On arrival, the Alleppey Prince Hotel conveys an air of civility and comfort familiar to most western 3-star hotels.
The reception area is tiled and clean and the staff are formally dressed. The rooms are spacious and clean with large double beds and more than adequate wardrobe space. The toilet and shower facilities are clean and satisfactory (after lodging for 4 days in Nepalese mountain tea houses, it felt positively luxurious).
On the evening of my arrival, I organised a boat tour of the local backwaters via the Prince’s reception staff. The time and price was agreed. I told them of a previous offer I’d received which was about 4 times as much. I was advised to avoid organising a tour any other way than via the hotel, as it was likely I’d “get ripped off”.
Following a good night’s sleep, I reported to reception at 10am, as per the instruction. I attempted to pay the agreed price at the reception desk. The morning receptionist, who was different from the previous receptionist, attempted to charge me double what was agreed the previous evening. The basis for the increase – that much worn-out clique: “it’s peak season”.
I refused to pay the increase. ‘Peak Season’ had not been mentioned the previous night (and for reference, it wasn’t) . They told me the price was what it was. I conveyed my anger at having agreed a price and then have it doubled – I had planned my day around this 6-hour tour. I was then handed a telephone, to speak to the receptionist I had spoken to the previous evening. He reiterated the “peak season” point. The telephone call then turned to negotiating a compromised increase – again, something I wasn’t prepared to do.
I insisted on speaking to the management. Only at that point did the current receptionist agree to charge the actual price.
It was an exhausting process, which lasted about 45 minutes, and was not a good start to my first day in Alleppey.
On the evening of returning from my back-waters tour, I sat in the hotel bar and had a beer.
The bar felt intimidating – I was stared throughout at by the Kelaralan locals (I realise that this is beyond the hotel’s control). Half an hour in, one of the locals approached me, drunk, and began shouting at me. Due to the language difference, I was unable to understand what was being said (he may well have been being friendly towards me – although the body language suggested otherwise).
As the man stood shouting at me, no attempt by the bar staff was made to remove him.
Slightly confused, I sat it out until one of his friends pushed him out. Again, I realise that this wasn’t an act carried out by the hotel, but reason dictates that I wouldn’t – as the only westerner in the bar – understand what was being shouted at me. So something should have been said by the hotel bar staff.
Anyway, not a particularly enjoyable experience all-round.
In conclusion, nice enough facilities, but a rather frustrating experience, which isn’t what you want when you’re on holiday.
I would be very weary of using this establishment.
Please be warned.
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- Also Known As:
- Alappuzha Prince Hotel
- Prince Hotel Alappuzha
- Alleppey Prince Hotel Kerala/Alappuzha, India