Hotel ALka:
  Varanasi, India
Check-in
01 Jun, 2017 (Thu)
Check-out
02 Jun, 2017 (Fri)
Night(s)
01
Room(s)
01
No. of Guest
01 Adult(s)
Modify Search
131 Guest Reviews
4/5 trip adviser          

TripAdvisor Reviews (131 reviews, 4/5)

  • Overall Hotel Rating:
  • Good smile

  • 4/5 (Based on 131 reviews)

Great place to meet travelers from around the world. The balcony really has something special to offer. It's a great place to just stand and take the measure of time, looking at the ganga.

Also, Mr. Moona, the guide working at the hotel, was really helpful. He took us around many nice places and really did a great job to unlock Varanasi's secret to us. This city is breathtaking. It really has something to offer... thanks to Mr. Moona !!

55

Rating

  By Laurent T on Oct 10, 2011

stayed for 3 nights in Royal Room on 3rd floor. clean and well-maintained room. almost 360 degree view from private balcony facing south, east and north! staff of reception was helpful suggestions and cations for sightseeing, especially burning ghat. next to tiny lobby, there is internet room that have 3 PCs (usage fee apply). no WiFi in room or lobby. next to the hotel, small shop sells cold drinks. vegetarian restaurant is very tasty and great view for the Ganges. access to Meer ghat is easy and simple. highly recommended to budget travelers.

55

Rating

  By Kazuya Y on Oct 10, 2011

This hotel felt more like a nice hostel. A great courtyard with tables and a restaurant with a complete vegetarian menu. And the balcony has a couple of tables that look out over the city and the river...great for staying up late with friends and drinking a few beers. The rooms are spartan...it's not a five-star hotel, but it's cleaner than most of the other hotels in Varanasi.

55

Rating

  By Johnny N on Aug 08, 2011

If you are visiting Varanasi, then I absolutely recommend Hotel Alka at Mir Ghat. Located in the very center of the city and the main stretch of the Ganges River, this hotel has one of the highest balconies protruding out over the river, and the rooms (AC or fan) are clean and very affordable. The hotel staff are very kind, and they go out of their way to be helpful in every possible way. This place is great for both relaxing and sharing stories with other travelers. I like it so much here that I've extended my stay from two days to over a week.

55

Rating

  By Trevor G on Aug 08, 2011

coming to varanasi after my last visit in 1968!!!!!!!!! living now since then in south india we had friends from paris coming for a visit who wanted to see some of north india so I choose to see again in company of my wife and friends this city where I had such a time in my younger days in india. well the hotel alka that we choose by random and reserved was an excellent choice clean and comfortable the staff is super friendly and the atmosphere very family like a found the food excellent reommend this hotel to all people coming to varanasi we feel like coming back for sure and advise people and friends to come,pricewise and situation difficult to challenge patrick

55

Rating

  By papikopon... on Aug 08, 2011

I picked the Alka from TA and was not disappointed, to say the least.
We booked by email about two weeks before we hit India and arranged a pickup from the train station. I would recommend that you book ahead for the alka. This is fairly important as the Alka could be a little hard to find (it's on the Meer ghat) if it's your first time in Varanasi. The train (Delhi to Varanasi) was 3 hours late but the guy was still there waiting and the pick up was a 100 rupees, money well spent indeed!
The hotel is situated right on the Meer ghat, which is about 2 ghats up from the Main ghat and about 3 ghats away from the burning ghat.
There are a variety of rooms you can stay in, ranging from 400 Rs for a fan room without a view and a shared bathroom up to 1700rs for a view over the ghats with aircon, own bathroom, hot water etc. Whichever room you get, you are only metres away from a sensational view over the Ganges. We lashed out a chose the 1700Rs room, which was sensational. It was massive, very clean and had its own little balcony from where you could watch the sunrise over the river. Something to note; if you look at the hotel pictures, you can see two "wings" jutting out over the ganges with rooms. If you stay at the top, on the left of the picture, you get the best rooms and the biggest balcony, but this is not a private balcony and is used by everybody as it has the best views. However, if you stay at the top on the right 'wing' you get your own small, but excellent balcony with great views. If you go in April, I suggest you spend the extra money and get aircon, you will need it.
All rooms look over a central courtyard/restaurant. LP said that there had been some problems with the food, though we ate there regularly had had no problems. You can get beer at the Alka, which is a bit of a rarity in Varanasi. You can't get alcohol in many places at all.
The hotel staff could not have been more helpful and were happy to answer questions and help out whenever they could. If you are going to stay here, i recommend that you book ahead. When we booked, they didn't require any payment up front, just when we checked out.
Like all hotels in india that we stayed in and booked ahead, I sent a number of emails requesting information and confirmation with dates, train times etc. I found that this tends to make sure that you actually have a room when you get there. Print out the emails and take them with you:)
Overall, this is a fantastic place to stay and would stay there again.

55

Rating

  By laverysea... on Apr 04, 2011

This place has a reputation as being the place to stay in Varanasi for budget travellers and we weren't disappointed. The room was better than we thought it would be for the excellent price. Location is extraordinary with amazing views over the Ganges from the large terrace areas. Restaurant okay. Staff very friendly (which for some reason I wasn't expecting in such a popular place). Highly recommended. Book in advance as we saw people being turned away for want of space.

55

Rating

  By Stazzas on Mar 03, 2011

I booked our room well in advance (in December). I opted for their balcony room. That turned out to be the best room of the hotel. It was on the top floor and the balcony was huge. We paid 1700 INR plus tax per night. What a great bargain for such great views! The room itself had all the basic amenities: TV, hot shower, etc. Remember to bring earbuds, because it's quite noisy at night in Varanasi! :)

Getting to the hotel was easy for us. We asked a pickup from the airport. The price is 550 INR. I suggest people to use this pickup service from the hotel, because the hotel is very hard to find on your own. I guess they can arrange pickup from the train station as well. First the guy drove us from the airport to a place where two guys were waiting for us. They carried our bags through all the corridors and brought us to the hotel. We tipped them a bit and they were grateful. It would've taken much much longer if we tried to find the hotel ourselves.

The hotel itself has a vegetarian restaurant. We ate there couple of times but as we like the eat some meat also we visited other restaurants nearby.

Last, but not the least I'd like to thank the hotel management for arranging a doctor for me. I got a serious food poisoning from one of the restaurants we visited. I don't know which one it was, but it doesn't matter. We had a flight ahead in the evening and I "seriously" ill. They called a doctor in for me and in an hour he arrived, gave me some shots (antibiotics) + gave me other medicines. After that I felt well enough to fly and I managed to get to my next destination. The doctor charged me only 300 INR for his service. The guys at the hotel picked the medicine for me from the pharmacy near by. Great service!

Last funny thing to write is, that all the stories I read about electricity outages were true. There were outages every night! Glad I took my flashlight with me :D Good thing is, that the hotel uses a generator when outages happen.

55

Rating

  By manumFI on Mar 03, 2011

I stayed in this hotel for 2 weeks because I felt so comfortable there. The views over the ghats are terrific, and it is right in the centre of the old part of town, so a great location. It has 2 terraces which are part of the restaurant, so you can eat and discreetly watch all the Ganga happenings below. The food is very good (although Lonely Planet suggests that it may not be), and the service pleasant and efficient. The only problem with this hotel is getting in in the first place - it's a popular place and rightly so. Just persevere!

55

Rating

  By pennyredL... on Feb 02, 2011

Location, location, location...Great. Clean enough! Amazing views and veg. food. Staff and Mona so helpful. Had to be careful what I asked for out of respect for their time. Laundry would not clean shoes, so staff did! Trustworthy management. Don't be fooled to stay in "safer area". This area is one of the most interesting, exotic of all the places in the world I have ever visited. The hotel and travelers it attracts made even better.

55

Rating

  By zam074 on Jan 01, 2011

The Hotel Alka is an absolute haven. I flat-out LOVED the Hotel Alka. The staff were brilliant (especially the guide and restaurant manager Munna), the rooms were very reasonably priced, very clean, good AC and a toilet that actually flushed (and you don’t find many of them in India!) The food in the restaurant was excellent, and the view of the Ganges takes your breath away. Go there! Stay for days, and above all, go on a tour of Varanasi with Munna!!!

55

Rating

  By Robert108... on Nov 11, 2010

Located high above The Ganges, Hotel Alka was one of those places that our taxi driver had a bit of difficulty finding, stuck as it was down a decidedly non-car friendly lane. We ended up walking for about 15 minutes through the laneways of Varanasi with a young boy under our driver's instructions, in the hope that he knew where he was actually going. Luckily for us he did.

The hotel itself is a grand old white building with many levels. I'd recommend asking for Room 112 if it's available. It's a little more expensive than your average room at The Hotel Alka, but the extra you pay is more than made up for by the awesome view. You can see for miles down the Ganges and take in the (many) goings on of the ghats adjacent to the river. Indeed, the hotel itself sits right on top of Meer Ghat. The cheaper rooms are nearer the entrance to the hotel and don't have views, although you don't have to far to see them.

The room was quite spacious, although the towels seemed to be left over from 1982; a smal quibble, but... The bathroom was adequate, if a little small, with the usual water pressure you'll find in most of India. One of the great things about the hotel is that virtually every room has a balcony, (at least the mid-range ones do), although unless you're the last room on the floor, you'll have people wandering past. Room 112 doesn't have this issue, as it's right at the end of the first floor, providing an excellent place to sit drinking a couple of illicit beers and watch the sun go down.

Hotel Alka is able to provide bookings for attractions, as well as taxis, drivers, flights and the like, although you may get a better deal in town, depending on what you want to see and do. They have an excellent open air restaurant which, although it has a limited menu, does a good breakfast. The dinners are a bit more hit and miss, but fine if you just want a snack.

With friendly staff who can even arrange to have some beer brought to your room (for an inflated price, of course), Hotel Alka is an excellent choice if you're staying in Varanasi. I'd heartily recommend spending the extra money and getting at least a mid-range room. We were a bit dubious spending more than we expected and were only going to stay one night in Room 112 before switching to a cheaper one. Suffice to say that we didn't.

55

Rating

  By Gusmao on Nov 11, 2010

I stayed in hotel alka a month and a half attending a hindi course nearby.
I felt at home after a while. Beautiful single room on top with window looking on the ghats
Food was allright and cheap. If you look for better food (but more expensive of course) try the dolphin top roof restaurant nearby.
Be careful of the monkeys. They told me not to look in their eyes and they will not bother you.
Man behind the desk very kind and helpful
Internet access on the premises
Only negative aspect: the behaviour of some tourists staying in the hotel, above all the ones travelling in groups, thinking they are in india and they can do all the noise they want not respecting the others.

55

Rating

  By michiVero... on Jun 06, 2010

First of all my husband and I had an excellent stay at Alka!

The location is amazing, the view is just gorgeous. You can follow all the action on the ghats from the balcony. It's located very near the burning ghat, wich you smell once in a while. So when the dirty streets of Varanasi is too much for you, it is a perfect getaway.
The kitchen was good! Very tasty food!
The staff was friendly.

55

Rating

  By Alexandra... on Jun 06, 2010

Just spent a great few days at this hotel. I highly recommended it. The tour guide was a pleasure to be with. I thoroughly enjoyed his company and knowledge and it was the highlight of my visit. I do not usually use tour guides but on this occasion it was the best decision I made. Views and staff are excellent and I slept like a log.

55

Rating

  By glaiket on Mar 03, 2010

Views, location, staff and food were delightful...... what more to say? I find that some of the negative reviews are from people who think they are at a costal resort. The Alka is in India and the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world.. it is old...India.....and breathtaking... We highly recommend the Alka as a welcoming and safe place to stay in a stunning and very dirty historic city. I have already recommended the Alka Hotel.

55

Rating

  By kathya201... on Mar 03, 2010

The last hundred metres to the hotel has to be covered on foot as it is right on the Ghats. The view over the Ganges was spectacular, you can eat your breakfast and look down at all the goings on with the pilgrims and boats or across to the flats on the other side. It was perfectly situated, roughly half way along, so you can walk to one end and back in the morning and to the other end past the burning ghats in the afternoon. Helpful staff, they arranged a pickup and drop off at the station for us. their chap was still there even though we were 2 hours late in.

55

Rating

  By traveller... on Feb 02, 2010

It's an excellent hotel with a friendly environment all around.
The staff are very helpfull.
In the month o dec on 25 they organsie a party on the eve of christmas..
Everything for dinner was freee.
We just Rocked....
Even on 31 st dec they held up a "Cultural show"...
It was mindblowing....
den a free dinner...
I just enjoyed the hotel...
I recommend it to all the Vistors to Varanasi...
It's the best.

55

Rating

  By visitorAm... on Jan 01, 2010

Hotel Alka is amazing. I traveled alone and was completely comfortable. My room had a view of the Ganges and the ghats for about $13. The staff was attentive and kind. The surrounding area was wonderful as well. There were a limited number of tourists and the locals were nothing but friendly. I spent much time on the water with the girls who sell flowers. They were adorable, friendly, and very knowledgeable. I cannot recommend this hotel highly enough.

55

Rating

  By Travel_th... on Dec 12, 2009

This hotel is hard to find hidden down tiny walkways. I recommend calling the hotel before you arrive and they will arrange a rickshaw to collect you and the driver will walk you to the hotel. when you know your way it is a 5min walk from where a rickshaw can drive to.

we had a cheap room with no AC, it was a little small but clean and comfortable. the bathroom had a nice shower with hot water. they also have more expensive AC larger rooms and cheaper rooms with shared bathrooms. the restaurant was vegetarian but still had plenty of choice.

the location was amazing and so was the view! the hotel is positioned on the edge of the ganges. You can see the river and rituals all day everyday, being raised above the river gives good views and a peaceful atmosphere. steps go down to the river a 2 minute walk to the evening events.

The staff are amazing. Extremely friendly and helpful. We were planning on staying in the hotel for 3 days but we loved it so much we stayed for 7 nights!!!! We would definatley recommend this hotel to anyone going to Varanasi

55

Rating

  By weez86 on May 05, 2009

Upon arriving at Varanasi train station we were met by a young man from the Alka who led us to a rickshaw and were dropped off as close to the hotel as we could and then led to the reception. We were greeted by a calm, friendly man who made us feel most welcome and comfortable. We had 2 nights in a Ganges view room which was lovely. Unfortunately both my partner and I got ill but were looked after by the kind staff.
I would really recommend staying here as the staff were so kind and friendly and the food was delicious.
The location is superb, the rooms clean and comfortable and good value.

55

Rating

  By VivienneK... on Feb 02, 2009

brilliant area, great staff, excellant views and brilliant value for ya rupees - we paid 500Rs a night - basic but hot water and a shower and a double bed... Mukiss and Munna were great!!

55

Rating

  By cheesynos... on Dec 12, 2008

The hotel has terraces-restaurants with beautiful views of the Ganges River and the Ghats. You can enjoy your delicious vegeterian food in peace while contemplating the beautiful views. The hotel is clean, secure, modern, some rooms with TV although you would need to pay extra to get cable signal on your TV. The staff are friendly and helpful, they even can pick you up at the airport for free of charge. This was a nice treat as Varanassi can be shock on the first impression.
In the early morning (5am), you always have people offering boat ride to experience the sunrise in Ganges and the activities of the Ghats.

The hotel has good internet services, laundry services. The price of the room are good for the quality.

55

Rating

  By One-Human... on Jan 01, 2008

Nos alojamos en este hotel , gracias a las recomendaciones de tripadvisor y la verdad es que fue increible, nos alojamos en la habitacion 134, creo que es la mejor, tiene unas vistas de varanasi el Ganges impresionantes, si no el hotel tiene una terraza con identicas vistas, nuestra habitacion tenia baño, ( habia que eran con baños comunes ) desde el mismo hotel en la terraza, bajas unos escalones y estas al rio , con sus ghats, la gente bañandose, limpiando la ropa.... a pocos metros estan los crematorios, ( lugar impresionante de ver ).
la comida es buena y tienen mucha variedad en la carta y varato.
para llegar es un poco complicado, tienes que llevar la maleta por calles que no pasan coches , miden un metro de ancho, que si hay una vaca en el suelo , que suele pasar, ya no pasas, pero esto es varanassi

55

Rating

  By OlotOsval... on Jun 06, 2011

Muy recomendable. Esta en un ghat frente al rio, con una vista hermosa. Sin el ruido de la locura de la ciudad, desde su terraza se escucha a los niños jugando en los ghats y el sonido de los pajaros. Un lugar para relajarse, con una excelente atencion y limpo. La gente del hotel, tanto en la recepcion como en el restaurant, un amor.

55

Rating

  By SabriBuen... on Feb 02, 2011

クチコミを見てガンガーを望む一番いい(高い)部屋をメールで予約して向かいました。しかし予約した部屋は空くか分からない、とのこと。結局チェックインするのに4時間ほど待ち説得し、希望の部屋に入れました。小さなバルコニーからの眺めは最高。付属レストランのターリー&チャイも美味しい。頼めばバルコニーまで食事を運んでくれます。トイレ、シャワーは清潔感はありませんが、立地と眺めには代えられません。バラナシのステイを最高のものにしてくれました。

55

Rating

  By Mamei on Oct 10, 2010

去印度前在网上搜索了很多关于varanasi的旅馆情况,看到很多驴友提到hotel alka,因为找不到能在线预定的网站所以去到下了火车早上七点直接奔到旅馆去,因为满房也早,还没人退房,老板非常耐心的跟我解释,并留了我的电话,中午的时候给我打电话通知有个单人房,房间简单干净,收了我550卢比,大概84人民币吧。旅馆就在著名的恒河边,旅馆的中庭有个大的露天茶座,来自世界各地的背包族们都坐在这里聊天,在这也很容易找到同行的旅伴。在这里提醒一下后面的旅游者,如果害怕听到祭拜音乐声的,最好不要选择河边的旅馆,因为烧尸的烟很呛鼻,祭拜的音乐声也大。考虑到安全卫生的住hotel alka还不错,因为我在旅馆看到的都是来自世界各地的背包族们,没看到印度人。

55

Rating

  By on Oct 10, 2010

This hotel is located right on the Ganges River and the ghats, with great views of each. You have to walk through a series of very small and curving alleyways to reach the hotel, and will likely need to pay someone a few rupees to lead you to the hotel, as it would be otherwise difficult to find.

I paid 1000 Rs. for a clean and satisfactory, but small, room. Luckily, I emailed ahead to reserve a room by one day because I saw them turning away some travelers who were just showing up seeking a room. All rooms are centered around a plant filled courtyard that is a nice place to relax. The hotel also has a generator to take care of the frequent power cuts. The staff are pleasant enough, but not overly friendly.

If I ever get back to Varanasi, I will certainly seek to stay here again.

45

Rating

  By velz2 on Nov 11, 2011

It's really well located - in the center of the old town, the great terrace where you take your meals overlooks the Gagnges. It's something I always dreamed of.
At the hotel you can book the guide who will show you around, take to the evening ceremony of attari, and the next day will show you some nearby attractions.
What I loved most is the fact that I booked the room with the view on the Ganges and I got one, which is not that obvious in India. And it was not the glimpse of thte river I could get when I leaned out of my window - we had a small balcony giving right out at the river. I spent there a wonderful time and even regretted I could have not stayed longer.
It's a good value at a resonable price. If you do not expect luxury accomadation but clean rooms with a great ambiance and easy acces to ghats - I can reccomend you the Alka hotel.

P.S. if there is anything I could complain about is that the guy at the reception couldn't really speak English which made our communication more difficult (but not impossible, on the other hand)

45

Rating

  By zasadnicz... on Oct 10, 2011

Wonderful view, room quiet, Gange view and staff polite, kind and helpful.
Once out of the Hotel you are in real India (at least this IMHO). From there you can easily visit Old Varanasi, aarti cerimonies, shops, restaurant.
After that, I went to Kolkata, Sikkim and Delhi but Varanasi was the best part of my tour.

45

Rating

  By GiorgioFa... on Sep 09, 2011

We enjoyed our stay in Alka very much. We stayed for 3 nights in an AC room (950 r). It was small and a bit dark and bathrom a bit claustrophobic, but clean. It the best views of the Ganges. A bit hard to find in the tiny alleyways but someone came and picked us up from the main street. The airport pickup is 600r. The restaurant is cheap with the usual travellers menu of indian, chinese and pastas. They arrange morning boattrips with fixed price for 75r/pers/1h if you share with some more people and as this is a pretty big place so there is always people to share with. Overall,a great place to stay in Varanasi and to meet other travellers!

45

Rating

  By HannaF84 on Sep 09, 2011

Great hotel, staff was very helpful and kind, the room was basic but clean. Try to book in advance because this hotel is very popular.
The restaurant is cool and the meals are very good, tough they close a little early.

The view is very nice and the price is perfect.

45

Rating

  By Michael K on Sep 09, 2011

Stayed at this hotel for 2 nights. Payed for balcony view of Ganges . Room basic but airy. Aircon and fan , tv but not many channels, bathroom ok. Central courtyard great and hotel food good. What sets this apart is the staff. Interested , polite and helpful . Stay here if you want friendly moderate priced guest house.

45

Rating

  By gus1233 on Sep 09, 2011

My fiance and I stayed here during our three weeks in India. We had arranged pickup from the airport, which was super convenient, and we had no problems finding our driver. The hotel is nestled in the confusing laneways of Varanasi, off the main roard, so it would have been a bit difficult to find if not for the driver. The hotel itself was pretty good, although rooms were slightly dirty, but we've seen much worse. The restaurant had pretty good food and the rooftop patio was a great place to hang out and just watch the river go by! Unlike others, this hotel was great for meeting other travellers and we met some great people. Staff was pretty friendly too! Would recommend staying here and would stay here again if on a tight budget.

45

Rating

  By Trvlbug31 on Aug 08, 2011

We stayed for 2 nights and had a ball. We had the Private Balcony room with A/C. Hot running water all the time. Great Views of the Ganges from our room. The Tour guide from the hotel was great. Gave us tips on what to look out for around the place and how to keep safe. The only problem is that you have to negotiate the alleys and lane ways yourself to find the hotel. Autos and rickshores can't fit in the lanes, but everyone was very helpful and pointing us in the right direction to the hotel. The power would go out from time to time but that's India for you.

45

Rating

  By moonhoppe... on Aug 08, 2011

We stayed there 2 night in November 2010 and it was perfect choice. We booked room with balcony and Ganges view. Room was big and clean.Bathroom was quite old and required renovation but it was OK as for local standard. We had few lizards in our room but there is plenty of them in the neighbourhood and they are not dangerous so it was not the problem. We paid about 800 Rupees and I think that it was one of the best standard/price relations that we had in India. There is really nice restaurant with Ganges View (so in fact you do not have to book room with Ganges view) and few steps down you are at Ganges bank. Service was very good, they organized rickshaw to train station for us and were very helpful. The guy at the reception even gave us money back as we paid him too much by accident!

45

Rating

  By aga27 on Jul 07, 2011

I recently came back from a holiday at Varanasi. My stay at Alka Hotel was a bit heavy on the pocket but the place was clean comparing indian standards. It is a good hotel to check in for a weekend or so. The place is clean and the location is just where i wanted it to be... on Meer Ghat on the banks of the River Ganga. With a splendid view of the sunrise and sunset, it also offers a clear view of the Ganga Aarti at Dashwmedha Ghat. A 2 mins walk from Vishwanath Temple and a 5 mins walk to the nearest market place, Godoulia, the hotel is situated not far from the many local siteseeing places one can visit. Though the food was not up to the mark but the coordial staff, management, a beautilful lawn and a small cyber cafe made up for it. Yet it may be Costly for many of the middle-class Indian families who go to spend a week or so...

45

Rating

  By Aditya005 on Jun 06, 2011

The hotel is cheap in a good location with good views to the river Ganges. It's pretty clean (for indian standards) and have a nice restaurant, internet and phone facilities and a lovely terrace. I enjoyed my stay there.

45

Rating

  By NeSSi007 on Jun 06, 2011

We were three sisters and our husbands from South Africa on a trip to India. In Varanasi we chose the Alka Hotel for its position on the ghats and Ganges. We were prepared but still a bit nervous knowing it was a seriously BUDGET hotel used a lot by backpackers who aren't too bothered where they doss down, so we specified the Royal Rooms. What a gem! It turned out to be our HAVEN. The more upmarket hotels are on the outskirts of town, far removed from the essence of Varanasi - we wanted to be IN Varanasi, On the ghats, and that we surely were - right on Meer Ghat, between Manikarnika and Dassaswamaedh, the most famous ghats of all. Our ensuite rooms were quite basic but big, with huge spotlessly clean wonderful showers, excellent air-con, and views over the Ganges and along the ghats. The maze of alleys behind the ghats are a quagmire of excrement - both human and animal. These alleys are thronged with touts that harass and beseige you, especially if you are a foreigner. My one sister and I with our blond hair stood out like beacons so got the worst of it - thank God for the Alka Hotel - the sanctuary to which we fled! From here we were able to observe the goings on on the ghats, attend an unmissable Aarti ceremony, visit the cremation ghat, go for a boatride on the Ganges and all in all marvel at the sights and sounds of this extraordinary city.. No vehicle can get to the Alka - not a tuk-tuk, not a rickshaw - the alleys are too narrow (filled with touts, the odd cow and other obstacles!) Porters are available to carry your luggage (on their heads) and you follow behind single file (minding where you step!). My sister said she felt like David Livingstone! The Alka reception is almost non existent - very basic, very budget. But there is a marvellous level out-door terrace - overlooking the river. Part of it is covered and there are also fans. A waiter by the name of Raj rules this terrace - he works from 7am - 10.30 pm and always has a smile on his face - cheerful, efficient, helpful - please tip him well! it was one of the few places we found that offered Western food - snackwiches were a speciality and delicious freshly squeezed fruit juices. Toast, too, but no eggs - strictly vegetarian. The food is very very cheap!
GOOD NEWS - there were men scraping the walls getting ready to paint the Alka Hotel! When done it will stand out like a lighthouse in a sea of decay. The decrepid grand palaces and buildings that rise up from the ghats retain(very faint) echoes of their former glory and more good news is that Clarke's Hotel Group have bought one of these landmark palaces.

45

Rating

  By JoySmith on Jun 06, 2011

After searching many hotels in Varanasi, I just zeroed in to Hotel Alka and believe me, I am absolutely satisfied my choice i damn good. I stayed with my family for 2 nights ( 21 - 22 May 2011) in a spacious ganges facing , pvt balcony , double bed AC room (Room No 112). The cleanliness is good, service is excellant (as the hotel is having its own restaurent), location tooo good. The hotel is in Meer Ghat and its a 5 min walking distance to the famous Kashi Vishwanath Temple. Take the services of the hotel staff if you want to visit the temple and also if you want a boat ride. (Rs 45 per person, no charges for the children) otherwise you may have to shell 400-500 rupees. I recommend that you should have a try at their restaurent also, the food quality is good but allow them a few minutes to prepare. In all, my overall experience is pretty good.

45

Rating

  By scooffy on May 05, 2011

I stayed at the Hotel Alka for 3 nights in November 2010. It has a great location right on the river. We stayed in an "Alka Royal Room". Despite the name, the room itself was fairly basic, but comfortable. The best feature was a little balcony with a great view overlooking the ghats and the river. Perfect for watching the boats along the river at sunrise. If you don't have a room with a balcony, there are still great views from the rooftop area where they serve the meals. The food at the hotel restaurant was okay, but not outstanding.

45

Rating

  By garryoak on May 05, 2011

this place is no palace. But anyways, you wont find a palace near the ghats.
It has the best location and view from terrace. The restaurant is alright, we ate there a lot. They also serve cold beer.the service takes forever but there are very nice and friendly.
The manager is very nice, takes good care of clients and always great you by your name. A woman came in, she wasn't feeling well ( didn't like Varanasi) they took great care of her, arrange ( free) tour for her w one of the staff...
If you are looking for a fancy 5 stars, avoid. But they have a range of rooms that varry a lot. From simple, shared bathroom to big, comfy, balcony , ac, rooms. The prices are very fare.

I would go back there if i go back to Varanasi. And we met very nice ppl, from everywhere.

45

Rating

  By karine314... on May 05, 2011

Good budget option with an excellent view of the Ganges... the hotel is riverside and the back patio overlooks the river and you can get some great sunrises there. Access to the ghats is right around the corner (2 minute walk) and staff is pretty good. Getting to the hotel can be an issue as taxi's/tuk tuks cannot make it there (streets too narrow, built pre-automotive) and the winding alleys can get confusing. The taxi that dropped us off ended up arranging for porters to carry some of our bags in the heat as well as lead the way because trying to find the place in the Indian sun carrying a bunch of bags would not have been fun..... at all.

Pros:
EXCELLENT location
Good pricing (depending on option you select)
Staff helpful (helped book train tix to Delhi)
Internet on site

Cons:
Food not that great
Local "flycatchers" outside hotel doors trying to sell you trips and boat rides just about every time you step outside

45

Rating

  By gred78 on Apr 04, 2011

Great location, you may want to pay to have suitcase lugged in and out (or backpack), your about 15 minutes from nearest auto or Tuk Tuk through an extremely, crowded at times, main street and then a maze of safe alleyways. Hotel has patio overlooking Ganges, food is OK, quiet and relaxing, rooms are minimal but sound , bathroom unique to say the least. don't come here to spend much time indoors but to enjoy the center of Indian culture in the center of the old city , great walks everywhere.

45

Rating

  By sidelineb... on Apr 04, 2011

We stayed 3 nights at Alka, and definitely enjoyed our time there. We stayed in a budget room (550Rs) at the bottom of the hotel. It was small, and didn’t have the best noise proofing, but the room was clean, cool and mosquito free. The bed was comfortable, so we slept well. The bathroom facilities were clean, everything worked and the shower was fine).

The location is excellent, but its tough to find, especially if you arrive at night, as rickshaws cant get near, and unless you use the prepaid booth at the train station, they'll probably try and take you elsewhere anyway. We found that walking to the Dasaswamedh Ghat (via Dasaswamedh Ghat Rd) and then walking north along the ghats themselves to be a good way to find the hotel without getting lost in the narrow lanes. (Probably wont work in the monsoon season though!).

Food at the restaurant was pretty good, and there’s a wide selection (although its all vegetarian & egg free) of items on the menu. There’s a nice view straight across the Ganges from the outside dining area, and a nearby balcony (and a handful of rooms) has excellent views all along the ghats to the north and south. We noticed there were a couple of tables on this balcony, but we couldn’t tell if they were reserved for certain rooms or not. Service was pretty good throughout our stay. The hotel has internet and laundry.

The hotel can arrange 1 hour dawn river boat trips, and all day tours of several Varanasi temples and nearby Sarnath, courtesy of the very friendly and professional Munna. We really enjoyed the tour, and learnt so much about Varanasi. But be aware and prepared however that the whole day trip does involve a couple of (perhaps inevitable in Varanasi) silk shop stops.

45

Rating

  By katyandma... on Mar 03, 2011

My husband and I stayed here for 5 nights during Diwali, which was wild. We had to move rooms 3 times, due to the availability of private rooms during this time. We had booked ahead, so we had rooms, but they were not all the same type, and therefore we had to move. The room-cleaning process was not efficient, leading to us having to wait with our bags each time we had to move. For our first 2 nights, we stayed in a private room for RS750/night, which had a TV and private bath. It was quite nice. The following night, we stayed in a tiny box of a room with shared bathrooms (disgusting showers and squat toilets). Thankfully, for our 4th and 5th nights, they moved us back to a room with a private bathroom. These rooms on the upper floors were much nicer. The hotel has a vegetarian restaurant overlooking the Ganges. The service was almost always slow and the waiters are very inattentive (unless you are a single woman). Overall, I enjoyed the stay here -- although if you visit during Diwali, beware of the fireworks and firecrackers shooting everywhere (including straight into the hotel buildings).

45

Rating

  By DrifterTr... on Mar 03, 2011

We went to the Alka Hotel but it was full. So they showed us the Teerth Guesthouse, not far from the Alka. It's a sister company.
Very nice! Very clean and spacious rooms. And the staff is very friendly and family like.
After one day, they knew our names!
You can easily go to the Alka for lunch or diner. But we really recommend you to stay in the Teerth guesthouse. Because it's quiet and clean.
One thing: If you have a room on the top floor, don't leave anything outside, because the monkeys will take it!

45

Rating

  By Jossie78 on Mar 03, 2011

the location is just superb, two steps away from the ganges. the view is amazing.
we liked the room, large and clean. the shower is just average, but we could take a nice hot bath, since it dont take too long.
nice restaurant with really good food. the breakfast is not included but the price is ok.
the way to the hotel is a litlle trick, cause the cars can't entered the narrow roads, so we walked about 10 minutes, running across dirt, cows and curious locals. nothing to be scary, but do this during the day, please. I saw nobody on the streets by night. the old town sleeps early.
its a hotel backpacker stile, but is a really good deal. we felt very safe there.

45

Rating

  By alferreir... on Feb 02, 2011

Had a front room with a balcony. Room was better than l expected for the price. Location is excellent overlooking the Ganges. All the festivals happen straight in front of you. Out the back you have all the little laneways with the market shops. Included breakfast was good. Just choose off the menu. Cafe position is excellent again overlooking the river. Had a little trouble with a waiter there. After dinner he did not come back with the change from payment. When asked for it he was very annoyed. We would have given tip, but needs to be our choice. He did not want to serve us after this which was a problem as he was sometimes the only person on duty. Was convenient to have dinner there each night. No problem with other staff. Handy to have ear plugs at night as you are over the gnats was a time when children were letting off fireworks all night and early festivals in the morning could wake you. You do need to walk a distance with your luggage as not accessible by car. For the price l thought it was very good value.

45

Rating

  By Travellin... on Jan 01, 2011

My friend and I stayed at the Alka for 6 nights over Diwali. Our room (double, w/ bath, no AC) was clean and comfortable. The food at the restaurant was really tasty if a little slow to arrive. The staff were helpful but serious. Although once we had been there a few nights they warmed up. Having the travel agent was also helpful and we booked both train and plane tickets through him
We booked ahead and they sent an airport pickup and 2 guides to help us get find our way to the hotel. There was also a young guide named Sunil who hangs out the front and helped us find our way through the backstreets for the first day, with no pressure to take us anywhere.

I would highly recommend the Alka to anyone wanting to stay somewhere inexpensive and central. What it lacks in 'vibe' it makes up for in all round decent service and food.

45

Rating

  By Wondering... on Nov 11, 2010

Firstly getting to the hotel is a major pain. It is surely much easier to find this hotel from the boat. I had absolutely no expectations from the place except a place to crash. But I was pleasantly surprised. It has the most wonderful view of the Ganges, very good food, decent rooms and an excellent verandah.

Positives -
Wonderful view
Excellent food - customized it to the tee for me (Pure veg)
Munna, the in-house guide was most helpful and generous
Amazing value for money
Has internet facility which was unexpected

Negatives -
Rooms will be a tad small for double occupancy
Can be cleaner
Food service takes time


Oh yes, you cannot drive to this hotel as it is in the ghats

45

Rating

  By Vinod24 on Oct 10, 2010

Great hotel, nice restaurant. Staff were lovely and professional. Tax was included in the price, which is always good. I chose a cheaper room, 550ruppe, no A/C and found that it was fine for one person, but may have been a little cramped for more than one..

The location is pretty good too, however, during september, the water is so high, that you have to walk to it via the tiny windy streets of varanasi. The Taxi driver will drop you at the top of the main Ghat, and it's about a 10minute walk. My taxi driver let me off there, and I was met by his "Friend", who wanted to "help" me find my way, I wouldn't have found it otherwise, however, his "friend" did put enourmous pressure on me to visit his shop and purchase several scarves. I would try to arrange an airport or train station pick up during this season. When the water is lower, it's easier to find as you can walk along the ghats, and you'll see it.
Highly recommended.

45

Rating

  By goldeen84 on Sep 09, 2010

Stayed here for 3 days. We are regular visitors to India but we were very impressed by the cleanliness and efficient staff who catered to all our needs. We felt safe and well looked after. We cannot thank our guide enough. He was kind and efficient and honest. We definitely recommend Mukesh (a.k.a. Munna) to anyone visiting Varanasi in need of a guide. He can be contacted at Hotel Alka itself.

45

Rating

  By rams7 on Apr 04, 2010

Stayed next door but spent most nights here after meeting some people staying there.Looked very clean and the food was great.Make sure you talk to Munna and get him to take you on a tour.He went above and beyond for us and even showed us some things in his own time.

45

Rating

  By tiz71 on Mar 03, 2010

Another popular hotel by loney planet we stayed in india. The location is good, but in the middle of the old town of varanasi, which is the dirtiest town I ever been in my life.... but it's nothing to do with the hotel.
The rate is fare, we also join the local tour by the hotel, which is also good experience, that we travel for a day with a friendly tour guild, and another couple from Canada.
The restaurant is good, much much better than the restaurant in the hotel next door.
and we end up had 3 meals in the hotel during a 30 hrs stay in Varanasi.

45

Rating

  By ecnfung on Mar 03, 2010

This hotel's best feature was its location. Make sure you get someone to meet you at the airport or station though, as taxi's can't get all the way to the hotel, and its helpful to have someone to guide you through the maze of alleyways that lead from the road. The views over the Ganges are amazing. The standard room was very basic, and the bathroom was average. We used our sleeping bags rather than the blankets on the bed. We didn't eat the food at the hotel, but heard it was average. Hotel staff were helpful in arranging a river cruise for a decent price and a taxi to the airport. Hotel was busy and had a great vibe. Deluxe rooms would probably be better, but standard was perfectly livable.

45

Rating

  By SarahR8 on Jan 01, 2010

We stayed seven nights. We made our reservation by phone. The hotel offered the option of pick up from the train station for a fee. It was convenient for us given the location of the hotel right on Meer Ghat in the old city. (Our train was several hours late but Mr Bappu waited on the platform for our arrival). The Hotel Alka is in a great location on the river central to the main ghat and the old city, and there are good views from the terrace. Our room was comfortable enough and overall value for money. Mr Rajesh at the front desk was very helpful for all requests eg extending our stay, assisting with sharing a taxi to the airport, and the staff were genuinely interactive. The restaurant is pretty busy and pretty good eg the veg thali. Enjoyed our stay.

45

Rating

  By geesee on Oct 10, 2009

The best place to stay on the waterfront in Varanasi if you are a backpacker. A breath of fresh air walking into the lobby off the streets. Very open and clean atmosphere, with pleasant and attentive staff. The courtyard layout makes it quite relaxing. They arranged pick-up from the train station and a taxi to take us to our next destination. You have to walk from the main road to the hotel, which takes about 15 mins. Our taxi driver was very pleasant and walked with us to show us the way, and would not accept a tip for it.

The reception is very well organised and they have internet access in a side room. They also arranged for us to go out in a boat on the Ganjes first thing in the morning, at a good price with no extra for commission (a group boat with other guests at the hotel).

The rooms are clean and plainly decorated in a pleasant way. There was plenty of hot water all the time! The views from the “view” rooms are great. You can watch the sun come up and see everything going on. You can even see over to the main ghat with the “show” every night. If you don’t want to pay for a view, you can easily sit at the restaurant and look out, since those views are still ok.

The food consistently came too fast for it to have been entirely cooked to order. However, it was tasty and plentiful, and none of us got ill. There was a good range of dishes (including some unique specials). A perfectly acceptable place to eat if you need, especially since it is advisable to be off the streets early, and you may not want to be walking long distances back from restaurants after dark.

The hotel is situated right in the middle of all the action. You can walk for about 5 minutes north to the burning ghat, or about 30 mins south along all the others. There is a very small Nepalese temple nearby with “erotic” carvings.

All in all (after having gone in/eaten at all the other hotels nearby), I believe this is the best all-round (backpaker style) hotel on the waterfront in Varanasi, and I would definitely stay there again.

45

Rating

  By Jusef87 on Jun 06, 2009

hotel alka's just fine. My room was nothing special -- but there are much nicer rooms. the towels looked dirty, and the blanket definitely was. and I didn't always have hot water. but the staff was really nice and accommodating -- gave me new towels and a brand new blanket with no fuss. and they were able to fix the water situation usually -- if not, they brought a hot bucket of water. the location is excellent. and the balcony restaurant overlooking the ganges is a pleasant place to chill out, even if the food is nothing to write home about. if i couldn't get in at the ganges view guesthouse, (which is lovely), I'd stay at alka again.

45

Rating

  By kasanyc on Apr 04, 2009

The main attraction to this hotel is the location - it is the best place to stay in Varanasi - it has the most amazing view of the Ganga and if you want to be up in the early hours of the morning to see the action, this place is perfect.

The rooms are adequate and typical of Indian hostels and guest houses. The issue we had at Hotel Alka was when we arrived to check in (we had made a booking two months in advance), we could not have our room as a 'guest was sick' and a more expensive room was the only room left. Two other guests also encountered this problem - the trick with staff here is to ask for the Manager - you may have to wait a few hours till he comes; but then insist on your room, or another one at the same price - and bargain hard.

Other than this slight issue at the start, we enjoyed our stay, the staff were nice, although not overly helpful, but it still is the best location and I would stay again for that reason alone.

45

Rating

  By kiwimissy on Mar 03, 2009

After the horrors of the last mile walk to the river with our heavy luggage, the Alka was worth it!!

Mediocre rooms but great location, and many hours spent on the terace eating and drinking and just loking down at the river and the ghat below.

45

Rating

  By MikeandJe... on Mar 03, 2009

I came through the hotel from reviews written by travel books reporters..
We were running out of options and I needed to book for six people including myself.

For a hostel, Hotel Alka is quite decent. Looking at other hostels in India especially Varanasi city.
The hotel is clean, friendly staff always offering a hand with a smile, and stainless sheets. What more can you ask for?

Their rooms are quite spacious and CLEAN. Even the shared bathrooms are well taken care of.

Internet access is really good, and they do laundry as well.

The place has a courtyard which gives the rooms some air, unlike other hostels around the block where the rooms are clustered either on top of eachother or next to one another.

Its on Assi ghat, which is a good gorgeous 10 minutes walk from the main ghat where they preform the dawn and dusk prayers, which is a must see event.
Its close to Vishwanath temple and the market around it, a great tour, i was emotionally touched by the experience of wandering around aimlessly..

Not sure about the restaurant though, hot drinks and light breakfasts is all what I've ordered.

P.S Better stick with veggie food esp in Varanasi city.

45

Rating

  By Ahmad123 on Nov 11, 2008

Hotel Alka is one of the more airy and friendly guesthouses by the Ganges.
I have seen a couple of other guesthouse along the same area and I still preferred Alka much more.
Firstly, unlike other hotels, the rooms are located around the wide courtyard. So if you are staying on the 1st floor, open the door and you are in the big courtyard/dining area. If you are staying on the upper floors, you can open the door and look down to see the courtyard. This may not be much to many people, but you may appreciate it much better if you compare that to opening the door to dark and narrow corridors in other guesthouses.
Secondly, the rooms are clean. Yes, they are.
The downside is the rooms get VERY hot in the day. Remember the courtyard? The sun shines at the room at different times of the day depending on where your room is facing.
Also, the views from the courtyard of the ghats are not as good as those compared to Puja Guesthouse a few blocks away. And the restaurant serves only vegetarian food. Not even my fave fried eggs.
Overall, I enjoyed the hotel VERY much. Great location, staff are alright, they don't try to sell you any extras.

45

Rating

  By Alvin_Liu on Sep 09, 2008

I read some of the reviews here with amazement. This is India. Varanasi is a cluttered, Indian city, the old part by the Ghats is dirty and the hotel is found down a maze of small alleys. That's the way it is.

The Alka is a clean basic hotel with budget rooms and some excellent superior rooms on the top floor with views of the Ganges.

The restaurant is adequate although the best restaurant we found was the Lotus Lounge about 10/15 minutes walk along the Ghats. The nearby German Bakery did a good breakfast (but slow service).

All in all the Alka is about as good as you will get budget accommodation. If you want luxury go to an upmarket hotel. If you don't like smells, hassle or touts; then I suggest you avoid India.

Highly recommended

45

Rating

  By henchard on Feb 02, 2008

You must remember this is India - and Varanasi is a very special place in peoples Hearts - they worship the river Ganga , the hotel rooms were basic but clean and we had fun chasing the funny monkeys away - the Hotel food was fast and scrummy - the staff were very helpful with our 2 kids 11 & 13 - They picked us up at the airport and replied to our emails to confirm our arrival .

45

Rating

  By rhiwbina on Feb 02, 2008

Great location... Great View... right inbetween the Main Ghat and Burning Ghat.

But please remember this is a "budget hotel"... you will not find 5-star on this part of the Ganges. But for young travelers and those young at heart this is an ideal place for Varanasi...

45

Rating

  By RiceAgain on Jan 01, 2008

Convenient, clean and cheap! Very basic , but very inexpensive rooms, on the banks of the Ganges, in the heart of the old city.

The hotel balconies have amazing views overlooking the ghats of the Ganges river. A few minutes walk to the burning ghats.

Finding the hotel can be a challenge in the twisting alleys of old town. Look for directions painted on the sides of buildings or ask any local.

We got suckered by a cab driver who didn't want to drive all the way into old town. Not true, they can get all the way to the alley entry, and then it is just a short walk to the hotel.

45

Rating

  By garhuff on Apr 04, 2007

予約をせずにふらっと行くと、込み合ってはいましたが何とか泊まることができました。事前に予約をしたほうがよいと思います。とても人気らしく、さまざまな国から幅広い年齢層の方々が滞在していました。その理由はやはりガンガーの眺めを一望できることに尽きるのでしょう。それほどまでにすばらしい体験になるだろうと思います。

45

Rating

  By ssyaak on Nov 11, 2011

hotel situato nel meer ghat. un pò caro (molto di + di ciò che dice la lonely planet visto che la stanza + economica senza bagno e ac costa 500 rupie). ma camera pulitissima così come abbastanza puliti i bagni in comune(un po' scomodi perchè solo al piano terra). ristorante decente e soprattutto vista inimitabile su varanasi.

45

Rating

  By Bizio83 on Sep 09, 2011

L'albergo in sè è abbastanza sporco e vecchiotto, ma tra quelli di fascia economica è probabilmente il più vicino al concetto occidentale di albergo "accettabile". La posizione è invidiabile, direttamente sui ghat più rinomati nel budello di Varanasi. Ci sono camere decisamente anguste e senza servizi in camera a 350R e camere più ampie, attrezzate addirittura con vista Gange a 2000R a notte. La clientela è al 95% composta da turisti bianchi. Nota di pregio è il cortiletto interno, brutto esteticamente, ma gradevole oasi di pace che protegge dal caos della zona.

45

Rating

  By karibunib... on Apr 04, 2011

如果你不是很大胆的话,其实或者可以尝试先在这里安顿一下远距离看着烧尸的仪式什么的。但是如果真的为了欣赏恒河景致的话,我还是绝对Scindhia Guest House的景色好一点点。个人感觉。

45

Rating

  By on Apr 04, 2011

酒店还算是干净的,就在恒河边,从露台上看恒河相当的漂亮。
吃的东西中规中矩,价格也中规中矩。懒得出门的话,在里面吃挺好。

比较安静吧,在瓦拉纳西,还是住在靠河比较好。其他地方吵闹的不行了。
还就是回alka站在露台上,才得到片刻安宁。

附一张从露台看出去的照片

45

Rating

  By on Mar 03, 2011

Nous sommes restés 3 nuits dans cet hotel trouvé dans l urgence après avoir passé notre première nuit a Varanasi dans une jaule insalubre...
L hotel est propre, très bien situé .
A recommander!

45

Rating

  By sab83990 on Sep 09, 2010

El hotel Alka se resume muy fácil: un hotel regular tirando a malo en un lugar increible. Si eres amante de Varanasi es el mejor lugar, si eres de los que no te gusta esta ciudad, el peor. Nosotros estamos en los primeros y Alka nos pareció la mejor opción: en mitad de los ghats, encima del Ganges y viviendo el ambiente de esta ciudad a cada instante. Por supuesto que el precio no se agusta a los servicios, pero sí, repito, a su ubicación. La gente del hotel es muy amable, así como los del restaurante. Tienen unos cuantos chicos que te ayudan a salir y entrar en la ciudad (completamente necesario) y el ambiente de ghest house que hay en él es magnifico. Su terraza espectacular. Si podeís, reservar la habitación 134, la mejor del hotel, con unas vistas espectaculares para tí sólo.

45

Rating

  By Chero78 on Aug 08, 2010

La verdad lo que tiene este hotel son las vistas y la localización.Vale 15 eur la noche, mas seria demasiado caro para lo que es.Las habitaciones son simples , limpias a su manera , son cutres pero no está mal para pasar un par de días en el corazón de Ganges. Restaurante está bien , el servicio un poco lento , es lo que tiene India en general. Tiene internet a un precio razonable.

45

Rating

  By Thecowaro... on Aug 08, 2010

Juste parfait pour finir le voyage ! après un long périple, nous terminé notre voyage par varanasi et n'avons pas regretté de choisir l'alka. pour 400INR nous avions une chambre avec un petit balcon, sans prétention mais propre et sympa pour ce que nous y faisions, car le plus de cet endroit est l'immense terrasse du restaurant (très bonne cuisine, il y en a pour tous les goûts, et super petits dejs!) que surplombe l'hôtel, avec une vue incroyable sur le gange, et un accès direct sur le ghat d'un côté, et la vieille ville de l'autre. impeccable pour ce poser en amoureux, et le staff très chaleureux et super serviable ! on y retournera

45

Rating

  By fleuh on Apr 04, 2010

Certo se cercate un Hotel come ce ne sono tanti di bellissimi in India nn è questo quello che cercate, qui però si respira realmente l'aria dell'avventura in India del caos
Camere spartane vista bellissima ma io avevo una stanza col balcone assediato dalle scimmie, x me bellissimo ma capisco anche chi scappa in un altro hotel
[email protected]

45

Rating

  By lucacuba on Jul 07, 2009

Hôtel de bon rapport surtout à Varanasi.
Bonne situation, calme, bon accueil, et cuisine du restaurant OK.
On s'y est bien plu, on y serait même bien resté plus longtemps.
Personnel venu nous chercher à la gare de Varanasi, super sympa.
Rien à redire.
Chambres de toutes gammes et de tous prix, au choix de chacun donc. Les plus chères à 1500 roupees et vues sur le Gange avec balcon. Sympa.

45

Rating

  By mygalia on Apr 04, 2009

ホテルは白を基調とした作りで、中庭にあるレストランからはガンジス川が望める。ホテルの食事は安くてとてもおいしかった。部屋は狭くはない。シャワーは温水で、お湯の出も問題なし。ホテル内のインターネットは頻繁に停電の影響を受けるので注意が必要である。

45

Rating

  By tuna998 on Mar 03, 2009

5年振りに再び泊まってきました。
ロンリープラネットで絶賛されているのか、様々な国の若者~年輩の方が宿泊していました。
事前の予約は必須です。というほどに人気があります。
予約をすれば、空港や駅まで迎えが来てくれます。

共同トイレ・シャワーの安い部屋から、バルコニー付きの立派な料金の部屋まで多様です。
どの部屋もきれいに掃除され、シーツ・枕カバー、バスタオルまで安心して使えます。

テラスでは食事ができ、メニューも豊富。
ビールもジュースも冷えているので、まずは乾杯!
安くて美味しいので、わざわざ他のお店を探しに出る気がなくなります。
ガートの真横で直接階段から上がることもできるので(スゴク急なのでつらいですが)
ガンガー沿いから探せばわかりやすいです。

2008年~2009年の年越しはこの宿だったのですが、宿泊客は参加費無料の年越しパーティが
開催され、ドリンク(ビールも)飲み放題、食事・ケーキあり歌や踊りの鑑賞、最後に花火で
ニューイヤーを祝いました。
人気を維持するための経営努力なのでしょうか。感服しました。

夜間はゲートに鍵が掛かるので安心です。
早朝ボートに乗りに行く際などには、寝ているスタッフを起こして明けてもらうことになるので
忍びないのですが。

安く、でも安全に清潔なところに泊まりたいという方には是非お薦めしたい宿です。
 
公式ホームページもありますので、参照されるとよいと思います。
 

45

Rating

  By 33chan on Feb 02, 2009

My wife and I recently stayed at Hotel Alka for 3 nights. We chose Alka because of the many good reports on Trip Advisor, and its location right on the Ganges.
When we arrived at Varanasi airport we were met by their driver and we appreciated him waiting an extra hour for us as we had been delayed due to slow baggage coming off the aircraft.
We were driven most of the way to the hotel in a Suzuki van for 650 rupees. We stopped about 10 minutes from Alka and had to walk the rest of the way through winding lanes accompanied by 2 bag carriers the hotel had sent to meet us and " a hanger on ". This parasite turned out to be a tout who really wanted to be our guide and wouldnt take no for an answer. He followed us all the way to the hotel basically demanding we go with him for a tour of Varanasi. He was most unpleasant and got quite aggro when I told him in no uncertain terms to " go away ". Days later he would still bother us each time we left the hotel. Anyway.. after arriving at the hotel reception we were greeted by an efficient english speaking staff member who signed us in and showed us to our rooms on the top floor. We had pre-booked a room with a balcony , air con / fan and bathroom for 1700 rupee a night ( room 133 from memory ). Overall the room was clean, tidy and spacious , a small tv , queensized bed , useful bathroom with shower and washbasin. The only drawback , and I found it quite strange , was that they didnt supply you with bathroom towels!
The view from the balcony was outstanding and worth paying the extra dollars for. You can see for miles in both directions. The hotel has a restaurant but we only ate their once..the food nextdoor was much better...dont remember the name but you cant miss the place. Down on the ghat itself you can grab a boat and go for an early morning or evening row..there is a young boy there who makes himself known to everyone, his name is Deesu, a very good operator..go with him he will show you the sights for a bargain price.
Overall Hotel Alka was ok...its right in the middle of the action. There is always something going on around you ..even at 2 and 3 in the morning. Music , prayers , holy men on microphones, so sleep can be a problem. Earplugs are useful. We found the staff there helpful in their own way and generally pleasant.
If you travel to Varanasi , and Varanasi's not for the fainthearted, I can recommend Hotel Alka for a couple of nights stay.
Hotel ph number 91-542-2401681
[email protected]
[email protected]

45

Rating

  By jono2 on Nov 11, 2011

I have just stayed 2 nights at Hotel Alka and I’m only giving this hotel an average rating.

The positives of the hotel are:
1. The location right on the Ganges (Meer Ghat) with excellent views
2. Generous servings, good quality and reasonably priced menu in the restaurant
3. Generally helpful staff
4. Spacious room (albeit pokey bathroom) hot water 24/7
5. Availability of tours (reasonably priced) around Varanasi such as a walking tour, boat trip, etc.
6. Great sunrise boat trip

The negatives of the hotel are:
1. No wi-fi, there were only 3 computers available for use, and staff were often using it themselves

2. I had booked a room more than a month earlier and when I arrived, I found that they had mistakenly given the room to someone else. They offered to give me a cheaper room for one night and then moving to the room I asked for. I had to put up a bit of a fight to get what I had requested. After a long day of travel and with only 2 days in Varansi, who wants to be moving rooms halfway through the stay!?!

3. Airport pick up and drop off were available at a reasonable price, and is almost mandatory if you want to avoid negotiating your way through the warren of the old town with your luggage (vehicles can only go so far, and then you have to walk the rest of the way to the hotel).

When we got near the hotel, the driver failed to identify the actual porter properly to me. There appeared to be 2 men from the hotel standing by the side of the road waiting for me. One (the actual porter) took my bag without greeting me and went off, and I was left walking with someone who seemed to know exactly that I was arriving, which hotel I was staying at, and it wasn’t until I was near the hotel that I started to become suspicious that he was, indeed, some kind of tourist tout. My only conclusion is that he must have had inside information from someone working in the hotel of my arrival.

On the return trip to the airport, the same driver (who is an employee of the hotel) actually asked for a tip and appeared upset that I didn’t give him one.

4. At the end of my stay, the porter (a different one) who carried by bag to the car asked for ‘a good tip’. I had fully intended to give him one (it’s a good 5-10minute walk with a 17kg bag on his head), but I find it quite offensive to be asked for tips by hotel employees. This is part of the airport transfer service provided by the hotel (which I paid for) and there should not be a demand for tips by employees.

5. I stayed solo in the "super deluxe" room on the ground floor– top dollar for a/c, and balcony with view of the Ganges, which, in theory, I got. However, the room that I got had a balcony so small that you could barely move in. For one person to sit and have breakfast on the balcony was ok. 2 would be a bit of a tight squeeze.

6. I did a guided walking tour in the old town with the hotel guide which was at a reasonable price – I had the opportunity to visit a local hostel (for local pilgrims to Varansi) which was great and I got pretty good explanations of culture, religious practices, etc. from the guide.

Another big plus was not getting hassled by other touts whilst walking.

However, I’ve chosen to list the tour as a negative because:
a. It was advertised as a 2.5 to 3 hour trip, but ended up being a 2 hour trip – consisting of 1.5 hour walking (ok, I’ll give them the fact that it was just me solo so perhaps we moved a bit faster) and 30 minutes of being forced to sit in someone’s shop having goods (especially silk) shoved in front of my face.
b. Personally I have no interest in silk (or any kind of) shopping, and had agreed to see some items on the understanding that I was NOT buying anything (I was being polite as he had already offered us tea). However, agreement or not, the man got quite aggressive about how the cost of the items should be ‘nothing’ to me, and when I refused to buy them, said that even a rickshaw driver would sooner buy a piece than me. (Turns out the silk man is a good friend of the hotel owner)
c. I managed to escape unscathed, only to be brought to another shop seemingly on the pretext of showing me a picture of Shiva (with the Ganges coming out of his head). Again, I was asked to sit, then tea was brought, then wares such as beads and teas and spices were paraded before me. (I did cave and buy some marsala but that was because I was looking for it anyway)

A lot of emphasis was placed on the fact that they would only bring us to legitimate shops selling quality items, etc. I am sure all of that is true, however, until then, I did not realise it was a shopping tour rather than a sightseeing tour!


I got constant reminders from the hotel staff to be wary of touts on the street, which I really appreciated, but to be honest, and this IS just my own opinion, I did get the feeling that the hotel, in a manner of speaking, was also very much doing their own fair share of touting! This was the bit I did not really appreciate.

35

Rating

  By Beavisont... on Nov 11, 2011

I stayed at the Alka because it provides a big spacious courtyard in a very cramped city. Having the space to sit on a balcony and watch the Ganges go by is really the experience you want to have in a city like Varanassi. Unfortunately the bathroom in my room was filthy. I don't understand how you could not give it even the most minor clean. That said, I would still recommend people on a budget stay there purely for the view from the balcony. It's very sociable courtyard and the restaurant staff are very friendly. The shared bathrooms are very clean so I would recommend just getting a room with a shared bathroom instead of getting one of the dirty ones in your room.

35

Rating

  By Jem T on Aug 08, 2011

this is good hotel for the average travellers who dont want to waste money unnecessarily , it is nice and clean, with rooms having the view on Ganges river.located near to ghats , so if u are here to see ganga then this is good option

35

Rating

  By danavmana... on Jun 06, 2011

I recently spent two nights in this hotel. We did so because it was recommended by the Lonely Planet. When we arrived to the hotel, we ask to see the rooms and the prices for them: the standard with A/C and no views was at Rs850 (Rs 800 after) and the "suite" with a little balcony at Rs 1850. After having spent 10 days in India and slept in hotels at the same price range but of higher quality we felt it a bit expensive. Moreover, the staff wasn't friendly at all so we decided to check some other hotels around. We checked two more and weren't convinced anyway. As it was getting dark and we were tired we came back to Alka and paid for the two nights. The results were as expected: you are in the middle of everything which is great but the rest was awful.
Hope this helps someone!!
PS. I almost forgot about this!! when we switched on the tv there was a text on the screen which said that the hotel staff kidnapped children and that someone had seeing that on a date...probably a joke but of a very bad taste...!

35

Rating

  By Tonetitu on Jun 06, 2011

I've made a booking this hotel via online and had comfirmation detail all in my email. After i reach vanarasi, the management had tol me their hotel is full and my name is not in the list! Its make me mad and spoil my mood afterall

35

Rating

  By SalinaIsm... on May 05, 2011

We stayed in Hotel Alka in April for 2 nights. Suggest to arrange pickup from the hotel for arrival as it's not easy to find.

Location - good, few steps to the main ghat and walking distance to the main road. the patio and balcony overlooking the Ganga.. Small shops selling waters/ snacks and drinks just outside the hotel.
Room - average, air-con. basic room (no electricity sometimes, think it's usual in Varanasi) but the bed sheet was not very clean and no blanket was provided.
Restaurant - can find better outside.

Must book in advance as it's always full. I would recommend this hotel if for a short and budget stay in Varanasi

35

Rating

  By tt620 on May 05, 2011

The place has a good roof top restaurant and bar (serves beer) and is located well for sightseeing, but it is nothing special. The communal bathrooms are a bit dirty. I felt like I could have found better.

35

Rating

  By James_N_E on May 05, 2011

Get room 134 - it has the best view and a private balcony. The hotel is on the ghats with great views and access. The restaurant is OK - basic but safe.

35

Rating

  By DennisUSA on Mar 03, 2011

Hotel Alka is situated right on the famous varanasi Ghats..., we had the most cosly rooms of this hotel, but even these would hardly comparable to the average room of a budget hotel. But it was acceptable for the price we paid.The hotel building is quite old and hence lacks most modern facilities. The toilets were also of Squat type. The main attraction of this hotel is its location, it is situated right in the Ganges Ghat. You can have amazing view of events at the Ghats, while sipping your morning coffee from the hotel balcony. For food we preferred other popular restaurants. The by lanes of old varanasi are just behind the hotel, many good local shops can be found in these lanes for purchasing gifts etc.

35

Rating

  By PeeNPee on Mar 03, 2011

Alka has amazing views and perfectly placed for exploring Varanasi. My friends and I stayed in the cheaper rooms, all were clean and tidy and the communal toilets and showers were cleaned everyday. The staff were helpful and easy to talk to. Didn't blow my mind - some of the hotels nearby looked a little more exciting - but it was a fantastic base in a beautiful city.

35

Rating

  By abreeze61 on Jan 01, 2011

It's not as dirty as Varanasi but it's pretty dirty and damn loud. If it's not the monkeys throwing stuff around it's hordes of devil-dogs howling for hours on end. It's cool to hear because it sounds like hell-on-earth but it lasts for hours so no sleep. It's right by the burning ghat so you'll be inhaling burned remains of people but "burning is learning" so you're bound to get some education. Our room was spacious but the bathroom was crappy and almost no hot water. We paid 1350 for the room, so value for money was so-so. Their restaurant is pretty decent although the beer is super expensive and the servers are a bit shady, but that's typical in India. Man, the location was great, right off one of the ghats with a great view on everything, it was awesome just sitting there and taking in the sights. The monkeys were having sex everywhere and were pretty funny but annoying at night. The front-desk service was OK but slowest we've had. They took hours to help, seriously. I only rate it 3 stars because it was so horribly loud at night.

35

Rating

  By polchi on Jan 01, 2011

Our room was super tiny but clean. The price was reasonable. The view from the hotel was great. They set up boat rides for a good price. It is a bit of trek through the alleyways to get there but worth it.

35

Rating

  By jonesj61 on Jan 01, 2011

Room without AC and shared bathroom for 400 Rs. (Room 107)

This lonely planet hotel is a very popular option in Varanasi. It is impossible to arrive by rickshaw, an easy option is to go to the Meer Ghat and then follow the arrows printed on walls.

The room was basic and the cleanliness of the shared bathroom changes during the day. Without doubt the best of the hotel its views of the Ganges river.

35

Rating

  By sastals on Sep 09, 2010

You can't beat the location of this hotel. It's right on the Ganges. We had a room with a balcony overlooking the river and the ghats. However, for the rest, we were quite disappointed. The bed and linen were dirty and the bathroom was very unpleasant. We had to ask the staff three times before they got the air conditioning working. At one point the water in our room went out (it was fixed after we mentioned this to the front desk). When paying for our room at the end of our stay, we were told that the price was DOUBLE if we payed by credit card. This had not been mentioned to us when we made our reservation or checked in. We got a tour through the hotel and had some problems. For instance, we were explicitly told that we could be dropped off at the train station for no extra charge. Then, at the end of the tour, when we were dropped off, we were asked to pay more because they brought us to the train station. Overall, this hotel could use a LOT of improvement.

35

Rating

  By algorythm... on Aug 08, 2010

Being in the perfect location right above the Meer ghat, this hotel is perfect for anyone who whants to stay in the heart of Varanasi.
The rooms are very basic and very hot in all seasons so make sure you book one with AC, otherwise you will boil.
Good for the price.

35

Rating

  By npires on Aug 08, 2010

Positive note first: munna is the second best guide we found in the whole of india. The full day tour at 1400 rupees per person is priced ok and he really makes and effort to try and accommodate your timetable and needs. Coming to this hotel is ONLY worth because of him, well done munna. Now on to the negative notes: They forgot to pick us up at the airport which resulted in a 2 hour useless wait at lunchtime in the boiling heat. They never apologised nor offered a discount, just said "we forgot". We got room 101 which is arguably the best but at a crazy 1700 rupees per night is very overvalued. Shower worked only half of the time and there were faeces of some animals in the toilets (mice?). The room with shared bathroom we got on the second day was actually cleaner but quite unbearable with the summer's heat. Didn't even try the kitchen's food as it looked quite bad. However munna is working on a new kitchen so expect it to improve dramatically very soon. Varanasi is a once in a lifetime experience and the location of the hotel ensures that you can enjoy the best of it!

35

Rating

  By Paolof88 on Aug 08, 2010

The best part of our stay was our tour guide Munna (aka Mukesh). He works directly for the hotel and does a little bit of everything, including giving tours of Varanasi; he also blesses the hotel daily. He was friendly and informative, and had a good control of the English language. He tried to ensure that the guests had a good stay. Therefore, he went to great lengths to make sure we were not cheated by local merchants and that we found all of the items we wanted to buy. Munna also introduced people traveling alone to other guests so they would have some company. He really was a superstar when it came to customer service. He even helped my fiance and I find beautiful raw silk to make dresses for our bridesmaids.

My fiance and I traveled through India for 7.5 weeks and the hotels we stayed in ranged in quality. Hotel Alka was budget, but comfortable. It was a good option for the price. Ideal for backpackers. The rooms were a mix of non-A/C, A/C, and water-cooler. We chose to have a room with a water-cooler to reduce cost, but A/C would have been much more comfortable, especially in the summer months. The only complaint was that the food served at the hotel was mediocre, though there was a large variety. Considering its location being near to the Main Ghat and the cost of the hotel, it is a good option.

35

Rating

  By cousinbro... on Jul 07, 2010

Couldn't get balcony view room but still had a view of the Ganges, room was clean and the bed was comfortable, staff were very friendly and helpfull, the hotel resturant was better than many we tried. Would recommend this hotel but be aware you have to walk through the old part of the city to reach it as no taxi or tuk tuk can get you there, and you will be fair game to all the young boys who want you to visit there silk shops later.

35

Rating

  By babaGoa on Apr 04, 2010

+ great location
+ good price
+ internet cafe
+ telephone box
+ food service (poor)
+ courtyard
- hard bed
- shared toilet
- "no thank you" staff

35

Rating

  By Mat9876 on Apr 04, 2010

The location of Alka is really good, close to the 'burning' ghat and the main ghats where the ceremonies are each evening. It's right on the riverside with a large terrace where you can sit and look at the Ganges. The food is ok - thali, pancakes and coffee were all good - but the service from the waiters was really mixed!

We paid more to have a "view" and for air con. In November it was cool in the evenings so we never used the air con. The rooms with balconies are right on the front of the hotel and so you get more noise from the ghats - we had disturbed sleep from dogs, people, drums etc. Also the balcony has a wire cage round it so it's not that great for sitting out on and we didn't really do so; it was nicer to sit on the communal terrace.

We arranged a train station pick up and I'd definitely recommend that - they were waiting at our carriage door and it saved us having to negotiate the crowds of rickshaw drivers and touts. It also meant that we had a person from the hotel with us to lead us from the rickshaw through the maze of alleys to the hotel.

35

Rating

  By EK103 on Dec 12, 2009

The hotel is well situated overlooking the Ganges in the old city and close to all the action. It is hard to find your own way to the hotel through the narrow and at first very confusing streets of the old city, Pick up from the bus/railstation is recommended and can be arranged by the hotel at reasonable cost.The hotel staff were helpful and the rooms well serviced.
The hotel itself is quite well run and offers good value, but not all the rooms are as well decorated or roomy as the more expensive one we had with a balcony overlooking the river. The central courtyard is a good meeting place to connect with other travellers. The food was not great, but there are plenty of better eating options close by.
Good internet and telephone access is available. Overall this is a good budget option, which could be better if the restaurant lifted its game and some of the cheaper rooms were given a facelift.

35

Rating

  By pandc2801 on Jan 01, 2009

The hotel is an oasis from the chaos of Varanasi. The staff are freindly and helpful, and it feels very secure. Best to make a reservation before as many people were being turned away because the hotel was full. The view of the ganges is fantastic. Our room was quite small but clean, however when it rained the window leaked quite a bit! One word of warning is the restaurant. I was ill after eating a thali, and another friend was also ill after eating there. All in all I would stay in the hotel again.

35

Rating

  By joybint on Aug 08, 2008

Das Hotelliegt direkt am Ganges, das ist fast das einzig positive an diesem Hotel. Alles andere ist eher durchschnittlich bis mangelhaft. Das teuerste, aber schlechteste Zimmer auf unserer Reise. Die Zimmer sind alt und recht abgenutzt. Das Essen ist ok. Das Hotel ist in den engen Gassen schwer zu finden, am besten vom Ganges aus zum Hotel laufen.

35

Rating

  By grmblfx on Mar 03, 2011

Hotel amplias, con aire acondicionado, balcon y baño por 1700, la habitación sin aire vale 1300INR. Fue el hotel más caro en el que estuvimos.

Excelentes vistas al Ganges pero los accesos al hotel son bastante apartados.

Restaurante no muy recomendado, nos intentaron timar con la cuenta y algunos clientes se quejaron de la comida.

35

Rating

  By spanishjM... on Jul 07, 2010

Ho soggiornato 2 notti in questo hotel. La camera, con balcone con vista sul Gange, era spaziosa, abbastanza pulita, con aria condizionata, ma con docce con acqua fredda e asciugamani molto vecchi e non proprio puliti. La posizione è sui ghat e i motorisciò non arrivano davanti all'ingresso dell'hotel ma si fermano circa 250 metri prima e bisogna proseguire a piedi. Qualche giorno prima del nostro arrivo abbiamo contattato la reception via e mail richiedendo il transfer stazione ferroviaria/hotel e inviando tutti gli estremi del treno. Questo servizio ci è stato confermato, ma al nostro arrivo non abbiamo trovato nessuno ad aspettarci. Abbiamo dovuto chiamare in Hotel e aspettare parecchio tempo prima che qualcuno ci venisse a prendere. Il cibo del ristorante era appena passabile, il servizio mooooolto lento e i camerieri non particolarmente disponibili.

35

Rating

  By MaryMilan... on Sep 09, 2008

First of all, let's consider one thing, if you are planning on travelling to India, you are not an ordinary traveler. So, wait to see the most different "everythings" you are used to. Of course, when it comes to hotels, It isn't diverse.
Alka hotel is great to see the wonderful river ganges and is also very close to the main ghat, where the daily ganges ceremony is held at 6:30pm.
But expect a chaotic experience to arrive and depart from the hotel once It is in the middle of the old town and the tuk tuk or taxi will leave you away from It. You will have to walk in a labyrinth with thousand os "guides" crazy for you money. But "what the hack" You will love IT!

25

Rating

  By bichoturi... on Mar 03, 2011

We went there because of the LP review. We called the day before and they told us that they might have a double room with private bathroom available on arrival, fair enough.
We got there early morning, the guy at reception told us that he would have a double room for 750rs and 99 per cent sure one for 550rs. We waited for 5 hours to find that the room for 750rs was the only one available and really overpriced : big room, tiny tv with blurry image, no hot water and not so clean linen and quiet dark. I had paid in the rest of India 300-350rs for even better room.
Great view over the Ganges from the restaurant terrace but the staff is no bothered to take your order.
The second day we went to check if they had anything cheaper available, the receptionist was rude and unhelpful so I walked out.
It is just very rundown and overpriced and they don't bother being nice sinc they are recommended by travel books.

25

Rating

  By rtwfeb201... on Dec 12, 2010

Our first night was not so bad at Hotel Alka- good location, nice view from balcony, our AC worked, sort of...alas, it did not last. There are frequent power shortages- fine. But after being reassured that the power would come back on several times throughout the second night, we felt more than cheated when we were charged 1500 Rupees for a ho hum, what became non- AC room. They knocked off a measly 200 Rupees (from 1700!) for the broken AC unit.

"Spotless" was a descriptive in the Lonely Planet- on which planet? Our room was the farthest thing from spotless- sheets spotted, walls spotted, bathroom...way spotted. It was generally a negative vibe-staff wasn't too helpful or friendly. The sole concession was the travel agent on site who spent the better part of an hour helping us arrange our train tickets- thanks! There are other better budget options out there; go get them.

PS don't eat here

25

Rating

  By Leilei777 on Oct 10, 2010

We wanted to give it a try and booked for the most expensive room in Alka,
the location is very nice having a private stairs to the ghat, but it has a drawback common to all hotels in this area: if you have a lot of luggage you must carry it by hand as there is no cars or autorickshaws allowed in this area. The staff at the hotel was not nice at all, and quite disorganized, the most expensive room of the hotel was the worse we had in India, and it was one of the most expensive, the view was nothing special as the hotel itself blocked most of it, leaving just the perpendicular view to the river. The food at the restaurant was not good, but the thing that stang me the most in this hotel as in many places in India, was the use of child labour. I strongly beleive that there are much better options near the ghats.

25

Rating

  By manalokos on Sep 09, 2009

We really think that the price of this hotel is to much for the things it gives back to the client. We had to pay for the pick up at the railway station and it was too expensive (100 rupees) for the distance it was. We booked the best room but the only thing "best" it was a tinny balcony with a view to the river. The staff is not really friendly or helpful. The rooms were OK but not very clean and the AC was a nightmare (be careful with allergies, we were coughing all the time, maybe the best is to use only the fan).
The only thing good about this hotel is the location.

25

Rating

  By mariacaxu... on Sep 09, 2009

As seen in other reviews too, we also had an issue that no room was available on arrival despite having a reservation. The staff was extremely unfriendly and changing between two different explanations: the "sick guest story" and a fairytale about guests that got lost in Varanasi and thus failed to check out on time. Only after half an hour of intense discussion we managed to get another room - which was, unfortunately, quite dirty. Only after another lengthy discussion we got a discount for the stay there. Very positive things at the Alka were the food (try a "Thali" - have never eaten so much great food for so little money) and the Ganges view from the hotel's terrace.

25

Rating

  By mate44 on Jun 06, 2009

Reviews for the Alka give it more credit than it deserves. Has clean, decent sized rooms but it's clientele tends to be long term backpackers. Air conditioned part of the day Touts swarm the area. Location on the ganges is fantastic. Problem is all hotels along Ganges are "budget" 2 star hotels. You will have to walk in as alleyways are way too narrow.

25

Rating

  By scout302 on Jul 07, 2007

not so good, not so bad, but overprice for double time, I think it's beacause writed in Lonely Plant. You can have better choice new another Gaht nearby, but half price.

雖然有面對恆河美景,但價格過高,在附近有更好的選擇、但只有半價。 服務態度不算好、也不算壞,金錢味很重,要個熱開水泡牛奶也要10元,這在東亞國家是匪夷所思的事情。

25

Rating

  By shindlert... on Aug 08, 2011

Das Hotel war nicht mehr als durchschnittlich.

Trotz Nebensaison konnten wir den Preis für die Zimmer kaum drücken - gemessen an dem Preis-Leistungsverhältnis anderer Hotels auf unserer Indienreise sind die Zimmer des Alka Hotels eher schwach.

Die Zimmer waren relativ sauber, allerdings sehr einfach und ein wenig heruntergekommen. Die Lage des Hotels ist super, da es direkt am Ganges liegt, von wo aus man morgens und abends prima Bootstouren unternehmen konnte.
Das Essen im hoteleigenen Restaurant war ziemlich schlecht.

25

Rating

  By MuehlChri... on Jul 07, 2011

Das Hotel hat mal bessere Zeiten gesehen. Die Zimmer sind lieblos und sehr klein. Der Heizlüfter war erst kaputt konnte aber repariert werden. Über Nacht gab dann der Durchlauferhitzer seinen Geist auf. Kalt geduscht. Brrrr. Wurde repariert. Dies scheint an der Tagesordnung zu sein. Es gab viele Gäste, die sich über defekte Warmwasserversorgung beschwert haben. Keine Entschuldigung oder Wiedergutmachung vom Management. In den beiden Hotels in direkter Nähe war leider kein Zimmer frei. Sonst wären wir umgezogen.

25

Rating

  By EPGK on Jan 01, 2011

自分たち以外の部屋でも数部屋雨漏りしていた模様。部屋の中に川が出来た。
1泊しかしてないのだがその間に数回停電した。
熱いお湯は出なかった。
中庭(屋外食堂)からのガンガーの眺めがよい。
タオルが1つ足らなかった。催促しても持ってこない。結局自分で取りに行った。
偶然一緒に乗る事になった、アメリカ人女性が宿に頼んだタクシーが来ていなかった。しかも従業員に走って戻って電話して呼べと行っても言う事きかない。そのトラブルでだいぶ時間をロスして危うく飛行機に乗り遅れるところだった。

25

Rating

  By まこまこ on Jul 07, 2010

This was my 2nd visit to the Alka since my last visit in 2008. Yes, the view and location is great. But this time my whole group of 26 people got incredibly sick after eating here. And others staying at hotel at the same time were also violently ill. The hotel denied all responsibility and said it was because their food was too spicy. Alas, not true. It put a real damper on the rest of our trip and I'm still not fully recovered a week later. Be aware. If you stay here, eat your meals at the German Bakery, down the alley and up the stairs.

15

Rating

  By EvelynJSa... on Oct 10, 2011

We stayed here for one night and the only good thing is the view.

Upon arrival we had paid for an ac room but where given a fan only room. The man on reception refused to changed the room so I contacted our tour company. Later in the day they changed us to an ac room but where quite rude about it.

The room was terrible and reminded me of a prison especially the strange noises that went on all night long. The rooms are dirty and there are no sheets for the bed.

We spent over 2 weeks in India and this was the worst place we stayed.

Location is the only good thing about this hotel. Breakfast was okay.

Def spend your money elsewhere.

15

Rating

  By lasagneAu... on Aug 08, 2011

First of all, I would like to say that the only reason I choose this hotel was for location.
Although it's well located, I would recommend you to explore other alternatives, now I explain you why.
We arrived with an email saying that room was 1500, turned out that receptionist charged us 2000 because "internet price is not correct". After a long discussion, we just paid.
What to say about the room. First of all: it smelled. No extra sheets to cover yourself, dirty, old towels looking like those my grandmother use for our dogs, mattres was full of fleas, i woke up all bitten, and the whole bathroom was full of small lizards. ok, small lizards don't kill, i just didn't want them in my shower!!!!!!!
Won't be reccomending to stay in this place.

15

Rating

  By Luciana V on Aug 08, 2011

Yes, the location is great but thats as far as it goes! We booked an AC room, on arrival we were shown was to a non AC room, "no AC room today". We agreed to stay because it was late, after a sweaty night we were shown to our AC room at 1 o'clock the following day. Great, the room was clean but the staff were rude and unhelpful when we questioned why the drains smelt in the room.... Outright RUDE in fact.

The following day we were told there was no AC rooms at the hotel and the only AC room left was going to cost 1700.... We left quickly. Nice room but dont expect anything from the staff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

15

Rating

  By hungryham... on Jul 07, 2011

We stayed in the hotel Alka in late April 2010.

Negatives:
- Rude and unwelcoming staff.
- Frequent nightly power cuts (we had to pay for AC even when the power was off all night).
- Poor quality food and drinks.
- Very difficult to locate.

Positives:
- Relatively cheap.
- Interesting location.

If you like your hotels on the cheap side and don’t mind surly unwelcoming hosts then this is the place for you.

15

Rating

  By BengyUk on Nov 11, 2010

Alka hotel has a great location and the potential to be a lovely hotel, with a paint job and new staff.
We found the hotel in the Lonely Planet guidebook which gave it a decent write up.
We corresponded by email with one of the staff at hotel Alka and the assured us that someone would be there to pick us up from the train station, out the front of our carriage even. But when we got there, no one to be seen. After wandering around looking for our pick up, we were hassled repeatedly by all manner of people. We ended up calling the hotel and asking them to come and get us. The owner ended up coming to get us. The owner was nice, though a little intimidating and told us about the city on our way to the hotel.

We were shown to our room which was apparently booked by someone else (Sorry!), as they didn't even have our booking in the book. The room double aircon with bath for 750 Rs was small, dank and dirty. Marks all over the walls, one tiny window, and only bottom sheets on the bed, which looked very old and stained. We had to hassle to get even sheets to put over us at night which too were gross, as were the towels. The staff were unpleasant and not very helpful. There was always a group of men hanging around in the foyer which was a little unnerving. And when we went to check out they interrogated us as to why we were leaving and where we were going, trying to make us feel guilty for leaving.
I know this is India, and I wasn't expecting 5 star accommodation, but this is just a yucky place to stay with very bad almost menacing vibes. We've stayed in much nicer places in India for similar prices with beautiful rooms and helpful staff.
I don't know what the story is with this particular hotel but I would not recommend staying here.

15

Rating

  By fuzzylogi... on May 05, 2009

I corresponded with Hotel Alka in advance and was told I had reserved a double room with balcony and AC. I offered to fax credit card info to hold the room. They replied that wasn't necessary--my word was good enough. I confirmed immediately that we would be coming--about 2 weeks before arrival. But, when we got there, they didn't have a room at all for us. They sent us walking through the alleys to another hotel where they showed us windowless rooms. The place had been freshly painted but still smelled (reeked) of paint fumes. We were really stuck--it was late afternoon, hot, we'd been traveling all day. The alleys were filled with garbage and beggars--which is part of Varansasi but is also why it had been important to have the hotel lined up in advance.

15

Rating

  By daykris on May 05, 2009

I will start my review by stating that I did not stay at this hotel.... Although having reserved an "aircon double room with bath balcony view to ganges tariff Rs 1500+5%tax per night" about two months prior to my arrival, and despite reconfirming by phone 2 days before, upon reaching the hotel (which was a 10 minute walk from the nearest possible drop off point - something which was not mentioned to me when asking for a pick-up from the train station) I was led to a standard budget windowless room. When I told the person who showed me the room that I had reserved a specific room with a bath/balcony/view, I too, as a previous reviewer, was given the "there's a sick person in that room, and he might leave later on today" bit.
I gave the man 5 minutes to sort the room out, telling him that I had no intention on staying it the room I was led to.
After about 15 minutes in which nothing was done, I left the hotel.
The whole place seemed totally unreasonable, and it was clear that there was no "sick" person, but rather total ignorance on the hotel's part as to my reservation.
If you have time to play around and are looking for a budget hotel in the heart of the ghat area, then this place might be right for you. Otherwise, don't go near it.

15

Rating

  By RannTel-A... on May 05, 2009

We expected good things from Hotel Alka, going by previous trip advisor reviews and Lonely Planet. Unfortunately Alka let us down from the word go - our train from Haridwar was held up by 2/3 hours and when we arrived in at Alka at about 7pm the staff had given our room away, assuming we weren't coming (in spite of the fact that train delays are very common in that area due to the congested train network). We'd booked online for 3 nights over 2 months prior to our stay, so naturally were disappointed. The 'acting' manager took us to Alka's sister guesthouse Teerth for one night and promised us a room the following night and we saw him escorting other couples later in the evening, so it seemed that Alka's policy was to put money before their guests (although we did managed to negotiate the room for half price, but we had to kick up quite a fuss to get this).

Once at Alka the following day, the room itself was fine; clean and spacious, although the bed was rock solid and lumpy. The staff contined to be useless however - we had to ask numerous times for blankets (to pad out the bed) and to fix our toilet which didn't flush, but staff were reluctant to assist, even to the point when they made us feel as though we were inconveniencing them. Although we eventually got blankets after much proding, the toilet never got fixed either, so apologies to the people who stayed in our room after us.

Granted the pace of life is much slower in India and things take longer to be done, but for 750 Rupees a night the staff's attitude was unacceptable. We stayed in other hotels in India at a similar/cheaper rate where the service was efficient and staff were polite; in fact at Teerth guesthouse the staff were charming, so if you end up being deposited here I'd advise you stay, rather than going back to Alka.

Although the location of Alka was great the restaurant terrace can be used by anyone, so stay someone else and go there for an evening instead. Alternatively Ganpati guesthouse next door has an equally good terrace and similarly priced rooms, although we didn't stay here so can't comment on the staff or rooms.

15

Rating

  By catherine... on Mar 03, 2009

We made all the arrangements direct with the Alka but they never came to pick us up at the train station. We waited around the station way too long after everyone else on our train was picked up.....and ended up in the hands of a wonderful and trusted tour guide in Varanasi. He was great and turned what could have been our bad luck to very good and made our time in Varanasi even better!!!! I was quite hesitant to take his hotel advice, or any advice from him at first, but we went with it ...thank god we did! We went by the Hotel Alka later and it was a [--]!!! I am so glad they never picked us up...talk about Karma!!!!! We ended up at a lovely hotel with a wonderful guide for our time in Varanasi!!!! I am not writing this to promote our guide or another hotel...just to warn people away from the Alka. You are welcome to contact me if you would like more information. Enjoy India :)!!!!

15

Rating

  By debragwu on Jan 01, 2008

We picked the Hotel Alka because we wanted to be in the center of the city along the river. The site is great, the service is friendly and we got free pickup from the airport. So we felt bad about hating the room, which can at best be described as spartan. It was the worst room we've had in 5 weeks of traveling in India. The bathroom was a disaster and the bedroom had almost no furniture or anyplace to put your things aside from the bed. But the view from the balcony was simply beautiful. So you choose...

15

Rating

  By joneall on Dec 12, 2007

My granddaughter cried - and I nearly did so, too when I saw the hotel and the rooms.

There was an amazing view, that is right, but the rooms.......

We found another hotel immediately and then we enjoyed the lovely city.

Lis V

15

Rating

  By ajlv on Jul 07, 2007

Après 2 semaines à vadrouiller dans la Madhya Pradesh, nous avons choisi de finir le séjour à Varanasi. L'hôtel Alka était recommandé en des termes chaleureux par le Lonely Planet : simple mais propre et sympa.
A notre arrivée à l'hôtel, les employés de la réception étaient tout simplement odieux. Les prix indiqués ne comprenaient pas les taxes, contrairement à la pratique d'un grand nombre d'hôtels et de guesthouses.
Le chambre choisie, une des plus chères avec clim et balcon sur le Gange (Rp. 1350), était minuscule et poussiéreuse. La salle de bain était à peine nettoyée et les draps comme les serviettes étaient constellés de tâches. L'évacuation de l'eau de la douche était située juste devant les toilettes plutôt que sous le pommeau, ce qui faisait qu'on pataugeait dans l'eau (qui d'ailleurs ne s'écoulait pas vraiment) dès qu'on allait aux toilettes...
Enfin, c'est bien beau de donner sur le Gange, mais il ne faut pas s'attendre à bien dormir avant 1h et après 5h...
Bref nous sommes partis dès le lendemain, sur les conseils d'un Indien de Varanasi, pour un quartier plus paisible et surtout moins chère.
Pour conclure, nous avons testé quelques hôtels à petit budget lors de notre séjour, mais celui-là est définitivement le pire rapport qualité/prix ! Une chambre relativement chère pour le pays, pour une prestation plus minable que certains hôtels à Rp. 600/700 !

15

Rating

  By LeaRaymon... on Nov 11, 2008

Ho trovato lo staff di questo hotel molto scorretto.
Ho prenotato la camera almeno 1 mese prima del mio arrivo a Varanasi.
Ho confermato due giorni prima.
Ho fatto telefonare avvertendo del ritardo del treno da Satna.
Arrivati in hotel la nostra stanza non c'era e ci hanno dirottati nell'hotel a fianco: una vera topaia.
Si sono comportati veramente male!
State attenti.

15

Rating

  By rabbit58 on Aug 08, 2008

Choose a Hotel Room Type

Single

Room facilities :
  • Bathroom Toiletries
  • Air Conditioning
  • Television
  • Mineral Water
What is included :
  • Airport transfer
  • Complimentary Breakfast
  • Mineral Water Bottles

USD 70

all inclusive

Book Room
Per night Total room cost Tax & fees Total cost
USD 64 USD 64 USD 6

USD 70

Double Executive

Room facilities :
What is included :
  • Airport transfer
  • Complimentary Breakfast
  • Mineral Water Bottles

USD 129

all inclusive

Book Room
Per night Total room cost Tax & fees Total cost
USD 110 USD 110 USD 20

USD 129

Double

Room facilities :
  • Tea/Coffee Maker
  • Bathroom Toiletries
  • Mineral Water
  • Air Conditioning
  • Television
What is included :
  • Airport transfer
  • Complimentary Breakfast
  • Mineral Water Bottles

USD 138

all inclusive

Book Room
Per night Total room cost Tax & fees Total cost
USD 127 USD 127 USD 12

USD 138

Dining:

Vegetarian foods