We travelled to Nainital in June 2012. Since it was a completely unplanned trip, we couldn't make prior bookings into any hotel, so decided to first go there and then explore. Luckily, we were able to find rooms in most of the hotels we checked out, even some of the best one. But the only disappointment was that they didn't have parking facilities and driver's dormitory. We had our own driver, who's like a family to us, and so wanted a hotel that offered accommodation to drivers. That's why we chose this hotel.
I think that was a bad decision. The place was a nightmare. The room was dingy and had a musty smell and we had to twice ask for the room freshners. Carpets were dirty, bathroom was unclean; and when the electricity went off, there was only a bulb in the name of power backup. I badly wanted to charge my phone, but since they hadn't provided power backup connection to even a single plug point, couldn't do that.
Next comes food. It was awful. I ordered a pizza and it had a sweet taste. Still wondering how one can make a sweet pizza. Ordered aloo chaat - it was boiled potatoes sprinkled with pepper. Ordered dinner - they gave us daal fry, though we had ordered for daal makhani, and 2 naans, though ordered for 3. Asked for something as basic as ice cubes - it was delivered next day!
We had decided for an early checkout - 5 in the morning. But when we checked at the reception, we were told, it won't be possible before 8, as the manager was fast asleep. We asked the man at the reception to at least tell us the total amount we had to pay. To our surprise, they had also included bill cost of breakfast and dinner, though it was an MAP package. We had to fight with them on this - they said it was our mistake, we should have informed them before regarding the checkout.
We coaxed them to contact the manager. Somehow everything was sorted. It was 7 in the morning, so we knew it won't be possible for them to provide breakfast. We only asked for tea, and they again said since the cook was sleeping, it won't be possible before 9. We left the place with a vow never to stay in this hotel next time we visit Nainital.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Since the very days when the the British arrived and settled in Nainital, the Royal Hotel has been a defining landmark of this quaint lake town. Established in 1906 by Colonel George Edward Bridge, an officer in the East India Company, the hotel was a hill retreat catering to officers, policy makers and nobility during the British Raj.After the colonial years however, the hotel was taken over by the Indian Government and subsequently sold to the Punvani family which runs it to this day. During the early post-colonial period, the hotel witnessed it’s Renaissance, when it was revived from the ghosthouse that it had become, and transformed into a disco/night club, Nainital’s first and only for a long time. While it may seem ironic, over the decades gone by, the Royal has undergone a complete metamorphosis, but maintains it’s nostalgic charm notwithstanding.After the decade of the swinging seventies, the hotel was renovated and expanded. Six new rooms were built and others renovated to meet modern standards. It was during this time that the Royal was the set for “Masoom”, the Shekhar Kapur directed classic. In addition, the hotel was officially recognized as a heritage hotel by the Indian Goverment. But perhaps, the greatest honour bestowed upon the hotel was it’s recognition in the book of the “Leading Hotels of the British Commonwealth”. To date, it is the only hotel in Nainital to have ever acheived this noteworthy distiction.From British noblemen to Indian businessmen, the Royal Hotel has been a home away from home for visitors since over a hundred years. With it’s quintessentially British architecture, when one walks the corridors at the Royal Hotel, it becomes abundantly evident that history and heritage is all around. Formidable bay windows, wood-burning fireplaces, stone walls, rustic walkways and impressive sculptures echo an old world charm that is seldom recreated in these modern times. It is no surprise then, that guests at the Royal Hotel often describe their stay as unique, nostalgic and unforgettable. ... more less