Santana means consolation and this hotel is just that. Can't understand how it ended up getting such high rating on TripAdvisor.
First the good points. The hotel staff in general are nice, simple, courteous people. The rooms are quite good. There is a lawn where you can sit and relax and its a safe place to stay with family.
Now the reasons why I won't go there again and won't recommend it to anybody. I planned a trip with my family during the last Christmas break. None of the good resorts were available even one month in advance and so I opted for this hotel going by the reviews on TripAdvisor. I made an advanced payment via net transfer and they assured me that rooms will be ready when we arrive at 6 am. But we had to wait in the lobby for more than 2 hours before we finally got our rooms.
The hotel is at the end of CT road and even for going to the CT Road beach, one needs to hire an auto. The hotel has a fisherman's colony on one side and something like a cold storage/ice factory on the other. There is nothing quaint about this.... it stinks. They said the sea is well visible from the terrace but most of the view is blocked by houses and anyway the terrace is littered with birdshit.
Their restaurant's so-called specialities turned out to be very average (don't confuse that with 'homely food') and every day they would ask us to order our meals in advance but thankfully there are lots of good options in Puri and we hardly ate there after the first day.
Now to my worst experience with these people. I wanted to book a day long sightseeing trip and though there were lots of other operators, I trusted the hotel manager to do the booking and he assured me he'll get us good front seats on a deluxe bus. On the morning of the trip the tour operator was supposed to send a auto to pick us up from the hotel but there were none. So we went on our own to the starting point and located our operator. What greeted us was shocking. Instead of the promised deluxe bus, there was a old, rickety bus with narrow hard seats (no reclining, arm rests etc.). I called up the hotel manager and his first reaction was " Take whatever is there. Your fares are already paid and we won't refund". No sorry or He first won't admit he had promised a deluxe trip and later argued this is good enough, others were also travelling in the same bus. The others turned out to be very low-budget travellers. I wanted to cancel this trip even without refunds but it was our last day in Puri and I wasn't sure I'll be able to arrange another trip at the last minute. The whole journey of 13 hours or so turned out to be extremely uncomfortable. The guide was a semi-literate person with limited knowledge. It was an extremely tight itinerary with hardly any time for toilet breaks. The lunch stop was at a dirty and cheap hotel. The trip was a total disaster thanks to the incompetent fellow at Hotel Santana. These people have no idea about quality service and a minimal standard certain people will expect.
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