Let's Talk Hotels

Let's Talk Hotels

Postby HammockGuy » February 27th, 2009, 3:02 pm

Ok, while the focus here should be on hotels in Anand, I of course realize that many of us travel through Mumbai, and there can certainly be good reasons to stay in hotels near the local airports in Ahmadabad (AMD) and Vadodara (BDQ). So, please feel free to share where you stayed in these locations also, why that hotel, and your impressions...

In Anand, at least at this time (Feb 2009), the two hotels that seemingly attract the most attention from us visitors are the newer La Casa Inn and the venerable Hotel Laksh.

La Casa, while I haven't been there, is described as being nicer and cleaner than Hotel Laksh. For those up on the star ratings, it's probably a three, so I understand. Apparently the restaurant there is quite good and offers a very nice variety of cuisine.

Each of these hotels seem to be equidistant from Dr. Patel's clinic (7 minute tuk tuk ride, see video in photo / video post). Hotel Laksh is more near the Big Bazaar, US Pizza (15 minute walk), and Subway (5+ minute tuk tuk ride). La Casa is a little more remote, but more near my favorite restaurant, Hungry Jungle (couple minute tuk tuk ride).

When we were trying to decide between these two back in September 2008, while both are quite affordable, Hotel Laksh was cheaper. And while I can't speak for La Casa, Hotel Laksh provided a 10% discount to Dr. Patel's clients. I wasn't aware of that deal beforehand, so that was a pleasant surprise. For us though, price really wasn't the primary consideration...

My employer, being very supportive, allowed me to work while abroad, but this mandated that I have a decent and reliable internet connection. At that time, La Casa was just getting connected to the web. And while they said they had internet access, it was only in their business center, not in their rooms, and it would be an additional hourly charge. Given the amount to time I would need on the internet, and at odd ours (California time), this wasn't going to hack it. Plus, my wife, who had the final decision because her comfort was the most important factor, also valued the internet a lot because she wanted to instant message and use the webcam to communicate with her family. So, Hotel Laksh it was...

That said, there are other internet options that Hitesh can arrange which leverage the cell network via a laptop card or modem (Tata Indocom, Reliance or BSNL). Likewise, these two will entail costs though and from my experience and others, the bandwidth is just ok.

Hotel Laksh has two wireless networks that span several floors. I still remember the network key: apple. The bandwidth was more than adequate and actually allowed me to watch TV video feeds of my college football and basketball games (Go Bears!). My wife was able to easily instant message and use her webcam and I was able to use my employer's IP phone to participate in a team meeting and call my parents. In this day and age, the internet is becoming more and more essential. So, Hotel Laksh served us very well in this respect. It was down a few times, and those were mostly when the hotel was minus power though...

As of this moment, from a friend who is there now, La Casa is still having some issues with their internet. I'm quite certain they'll get his ironed-out soon though.

Hotel Laksh provides a free in-room breakfast of toast and butter, which we took advantage of daily. With some peanut butter that we brought with us, it was actually a pretty good way to start the day. My wife made coffee in the room as well. In the photos post, one can see some shots of our room and our cooking gear.

We found the overall service at Hotel Laksh to be more than adequate. They were all very friendly and responsive. We didn't use room service every day, but a few times a week, which is typical for us; and they were cool with that. The security guard at the entrance to the hotel was great. He flagged-down a tuk tuk every morning for our trip to Dr. Patel's clinic. We gave him a nice tip at the end of our stay. I'll have a money post discussion soon...

Oh, Hotel Laksh has cable TV, including the basic cable networks, and also HBO. Between a good internet connection and these channels, we were not overly bored. Anand is not exactly a haven for things to do, so that was nice. The room also has a fridge, although we didn't use it much. We did use the A/C, even though it was winter, lol!

When we were preparing to leave Anand, the hotel secured a taxi for us, and upon request, put it on our hotel bill so I could pay everything in one shot, with a credit card. I was also getting low on Rupees and didn't want to hassle with another money exchange...

Besides these hotels, there is also the Hotel Surabhi Regency.

If interested, I have a street view photo of this hotel in the photo post. Below this hotel is the only place in Anand to purchase alcohol in this dry state. If you are into wine, Grover Vineyards (not exactly Indian sounding is it?) is pretty good, so I hear.

I just remembered that Hitesh, Dr. Patel's husband, provided us with a pretty helpful area map of Anand. I was able to find it, and scan it in for all to see, download and print (attached, below).

This attachment can also be found in Helpful Attachments, under Reference Info.

Ok, enough of my babbling... Most are staying at La Casa, and I'm sure they can share quite a bit as to why.
Attachments
Anand Map from Hitesh.jpg
Anand Area Map (Hitesh)
(1.05 MiB) Downloaded 2 times
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Re: Let's Talk Hotels

Postby KPM » August 11th, 2011, 2:27 pm

Here is the link to Hotel Rama Residency in Anand http://www.hotelramaresidency.com/.
Highly recommend this hotel with friendly staff, clean rooms and bathrooms and best value for your money.
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Re: Let's Talk Hotels

Postby Beagle » August 17th, 2011, 4:33 pm

+1 for the Rama. Proximity is hard to go past.

I had someone help in the old forum and they advised that there are rooms at the top of Rama that has two rooms and a small kitchen. However the elevator stops one floor below and you have to walk up 1 flight of stairs.
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Re: Let's Talk Hotels

Postby MLM1202 » August 17th, 2011, 7:02 pm

Hi Everyone, I first want to thank HammockGuy for getting this forum back up and running. I used this forum many times preparing for our trip this past January. Although we were not successful in our surrogate getting pregnant, we appreciate all the information that was we found here. I do feel that so much valuable information was lost and I just hope that this will help future couples.

When going traveling to India, take note of the month you will be traveling. We went in January, and I was told that this was wedding season. We emailed many of the hotels and they told us that we couldn’t come for the full two weeks due to booked weddings, but they were willing to work with another hotel for the time they needed us to leave the hotel. We stayed at the Madhubhan Resort and Spa because they ensured that we would be able to stay there the whole time in Anand without moving around. A few days after we arrived, we did in fact have to leave the hotel on two separate days. At first I was upset, but looking back I was able to visist and stay at several of the hotels and in the end it was a valuable experience.

Madhubhan Resort and Spa this will be the most expensive hotel you can stay at in Anand. We were priced at 6500 ruppees per night. The staff was nice and the food is great. They serve chicken if you are in the mood for meat. You get one hour of WiFi free a day, but you have to go to the front desk for the password. They do offer 4 hour and 24 hour WiFi for a package prices. They had cable and the best part was that the cable had a menu so you could easily find a show you wanted to watch. The hotel is beautiful and have beautiful statues on their grounds. The pool is beautiful and the spa is great. While there my husband got a great haircut and hot towel shave for appox 20 US dollars. In making the reservations we emailed sales@madhubhan.com. We mostly were in touch with Kamini. She sometimes takes a while to email back, so be patient. Please note that while at this hotel, if you are asked to leave, they will tell you that they have “guest house”. We did go see it as an option and I don’t recommend it. It’s in a building across the street up the block in an industrial complex. There were no other guests staying there. We were shown a room. It had two twin mattresses on top of each other, a small black and white TV, and the sheet rock looked like it was coming off the walls. I believe these rooms are meant for the workers who in the factory behind the guest house. http://www.madhubhanresortandspa.com/
The next hotel we stayed at was La Casa Inn. They amazingly took us when we first had to leave the Madhubhan Resort and Spa even though I heard that they were booked. I believe we stayed in the Diamond room approx. 2500 Rupees .The room was big and confortable. They had cable. We had the corner room so it was quite noisy. I didn’t eat there but I spoke to other couples there and they enjoyed the food. They also provided WiFi as well. http://www.lacasainn.in/

The next hotel we stayed at was the Neejanand. This is a retirement community travelers. It’s a bit out of the way, but beautiful. After being in the main town, walking around here was quiet and peaceful. I believe we paid approx. 3200 ruppees per night, but your meals are included. Our room was large; It had a living room, and a bed room plus bathroom. When watching TV, there was no menu so we often didn’t know what was on until the commercial was over. We were there for dinner. It is buffet style. They have a soda machine that is locked up. We asked for soda at with our meal. They waiter/chef was really nice and kept offering us water because it was free. The problem is that the water is not filtered and I didn’t want to take any chances. After the meal was over you just leave and no worries about bills. They have a beautiful pool and a game room with a pool table. I would be inclined to stay here if we are lucky enough to come back and have a successful delivery. http://www.neejanand.com

My husband and I left through Ahmedabad Airport. The night before we left, we stayed at the Metropole Hotel in Ahmedabad . We found it while shopping in Ahmedabad. We initially ate here, and were impressed with the hotel. We stayed one night and they gave us a wakeup call and drove us to the airport. We paid Approx 4500 rupees. They have a nice restaurant and it is clean and modern. Like La Casa inn, you are on a main road, so it will be noisy. http://www.metropolehotel.co.in
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Re: Let's Talk Hotels

Postby Haku » August 21st, 2011, 10:56 am

Many thanks to HammockGuy for getting this forum running again.

We stayed at both the Rama Residency and the Madhuban Resort in May/June. You can't beat Rama for its proximity to the clinic as well as the shops and restaurants in town. And compared to other hotels we've stayed at in smaller towns in Gujarat it is surprisingly quiet because the rooms don't face the main road. Another positive is the cost - we got a 10% discount without asking (maybe for being Dr Patel's patients?) and WiFi access at Rs50/day (50% discount for Dr Patel's patients). The only negative was the power cuts and the failure of the backup generators kicking in sometimes. Breakfast was basic and there was little variety.

I was the one that checked out the rooms on the rooftop - they're nice (2 separate beds and a kitchen) but the lack of lift access probably makes this unattractive for most of us. And as it was May, it was very hot on the rooftop.

The Madhuban was wonderful by comparison - nice grounds, nice rooms and a pool. But we started off in the Mandavdi Gom cottages and moved out after a few days because there were so many mosquitoes outside the room (and sometime inside). So we could not sit outside on the patio - when we mentioned this to staff they said it was normal to have mosquitos because of all the greenery. We moved into the main block and that dealt quite nicely with the bugs. But it was very noisy on 2 nights - there's a live band that plays on Saturday night and they're very loud. They also played for a couple of hours on a weekday, although I'm not sure if that's a regular occurrence. The food was much better than at the Rama, but we got a little bored after 10 days there and not being able to go into town for the wider choice of restaurants.

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Re: Let's Talk Hotels

Postby rabbit3872 » August 21st, 2011, 3:03 pm

We spoke to the Rama recently (last week) and they said they no longer give any discounts for Dr. Patel's patients because they now include breakfast. I was told by other parents that breakfast was always included and that I should ask again.
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RAMA & Laksh & Lacasita & Madhubhan Hotels

Postby CanadaCouple » August 24th, 2011, 2:28 am

We are staying at the RAMA. If your in a semi delux they don't offer a 10% discount. In a delux they provide 10% off if your going to the clinic. However, I have heard the same that sometimes they don't provide discounts for clinic patients, perhaps its occupancy related. Although remember at $33/day a $3.30 discount really compress their margins, but if it was offered on booking it should be honoured. I have yet to hear that they didn't full fill a discount they honoured at booking. The trick it seems is to ask at time of booking so there is no miss understanding. We have been happy with RAMA mainly because the staff really try to help. Our mobile charger broke and we took it to the phone shop a few doors down. They didn't have a charger. The front desk sent a bell boy to another shop and got us a charger, so we appreciated the help. The door man is always helpfull in arranging auto rickshaws and making sure we pay the local fare.

We visited friends at Laksh in the evening. The hotel staff are were professional but not overly friendly. The open roof top restaurant is nice. The views of Anand for what it is is nice, and the cool air breezes are refreshing. The big Plus about this hotel is the GYM. It is fairly equiped and is nicely busy real fitness minded people getting a good work out. They currently don't have a massage therapist. It is Rs. 400/day or RS. 2000 for a 2 week trial or free if your a Laksh guest. The draw back of this hotel is that there is a really low occupancy which makes it feel deserted at times. The hotel doorman at this place is useless the night we went. At 10pm nobody was around and we had to go to the street and try and hail an auto. At night in Anand things really slow down. Expect to pay a little more for your rides at night because 80% of the auto retire for the night.

We travelled to Lacasita for lunch and we really enjoyed it. As non veg eaters we enjoyed the meat dishes. Apparently a few years ago this was the best hotel but due to lack of maintaince they have let their status fall. Staff is professional and polite and the door man does his job well.

We went to the Madhubhan Resort for a massage and meal. We took a auto into the Spa which is in a more rural part of the city for about Rs. 100. I think it may have been a little much because the driver had to ask some others where it was and thought it was further than it was. Anyways as your going down the road look for the sign on the left side indicating the entrance. The street entrance is non descript. The gates to the complex are hidden down a short road. The main point is if you miss that sign it will be awhile before your driver figures out they've missed it. Which is what happened to us. Fortunately my wife noticed the sign as we whizzed by and then the auto turned around to make the entrance. Its a very nicely manicured resort and the lobby is well appointed. On the left is a 24hrs cafe were you can get good food. The a la carte restaurant is open 7pm to 10pm. You will see it open during lunch but thats for overflow from the lunch buffet. The selection is good and I do recommend it. We then ordered a pot of tea and relaxed in the cafe for 30 mins and proceeded to the spa. There are lovely open fish ponds and manicured gardens throughout the complex ,so walking around is scenic. Upon arrival for the massage they provide a appricote like cold juice well presented in earthware. They provided a complimentary upgrade for a couples massage. They have nice lockers in the room where you change into a robe. They do provide a one time use massage undergarment and robes and slippers as proper spas usually do. They will nicely wash your feet in rose water and gently dry them. The massages are reasonable. Its not the Westin at Whistler but it holds its own. After you can take a steam shower and relax by the fountains before you exit. The staff then provide you some tea with fruit. I reallly enjoyed the experience. We then went back to the cafe and ordered the chicken sausage pizza, penne, soup which were all very good. Then you can take the hotel car back to RAMA for about Rs. 350 +10% VAT. We were having such a good time and were enjoying the grounds that we walked back to the street from the entrance. There is a well maintained patio sidewalk that leads back to the main gate. From there you walk to the street and hail an auto. I don't recommend doing this if its after dark, b/c it took about 3-5mins to hail one down, and at night not a good idea. We were charged only Rs. 40 to go back but we paid Rs. 60 b/c I think he had underestimated the distance. Anyways all in all its a great way to have an enjoyable 1/2 day trip. Yes, you can just order a massage by calling in advance and booking your time. They have a 1 800 number which works well. And the different massages are listed on the web site. You DO NOT have to do the dip & dine package which is Rs. 3500 each. Doing your spa day a la carte is the best. For those people who are not flexible to adapting to local conditions then this is probably the place to stay as it will provide you the comforts of an upscale Holiday Inn. If you stay here try and work a package deal with a car agency (Hitish will help you here) or with the hotel. Otherwise you'll burn a pile of cash on the hotel car.
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Re: Let's Talk Hotels - Mumbai

Postby HammockGuy » August 29th, 2011, 11:35 am

For those who need to go to Mumbai afterwards, like us Americans, I just posted this in a Stage thread response that I wanted to include here also:

KPM, now I remember something else we lost... really good info on the hotels and transportation, from a few people. I had found this on the web at one point, so this is a start:

Shalimar Hotel‎
August Kranti Marg, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400036, India
022 23631311‎

Hotel Kemps Corner‎
131, August Kranti Marg, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400036, India
022 23630675‎

Railway Hotel‎
15/17,Rajram Mohan Roy Road,Charni Road,Near Novelty Cinema Grant Road, Rajram Mohan Roy Road, Mumbai, 400004, India
022 23821028‎

Hotel Sahil‎
Hotel Sahil, Nagpada, Mumbai Central, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400008, India
022 23076040‎

Lazeez Darbar Hotel‎
39, Tenker Villa, August Kranti Marg, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400036, India
022 23819341‎

Hotel Royal Castle‎
76, Gowalia Tank, August Kranti Marg, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400036, India
022 23883888‎

RK Hotel‎
379,Dr D Bhatkamkar Road,Lamington Road,Grant Road, Dr D Bhatkamkar Road, Mumbai, 400007, India
022 23861471‎

Hotel Krishna Palace‎
96/98, Grant Road, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400007, India
022 23873311‎

Hotel Oberoi Towers‎
Nariman Point, Nariman Point, Mumbai, 400021, India
022 66325757‎

+++++

I just found this link, toward the bottom:

http://www.immihelp.com/immigration/us- ... umbai.html

We stayed at the Hotel Royale Castle. First, it barely qualifies as a hotel by most people's standards, I feel. And, it's certainly not royal or a castle. That said, we used them twice and it got the job done. Taxi from there to the US Consulate was like 5 minutes, 20 Rs tops. I walked it once, 15 to 20 minutes...

I will put this in the hotel thread also.

Also, as you exit BOM's domestic airport, immediately to your left is an area for securing a taxi to your hotel. It's prepaid with a huge price chart by destination in plain view. For the hotel I mentioned, which is near Kemps Corner, that is what we were charged as I recall... Hotel pick-up is not free an many hotels and they charge at least double the blue taxis (these have AC).
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Re: Let's Talk Hotels

Postby Beagle » September 10th, 2011, 2:54 pm

Hi all ( and hi again Haku) does anyone recall the differences between Deluxe and super deluxe at Rama, is it size only?
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Re: Let's Talk Hotels

Postby mira » September 11th, 2011, 12:40 am

Hi Beagle
Its mostly size and I guess some extra furniture. Their site gives a good view on all rooms
http://www.hotelramaresidency.com/Rooms.aspx
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Re: Let's Talk Hotels

Postby spanky » September 11th, 2011, 12:53 am

Price, too. rs. 1200 vs. rs 1500 currently. I have been in several of the super deluxe rooms 301, 311 and some others. I think all the super deluxe are on the wing off the lobby and have windows to the outside. I don't think any of the deluxe rooms have windows to the outside, only to the hallway. If you are staying by yourself or without children I think the deluxe may be fine, but would recommend a super deluxe or better if not.
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Re: Let's Talk Hotels

Postby Haku » September 11th, 2011, 4:23 am

We stayed in room 310 - a deluxe room. That was in the wing off the lobby and had a window to the outside - although all you could see was the building next door (which I imagine is the same for room 311, a super deluxe room). We were shown a deluxe room, super deluxe room and a suite - the main difference is size and the suite had a bath tub instead of a shower cubicle . The first was large enough for us but if you're picking up a baby (or two) I think either of the other two would be better. Also, there is at least one super deluxe room in the other wing (after the eating area).

According to the website they have 11 deluxe rooms, 3 super deluxe rooms and 2 suites at Rs 1500, 2500 and 3500. I don't think that includes the larger unit on the roof, but I checked that out for Beagle and the main issue is that the lift does not go to that floor so you have to walk up two flights of steps. On top of the quoted price there is a 4% luxury tax and 5.15% service tax. I think the luxury tax is higher if the room rate is above Rs2000 - can anyone who has stayed in a super deluxe room or a suite confirm this.

On the topic of the website (http://www.hotelramaresidency.com/Default.aspx), it looks like they've updated it and it has some pictures of the different types of rooms.
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Re: Let's Talk Hotels

Postby Beagle » September 12th, 2011, 3:34 am

Thanks all,

I was in 310 last time so i think the super deluxe my be a better choice this time around, as more space would be welcome :D

Thanks for the tip on the updated Rama website, it's a lot better then the old one.
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Re: Let's Talk Hotels

Postby rabbit3872 » September 12th, 2011, 5:26 am

Anyone planning on being at the Rama in a couple weeks??
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Re: Let's Talk Hotels

Postby redsox » September 13th, 2011, 4:32 am

Hi Rabbit
I am at Rama right now and will be here roughly til the 30th of Sept. Just started my injections yesterday so right now egg collection roughly between 26/28 so will have to see. Best wishes on your travels.
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Re: Let's Talk Hotels

Postby anchau » September 16th, 2011, 4:58 am

I tried to make a reservation with Hotel Laksh and they want %50 percent pay in advance by Wire Transfer to make a reservation. Is this typical for Hotel Laksh? I stayed at Rama on my last trip and I did not have to pay until I checked out. If anyone stayed at Hotel Laksh recently, please share!

Thanks,
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