Though not an edifice, the Clarkes Hotel,Shimla is a classic of its kind. Located on an extremely vantage position- the aorta of Shimla- the Mall, the hotel manages to pamper the guests amidst the languid and the tranquil surroundings.
Proper British, this cute cottage hosting 50 rooms has an air of authenticity,exclusiveness, the imperial theme and above all the hospitality. The rich wood interiors, the classy furnishings, the Don Giovanni sailing and gelling with the air, the wonderful organ at the dining (though it needs a revamp), the jovial and the vivacious staff- these minutest of the details make the hotel what it is.
Situated on the relatively secluded part of the otherwise bustling Mall, one has to walk a few stairs from the High Court parking lot (any private vehicles save for the ambulances and the Shimla Municipal Corporation are not allowed within the Mall) thus making it a bit challenging for guests with marginally poor fitness.
Normally, one can expect a warm welcome at the lobby on the first floor with the receptionist handing over the room keys with a warm smile, still the concierge services need to uplift their standards to keep par with the out of the world Oberoi experiences.
The rooms - extremely posh, luxurious retaining the old world charm with the chandeliers glowing, the scented air uplifting senses, the Duckdown pillows pampering the tired soul,the modest bathroom (with a standard bathtub) comforting .... makes for an extremely comfortable and snug stay. One of the best and historical heritage hotels, the plush rooms desperately needs more attention from the engineering department( we had to inform them to mend our room bolt) to fulfill the enriching experience. The hotel staff are particular and prompt in cleaning the rooms and it is advisable to take the turn down service (the second round of service for cleaning the room during the evening). One staying at the Clarkes, there is a feeling of security,a cocoon of luxury and one does not actually need the safe mounted inside the wardrobe with hangers and multiple cubicles- enough for storage. The mini bar present in the room is stacked with vodkas, beer, wine, chips and cookies to assist in enriching the holidaying mood, the prices are almost triple owing to the luxury taxes.
It would not be justice to draw a facilities-experience paradigm. All though this heritage hotel lacks a centrally air conditioner with heater, a swimming pool, a billiards room, a Fitness centre and a spa (the nearby Cecil at the Chaura Maidan boasting all of it), it shall not be an issue at all. Guests checking in the hotel should have a mindset to feel the Colonial times, the subtle luxury instead of vouching for those facilities.In Shimla, turning on the Ac is out of the question though it can be desired in the not so cold summer. With an exceptional Lounge bar, a wireless internet access, grande fire places, basketball court, a table tennis and badminton facility- the Clarkes Hotel does not lack in no way and has enough in store to soothe the guest and ignite the senses.
This hotel boasts of a pillarless 100 cover dining room with views of the High Court and the hills with orchids in every table, the beautiful organ(mentioned earlier), the food is the finest and the staff courteous (executive chef Santhosh and F&B manager Sunanda deserve a kudos). To those guests going for a la carte, it is highly recommendable to treat their culinary senses to a new high with the wonderful Kullu Trout served piping hot and the equally mouthwatering Basa fish. The complementary breakfast offered is full of options, though the scrambled eggs and the sausages occupy a special positon.
Presently on the shoulders of the ever vivacious and agile General Manager Mr. DP Bhatia- a gentleman taking every guests at the personal level with high levels of professional skills, his meticulousness about each and every nook and corner of the property, makes this hotel a very special staying experience.
Away from the business world, the earthly tensions, this hotel on the Mall is not only a stone's throw from the Ridge, the Gaity Theatre, the Christ Church, it is a living manuscript of the escalating graph of the Oberois....and above all of the history of the majestic she- Shimla.
- Also Known As:
- Shimla Clarkes Hotel
- Clarkes Hotel Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
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