Where to start?
My husband and I and two of our friends decided to stay at the Shangri-La as we needed a place to stay in the area, we all love Indian food, and this place was reasonably priced. When we called to make the reservation, we were told that the rooms were not fancy, but very clean. Obviously we weren't expecting the Four Seasons, but it was made clear that the room we booked would at least be clean.
When we arrived at the hotel, we put our things in the room and noticed that the place was not as clean as we were made to believe. We didn't look too closely, but to start with, there was a ladybug infestation. The owner told us it was a problem in the area. Fine. Perhaps if the screens on the windows had been intact, there wouldn't have been so many in the room.
Spiders. On nearly every surface.
Large bug carcasses in the bathroom and main room.
Fine. We were starving and thought it may not be that bad, so we went to dinner. Food was fine. No staff - the woman who checked us in, took our order and then left, presumably to make our food while her daughter (maybe 13 years old?) took over waiting the tables. Yes, there were other people there. It became very quiet all of a sudden when the music died. We continued to eat our meals, speaking in hushed tones because of the lack of ambient noise. Very odd.
After dinner, we headed back to our room where we began to realize the true extent of the filth. That carpet has probably never seen a vacuum. No, I am not exaggerating. Someone had lit incense in the room prior to our arrival, but it didn't do anything to make the room more livable.
We all kept our socks on and eventually put our shoes on as well. It was gross.
My husband and I decided to move our bed away from the wall so we wouldn't have any creepy-crawlies coming off the walls into our bed while we slept. Big mistake. We should have left well enough alone. The furniture has obviously never been moved. There were bug bits, cocoons, mysterious nests as well as countless dustballs between the bed and the wall on the carpet. We had to jump out of the way to dodge the ladybugs that were flying at us from all angles (turns out we were on THEIR territory).
We looked behind the nightstand and there was an old box of granola bars, some empty ladybug 'shells', an earring, some toenails as well as the usual bug nests and dustballs.
My husband took pictures of the scene.
We were all very uncomfortable, but even more so when we noticed flecks of blood on the sheets and pillow cases. Not ours, either. YUCK!!!
We went to get our money back and the owner asked if she could show us another room. We agreed to look at another room, which may have been cleaner (although I think it was just decorated in lighter colours), but the carpet was still a nghtmare. We decided to leave - the analogy my friend used is when you get sick at a restaurant, they can offer you something else to eat, but you're already past the point of no return. We were so grossed out at this point, none of us would have had a good night's sleep. It was late - after 10, but we still opted to check out and drive to another town (Kingston) to stay at the Holiday Inn. Much better, and not much more money. It was paradise - a Shangri-La, if you will - compared to our first attempt.
My friend asked the owner if there was something he'd need to sign to process the refund and she said "well, I showed you another room, but you didn't want it" (implying she shoulnd't have to give our money back)!!! She claimed there was no way the room was as dirty as we had described, that she had checked the room herself and lit incense (we didn't see the point in letting her know that incense is not a cleaning product). My friend then said "we're not making this up - look, we have pictures". Her face changed when he said this and demanded to see them. She wanted my husband to hand our camera over to her, but he held on to it and took her through the slide show/horrorfest of pictures he'd taken. She demanded he delete them and said she'd give us the refund if we agreed to delete the pictures.
We are not posting the pictures here, as we said we would delete them, but you can imagine what they looked like given her insistence we destroy the 'evidence'.
No way any positive review of this hotel is real. No way.
This hotel is the exact opposite of Shangri-La. Don't stay here.
- Also Known As:
- Shangri La At Mountain Gate