Accomodation in Varanasi
"Guesthouses and Hotels in Varanasi, North India"
All information below is subject to change
I stayed at two different places in Varanasi; Maruti guesthouse and Hotel Surya.
Varanasi can offer you a mix of everything: budget to luxury. Most budget accommodation in Varanasi is located around the ghats. The luxury hotels are located on Mall road, for example Hotel Surya, Radisson Hotel, Clarks and Ramada Plaza.
It can get very hot in Varanasi, so be prepared for an upgrade to an AC-room.
During the winter season (November to February), the temperature can drop. When we visited in mid-March 2011, it was in fact a little 'cold' during the evenings and in the morning, maybe 17-20 degrees. But it was damn hot during the day!
So if you're planning on visiting Varanasi - remember to bring a thin sweater or a hoody.
Price per night: Rs 360-700
Maruti guesthouse is located near Assi Ghat, in Assi road. The rooms were basic, but clean. You get cheap rooms, but don't expect any standard.
The attached bathroom was also clean, but there was something wrong with the washing sink. We couldn't turn the sink tap on, there was no water. We solved it though, but it was a weird solution. There was another tap under the sink which we had to turn on every time we wanted to wash our hands.
Highlight of the stay was the family who owned the guesthouse. The husband was very kind to arrange a boat trip for us in the Ganges. We paid Rs 200 for the whole boat trip (lasted for 2 hours).
On our first day there he took the time to draw a map of downtown with suggested routes around the ghats. He also told us about good places to eat in town and how much rickshaw trips should cost. A very helpful man.
The wife Trifty, who was pregnant at the time, was a kind lady who had a very smart and funny daughter Shuti. Little Shuti was very eager to play with us, and for a 7-year old her English was impressive.
The reason why they're more expensive is because it's pure silver. The jewelry I bought was pure silver or else I would have reacted to it already (I have nickel allergy).
We bought a lot of things from her, especially the other girls. If you're interested she would be happy to show you her stuff.
Where: B1/86-K, SAHODARBIR Bridge, Assi-Lanka Road.
Website: Maruti Guesthouse in Varanasi
Price per night: Rs 2200-4000 (from Oct 12 to Sep 2013)
The price includes breakfast buffet: dosa, toast, eggs, fresh fruit, juice and coffee.
I stayed for one night at Surya Hotel (March 2011). My room number was 709.
The room was spacious and clean, with two twin beds and attached bathroom. You get hot showers, fresh towels and all the amenities you can expect from a hotel. They also have TV with HBO.
Sleeping in their bed was like sleeping in heaven -- good beds with nice, soft quilts.
The best part about the room was the balcony facing their enormous garden, where you can sit down and relax.
Another thing I enjoyed about Surya was their nice pool. Many travelers go to Surya just for the pool because it's so hot in Varanasi, and Surya is one of the few hotels in Varanasi who offers pool for a cheap price.
If you're a guest, it's of course free to use the pool.
The staff was very professional and nice. There were no problems. They also helped me arrange a taxi to the airport when I was leaving for Jaipur.
Other facilities they have at Surya is massage and spa. I have tried massage several times in India, but nothing can be compared to the massage I got at the hotel.
The masseuse's name was Ricka, and I settled for a head-neck-and-shoulder oil massage. I like hard massage, and she went straight to the problem area. It was painful, but at the same time good. It's the best massage I've ever gotten in India!
Price for the massage: Rs 500 for 30 minutes
The negative I have to say about Surya is that the room I had was run-down. They were in the process of expanding and renovating the hotel the time I stayed there.
Another thing is their location. They are located 30 minutes by auto from city center, so it can become pricey if you want to travel back and forth to the ghats.
But I guess they didn't have any choice. I mean, their property is huge and city center is not exactly the best place to build a large hotel complex.
Where: S-20/51A-5, The Mall Road, Cantonment.
Best-rated accomodation in Varanasi
Here are some other suggestions:
Baba Guesthouse: Rs 100 for dorms, Rs 800 for double room with private bathroom
Yogi Lodge: Rs 100 dorms, Rs 300 double room
Kedareswar: from Rs 1,000 per night
Rahul Guesthouse: from Rs 1,200 per night
Homestay: from Rs 2,300 per night
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