Really – the Hotel Welbeck, Ooty, is a bit of a find. It is a great place to stay in this most interesting town.
I stayed here at the end of August, and was a great experience. The hotel looks a bit modern and ‘run of the mill’ on the outside but when you enter it has considerable atmosphere and traditional charm.
On arrival you are welcomed in a beautiful high-ceiling marble-floored foyer. The check-in is speedy and smooth.
The staff are welcoming and the atmosphere excellent. Most of the staff seem to come from West Bengal or Nepal – they are truly service orientated and will look after you splendidly and are most interested in your welfare. It really is a pleasure to stay here.
The dining room for breakfast (which is included in the tariff) is a lovely sun-filled room and the fit-out of teak wood paneling is beautiful and adds to the atmosphere of the hotel. The food and service in the dining room is 1st class.
Accommodating is excellent, the rooms are clean, of good size with the bedding and linen spotless. The bathrooms large and well lit, but why Indian bathrooms have to have such shiny (and slippery) tiles on the floor is difficult to understand. They are a danger to life and limb, so be warned and tread carefully (as in any hotel) to avoid accidents - Indian bathrooms never seem to have a separate shower recess so the floor is always awash with water, Ug!
I had a bedroom at the back of the hotel with an ‘ordinary view’ onto a back street. The room at the front I am sure, have splendid views over the surrounding city with a corresponding price to match. However I was very happy to be staying at the ‘Welbeck’ and as I was out all day, having fun, not having a view was of no concern to me.
Ooty is a great place to visit for a few days but you do need a car and driver – like most Indian towns it is spread out and difficult to understand where you are – however the atmosphere of the hills is great and the National Park (down a very steep road some 2 hours away) is well worth a visit. Drives around the lake and surrounding countryside are lovely.
A real “must” is to take the ‘toy’ train (Diesel and then an ‘antique’ 18th century steam engine down the hill for 27 Rupees - yes a little less that $1.00 for a 4-hour journey. It is a magical journey and if you start early I think you could easily go down and up in the day…the railway station is most helpful and the staff there speak good understandable English but parking there is 10 Rupees each time, making the train journey look really cheap – as the ticket officer said, “Sir, Indian Railways will never make money”
I found the Hotel Welbeck Residence perfect. I would certainally go and stay there again and I think that the management and staff are trying really hard to ensure the their guests are well looked after. I think that the hotel has not been open long, but it seemed to be running very smoothly. The hotel is a credit to the management team in place.
It is certainally one of the best hotels that I have ever stayed at in India over many years and it is a hotel that deserves success. I have considerable experience in the management of small hotels and I must say that this hotel sets a very high standard for service and hospitality, which is unfortunately difficult to find in the Australia of to day.
Mike – Australia.
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