This was advertised to us as a 4 star luxury hotel online, we researched hotel accommodation carefully as we needed to be in a safe relaxing environment. I originally only wanted to stay in 5 star hotels but I was persuaded by the way the hotel was advertised that it would be a good choice in terms of standards, location and quality: where do I start?
My idea of 'posh' location as advertised on the hotels own paperwork, means a nice safe location. What this was actually in, was a private gated enclosured area, where there were only residential houses with guards and workers etc... outside, we didn't feel safe, we were unable to walk outside the accommodation without attracting a great deal of unwanted attention every time we stepped out. This eventually became intolerable, however this was discovered to be a common feature of Delhi therefore to be fair, not the managers fault. However this is not in an up market area in my view. We still had to navigate our way round the intense stares of the guards and taxi drivers and other people outside the hotel once we had left its gates. The street outside the gated area was very busy and clearly not for tourists, we stepped out once only together, we felt threatened and out of place and the locals were very unpleasant.
Appearance. We were met by a nice gentleman when we found reception which was small and pokey, opposite a tiny kitchen and the whole place smelt of diesel. We were led past on going building works to our room which was on the first floor, the stairs to the accommodation were steep and our 'premium room' was shown to us.
This was a disappointment. The room was quite small for a 'premium room' and was the size of a standard twin room in any other establishment -say a 3 stay. There were two ceiling fans and an extremely noisy , aging air conditioning unit. The bathroom was a decent size but basic, and a mop was left for us to mop up the water after having a shower. All fixtures and fittings in the bathroom were very very old and clearly had seen better days. We were shocked and my husband immediately went and asked the man at reception if this actually was a premium room and asked if there were any more rooms. It was confirmed by the man that this was a premium room and that it was air conditioned and what more should we expect , kind of attitude. We decided that we couldnt argue with this man as clearly he wasnt the boss and that probably we should try to make the best of it, therefore we did our best to enjoy our stay. The view from our window was of ongoing building works and we were woken by noisy workmen at around 23.00 one evening. Everything about this place was just not how we thought it would be.
Service & food
In general the service provided was pleasant and the staff, comprising 2 men were as helpful as they could be. Breakfast was 3 toasts, a thin omelette pancake style, jam, butter and some fruit and a small carton of fruit juice, this was nice but the same every day and served in our room.
We were swayed by the reviews of great food at the hotel mostly and were expecting a dining room of some sort where we could ask for food to be cooked for us as per the reviews. The man who cooked the food basically did everything in the tiny kitchen opposite reception and we asked for our evening meal a couple of times, the food was nice home cooked food and we felt the man who cooked it really did his best. Again, food served in our room, no dining room, no common lounge area. So we always felt as if we were restricted only to our room.
The room provided was clean and the bed was comfortable, whenever we asked for our room to be cleaned it was, however the fixtures and fittings were just too worn out and old,and we can see that probably when the rooms were originally decorated they probably were lovely but the room we stayed showed several signs of not being maintained.
Did we stay the whole 2 weeks we had booked to stay?
No, I was very upset when we arrived as we reseached the hotel and read every review carefully and we felt this establishment was immensely oversold. We checked out early, as we really had had enough, we couldnt go out from the room, or go for a walk anywhere, I certainly couldnt being female, my husband went out a couple of times and I was terrified something would happen to him and we came to the decision that we just couldnt relax in this 'hotel' as we were confined to the room. We checked out, knowning that we would lose 50% of the money we paid but we realised we had to leave as we just were not having a relaxing time of it. We advised the man at reception that we were leaving and he called his boss, the manager, who spoke to my husband and my husband basically advised that we were leaving because this hotel wasnt as advertised, it wasnt 4 star and we were not happy about being mislead. The owner/manager agreed with my husband that it wasnt a 4 star hotel but was just a B &B, being eager to leave and get on with our 'break' my husband said it was OK and that this was the reason why we were leaving and we didnt mention a refund etc.. as we suspected probably this would never be forthcoming.
We feel this establishment is a basic Bed and Breakfast hotel, and we would give it a rating of 2-3 star. The only good things about it are that the staff that we met were very helpful and pleasant, however rather watchful, not genuinely friendly. The room was clean,basic , had no fridge, and when we asked for a kettle we were told that this wasnt possible, therefore again, our independence was compromised. The food was nice and home cooked. The location is not salubrious as suggested.
Our advice is if you are clearly tourists from overseas, and unfamiliar with Delhi, and are expecting 4 star accommodation and expect to walk about and go out freely about your business, this will not happen if you stay at this accommodation. We were watched and scrutinised by all the locals everywhere we went, in this 'posh' location and it was extremely unpleasant, this combined with the B&B hostel type accomodation made us both feel extremely cheated and we were so glad when we left for the 5 star hotel that I had originally wanted to stay in.
We hope this helps you in your decision. We will never come back to this hotel again, but we must say the staff were the only aspect that made our stay bearable.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
28 March 2012
Report response as inappropriate
Thank you for taking the time to share with us your experience at The Swiss Palms,New Delhi. First of all, we would like to sincerely apologize for the unpleasant experience you’ve encountered. Those incidents which happened
during your patronage indicate more attention is required by our team and have been treated with great concern.
I would begin to address your concerns by informing you that as a goodwill gesture we have instructed Agoda to send you a refund even though we had blocked 12 days during this busy time for you and for that we've have incurred a loss.
Thank you once more for bringing the Ups and Downs of your visit to our attention and we truly hope you will give us
a chance to show you our quality of service and regain your confidence in a near future.
Allow me to address all your issues one by one:-
1. 4 star hotel-
we are a budget hotel, more on bed & breakfast style which is clearly mentioned on the very top of our website. For ref please log on to : www.theswisspalms.com
If some travel agent website is advertising us as a 4 star then I am genuinely not aware of it. At the same time I regret the confusion caused to you about the rating of our hotel.
I am afraid, a lot of people still gawk at the foreign tourists, especially, if you permit me to state, people from the lower strata of society. Therefore, you found a lot of guards, sweepers & pedestrians etc staring at you. Indian tourism is still developing and these people are getting used to seeing foreigners. Though i can't do much about it but I understand the sense of insecurity it gave you.
Yes, it is privately gated to ensure maximum security for residents.
There is some renovation activity happening next door hence the smell of diesel (probably on that day only) & the noise.
This particular room hasn't been vacant for a long time and hence haven't really got an opportunity to personally see what needed attention. Now,as I write this response, all bathroom accessories have been replaced by new ones and everything is sparking new again. Not just for this room but for the entire property. All bathroom fittings have been renewed.
Again, I earnestly apologize for the disappointment caused.
4.Service & food;
Iam surprised that you were unaware of the dining area & the little lobby we have. There is a small dining facility right over the reception area where all our guests hob-nob & eat. Though, this place is not grand by a long shot but a lot of guests find it 'cute'.
Iam glad at least you found the room clean & bed comfortable. As for the fittings which you found old & worn out…..They have been instantly replaced.
We strive to give value for money accommodation at bare minimum prices & at the same time keep high standards in comparison with budgets hotels or B & B's.
I understand that you felt a bit awkward by people staring at you in the streets but let me assure you that the stares are benign and mean no evil. Delhi is a safe place by & large.
Would like to reiterate that we are a simply a budget hotel with room charges in range of US$50-60 and expectations should be analogical. Clearly, if you expect a 4 or a 5 star out of it then disappointment is imminent. On the contrary, if you come with reasonable expectations then you might find us exceeding your expectations on many counts.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC