Historical Traveller Reviews of A Palace on River Hotel
no smells and completey secure!! i dont understand the previous review!! We found this accommodation ws a highlight on our Indian Journey.. Ajay, the owner greeted us and made us most welcome whilst we waited on our rooms. We had arrived early on overnight train, and offered chai and cold drinks, and introduced to Rashmi and shown throughout guest house.. Our room looked out over Ganges(204) so what more to ask for. Firm beds but made for a good night sleep. The shower/toilet arrangements were a little cramped, but we got used to that. The kids room on 3rd floor didn,t have our great view but were comfortable for them and no complaints. Importantly, we were absolutely spoiled by the hospitality shown by Ajay as his staff. Even escorting us at dusk to ythe nearby ceremony...The restaurant on the fourth floor has fantastic views over Ganges and activities on the ghats. FOOD WAS AWESOME...OVERALL, NOT A 5 STAR HOTEL, BUT,YOU COULDN,T GET A BETTER LOCATION AND SERVICE.
Smelly and Crooked
What the lovely pictures do not show is that a horrible stench presides over this establishment, making it impossible to eat and even difficult to sleep!
Also, during our stay, money and jewelry were removed from our bags - presumably by the staff.
The management were not responsive to our complaints...
This is the side of India that you do not want to experience!
Would stay here again in a heartbeat
I stayed in a double room with a river view for a week this month. The Rashmi, Palace on River, was a top-notch experience. Rooms were clean (the beds were hard, folks, I'm not gonna lie to you), service was excellent, internet was mostly reliable, the g.m. Ramesh was kind, and always ready to help. The food in the Dolphin was good, reliable, and served by friendly if not overly efficient staff.
And our room - 204 - had a nice view of the river and a tree with monkeys in it. What's not to love about that?
Given the choices of accomodation in Varanasi - either expensive or really dodgy, the Rashmi Guest House, Palace on River, was a real relief. It's no 5-star, but it's comfortable, clean, secure, and friendly.
David duChemin, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Perfect Location, your best choice in Varanasi
If you want an American style 5 star hotel then this is not for you but it has everything that you want. It is very presentable, enjoyable, and definitely has the best location in Varanasi. The food in the restaurant overlooking the river will compare favourably to the best meals you will have on your holiday. They will probably send a car for you at the airport (a very good idea) and will offer you a guided tour for your stay (which you will pay for). If you are like us and only staying for 24 hours then this is a very good idea. The guide was very good.
I wouldn't look anywhere else in Varanasi. The big hotels are miles away from the Ghats and in Varanasi's chaotic streets that is an issue.
I stayed here in late November of 2006 and absolutely loved it! The place is INCREDIBLE!!! The service is beyond excellent. Ramesh, the manager, used to work for the Raj Hotels (five star hotel chain in India) and brings that spirit and attitude to every guest and room in the Rashmi Guest House. The best rooms overlook the river (although they are definitely pricier) and make for a great view of sunrise and sunset. If you are planning a holiday in Varanasi, YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST stay here!!!! Every other guest house is WAY below par compared to this palace! They continuously state that guests are "Gods"! This is reflected in their attitude! The food upstairs is also a winner!
Wonderful and Memorable Varanasi Experience
Iam from South India (Hyderabad) and my visit to Varanasi was a short one, entirely for pilgrimage purpose. As I was planning to visit along with my family, I had done some background work to select good hotel and travel agent in Varanasi. During my search, I had come across RGH. After having read the reviews and opinions expressed by other travelers on RGH, I decided that RGH would be a good choice to stay.
And indeed it was an excellent choice. I must say that the service extended by the staff of RGH went beyond my expectation. Right from the pick-up at the railway station, check in, arranging for guided tour of Varanasi, boating on Holy Ganges, conducting of rituals, Darshan of the Lord , accommodation and the subsequent drop at the railway station, quality of service maintained was of excellent standard. I would like to appreciate the efforts of Ramesh, Pappu and the other staff of the hotel for having made our stay in Holy City of Varanasi a truly memorable one.
perfect Varanasi experience
I did extensive research before selecting this guest hotel, and it was really wonderful. I had a room on the third floor which had a side window view to the Ganges, very strong a/c which was wonderful relief. The staff, Ramesh --and Ajay the owner were extremely attentive and always asking what they could help you with. Hotel Driver pick up from the airport was invaluable because it is very hard to find your way thru tiny alleys to the river -- you cannot drive up to the hotel. but they will help you carry your bags and guide you safely as you walk to the hotel. lovely modern furnishings, gorgeous site on roof for restaurant-- mornings you hear mournful hymns, cowbells, and oars slapping on the ganges, monkeys look in at you from your windowsill, it is a true varanasi immersion -- all i could have hoped for.
t get much closer to the heart of the Ganges
We were in Varanasi for 3 1/2 days and couldn't have coordinated better accomodations. We were steps from the Ganges and cereomonial rituals. The staff was so helpful-Ramesh was very gracious. We did have a river view on the 3rd floor. The rooms were clean, cool and always nice to return to after a hot day on the ghats. The restaurant was above average. If you have limited time in Varanasi, this is a great option because you are in the center of all the ceremonies and sights along the Ganges.
Diwali of the Gods
We were lucky to have been able to visit Varanase at the time of the Diwali or the Gods. The Rashmi Guest House was the perfect location to enjoy this festival, either from our front room on the third floor or from the rooftop restaurant. The owners and the staff are very pleasant and did everything they could to ensure that our visit was enjoyable. The place was very clean and there was also free internet access.
*Just a note to older or physically challenged people, there are no elevators and there are many steps to climb.
Right in the middle of the action
Several others have written about the Rashmi. The Rashmi is "basic" and certainly won't be for people that like the luxury of the Taj or Radisson---rooms are small, there are no elevators, and as someone else wrote, the front facing ones are prone to bathroom bugs--and you need to enjoy walking through the narrow streets of Varanasi to get to the hotel. But the people are friendly and very helpful---ensure that you are escorted around and see the important sites--and the location is superb. I was only there for one night, but I felt that due to the friendliness of the staff, I got the most out of my short stay in India's Holy City.
The restaurant on top of the hotel is also excellent-I had breakfast, dinner and a snack there and all were delicious. Plus, you can't beat the view.
If you want a real feeling for the city, this is a great place to stay.
Top Local Tips for Varanasi
We got a guide named Sumit who accompanied the hotel's driver to meet us at the airport. His English is pretty bad and, of course, he's got some arrangements with the boats owners, shopkeepers, etc. We paid him INR 500 for two days because we believe that he had a cut of the INR 1,000 we paid to the boat owners. Apparently, this only costs INR 50/ person. We were only going to be in Varanasi for one night so didn't mind the overpayment so long as we got our sightseeing done within our schedule time in the city. Anyway, I wouldn't recommend using this guide because I don't think he is honest and his command of Varanasi history is poor.
walk last 1/4 mile
The bicycle rick shaw will be able to take you to the main ghat. That means that you will have to take a auto rickshaw to near the main ghat, then a bicycle rick shaw to the main ghat, then walk the last 1/4 mile to the guest house along the Ganges. really no problem unless you have many suit cases! (in that case, forget this place!)
Staying in the Old Town
If, like me, you are staying in a guest house located in the Old Town of Varanasi - then be prepared to get a taxi / rickshaw to the edge of the narrow lanes and then you will need to walk. The first time I arrived it was after dark and I was totally unprepared for this. Have a torch ready! Have someone you can trust accompany you to your hotel (if necessary ask a shop owner to help you) and if you are wheeling your bag, mind the cow pats!!!