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“Hotel Akbar & Zaffer Houseboats - Far below expectations” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Akbar

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Hotel Akbar
Ranked #29 of 129 Hotels in Srinagar
Certificate of Excellence
Des Plaines, Illinois
Level Contributor
50 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Hotel Akbar & Zaffer Houseboats – Far below expectations”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 February 2012

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.

Room Tip: Avoid rooms in old block
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Titus T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HotelAkbarSrinagar, Owner at Hotel Akbar, responded to this review, 15 March 2012
At the outset, we deeply regret whatever inconvenience experienced by our valued guest, despite out best efforts to make him feel at home in Kashmir. However, we would like to clarify some points raised by our guest as following:

(1) Our person took some time in locating the guests at the airport due to slight confusion, heavy rush of tourists and travelers and mainly because the guest failed to notice the placard held high by our person with the name of the guest clearly written on the placard. However, anticipating this confusion, our contact numbers were with the guest, should he had contacted us for locating him quickly, it would have been much easier. However, the guest did not use that option.

(2) We normally provide shared transport to our guests from the airport to hotel as per our packages. But we do provide the vehicles individually subject to the availability of the same.

(3) We could not accommodate our guests at the new block of our hotel as it was wholly booked on the First-Come-First-Served basis. However, all the rooms in both the old and new blocks of our hotel are of the same high standards with uniform facilities and services.

(4) We thank our guests for praising the Shikara ride in Dal Lake provided by us. However, the guest could not be taken to the Floating Market because this traditional local market opens only around at 5 A.M in the morning and closes within hours. Moreover this type of visit was not offered in the tour package of our guest. Even then, if any guest wants to visit the floating market, he needs to tell us in advance, pay extra costs to make requisite arrangements and get up ready very early in the morning.

(5) On one day, our driver turned up late for the start of Gulmarg visit of our guest due to some confusion in allotment of duties to the drivers. It was a rarest of rare occasion and instance on our part and we apologies for that.

(6) It is welcome that the guests liked staying in our house boat. The services offered by us in our house boat are of high quality and our intention is always to make our guests feel at home. The problems of electricity and water, once or twice as mentioned by our guest, are very very rare and happen only in circumstances beyond our control. We have enough power back-up to meet any contingency.

(7) We are surprised at the point raised by our guests regarding the food at our hotel / houseboat. It is a known fact that the taste of our hotel / houseboat is highly praised by our guests, both Indians and foreigners. We admit that we could not provide exclusive Kashmiri cuisine to our guest because the same was not included in the tour package. However, all the food served by us have exclusive Kashmiri touch. Even then, if any guest desires to have exclusive Kashmir cuisine, he needs to tell us in advance and make extra payments for the same. All our houseboats have dining rooms but in the days of heavy rush of tourists we offer dining on buffet system so as to give a focused and maximum facilities, services and ease to all our guests at the same time.


However, we have carefully noted the experience and points of our valued guests. We are giving deep thought to all their observations and suggestions and assure them that we will use their observations and suggestions to further improve upon our services. We invite our guests to give us another chance to serve them better.
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154 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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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 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (69)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
New Delhi, India
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 January 2012

After seeing reviews on tripadvisor, I booked my honeymoon trip for 4N5D @Hotel Akbar in Dec-2011. From the first day from Airport to the last day till Airport, we had not faced any inconvenience. The hotel was just beside the Dal Lake and giving amazing view. The room was neat & clean and anything required can be available over a phone call.
The itinerary of 4 days with the cab driver (Mr. Naasir) for Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Srinagar was so good. Mr Naasir was experienced and like a guide. There was Mr. Firooz & Mr. Rohit at the reception were very friendly and never say no for any guest requirements.
For keeping the room warm, blowers were 24hrs on. During night they are providing hot water bags too. Breakfast & Dinner timing was sharp and we were server with good & hot food( veg & non-veg)

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank VikramSingh8080
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Navi Mumbai, India
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 January 2012

The room type was standard and very small. According to the tariff, 2700 RS is for the standard room. We stayed during the 4th Week of December 21st and 22nd December. Temperature was between -1 and 7 degree Celsius.

Hotel: Hotel was very thinly occupied, we only saw 1 elderly couple on the first day and family of 5 on the 2nd day. The hotel was very poorly lit and was mainly dark. Since there were only 2 couples (including us) staying there, they didn’t bother to switch on more lights.

Room: Since it was a package tour from IRCTC, a standard room was provided to us (with centralized heater). Being in Srinagar, in the 4th week of December (21st and 22nd dec), there was no effort of providing us the Heater. Even the locals were not able to bear sub-zero temperature (-1 to 7 DC) and we were told to sleep with Hot water bags as the hotel Heater was "not functioning" .

When we requested to provide us with a heater, they did, but it was of no use. The so-called Heater contained 3 heating tubes which if you turn on, were supposed to heat the room. But only 1 heating tube was working and was of no use. I was actually holding the grid of the heating tube and felt like I was holding a tube light. I didn’t get burnt, though the heater switched on for hrs.

I complained the same next day to Mr. Zaffer, and he promised to provide me with another heater. They did, but it was of the same type and no use. Both were just showpiece, not even the grill of the heater were getting heated, leave aside the room.

2nd Day: This time the boiler of the hotel was not functioning and as a result there was no supply of hot water. They were providing heated water in buckets to us and others and that too the water was not even warm. It was as if I was having a bath in almost cold water. When we complained on the kind of facilities provided, Mr. Feroz told that only we are complaining and no one else is complaining, for which we told - Hello!!! Who else is there in the hotel to complain, we don’t see anyone in the hotel!!!” When we asked the only elderly couple whom we met, about the heater, they told that they were not provided with any kind of heater. They too had used the hot water bags to sleep in the night.

BTW, on the second night, the hot water bag was faulty and my thermal-ware got colored (because of the bag).

When we wrote the feedback on the pamphlet they gave about Akbar, they got irritated and made sure we let hotel unhappy. Since we were on a Package tour, we had to be dropped to the next destination - Hotel Ashok New Diamond in Jammu. After checkout, we were taken to a common taxi stand where Mr. Feroz hired a taxi for us to take us to Jammu. But the taxi driver was not ready to move until he got 9 people to fill his taxi. Look at the service they provided when we started our package trip.

I was fully aware that our package was on a twin sharing basis, but when they can get us from Jammu to Katra, Katra to Srinagar, Srinagar to Gulmarg and Pahalgam in a dedicated taxi only for us, why did they put us into some common taxi that was shared with others who are not tourists but locals travelling to Jammu from Srinagar??? The reason may be was that they didn’t like our feedback.

We had to wait for 1 and a half hr before the taxi moved after repeated request. The taxi driver was rude. He said - if you do not want to wait you can leave the taxi. This is the kind of service we got once we gave the feedback of the service.

Further the driver was fully aware where we had to go, as Mr. Feroz had already given him the address to drop us, but after reaching Jammu, the driver said to leave the vehicle at a point which he told as last stop without dropping us to the correct place. When we asked him to drop us to the correct place he says – it’s none of his business as he doesn’t work for Mr. Zaffer. After some calls to Mr. Feroz and the hotel, somehow the hotel staff located us and picked us up.

Food: They gave room service and food was decent on both the days.

Service: The guy who was taking care of us like the room service, etc was good. He did his best, but if the so called Centralized Heater, Boiler to provide hot water, etc are not functioning what can he do. Management has to look into this.

For the record, I would not recommend anyone this hotel.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Jatin A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HotelAkbarSrinagar, Owner at Hotel Akbar, responded to this review, 3 February 2012
Subject: - Hotel Akbar Management response

At the outset, we deeply regret the inconvenience felt by this couple
despite our best efforts to provide personalized / dedicated services
and facilities to them in our Hotel Akbar during the month of December 2011.

However, we would like to give clarifications on some points raised by
the couple in their review:

The couple took a package tour with transport on (sharing basis). All
the information about the services and facilities available, along with
weather conditions, etc. were provided well before the commencement
of the tour. However, the couple was provided much more than what was included in the package tour, for example:

(a) Despite the couple being eligible for transport only on sharing basis, we provided vehicle exclusively for this couple for travel from Jammu to
Katra, Katra to Srinagar, Srinagar to Gulmarg and Pahalgam. However, on
the last day we provided them transportation on sharing basis as per the
terms of their package tour. Please note that we had no other alternative that day except to provide a sharing vehicle and it was just a matter of chance, and the inconvenience caused to the couple was never intended by us. Further
our people picked them up in Jammu and dropped them to their
next destination.

(b) They were served with good food, far exceeding the menu of
their package tour, which has been appreciated by them in their review
too.

(c) During the couple’s visit, Kashmir was experiencing extreme cold
conditions with sub-zero temperatures and our centralized heating
system was in the last stages of being installed/fixed. Our booking suppliers were told about this in advance, but we made all out and dedicated efforts to keep our guests warm and all the alternative facilities and services were provided to them for the purpose. The water was freezing in the pipes and that is why the
boiler malfunctioned. But we immediately made arrangements to supply
warm water to the couple’s room as much as they needed.

They were provided two effective room-heaters, extra-thick and warm beddings and blankets and two hot water bags to sleep in the nights. We are sorry if these efforts failed to provide desired comfort and warmth to the guest. During the day one major reason for that seems to be that surprisingly the guest was moving around in T-shirt despite being advised and requested not to do so in view of extreme cold conditions.

However, we are now glad to inform that to take better care of
couples like these, the installation of a very effective Centralized
Heating System is now complete and fully functional from 1st January
2012. Hotel Akbar is now only among a select few hotels to do so in
entire Kashmir.

In the end, we again regret the inconvenience caused to the couple
and invite them to visit us again with a promise to further improve
upon our facilities and make their stay a pleasant experience whenever
they visit us.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Delhi, India
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 January 2012

I was online and found HOtel Akbar with good reviews on trip advisory but still with a shilly shally feelings i booked the hotel for 01 Night with an airport arrival. On my arrival i found a driver holding my name outside the airport lounge who drove to Hotel Akbar. My first intraction was at the reception who greeted me and provided me a beautiful Garden Facing room i was so delighted to receive overwhelming services which forces me to extend my stay for further 03 nights . I would surely recommend Hotel Akbar to My Kiths and Kins.

Room Tip: Request for Garden facing or Lake facing Rooms
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Anas a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
44 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 November 2011

We stayed here in September. We had planned on staying several nights but left after one miserable night. The hotel is over-priced, dirty, not maintained and it is VERY loud as the prayers are done over a loud speaker which is right next to the rooms. The room was home to large spiders, the bathroom was ancient and the toilet leaked so we constantly had a wet floor. It’s hard to imagine how bed pillows can get so dirty but we certainly did not want them anywhere near our heads. Much, much worse than the room was the attitude and demeanor of the staff and owners. The overly friendly demeanor lasted only as long as we were completely compliant with what THEY wanted from us…we were there to serve their interests which involved our money. This led to an uncomfortable and hostile environment and we left early the next morning. We found another hotel which was better in every way and this allowed us to enjoy our time in Srinagar.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Vivica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HotelAkbarSrinagar, Owner at Hotel Akbar, responded to this review, 6 December 2011
With due respect we wish to clarify about the comments posted about our Prestigious Hotel Akbar.Please note that an amount of Rs 2,500 was charged including taxes and breakfast for one day which comes to about 50 US $. In comparison to prevalent market rates it is competitive rather on lower side.

The sound was generated due to recitation of Azaan and Prayers in the mosques because of a particular religious occasion in which prayers are said through-out the night, only once in a year. This is because of the cultural uniqueness of Srinagar ( Kashmir ) which is worth observing and feeling. We are sorry if the situation, which is really beyond our control, caused any discomfort to our valued guest. Srinagar being Muslim majority city, mosques are in large numbers where prayers are offered and sound system is used.

It has been our Endeavour to keep rooms, toilets and hotel premises neat and clean. There has been frequent checking by sanitary staff and we were never found lagging behind in the matter. Our services, environment, upkeep, charges etc have been appreciated by our honored visitors.

However, we welcome such comments which definitely help us improve our service and serve our guests all the more better. We invite the author of the comments to visit us again and give us a chance to redress any grievance and prove our worth in the realm of service oriented tourism.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Akbar

Property: Hotel Akbar
Address: Dalgate, Gate No. 1, Srinagar Kashmir, Srinagar 190001, India
Region: India > Jammu and Kashmir > Kashmir > Srinagar
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #29 of 129 Hotels in Srinagar
Price range (per night): ₹ 3,455 - ₹ 6,780
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Akbar 3*
Number of rooms: 40
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 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Akbar Srinagar, Kashmir

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