellow travelers and share exploits and travel suggestions. The rooms are clean, nice big bathrooms with great hot showers and generous size sleeping area. The roof garden is a lovely spot to rest and read or write.

Room Tip: Rooms on Ground floor have less sunlight but it was quieter than our room on the second floor.
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Kristin_1984
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2014

We stayed four nights at the Fairlawn (and would have stayed longer had a room been available).Thoroughly enjoyed it. Heartily recommended if you can get in (book well in advance as the Fairlawn tends to fill up quickly).. Details:

Rooms - big, comfortable, clean, quite well-lit, with big attached bathroom, everything functioned well. Only downside with our room (No 21) was the noise from the street, which started before the crack of dawn and lasted until well into the night (plus the odd dog barking in the small hours) - light sleepers and those easily disturbed be warned.
Breakast - unashamed English breakfast (minus some meat products, as other reviewers have noted), nicely served in relaxed setting.
WiFi - available at a small cost (we paid 250 rupees for four days). The signal did not quite reach our room, but one could take a seat in the lobby downstairs or in the (quieter) lounge upstairs, both super places to hang out, and surf to one's heart's content. The staff at reception were happy to print out documents, such as boarding passes for a web check-in.
Location - ideal
Service - discrete and friendly.
Setting and decoration - delightful (old-fashioned kitsch for some, but my daughters and I loved it).

Room Tip: Ask for a non-smoking room away from the street.
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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2  Thank PoodleJet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2014

Lovely big rooms with bathroom attached was very comfortable. Loved the history of the family on the walls in photographs, paintings and ornaments. Has a very majestic staircase and you can always find something that you have not seen when you go up and down. unfortunately we did not meet anyone of the family. the down side was i felt the table cloths could do with wash and breakfast was cold - so the next day asked for most of the stuff like baked beans, mushrooms and chips to be left off the plate. One would think they would have this organised by now as they do the same breakfast every day.The waiters were quite unsmiling. Lively place at night as the cafe/bar area is well patronised by locals - the beer is cold and the service excellent here.

Room Tip: book early as they fill up fast here
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank tembi1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2014

Tricky. I wanted to like the Fairlawn, very much, with its incredible history and quaint (verging on kitsch) charm. It is a lovely building and more - Violet Smith’s home for the last 50 years and as such complete with family memorabilia, reviews dating back decades and a remarkable hotchpotch of decorative objects and furniture.

Wandering the lounges upstairs and the charming dining room is lovely. The rooms echo the colonial theme, with c. 1930-40s furniture, and older bathtubs. The pillows and pillow cases seem ancient. (Horrible plastic plants indoors, fortunately real palms etc anywhere with natural light.)

The main light source/view for rooms along the back corridor is the front door, so they can feel a bit claustrophic. A fridge, tea making facilities and geyser is provided, although we never got more than faintly tepid water and the toilet cistern was faulty. Room cleaning and laundry are very good - the cheery room cleaner was always cheery and did an excellent job (cf our review of the Lytton).

Breakfast is basically English (minus sausage and bacon as ‘the quality cannot be guaranteed’, which seems very sensible) with fruit and porridge/corn flakes (although we were never offered the latter). It’s generous but served with a fat dollop of fatigue; a smile was very hard to come by and consequently you felt somehow uncomfortably unwelcome. This certainly contrasts unfavourably with the hotel's professed mantra, 'Arrive as a guest, leave as a friend.'

From the same serving staff, if you wanted milk for making tea in your room, you couldn’t get it (without some determination) either before 7.30am or after 9.30pm, which seems odd when there is a fridge in the room. Apparently related to having to boil the milk – for health reasons presumably - which could surely be arranged in advance. A case of (presumably sensible) rules strangling service.

Reception was fine: mostly bright and helpful, though on arrival not terribly welcoming, and no attempt to help with our suitcases from the taxi to reception - rather disappointing and deflating. As above, we had really looked forward to the Fairlawn and the ennui that seeps through some staff is unfortunate.

While there is no doubt the Fairlawn is a unique experience and seems good value (3700R) if you fancy a taste of history, an American visitor summed it up best. Like us, he was enthused about Kolkata, but perplexed by the Fairlawn apathy. ‘I’m glad I stayed, but I probably wouldn’t come back, there are better rooms and welcome nearby...they seem to be resting on their laurels here, as if no-one really cares much any more.’

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank frangijasmine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fairlawn Hotel

Address: Sudder Street, Kolkata (Calcutta) 700016, India
Location: India > West Bengal > Kolkata District > Kolkata (Calcutta)
Amenities:
Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #54 of 224 Hotels in Kolkata (Calcutta)
Price Range: $209 - $235 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Fairlawn Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 18
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Also Known As:
Hotel Fairlawn
Fairlawn Hotel India/Kolkata (Calcutta), Asia

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