I cannot understand how the Royal Orchid Central hotel ranks as the #1 hotel in Baroda when it is still under construction, in a soft-opening phase. Reviews to date comment on the fact that staff need training, rooms were under construction and guests were shifted or had to wait for room service, yet the hotel ranks #1 in Vadodara. Having stayed, I can categorically state that while it has all the makings of a small boutique hotel, it is nowhere near achieving #1 status yet.
I had been staying at the ITC WelcomHotel Vadodara. (Which I fully recommend). After my business trip, needed to stay one more day. ITC was fully booked, so I decided to prepay for the Royal Orchid Central, on the basis of its #1 Tripadvisor ranking and the fact it has a “Recommended by TripAdvisor” icon on its homepage.
I suspected something was amiss when the taxi driver had no idea where it was. This happened with every taxi and auto I took. (It is about a block away from the Taj Gateway Hotel Akota Gardens – another solid hotel in Vadodara).
The reception is small, and minimalist, with no Royal Orchid branding at all, apart from logo graphics on side doors. Check-in was easy and quick. I had checked into a club room so was looking forward to relaxing in the Residents Lounge. Unfortunately there is no club, nor a Resident’s Lounge in the hotel. I was told that due to Gujurat being an alcohol free state, a club lounge would be redundant, so “club” is just a term that denotes a deluxe room in this particular hotel. Nothing more. I am fully aware that hotel lounges in Gujurat are unable to serve alcohol, as the state is dry, but the hotel staff didn’t seem to be able to understand that you can still have a club lounge and club facilities even if alcohol isn’t served. The American hotels do it all the time!
The only eaterie in the hotel is a small café/restaurant cryptically called “PinXX,” to one side of the lobby. It seating about 55 people. The breakfast buffet was good, but it took more than 15 minutes to get an orange juice when I ordered one during the day. They were having a Punjabi food festival when I visited, and I was told that only the buffet was available for dinner. Although I was not particularly hungry I was informed that I was not able to order a’la carte during the food festival.
The bedroom was small but well appointed with nice furnishings, and slate floor. The bed was very comfortable, the AC worked well, and the leatherette lounge chair in the room was particularly comfortable. The bathroom was tiny, with glass walls that projected into the bedroom giving full view into the shower and toilet unless the blinds are lowered. The price of the wifi was 399++ Rp per day. I had no problem with internet access, finding the wifi to be consistent and high speed for India (450 kb/s), which was a pleasant change to most hotels.
Frustratingly, the hotel has no business centre although the reception did print a document for me after I emailed it to them.
The website and marketing material says this hotel “overlooks” the beautiful Vadodara Palace. Unfortunately after looking at the view from all four directions, I couldn’t find the palace, so asked a staff member to point it out. He pointed to a spire on the horizon, 4-5km away. I guess “overlooks” means you can see it, just. I have provided a photograph of what you can see.
There is also no pool. After a day shuttling between business meetings in 42 degree C heat, it would have been nice to have a swim. Likewise there is no gym, yet. Apparently it is under construction. I was told it will be opened in weeks. When I asked where the pool construction was taking place I was shown to the “rooftop terrace,” which was in the very early stages of construction. Just concrete and reinforcing steel when I saw it. Not quite the rooftop terrace I was envisaging.
Having stayed in other Royal Orchid hotels, I expected this to be a small boutique hotel, which it is. The location in Vadodara could be better, and I am surprised that the hotel has few services for business travellers. It will no doubt be provide a comfortable short stay when it is completed. Hopefully they will amend their marketing material to make it more accurate.
Then, and only then, might it be worthy of the highest Tripadvisor rating in Vadodara.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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We are thankful to you for investing your meticulous efforts and constructive criticism to rate the hotel.
We also appreciate your virtue of appreciating the team for their hospitality and wherever they were marked good.
It was surprising for us that taxi drivers were not aware of the hotel despite of us being in town for more than half and a quarter year, however this is the first time after first quarter of the hotel operation we have received this comment.
The word ‘Club’ was misinterpreted it was just the name of the room category and unfortunately there was no relaxing lounge at the hotel so could not be offered.
PinXX is the brand name of coffee shops in Royal Orchid Hotels and name is very technically devised after many intellectual inputs.
We apologize for having you refused to serve al- a-carte during food festival, on note of which management has decided not to refuse for any menu orders for in- house guests irrespective of the food festivals or promotions running in the outlet.
Business centre is ready but is not open as yet because of some pending aesthetics to be completed.
As you have mentioned about the statement of overlooking the Palace, technically you are right and same has been instructed to be removed from the website so that it may not pose the same impression.
The gymnasium is awaiting the equipments only to be placed.
You could not find the traces of construction of the pool because it will be an eco friendly, prefabricated aqua pool.
The picture of bathroom posted doesn’t belong to us so we would request you to remove it.
The hotel has gradually climbed the steps of ratings started from being at number 36 and reached to number one because of its continuous strive for betterment in services of guests, taking special care of them and personalized services and immediate actions over the guest feedbacks.
We look forward to welcome you again at Royal Orchid Central Vadodara.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC