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My reviews for hotels located in Shimla, Manali, Goa, and Kochi

Updated on September 18, 2014

Introduction

I have been to Shimla and Manali, two cities in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh in India. This place is really cold and it is freezing. Undulating mountains covered with snow is a common sight here. That's why choosing a good hotel is important to keep yourself warm from the uncomfortable ice-cold weather here.

On the other hand, Goa (smallest state in India) and Kochi (in the state of Kerala) which are in the southern part of India are quite hot and humid. Comfortable hotels required for enjoyable holiday trip.


This photo of Quality Inn Himdev is courtesy of TripAdvisor

This was a hotel that I stayed in February 2012 during winter in Northern India. It has a long runaway for tourist vehicles to reach the main door. Sometimes, tourist vehicles with luggage loaded cannot go up the runaway. Thus the people have to go out and bring their hand luggage along with them in the cold weather to the hotel. It was interesting to know that there is a temperature sensor inside lift, always showing 16 °C.

The free wireless internet service was stable and fast but only limited to the lobby area. I can even online in my van at the entrance outside the hotel using my iPad 2!

The room is quite small. We need to request electric heater specifically. Immediately after I plugged in my multi-purpose socket, there was a total blackout in the room. We were shift to a bigger room after we made our complains. We were advised not to plug-in any multi-purpose socket or extension to prevent the same thing from happening again. Even the electric heater has to plugged to the right socket because blackout will happen again if wrong socket chosen. There was no electric kettle. Therefore, I had to order my hot water from the housekeeping. Hot water can only be available inside the bathroom from 6.00 a.m. to 10 p.m. This means that if you arrived at the hotel later than 10 p.m., you will have to bath with bone-chilling cold water! LCD TV with Satellite channels is available. The new room is spacious but this has its own downfall: Electric heater just not enough to warm up the room!

We had a complimentary buffet breakfast, offering variety of Indian cuisines and other food items including Chapati, Sandwiches, Puri Bhaji, orange juice, coffee, tea, warm water, corn flakes, and omelet. It is weird that the chefs decided to chop bananas together with banana skins into sections and not served them as whole banana! This makes peeling banana a more daunting task!

The hotel is near to the Mall Road market. It takes about 10 minutes drive to there. Overall, the hotel is satisfactory although there were some electrical problems inside my room.


This photo of The River Crescent Resort is courtesy of TripAdvisor

The River Crescent Resort located near to Mall Manali, the Manali marketplace, with about 15 minutes car ride. I checked in to this hotel in February 2012, during winter. This hotel located over a spacious area, with beautiful scenery of Manali all around the hotel. The hotel lobby is extremely spacious, with beautiful lightning, and marvelous decorations. It seems that this is a high-class hotel. But their lift was problematic! We had to resort to staircase up to our room at 3rd floor. The porters and receptionist were friendly and helpful to us.

It is interesting to note that you can also play ping-pong at the lobby near the reception desk, without any surcharges. Free wi-fi with stable and decent speed was also available here, but it needs an IP address configuration by a computer system administrator before you can use it. Two sockets are available at the lobby for charging your laptop and it was very cold at the midnight even with your winter jackets and gloves on!

My room was spacious, neat, and clean, with a balcony attached, and a clean, decent washroom. The washroom has two compartments for bathing. One is for bathtub and another is for normal showering. Hot water inside the washroom is available for whole day long I think. But it was too cold for a comfortable stay because the electric heater just cannot warm up the room. The room has many mirrors: 2 mirrors on the wall and one mirror at the back of the door, not including the mirror inside the washroom. Electric kettle is available in every room, with free tea and coffee packets for customers. There are two televisions inside the room, 2 multipurpose sockets, and some abstract paintings attached to the wall. I can use my socket extension on the night before, but in the next morning, the socket cannot be used again after I charged my mobile phone. Pleasant music played in the walkway outside the room.

I had my good buffet breakfast for two consecutive mornings. The waiter here was friendly and helpful. This is a strict vegetarian restaurant where you cannot find any eggs here. The food items served include: sandwiches with jam and butter, Chapati, Puri Bhaji, toasts, watermelon, papaya, French fries, coffee, and tea. I have had my breakfast to my heart's content!

I really enjoyed my stay in this 4 star hotel and this hotel does live up to the expectation as it advertised!


This photo of Delta Residency is courtesy of TripAdvisor

I visited this hotel in February 2012. It is very near to Calangute beach, takes about 10 minutes walk. My friend had booked a transport from Madgaon train station to the hotel before we came to Goa. However, on arrival at the train station, we shocked to know that our transport booking was not registered! Really a miserable experience!

Only after we arrived at the hotel, then they started to clean the rooms hastily. After cleaning, the floor was still sandy, and the beds were not completely tidied up, making an uncomfortable stay for me. The staffs here were not helpful enough. They just carried our luggage to the second floor and we had to roll our luggage back to our respective rooms. The TV has wide variety of satellite channels including AXN, but the TV can lose signal for sometime after I watched it for 5 hours. The air conditioner was not cold at all! It seems that the hotel management uses an energy saver air conditioner which can turn on and off periodically, probably to save electrical energy! No electric kettle was available in the room. There was no bathtub in the bathroom and the water shower just squeeze out barely enough water at a time for bathing! Hot and cold water system of the bathroom seemed out of control because cold water can become very hot after sometime even though I have not adjusted the knob!

This hotel has two dining locations. One is for buffet breakfast and another functions as a restaurant. Buffet breakfast only started to available at 8:30 a.m. The food choices at the buffet was satisfactory: typical Indian vegetarian cuisines with omelet. A water container storing 20 litres of mineral water was available outside the buffet breakfast place. Generally, this hotel provides quiet environment except for one noisy Indian Congress political rally in the afternoon during my stay. This hotel does have a small swimming pool.

This hotel was barely good enough for me as a sleeping place. The only good point for this hotel is their place. This hotel should at least give a clean and tidy environment with better water showers for customers!

Lonely Planet South India & Kerala (Regional Travel Guide)
Lonely Planet South India & Kerala (Regional Travel Guide)

A useful travel guide for travellers visiting Cochin, Kerala, India

 


This photo of Hotel Abad Metro is courtesy of TripAdvisor

This is a three star hotel and I booked a 2 people deluxe bedroom in February 2011. The fee per night was about Rs 1800 (42 USD). It got a decent TV with Satellite channel inside the room but I did not usually use it because I was outside most of the time, visiting places. The air-conditioner was quite cold actually, and the window can be opened. The room was quite clean when I moved into the hotel. There was no drinking water or electric kettle inside the room; therefore, I need to order it from the hotel, which was more expensive than the bottled mineral water sold in the supermarket. Free newspaper also delivered to your doorstep every morning.

One good thing is that the hotel booking does include a buffet breakfast. It offers mainly Indian cuisine. Internet access inside this hotel requires subscription. The electrical sockets inside the room can fit into various types of plugs. Basic necessities and toiletries are complete such as soaps, towels and cups. However, this hotel is quite far from big shopping complexes. This will take about 10 minutes auto rickshaw ride from the hotel.

All in all, this hotel was satisfactory to me. The place did give me a good sleeping experience with reasonable price.

Conclusion

I hope that you find my reviews useful. Enjoy your stay while you are traveling inside India!

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