Hotel – 6 : Jodhpur [ Hotel Lords ]


IMG_8237

JODHPUR AIRPORT – RAJASTHAN – INDIA           SEPTEMBER 08, 2015           01.50 P.M.

I reached for my 1st visit of Jodhpur on September 6th, 2015. It was just a 3 day visit. Personally I don’t like such short trips. What is the use if you can’t experience the city in a proper way? You visit Jodhpur and you are unable to see Umed Bhawan Palace or Mehrangarh Fort or memorial of Veer Durga Das Rathore. It is sin. But due to the nature of my purpose it was destined to be short trip. I went there for a brief workshop for a Gurinder Chadha film.

So I landed in the Jodhpur on September 6th, 2015 and leaving today on September 8th, 2015.

I was put up in Hotel Lords, Jodhpur. Lords is just one year old hotel. It was surprising to find that they have total 23 properties across India. They have nicely divided their properties into 4 categories. They are ; LORDS PLAZA , LORDS RESORT , LORDS INN & LORDS ECO INN.

They have 5 properties in LORDS PLAZA category. These are : Ankleshwar / Bengaluru / Jaipur / Kandla / Surat. 4 properties in LORDS RESORT category are : Bhavnagar / Nepal / Gir / Silvasa. LORDS INN has maximum 8 properties. These are : Jaipur / Jodhpur / Kathmandu / Rajula / Saputara / Shirdi / Somnath / Vadodara. LORDS ECO INN comes second with 6 properties. These are : Ahmedabad , Dahej , Dwarka , Gandhidham , Porbandar , Saputara.

They are coming with 8 more properties at Agra / Delhi / Lucknow / Jammu / Mumbai / Purulia – West Bengal / Shimoga / Jayanagar – Bengaluru . It makes LORDS with whopping 31 properties across the nation and Nepal.

Exterior of Hotel Lords - Jodhpur

Exterior of Hotel Lords – Jodhpur

I found the hotel very comfortable. Smiling girl at reception, very cooperative staff in restaurant and decor of the rooms, everything is pleasant and comfortable. Room has maximum light with enough plug sockets to recharge your mobiles and laptops. Some hotels don’t have enough plug sockets. I wonder what on earth they save by putting just 1 plug socket per room?

My Room Hotel Lords - Jodhpur

My Room Hotel Lords – Jodhpur

Bed is very comfortable. I have experienced in some hotels they have mattresses, which are expensive but uncomfortable. You feel as if you will fall while sleeping. But at Lords they are not like that.

Bed in Hotel Lords - Jodhpur

Bed in Hotel Lords – Jodhpur

Bed in Hotel Lords - Jodhpur

Bed in Hotel Lords – Jodhpur

I always look for a decent study table in any hotel room. In the name of study table some hotels have some kind of wooden structure in a corner. At Lords, they have a proper study table and put the study table near window. So you get enough light even if you switch off all the bulbs. It is quite big by the current standard.

Study Table in Hotel Lords - Jodhpur

Study Table in Hotel Lords – Jodhpur

Study Table in Hotel Lords - Jodhpur

Study Table in Hotel Lords – Jodhpur

Bathroom is nicely done. But there is one drawback. They don’t have anti-skid tiles on the floor. It is scary for a senior citizen like me. After a nice warm bath, it will be disastrous and certainly not funny to get a slip in the bathroom and have a slip disc.

Bathroom in Hotel Lords - Jodhpur

Bathroom in Hotel Lords – Jodhpur

Their restaurant, named “Blue Coriander”. As the name suggests it is fresh and superb. Nice cuisine and courteous staff is icing on the cake. Apart from the restaurant they also have mini fridge in every room. Needless to say that they have TV , safe , high-speed wi-fi and mini bar in the rooms. With all these amenities, tariff is quite reasonable.

Amenities in Hotel Lords - Jodhpur

Amenities in Hotel Lords – Jodhpur

Out of 10, I will give 8 to this hotel. It is worth staying. It’s only drawback is the floor tiles of the bathrooms. If Hotel “J” in Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar Islands can have anti-skid tiles, then why not a Hotel Lords in Jodhpur, Rajasthan?

 

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Address of the hotel :

Plot No 1C / Pokharan Bungalow

PWD Circle / High Court Colony Road

Jodhpur – 342001 / Rajasthan

You can visit their website : http://www.lordshotels.com

or

Mail them on : lij@lordshotels.com

 

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50 Years of Hotel Sun – n – Sand , Mumbai


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           NOVEMBER 28 , 2012           00.16 A.M.

Iconic Sun – n – Sand , Mumbai completes 50 years of its existence and is celebrating its Golden Jubilee this year .

The first Sun-n-Sand was built at Mumbai in 1962 by Mr. Gul Advani and his friend Mr. John Voyantzis, giving Mumbai its first 5 star hotel and India, its first beachfront 5 star hotel. There is now a Sun-n-Sand at Pune, Shirdi and Nagpur as well. The Sun-n-Sand Group of Hotels also runs a fine-dining restaurant, Jewel of India, and the Jade Garden banquet halls at Nehru Centre, Worli, Mumbai.

English: Sun-n-Sand Group of hotels - Mumbai

Sun-n-Sand Group of hotels – Mumbai (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jade Garden

I have vivid memories of Sun – n – Sand hotel . I first came to know about it during my Allahabad days . I had detailed knowledge of the hotel through the film magazines . All the big film land parties , film muhurats and jubilee functions were invariably held and celebrated here during those days . Since it was in Juhu , it was very convenient for the film land bigwigs .

I also got to know through magazines that legendary Dev Anand had booked a permanent suite on the first floor of this hotel and he kept it for 15 long years . That particular suite became almost his second home .

My curiosity for this hotel grew with the passage of time . When I landed in Mumbai in 1989 [ it was known as Bombay then ] , I went to see Sun – n – Sand . In the beginning of my struggling days it was my cherished dream to attend at least one party in the hotel . Luckily I got the opportunity soon . I don’t remember the occasion but I do remember the moment when I entered into the hotel for the first time .

I have attended several functions and parties since then . My last party was for the muhurat of ” Bheema “ , a film which I wrote few years back .

I have gone there several times since my first visit . But every time I am as excited as I was for the first time . Apart from Taj Mahal , Sun – n – Sand was the only hotel of Mumbai which caught my attention during my formative years . So the attraction remains undiminished even after so many decades .

I , on behalf of myself and my acting school , Vidur’s Kreating Charakters , congratulate everyone associated with the hotel and wish them many more such jubilees .

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Hotel – 5 : Varanasi [ Hotel Gautam Grand ]


 

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA -INDIA           JULY 25 , 2012           08.00 P.M.

As I have stated in my travel diary of Varanasi , I took morning flight to Varanasi from Mumbai on June 16 , 2012 and landed there in the afternoon . I booked a pre – paid AC cab from the Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport and reached Parade Kothi , which is just in front of Varanasi Cantt. railway station . Parade Kothi lane has numerous hotels , some good , some bad and some pathetic .

On my previous visits I used to stay in Hotel Ayodhya or Hotel Glory . But now these hotesl are not worth staying anymore . Their maintenance is pathetic and they are not hygenic also . So this time I chose another hotel , which appeared and seemed better .

I stayed in Hotel Gautam Grand in Parade Kothi .

Exterrior of Hotel Gautam Grand

Exterrior of Hotel Gautam Grand

Its exterrior is impressive . And it has two major attractions . It is stones throw away from Varanasi Cantt. railway station and quite close to Godaulia , the main market place . Vishwanath Temple and Dashashwamedh Ghat are also not very far away .

Its another plus point is its reastaurant , Mezbaan . For people , who don’t want to spend too much amount on food , Mezbaan is a boon . It serves delicious North Indian , South Indian and Chinese food and since it is located in the basement area of the hotel , it is convenient also . Food is very good , service is efficient and environment is healthy and conducive . At least after a day – long sight – seeing , you can have a quiet and sumptuous dinner . Even if you are staying somewhere else , Mezban is highly recommended by me for lunch and / or dinner .

Apart from these two plus points , it has nothing much to offer . Rooms are claustrophobic and are painted with dark colours , which makes them look smaller than their actual size . Bed – sheets and pillow – covers were not clean enough . Bathroom is small and are just okay .

It has two major minus points , which I dislike in any hotel room . Study table is too small to even accomodate my mini laptop . And the second is non availability of enough sockets to plug in your mobiles and laptop for re – charging . There was just one for my two mobiles and one laptop . My wife also has one mobile . So it was huge problem to charge our gadgets . I am always put off by this and it is needless to say that I was not amused by this defficiency .

I must appreciated the staff members , who were cooperative and well – behaved .

Hotel Gautam Grand will be prefered by tourists , who don’t want to spend much . It will keep on finding guests because of its wonderful restaurant Mezban and its proximity to the railway station and market place . But for me staying there will not be easy because of some of the reasons , which I have stated above .

For its 50% plus points and 50% minus points , I am giving it 2 & 1/2 Star out of 5 .

VIDUR

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Hotel – 4 : Manali [ Hotel Piccaddily ]


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JULY 25 , 2012           00.35 A.M.

Due to prior booking , we had to shift from Hotel Quality Inn River Country Resort after few days and checked in Hotel Piccaddily . I was initially happy because it was stones throw away from The Mall .

But my joy was short – lived . Barring its proximity to the main market , there were no other attraction for me . The hotel has not much to offer .

It has impressive exterior . It looks more attractive during the night when lights are on . But ……..

Exterior of Hotel Piccaddily - Manali

Exterior of Hotel Piccaddily – Manali

Exterior of Hotel Piccaddily - Manali at Night

Exterior of Hotel Piccaddily – Manali at Night

Even the lobby and reception area are opulent . But that’s all .

Rooms are just okay . Rooms have double bed , which can’t be detached . Study table was too small . Rooms at Piccaddily don’t have enough sockets to charge your mobiles and laptops . Either you have to remove your side table and then you can plug-in your gadgets or you have to put them to charge in the bathroom .

Horrible ! Extremely pathetic .

Room service was just okay .

Another uncomfortable area was the bathrooms . It was too small for comfort and was made in such a way that you cannot avoid making it wet while taking shower .

Travel desk was almost non – existent . Intercom was not working as long as I was staying there .

But yes it was too close to the main market . So you can make innumerable trips , can go for shopping umpteen times and after dinner even go for a quick stroll .

Its tariff is almost same as Quality Inn River Country Resort . Its proximity to the Mall is boon . It looks grand from the outside . But that’s all .

My stay was okay but definitely not comfortable .

As per my choice it deserves just 2 Stars out of 5 .

VIDUR

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Hotel – 3 : Manali [ Quality Inn River Country ]


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JULY 24 , 2012           07.30 P.M.

As I have stated in my Manali Travel Diary , I took morning flight from Mumbai for Chandigarh on March 18 , 2012 and reached there around 10.00 A.M. I was given a car by the production people and after 11 hour-long road journey I reached Manali at 10.00 P.M. in the night . My car stopped in the compound of Quality Inn River Country Resort . It was dark so I could not see much . But illuminated exterior of the hotel looked very impressive . It was huge and well maintained . I clicked this photo next morning .

The Exterior of Quality Inn - Manali

The Exterior of Quality Inn – Manali

When I entered in the lobby , I found that the lobby is cosy and warm and the reception area quite spacious .

I was ushered into my room on the 3rd floor . Quite spacious room with 2 separate beds greeted me . I have the problem with joint double – bed . So I was happy to see two separate single beds . Bed – sheets and pillow – covers are another area of concern . Here they were spotless white , clean and well – ironed . Since it was quite cold and windy outside , so heater was on .

After entering a hotel room and after bed , bed – sheet and pillow – covers , I next look for the study table and sockets for charging my mobiles and laptop . I found a pretty big study table placed diagonally opposite the bed . It had a table lamp and a switch – board nearby with multiple sockets . Switch – boards , in some hotels , are very neglected things these days , though they are most essential . In some hotel rooms they are not placed properly . Either they are beneath the study or side tables or they are fitted somewhere near the floor . And you have to go through all the inconvenience to plug-in your electronic gadgets . Here in Quality Inn River Country Resort switch board was nicely fitted near the corner of the top of the study table . I heaved a sigh of relief .

Bath – room was well – lit and quite big and all the sections ; commode , wash – basin and bathing closet were evenly separated and were roomy . Surprisingly cupboard was just in front of the bathroom . After having shower , you have to just step out and can lay your hands on your clothes .

Side tables near the bed were big enough to accommodate your wrist watch , mobiles , magazines , reading glasses and medicines . Again a welcome change .

Dinning hall of the hotel was located on the first floor . Breakfast and dinner was included in the tariff and I realized that in a way it not very costly hotel , though it is a 3 Star property .

Dinner was a sumptuous affair and since it was buffet , you have choices also .

After dinner , I came to my room and crashed .

My Room in Hotel Quality Inn - Manali

My Room in Hotel Quality Inn – Manali

Another View of My Room in Hotel Quality Inn - Manali

Another View of My Room in Hotel Quality Inn – Manali

In the morning , when I woke up and opened the front window , I was ecstatic . Fresh , cold and hilly winds caressed me , played with my body for a while and overwhelmed me completely. I could see pine , deodar trees trembling in the wind and river Bias flowing magnificently in front of me . I have rarely seen anywhere a river flowing adjacent to the main road . In Manali it is exactly that .

When you look up from the window , you can see snow – capped mountains a little far away . From the window of Quality Inn River Country Resort river Bias and snow – capped mountains seem within your reach , near your vicinity . It looked as if you could stretch your hand and touch them .

Front View from My Room in Hotel Quality Inn - Manali

Front View from My Room in Hotel Quality Inn – Manali

Front View from My Room in Hotel Quality Inn - Manali

Front View from My Room in Hotel Quality Inn – Manali

Front View from My Room in Hotel Quality Inn - Manali

Front View from My Room in Hotel Quality Inn – Manali

Scene at the rear of the hotel was also breath – taking . Mountains , gushing winds and beautiful cottages dot the compound of the hotel . It would have been nice to stay in a cottage but the tariff was on the higher side .

View of The Cottages from My Room in Hotel Quality Inn - Manali

View of The Cottages from My Room in Hotel Quality Inn – Manali

Backside View from My Room in Hotel Quality Inn - Manali

Backside View from My Room in Hotel Quality Inn – Manali

After Hotel Golden Tower of Chennai , I found another hotel , where the travel desk is managed very efficiently .

Courteous staff , ready to help manager and efficient people managing front desk make your stay pleasant . Since it is a 3 Star property , tariff is on the higher side but since breakfast and dinner is included in the package , I think it becomes affordable and manageable for middle class tourists also .

It’s only drawback is 2 km. long distance from the Mall , the market . Since finding a rickshaw is difficult , you have to walk to the market . And if you are a shopaholic or a die – hard wanderer like me , it becomes quite tasking to walk to the Mall throughout the day .

Apart from its distance from the main market place , I found no negative points in this 3 Star property .

Lack of internet is another deterrent but it is not confined to this hotel alone . It is a problem you will face everywhere in Manali . Barring BSNL every other internet service provider fails in Manali .

If you want a comfortable stay in Manali within affordable budget and just one deterrent , I highly recommend this property.

According to me Quality Inn River Country Resort deserves 4 and 1/2 stars out of 5 .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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Hotel – 2 : Chennai [ Hotel Golden Tower ]


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JULY 12 , 2012           01. 30 A.M.

Two days back on July 10 , 2012 , I posted my first blog about Hotels & Hospitality . Today I am posting my second blog in this category . First one was about a Udaipur hotel and this is about a hotel in Chennai .

Last year I visited Tirupati and was there for three days . I was there on November 21 , 22 & 23 , 2011 . On November 24 , 2011 I reached Chennai by Garudeshwar Express and checked into Hotel Golden Tower .

Chennai in India

Chennai in India (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Location of Hotel Golden Tower

Location of Hotel Golden Tower

Exterior View - Hotel Golden Tower

Exterior View – Hotel Golden Tower

Hotel Golden Tower is less than 1 km. from Chennai Central Railway Station . Location of this hotel is so convenient that if you have light luggage , you can drag your trolley bags and could walk to the hotel . Egmore Railway Station is just little far away but still quite approachable .

Its location is major attraction of this 2 Star property . Its rooms are spacious and full of natural light . Air conditioned rooms were nicely painted and are not claustrophobic , which I hate .

My Room in Hotel Golden Tower

My Room in Hotel Golden Tower

Study table near bed was conveniently placed . It was big and had a huge table lamp . Room had multiple sockets for charging your mobiles and laptops , which is so necessary today and which many hotel rooms lack or they simply don’t care .

Bathroom is rightly positioned in one corner of the room and is quite spacious and well – lit . Wardrobe is huge and clean . Naphthalene balls were thrown inside the wardrobe for nice smell .

My Room in Hotel Golden Tower

My Room in Hotel Golden Tower

It has wonderful multi cuisine veg restaurant at the ground floor . 24 hour Travel desk is also very efficient and helping .

Only negative point of this excellent hotel is its room service , which is not very efficient . May be language problem is a reason . Same was the case with reception . But I am willing to give them benefit of doubt because of the huge language barrier .

I stayed there for just 1 day and on November 25 , 2011 left for Vaitheeswarankoil and Puducherry . I had decided that after my return I will check into another hotel . But when I returned on November 29 , 2011 , I again chose Hotel Golden Tower and stayed there for 2 more days . I think its location and its restaurant could be the major reason for me to again stay in this hotel .

If you are willing to stay in a budget hotel in Chennai , which is centrally located , then Hotel Golden Tower is highly recommended by me .

My rating for this hotel is 3 Star out of 5 .

Address : 78 , E. V. R. Periyar High Road Periyamet , Chennai – 600 003

Website : http://www.goldentowerchennai.com

VIDUR

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Hotel – 1 : Udaipur [ Hotel Akshay Niwas ]


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JULY 10 , 2012           11.15 P.M.

I have always admired two journalists cum columnists cum TV show anchors of my country . They are Ms. Anupama Chopra and Mr. Vir Sanghvi .

Ms. Anupama Chopra is a film journalist , who writes her movie review columns in Hindustan Times and India Today . She also writes for international papers like ; The New York Times , The Los Angeles Times , Variety and Sight & Sound and she also writes and anchors her well – known TV shows ” Picture This “ on NDTV 24 x 7  and ” The Front Row “ on Star World channel .

Mr. Vir Sanghvi is a political journalist , writes his column about Food & Culinary and Hotel & Hospitality in Sunday Brunch of Hindustan Times and also presents his famous shows ” A Matter of Taste “ on Discovery channel and ” Custom Made for Vir Sanghvi “ on NDTV Good Times . His other two successful TV shows are ” Foodistan “ for NDTV Good Times and ” Achievers Club “ on Star World .

Wow , what a life man ! They both have authored several books also . And they are globe – trotting celebrities . It’s a life worth living when you are get paid to live in 5 / 7 star hotels . You are offered best of cuisines on platter and instead of you paying the bill , you are offered money in lieu of tasting that exotic food . You interview mightiest of stars in swanky hotels and demand and get remuneration for it . God , this is the life I fancy !!

I always wanted to be like them . I wanted to do what they have done and would love to write on several subjects as they do .

Therefore I started writing , though tentatively , my travel diaries . Then slowly I wrote few blogs on Food & Culinary also . This is my first blog on Hotel & Hospitality . I have clubbed these three topics in a category called Vidur’s Random Musings on my blog space . I know these blogs are very amateurish , but as I have stated earlier , I am simply trying to emulate the above mentioned two journalists cum columnists cum TV show anchors .

I am a wanderer . Initially when I started travelling , I used to stay in ordinary , cheap hotels . So there is nothing to write about them . I can say without hesitation that my first stay in a decent hotel was when I visited Udaipur on October 04 , 2010 .

I was called to train Dev Patel for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and was put in Akshay Niwas Hotel by the production team .

Stars of ” The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel “ were staying in Udaivilas Palace Hotel and the director and his team members were staying at Hotel Trident . I have posted photos of Udaivilas Palace Hotel and Hotel Trident in my blog ” Vidur’s Travel Diary : Udaipur ” .

I was put in Akshay Niwas Hotel , which is very close to these iconic hotels of Udaipur . Its exterior is like typical havelis of Rajasthan . If you don’t know that this is a hotel then you might confuse it with a residence of a wealthy Rajasthani family .

Reception area and the lobby of this 4 storied Akshay Niwas Hotel are also very spacious , airy and sunlit .

The Lobby

The Lobby

Dinning Table in The Lobby

Dinning Table in The Lobby

When I entered my room on the 3rd floor , I found it exceptionally spacious . Some hotel rooms are so claustrophobic that you feel suffocated in them . But not here . Spacious room , huge windows , equally huge bathroom and a room to keep my bags and baggage , wow , I felt nice .

My Room in Akshay Niwas Hotel

My Room in Akshay Niwas Hotel

My Room in Akshay Niwas Hotel

My Room in Akshay Niwas Hotel

My Room in Akshay Niwas Hotel

My Room in Akshay Niwas Hotel

My Room in Akshay Niwas Hotel

My Room in Akshay Niwas Hotel

My Room in Akshay Niwas Hotel

My Room in Akshay Niwas Hotel

While going through the above posted photos , you can feel that the sun-kissed room is airy and full of light .

The bathroom is adorned with anti – skid tiles and is more spacious than the hall of some of the flats of Mumbai .

Wash Basin in The Bath Room

Wash Basin in The Bath Room

One plus point which I would like to mention is that the room has many plug sockets , so that you can charge your multiple mobile phones and can also work on your laptop simultaneously . Some hotel rooms don’t have enough sockets and you have to struggle to recharge your mobiles and laptops , specially when you don’t have enough time . But not here . They have taken extra care .

If you open the windows , you can feel the aroma of fresh and pure wind coming from Aravali Hills . If you decide to switch of the air conditioner and just open the windows , fresh wind and enough sunlight will force you to think that you are in another world .

It is a feeling which is unimaginable in Mumbai .

View From My Room's Window

View From My Room’s Window

View From My Room's Window

View From My Room’s Window

View from My Hotel Room

View from My Hotel Room

View of Udaipur from My Room's Window

View of Udaipur from My Room’s Window

Maintenance of the hotel is praiseworthy . Room service is prompt and quick and food is delicious .

Staff is courteous and well – behaved .

If you are not going for star hotels and looking for budget hotel in Udaipur , this Akshay Niwas Hotel is highly recommended by me .

I would love to give it 4 star out of 5 .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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