Thursday, March 18, 2010

Side Topic: Accommodations in India

My mom has been bugging me to write about hotel rooms ever since I told her that our room in Delhi was only going to cost us $13/night. We were freaked out our first night in Delhi when we were asked to leave our passports downstairs at the front desk, only to glance behind the desk and see a homeless person sleeping there. Except, of course, the people sleeping in the lobby and behind the desk weren't actually homeless; they were just the staff looking for all the world like homeless people, but probably providing some of the best hotel security you’ll find anywhere.

It seems that budget hotel rooms in India are all about the same. In each, you get a big bed (really two twins pushed together in most cases) with a firm foam mattress and a fitted bottom sheet of questionable cleanliness. They don't seem to do top sheets in this country (we've checked stores too--a sheet set has one sheet and two pillowcases here), but you do get a blanket or two, sometimes covered with something you can pretend that you think they wash between guests, sometimes not. We were really happy to have our silk sleeping bag liner sheets with us, and used them pretty much every night. Though had we known we'd be using them so often, we might have brought a proper sheet set.

The bathrooms pretty much all had western-style toilets, which flushed without the help of a bucket in the nicer places. The shower was always just mounted on the wall of the bathroom, such that when you took a shower, you got everything in the bathroom wet. Including the toilet paper (assuming you brought your own toilet paper), if you weren't careful. Nicer hotels had their own water heaters in each room, which were either the type that instantly heats the water, or traditional tank heaters where you had to turn on the power 20 minutes before you wanted to shower. Less nice hotels had either no hot water or a shared water heater that wasn't necessarily on all day and generally was out of hot water in the morning by the time we wanted it. There was always a bucket and small pitcher provided, presumably for taking an "Indian shower" where you fill the bucket with water and pore it over yourself. We found the bucket handy for doing laundry and flushing the toilets.

The amount of additional furniture in the room varied from none at all to substantial.

We paid between $2.50 and $20 per night for rooms like this. Prices seemed to vary mostly on location, but also on how desperate we appeared to be and how effectively we bothered to haggle. Quality didn't seem to have a lot to do with price, as the $3 room and the $20 room were our nicest two rooms in all of India.

A smaller than average but otherwise typical hotel, in Agra:

From Hotels

A larger than average but otherwise typical hotel bathroom, in Mathura:

From Hotels

Our cutest hotel room, in Udaipur:

From Hotels

The exterior of our cheapest hotel stay of the trip, in Varanasi:


No comments:

Post a Comment