“Over rated and expensive. Won't go back.”
We were 3 families who stayed here for a long weekend in April 2012. We were 6 adults and 6 kids ranging from 5 years to 11 years. We took 3 rooms - each had one main bedroom, one bathroom, one small alcove kind area to watch TV and a small area that housed a sofa-bed.
Very large area set in lush green surroundings. It would be difficult to not like this place at the first look. More than 55 apartments/suites but everything is in close proximity. There is a spa, 2 restaurants, table tennis and pool (pay as you use). The people were very friendly. Location is ideal- located next to the Kosi river (5 minutes walk). I think that's all the positive stuff I can say about this place.
The 2 restaurants- Jim's Grill and Gurney House are very well named (related to Jim Corbett) but serve pretty average fare. Gurney House is the buffet place and is packed at all meal times. It serves below average food. The restaurant is dirty. People are running around everywhere and when you are there you start feeling that you need to finish up fast. Of the 3 days we ate breakfast there on one of the days, the toaster failed and we had a live electrician fixing it while people waited, the juice didn't arrive till we reminded them 5 times and some of the food finished many a times and wasn't refilled without multiple reminders.
Jim's Grill is right next to the pool and is a circular restaurant with the cooking station in the middle. Beautiful location within the hotel. There is a separate kitchen on the side too. The kebabs on the first day were undercooked and pathetic. The 2nd day they were amazingly tasty. We think the first day experience was related to the fact that we were one of the first to commence eating dinner.
The hotel also has programmes in the evening- Indian Bingo, music etc and these days live telecast on a large open screen of the Indian Premier League- the weather was excellent and this touched a perfect spot.
The Spa- well it as a multitude of massages on offer. We were running a half marathon and were very keen to get a massage. I myself was keen to get a (Indian) head massage and keen was to get a particular one. But was refused by the attendant - "sorry can't do as my Standard Operating Procedures don't allow me to do so. Will not recommend the Spa for men at least. The women in the family utilized the services of the Spa twice and were pretty pleased with it- though they did complain that the men attendants kept on coming in unannounced for something or the other.
The hotel also provides a safari to the nearby Jim Corbett National Park. This was the high point of the stay and is very well organized by the hotel. I think they kind of redeemed themselves there.
The rooms are very old and in a pathetic state. The bathrooms stink- all three did. The lighting in the rooms and the bathrooms is very poor. The rooms itself are in a shabby condition. You just have to ignore all this for the time you spend there. This was the biggest let down of the whole experience. We were paying USD 180 per day per room (with breakfast) - which is not cheap by any standards and the place was not worth even USD 75.
The people are very friendly. It was a pleasure to interact with them. But they are either short staffed or have new/temporary staff who don't know much about what is happening. An order of a chicken sandwich and cheese pizza became chicken pizza and cheese sandwich. By the 2nd day if we needed 2 ice buckets, we used to order 2 because every time 1 less used to come. The room service usually took an eternity to reach the room.
Daily cleaning of the rooms was another ritual. If by chance you had not emptied the room when they came to clean up, then you could forget about it getting cleaned. At least 5 phone calls were required to get them over to the room to clean. Of course the person used unprotected/ungloved hands to pick up the rubbish and then promptly lay the new sheets. My wife almost fainted. We made the person clean his hands in front of us before he could continue. In hindsight, it was better that he came to clean only when we called - at least we could see what he was doing.
A very expensive holiday - total cost for 3 rooms was USD 2.2K- for a 3 day short jaunt from New Delhi- this was too much. We might have been able to wrangle a similar duration trip to Bangkok for the same trip- though with some advance planning. I wouldn't go back if given a choice- but then it seems that this place is amongst the top 2 in that area and therefore might not leave you much choice.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC