Just catching up on some of my blogs and thought I’d review one of the hotels where we stayed in Delhi.
The Grand Godwin is on Arakashan Road in Paharganj. It’s a convenient (if chaotic) location, not far from New Delhi Station, and a short (and cheap) Tuk Tuk ride to all the places we needed to go, like the publishing district, Connaught Place, and many of the city’s main attractions.
The hotel provided free pick up from the airport, which is a massive bonus when you first arrive in Delhi.
We stayed for three nights when we first arrived, before travelling into Rajasthan. We stayed one more night when we returned to Delhi, before going elsewhere.
Our first room was great. It was large, and mostly clean. The bathroom was spotless, but there were a couple of dodgy stains on the bed cover. The second room we stayed in wasn’t as great—it was a small windowless room, which somehow managed to also be very noisy. Once again, the bathroom was spotless, but I went to make myself some tea, and the cups were disgusting. I don’t think cleanliness in a hotel room is too much to ask for.
One of the great things about the Grand Godwin is the rooftop restaurant. We started each day with an great buffet breakfast. We ended most days eating there (very good food) and having a beer. We met some interesting people on that roof, and it was comforting to know we were eating and drinking food that wasn’t going to make us sick. Neither of us experienced Delhi belly until after we left the Grand Godwin. The restaurant was spotless, including the kitchen, which you can see into.
The hotel staff were pleasant, especially the restaurant staff, but here comes my main gripe about the hotel. I’d just arrived in Delhi for the first time, and anyone who’s been there knows it’s an intense experience. I entered the hotel foyer… and was faced with about eight men in suits, all standing in a group, staring at me. No one spoke for a bit. They just stared. Then one of them dealt with checking us in… while the others lingered around and stared. In fact, the whole time I stayed there, there was a lot of lingering around in suits, staring.
This pack thing is common in India, and while I eventually got to know a couple of these men, and they were nice and polite, is it too much to ask for a smile, a hello… or (shock horror) the occasional female face? Surely you can employ one female. If not, are all of you needed at reception? I spent my whole time in Delhi staving off unwelcome attention, which was often full-blown harassment. The area outside the hotel is like hell on earth. Do your female guests a favor, and make the hotel the place they know they can relax, away from the harassment they receive on the street.
I’d seen great reviews and write ups in various newspapers, blogs, Lonely Planet etc. And for the most part, they’re true. The Grand Godwin a good hotel for the price. A few tweaks and it could be great.