I am used to staying at inexpensive Indian hotels as well as Western style hotels in India. Usually, the Indian hotels above a certain price range (like more than US$15/night) are fine with some shabbiness in the facilities. Other than the bathroom, my room was clean and comfortable, and even the bathroom was okay if not spotless. They provided a kettle and some instant coffee/tea too (although the mug was dirty with dried coffee inside.) The hotel has free (!) wireless Internet, a real convenience. But I would never stay here again because it's pretty clear it's a scam for the travel agency that owns/is partnered with it.
I should have known when I arrived this place was into fleecing people. I tipped the guy who carried my bags. Later, he hunted me down because the bill was 'ripped'. I know that India has this wierd thing about bills not being legal tender if they are ripped, but there's apparently some exchange process where you take the old bill to a bank and they'll replace it, and this bill was ancient, but intact--not actually ripped. I'm 90% sure this guy brought the bill back because he thought he deserved a bigger tip, and of course since I didn't have any other small bills of the same denomination, I did give him a bigger tip. I wouldn't do that now.
Can I just say, I am sooooo sick of the following sequence of questions:
1. Sir, where are you from? What is your good name?
2. How long are you in staying in Delhi? (answer, 2 days)
3. Have you ever been to India? (yes, 5 times)
4. What are you doing today? (ummm, some work, maybe going to visit some friends)
5. Would you like a package tour to the Taj Mahal in Agra? (or the more forceful 'you *would* like a package tour to the Taj Mahal.') And usually a refusal to take no for an answer.
I was asked _seven_ times to go to the Taj by the hotel staff--desk clerks, bellhop, including one extended conversation in which they claimed there was some problem with my hotels.com reservation, then took me to a travel agency a block away to have them 'check my reservation' and 'give feedback to the management' and three guys took turns trying to sell me tours. The next day I get an unscheduled wakeup call. I'm dead asleep, a call to the room wakes me up, and he asks about my 'hotel voucher,' "I gave you the reservation sheet yesterday", "What are you doing today?", "Why do you want to know?", "You should go to Agra today", I slam down the phone. Even just leaving the hotel, the desk clerk stops me, asks my room number, then interrogates me about my plans again (same guy as that morning on the phone? I don't know).
I'm used to touts. But the hotel staff honestly seem to think I owe them a booking on some overpriced tour. It's like one of those condo timeshare sales pitches that lasts your entire stay in the hotel. Never again will I stay here!
Checking out was more of the same. Again with the upselling. So first they get all huffy, and they're like "you have to pay at check out!" Um, yes, I normally expect that at a hotel. But again they are frustrated because my 'voucher' is not a voucher, but a reservation through hotels.com (not prepaid, in this case.) Okay, so I try to pay. Despite the lovely lucite stand sitting on the check in desk saying "We accept visa/master/american express" they refuse to take my card. "Well we don't take cards for such a small amount." Yeah, like $80 is too small an amount to charge--in India, where I've seen merchants set minimum charge amounts near $2. And it's not like it's some old decal stuck in a place where it can't be removed, or some sponsored sign that has other information on it. It's a brand new sign sitting on the desk that says only that they take the credit cards. Okay, I'll pay cash. Then they refuse to give me a receipt. And the reason? Because they say my internet reservation is my receipt! I just hand this guy a wad of cash, and he's telling me the same piece of paper I had before I paid is now proof of payment. I pushed the issue and got upset, and refused to leave until I had a receipt (fearing that they would then charge my credit card used in the reservation as well and claim they'd never received the cash.) Again with the trip to the travel agency around the corner to speak to the 'management'. He says 'we'll have to charge you more if you get a receipt. We have to include luxury tax then.' and I say 'and you would have cheated the government of the tax otherwise?' The guy says again and again, "we are very honest, how would we stay in business otherwise?" Right after admitting to me he's stealing from the public coffers. And again with the upselling. "Where are you going now? You should just hire a car for the day, only 1100 rupees." In the end the ride to the airport cost me 500, even though my Indian friend had taken the same ride, also booked through the hotel, the previous day for 350. As I'm getting into the car, the hotel guy says 'well it's 500 for the ride, but 600 if you want A/C'. Well fine then, I don't want A/C. I spend half the ride arguing. Driver tries to sell me on how great the A/C is, then he tries to pull the "I am but a humble servant, and it's so hot, won't you please pay for A/C? Please sir! Please!" I know full well he's getting 150% of the real fare, and I'm not gonna pay him one paisa more on the bait and switch. I tell him if he wants the A/C so badly he should pay the 100 rupees (and he'd still be making more than normal off me!). At this point it's not the money, it's the principle of the thing with the hidden charges etc.
I've had to yell at three people from the hotel just to get them to leave me alone. And in approximately 5 months of traveling in India over a period of several years, I've had to resort to yelling when someone just wouldn't take no for an answer only twice before this hotel--once with a beggar who tried to stop me from walking down the sidewalk by blocking my path for about 10 minutes straight, and once with a dishonest internet cafe host.
Please, please don't even bother trying this hotel. Karol Bagh is full of comparable hotels at generally lower prices that don't come with a fulltime harrassment program.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC