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“Terrible hospitality !!!”
Review of Hotel Pema Thang

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Hotel Pema Thang
Ranked #14 of 150 Dharamsala B&B and Inns
Reviewed August 30, 2011

We decided upon this place reading the reviews from this website and other travel blogs. We knew that this is a budget hotel, but were still very eager to visit, as we had more or less read good reviews. But our stay there was just terrible.
First of, the staff at the hotel and the restaurant hardly follow either English or Hindi. All of them are Tibetans.
Secondly, the friendly customer service that you may have read about this place is only extended to non-Indians and fellow Tibetans.
They show their displeasure openly if you place the order at the restaurant near the closing time, even if it is 15-20 minutes prior to the scheduled time they take the last order. The restaurant has the most horrendous customer service where the waiters lounge about and are reluctant to get up and come to you even when you call them !!!
The bathroom in our room had very poor drainage and there we had to have baths in ankle-deep water!
Don't expect any room service. If you were to call up the restaurant for something, they would ask you to call up the reception and vice versa.
The food is mediocre. Especially do not order eggs in any form as they are invariably always burnt.
Visit at your own peril !!!

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank CKavita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 19, 2011

We picked Pema Thang from this website and it turned out to be exactly what we wanted. Away from the milling throng of tourists, but not too far away. A short walk and we were in the midst of it, another short walk and we were away from it all. Perched in our lovely room, right next door to the reception, we could either lie and read in the daylight that flooded in with the clarity and peace of mountain light, or we could sit on the little balcony outside observing the birds and the comings and goings in the Dalai Lama's temple opposite. Far enough to hear nothing but the sound of the bells and occasionally Buddhist chanting, but again, near enough to see the red robed monks walk and bow, or sweep and go about the daily business of life.
The breakfast was fresh, good value for money and varied.
The only drawback, if it can be called that, was that people who are thirsty for tea, as we are, would need to wait till 8 o clock before it is served. A kettle in the room would take away the need to wait (patiently) for the staff to wake up and open the kitchen.
The rooms are spacious and have a kitchen area ( without amenities) although the space can be used, with planning. I would definitely go back there as its a haven of peace and good will.

Room Tip: Ensure you ask for rooms on the top floors. They have views across the valley and of the Dalai Lama...
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  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank Kalpanaa M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2011

Stayed here, perhaps the best property in Mcleodganj , on a family holiday in Aug 2011. As previous reviewers have noted, it is a Tibetan guest house run by all Tibetan friendly and cooperative staff. We were given two different rooms for a 2 day stay as we did`t have a prior booking. Both rooms were clean, spacious and with good washrooms. There is a car parking for 3-4 cars, a rarity in town, giving you peace of mind that you are not obstructing somebody`s way on the street.

On the flip side, their restaurant serves only western and tibetan dishes, very hard for an Indian food eater to eat after the initial 1-2 times.Food is fresh and OK but pricey( a bottle of coke costs Rs.25 ,instead of printed Rs.10) The rooms are pricey compared to the market standards, almost double the tariff. Their room boy, a bespectacled tibetan sitting usually in the arrival lounge, measures all woman travelers from head to toe, tries to touch them on available opportunity ,enters rooms without knocking and tries to get past you into the room on trivial pretexts.

Room Tip: All rooms have good view only of mountain peaks, not the entire valley below
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  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank AshKS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2011

Used to be a good Guest House with helpful staff ... staff is still good but the place is falling apart. Rooms suck!! Broken W/Cs. Mattress that's bound to give you a back ache!! Bad bed linen. No maintenance happening. Guess the owner is just busy making money and not investing any money on the property. Used to be known for their pizzas but they suck big time now. Dry and burnt crust, tasteless cheese and passable tomato base!!
I'd say give it a pass!!

Room Tip: Passable ... go in for a newer property!!
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  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled solo
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1  Thank Ajax_AD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2011

Overall, I was really happy with this hotel. I did not stay in the main building...I was in a little cabin lower down. It was very clean and spacious and, based on other hotels I looked at in McLeod Ganj, I think it was a very good deal (apx. 550 rupees/night). My only complaint is that during rainy times the room was very damp and a bit musty...so maybe not the best room during monsoon season (but I'm sure the rooms higher up would be fine all year). The staff were very friendly and helpful and it was convenient having the restaurant right there. I like the location - very close to everything yet off the main streets so more peaceful.

Room Tip: If it's dry season then ask about the cabin lower down - this room was great and much cheaper.
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  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled solo
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1  Thank glowingheart77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 29, 2011

I was inspired to write a review of Hotel Pema Thang not only because I had such a peaceful and pleasant time staying there, but also as a response to SamanaYorkUK's previous review, which I find to be completely unfounded.

In all my years of travel, I have stayed at few guest houses that have a staff that is as friendly and warm as the staff at Pema Thang. Most of the Tibetan I learned to speak I learned from them as they patiently instructed me during their breaks and off hours and every morning and night they greeted us with warm smiles, conversation and helpful travel advice that was always completely accurate. We were staying there as a part of a group, so I had abundant opportunity to see the view from many rooms and they were all extraordinary. Many of you will also love the fact that Pema Thang is situated on a quiet wooded hilltop that is very accessible, but far enough from the main roads that none of the honking cars can be heard.

The simple fact that Samana refers to the prayer flags that obstructed their view as "childish" should tell you a lot about their attitude and character. My only complaint is that we were staying at Pema Thang at the same time as the complaining couple below. From the unfortunately constant look of disapproval on their faces, I can assure you they have never been happy anywhere. As a regular traveler, it is a curious phenomenon that the "Ugly American," seems to no longer be American. On numerous occasions I witnessed the staff do an amazing job at remaining calm, compassionate and profession as Samana was verbally abusive and threatening. It is ironic that the attributes he ascribes to the staff are in fact his attributes and not theirs.

There are many guest houses in Mcleod Ganj (upper Dharamsala) to choose from, but for a perfect balance between cost, quality, friendliness and location, my opinion is that Pema Thang is the best. If you plan on visiting Mcleod Ganj, you owe it to yourself to pay them a visit and see for yourself.

I hope you have a wonderful trip.

Stayed: June 2011, traveled on business
4  Thank kestreltx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2011

My wife and I went to stay there for three weeks and regretted every moment of our stay for these reasons--
The views of the Kangra valley were totally obscured by raggedy dirty prayer flags cluttering up the trees(in my opinion a childish religious gesture)
The Kitchen staff were surly and antagonistic--
The first morning I phoned down to the kitchen to ask for breakfast to be sent up only to be told that they were not doing room service at all then the phone was hung up --I went down to ask why room service was advertised only to be dismissed by threatening gestures from the large agressive Tibetan youth in charge of the kitchen.
When I then went and complained to the Hotel manager he told me that the kitchen had a separate managment that he had NO authority at all over--then he told me that the so-called room service would cost 20 rs each time(if they consented to do it all)
We then took ALL our meals elsewhere(Nicks mainly--pleasant and willing service--excellent food)--Our room opened onto a courtyard where a 20 person Yoga class(with chanting and loud lecture started at 7am each day)--far too early to be forcibly woken up for us-we were on holiday.
Room cleaning was pathetic-only if we asked.
The owner(female) came along on the second day and it was obvious that she could not control the kitchen staff--apologies aside she should have trained her staff to be pleasant and well mannered towards guests--which none of them wewre--not even the Hotel manager!
We would advise anyone never to stay there ever.
We would NEVER stay there again--even for free!!

Room Tip: Find a different Hotel(Hotel Tibet possibly)
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  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank SamanaYorkUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Pema Thang

Address: Hotel Bhagsu Road | Mcleod Ganj, Dharamsala 176219, India
Location: India > Himachal Pradesh > Kangra District > Dharamsala
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 150 B&Bs / Inns in Dharamsala
Price Range: $66 - $100 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:1 star — Hotel Pema Thang 1*
Number of rooms: 16
Also Known As:
Pema Thang Hotel
Hotel Pema Thang Dharamsala, Asia - India

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