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“Rude, Money-Hungry Owner, Dirty Rooms, Overpriced. Stay Away!” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Swan Group of Houseboats

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Swan Group of Houseboats
Ranked #16 of 558 Speciality Lodging in Srinagar
Certificate of Excellence
Monroe, Connecticut
Level Contributor
22 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Rude, Money-Hungry Owner, Dirty Rooms, Overpriced. Stay Away!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 July 2012

My first time in Srinagar, I was really looking forward to having a relaxing experience at the Swan Group of Houseboats. Unfortunately, while I enjoyed my time in the city and exploring around beautiful Dal lake, my stay at Swan was the worst part.

Let me say first of all that the location is fine, not far from Ghat 10, and the Shikara man, Bablu, is a fantastic person. Unfortunately, he was the only one. He is the only good thing about Swan.

As soon as I arrived, very exhausted after my journey, I was taken into the reception for registration. There I was completely hassled by the rude, pompous owner and I had to ask him repeatedly to stop hassling me. Rudely, he kept pushing his package tours of the city, his overpriced meal plan, etc. I was very annoyed by his attitude and therefore right from the start my impression was a very bad one. He wouldn't even tell me the price of one meal until after I pressed him and told him I would not take the meal package. In fact he charges 400 rupees for lunch/dinner, and 200 rupees for breakfast. While it is fresh cooked food, this is really food you would find at a simple street-side dhabba, nothing special, there is no menu or choice, and really this type of food should not cost more than 100 rupees.

Because of this, I had to sneak on sandwiches and fruit from off the boat. I put some stuff in the fridge, but after one night my carry bag I had put the food in was missing. Again, not good.

Next was the room. While the common area of the boat are very nice, and everything is ornate, my room and boat could use a good scrubbing and dusting:
There was garbage under the bed from previous guests, unidentifiable goo on my night-stand that my mobile phone got stuck in, brown and pink stains on the bathroom walls, the tub/shower has taped-over leaks, there is a long line of black-mold around the tub (a serious health hazard), spider webs in the corners etc.

Another serious problem I had was that while the room had curtains over the outside windows, the top of the room along the hallway side does not. Every night, even after telling the staff to try and watch out for me, I was woken up as the bright hallway lights shone directly into my room, makiing it far too bright to sleep. My final night I even had to get up 5 times over three awful hours of trying to get to sleep to turn off these lights. Very, very annoying!

Besides all of this, some of the other staff were rude about sending the Shikara to pick me up. Even after pre-arranging with the boat-man to come back late (he said it was no problem), I was told when I called that it was too late and they could not come to get me (it was 11pm).Another night he hung up on me before I was finished talking with him. I yelled at the guy afterwards and the next day he apologized, but this was still unacceptable.

This behaviour, combined with the rude owner who treats his staff badly and acts like a maharajah, was awful.

All of these things are combined to make me have to unfortunately write this negative review, my first. Visit Srinagar, but stay away from Swan!!

Room Tip: View more than one room before choosing one as they vary in quality significantly. Check out the cle...
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled solo
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Pjsalt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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178 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    95
    59
    12
    4
    8
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (39)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New Delhi, India
Level Contributor
142 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 June 2012

i came back from srinagar having stayed at the swan houseboat for 6 nights. i was given the junior wing of the houseboat called the gate of heaven. the food is expensive there but not bad. the experience was nice. shikara ride was pleasant. i found two people very helpful and kindly, namely, the director Mr. Abu and the waiter Mr. Ghulam Hassan. they managed the sight seeing tour very well. the waiters and the driver did not ask for any tips as is generally assumed to be. on the whole it was a nice experience.

Room Tip: stay for a night or a two at the houseboat for the maximum. it is not worth staying on the houseboat...
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank rahulgautam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calcutta, West Bengal, India
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 June 2012

Houseboat is well lit. Neat and clean. Rooms are spacious. Has a nice ambiance. Toiletries can be better. Dinner is of fixed menu without any option. Breakfast is not upto the mark. Staff are smiling. But never hire shikara ride from them. Took Rs. 1200 for a 2 hour ride which as per scheduled rate Rs. 300 per hour.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank bharatjp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bogota, Colombia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 June 2012

I am staying in Swan Boathouses for three nights, I have been treated very nicely and they have provided me with everything I need, including the internet access!
The food is really good, homemade and fresh. The rooms are clean and the shower and bathroom work well.
The boat is located in a very optimal place, not too far from shore, but far enough to be away from the traffic noise.
The owner is a very nice and friendly person and arranges everything very efficiently. I truly recommend this experience.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Raha A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ghent, Belgium
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 June 2012

last year we stayed on Nageen lake and found it to far from the city
and to much traffic and noise.
we decided to take Swan Houseboats and immediately we were welcomed
as familie members .
GULAM served us the best food and was always at our disposal .
This made us feel in heaven

we had the best service of all our holidays ,
THe staff was always ther to serve us any time we wanted.
Rooms were cleaned every day and the tv room and dinner was very comfortable.
We promised ourselves to come back next year to stay longer and make trekking with them while we become friends for live.
SHUKRIYA ,THANK YOU

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank HARIDASRUDY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Swan Group of Houseboats

Property: Swan Group of Houseboats
Address: Golden Dal Lake opposite | Boulverd Road,srinagar, Srinagar 190001, India
Region: India > Jammu and Kashmir > Kashmir > Srinagar
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 558 Speciality Lodging in Srinagar
Price range (per night): ₹ 1,961 - ₹ 3,922
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Swan Group of Houseboats 3.5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Swan Group of Houseboats, a company recognized by Govt. of India, Ministry of Tourism, a houseboat with people with delegation of powerful experience, knows its way around. Swan Group of Houseboats, a houseboat with difference, has been successfully engaged in the travel business for past 20 years & has gathered together a specialized and well experienced team dedicated to the path of the traveler in Srinagar. Indeed our commitment to Srinagar is unsurpassed. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Swan Group Of Houseboats Hotel Srinagar
Swan Group Of Houseboats Srinagar, Kashmir

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