After reading all positive reviews in TA, we booked the hotel through their website. Our plan was to spend 2 nights in the hotel Akbar and another 2 nights in Zaffer group of house boats, sister concern of hotel Akbar. But we were highly disappointed.
At the airport we had to spent a lot of time to point out the person who came to pick us. Though we were assured about private transfer from airport, we had to comply for shared transfer.
Upon reaching hotel, we were given a room in the old block of the hotel. We did book for Executive rooms (which our voucher said), but the look and feel of the room was not nice and we felt that it is a “deluxe” category room. When enquired at the reception, we got the answer that the given room is Executive category room. But the next day while interacting with other guests we could make out that we were just given deluxe rooms instead of executive rooms.
On day 1, we had Shikara ride in Dal lake. The ride was awesome. But we were not taken to the area of floating market.
On day 2, we were asked to get ready by 8 for the Gulmarg trip. But driver was not available and we had to wait till 9:30 for a driver. We were forced to wait near the road side for nearly 30 min. We asked for an English speaking driver, upon booking itself. But the driver we got, couldn't understand/speak English. Somehow we managed with him. At Gulmarg, he didn't give us enough time as he was in a rush to return to Srinagar. We reached back Srinagar around 4:30 itself. We were the last to leave the hotel for the day trip and first to return back on that day. We complained at the reception about the driver and he assured to get a new driver the next day.
On day 3 & 4, we got a new driver (Nassir) and he was a really nice guide. He took us to Pahalgam and Sonmarg. He was also kind enough to take us to many places in Srinagar and the best restaurants which serves local cuisine.
We spent 3rd and 4th night on the houseboat. It was a good experience to sleep in house boat, but the service was pathetic. There were problem with electricity and water many a times.
Regarding the food at the hotel, it was far behind expectations. We were expecting some nice Kashmiri cuisine, but we were provided with ordinary North Indian dishes, which were not even cooked properly. I am very sure I could get far better North Indian dishes here in Chennai in an ordinary North Indian restaurants. Me as well as my friend were never happy with the food. The condition became worse once we moved to house boat. Even though there was a dining room in the house boat, we were forced to come to a small hall on the bank of the lake to have breakfast and dinner. The condition of the hall was pathetic and it didn't have even basic amenities. Also there was a huge difference between the number of dishes for dinner / breakfast in hotel and house boat.
Overall, on comparing the cost and the services offered Hotel Akbar / Zaffer group of house boats didn't meet even half of our expectations. Hotel Akbar is strictly average, but I would suggest to avoid Zaffer group of house boats at any cost.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- HOTEL AKBAR- the gateway of famous Dal Lake, situated actually inside the lake,that offers all modern comforts with its well attended elegantly decorated rooms & suites surrounded by water and spacious lush green rose garden and above all personalized hospitality. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with ClearTrip, Expedia, Yatra, Booking.com, Hotels.com and Agoda so you can book your Hotel Akbar reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Hotel Akbar Srinagar, Kashmir