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Reviewed 11 March 2020 via mobile

Stayed here 7 nights. For Holi and Buddhist pilgrimage to Sarnath. Holi Festival was bacchanalia at its finest. So. I was a little leery about the hotel after reading reviews. But everything turned out fine. Nothing is ever perfect. I will attempt to recall pros and cons.
PROS: 30 seconds to Assi ghat. So that means boats, arti at night. Chai tea. Cigarettes. Foto opportunity. 2 decent pizza joints on the ghats at the higher end of the steps. WiFi at hotel decent but ask front desk for a code to coincide with the length of your stay. That way you don’t have to change it every day. Breakfast complimentary in basement starting at 7am. Simple and tasty Indian dishes along with eggs and beans and toast and oatmeal. Simple but good. Dinner on roof was very good also but...a touch pricy. There are a bunch of places to eat within a five minute walk. Mark’s Cafe, Pizza and a bunch of Indian food. Ask the clerk at the front desk where to go. He helped me with info all the time. Around the corner at Assi Crossing there is a lassi store, the Green Lassi. They serve Bhang there. If you do this start with a weak low dose. Bhang is great for sleep but made me a bit tired the next day. My room was in the basement and had no windows, which I happen to like. Room was decent. Bathroom was decent. Only had no hot water twice during the entire week. Lights only work if key fob is in the light slot on the wall. Electric kettle in room. But I got street tea and coffee at breakfast. A but musty, but not bad as soon as fan was on all ok. Staff was really helpful for me but I am always respectful and I have manners. Didn’t clean room the day of the festival, that was ok with me. 24 hour desk guy. Yes he slept on a mattress next to the locked front door but cool with me. Leave your key at the desk when leaving. There are safe locker boxes in the rooms. The cons were the walls are a bit thin but not bad. Lots of switches on the walls. Had to figure out what went where. Closet a bit cramped. But hey, this is India, this is a refurbished hotel. I thought it was pretty decent. Clean. Relatively quiet and close to the Assi ghat.
Beware outside. The TukTuk drivers and anyone for that matter. They can be pushy and follow you around. I had to tell them, “No thank you, I do not need your help, Good bye!” Many times. Also they have this line. I ask, “how much?” Answer, “as you like”. Then a deal is struck with me paying them a fair price, “as I liked”. Here is where the problem starts, because the deal was not “as I liked”. It was as they liked. So. No biggy. I paid as I liked. They learned very fast with me. But be careful. So I always got a number before the ride or whatever. I found out there are the prices for the locals and there are the prices for the tourists. And barter is kinda expected. Also you can book through the hotel. They have connections for taxi and boats and such with up front prices.
Varanasi is a trip. I have been to a lot of places around the world. But there is no other place like this. Especially if you go out on foot and explore. My friend asked me about this place. This is what I told her,
“I do not ever need to go to Burning Man, I’ve been to Varanasi during the Holi Festival.”

Peace

Date of stay: March 2020
Trip type: Travelled solo
Thank Hektroid
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 11 March 2020

I spent 3 nights at POG when I visited Varanasi. Originally, I was going to stay closer to the main ghat area further north along the river, but was convinced to stay somewhere quieter, which I'm so glad I did.

The location is great with lots of places to eat close by (Downtown pizza was very good). But the hotel had amazing food and I enjoyed all my dishes there (not to mention a discrete cold beer). Loved the roof top restaurant. And of course the Ganges, Assi ghat and the beautiful evening aarti ceremony was right at the doorstep.

The room (Punjab) was OK - not huge, not the most modern, but adequate. Bed was OK. Pillows were terrible though. Air con was great, but all I needed was the ceiling fan. Great that there was kettle, coffee and tea as well as a fridge. 2 water bottles were supplied each day, and they were happy to give me extra as needed too. The bathroom was a little small and there was a prevailing damp smell. But it was clean with plenty of hot water and good water pressure.

Breakfast was good with simple toast, pastries and eggs (which I don't eat) Each day there was a different local dish with parathas and subzi (which I very much enjoyed). Not a huge spread but certainly all you need. Could do with better coffee and juice though.

The only real downsides were the lack of care or warmth from the staff (not unfriendly, but not welcoming), and the general run down of the property. It could be oh so much better with just a little more effort.

I'd be happy to go back, but only in Punjab or Colonial rooms (I did see one of the others on the lower level and it was like a dungeon...)

I loved the little sitting area outside the room and historic photos.

Date of stay: March 2020
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank KGB_4
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 8 March 2020

The hotel is everything that its website claims to be. When I was recommended this hotel by someone local in varanasi I was not sure because the trip advisor feedback was not great. Am glad I did not go by the trip advisor feedback and had a great experience. The hotel website / pictures truly represent the reality.

Date of stay: March 2020
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank SatinderGrover
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 13 February 2020

This hotel is so disappointing and looking at the pictures posted on Booking.com and TripAdvisor do not show the truth. Yes it is an old hotel with character, but the rooms are basic and not exactly comfortable. The roof top restaurant is a joke, plastic tables not laid out and definitely no evidence of plants alive or dead. The staff did their best and were helpful overall but while we were there they were hiring rooms out for business meetings and the noise level was so loud that one night I had to call out for them to quieten after not getting a response from reception. The downstairs restaurant is tiny and cramped and the food is some of the worst we had. In fact our guide took us to a vegetarian restaurant one evening so we could have a decent meal. Such a shame as walking to the Ganges took less than five minutes and enabled us to take in the atmosphere both during the day and evening, something we wouldn’t necessarily been able to do had we stayed further out from the banks of the Ganges. There is also mention of a library, a few books in a dusty cabinet doesn’t constitute a library and a spa, apparently you can ask for someone to be bought in should you wish to have a massage!

Date of stay: January 2020
Thank 11claired
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 19 December 2019

The hotel rooms have no views out of windows , however the rooms are big and comfortable. It is just round the corner from the Ganges so great for picking up a boat ride.
The breakfast are buffet style and one of the best we had on our trip. The lunches and dinners are freshly made lovely and the best value for a tourist restaurant.
The staff are very helpful and friendly.

Date of stay: December 2019
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank Kat698
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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