When I travel to India I stay at mid-range hotels (approximately AUD$50 per night). These are not backpacker hostels, nor are they global brand name hotels and they are often frequented by international and domestic tourists.
The following traits have become apparent over my visits and I wanted to share these with other travellers so you can be prepared.
- Tipping on the way in, when your bags are taken to your room, often results in better service during your stay. Always have Rs10 & 20 notes on hand (it’s a good way of getting rid of the dirty notes you receive in change).
- If a western breakfast option is included then the cereal is almost always Cornflakes.
- Electrical power points in Indian hotels are notoriously loose but there will always be one that your adaptor will fit into firmly. Unfortunately, it is likely to be the one to which the TV etc is already connected. Take a double adaptor or small power board. Newer or more expensive hotels even at this price sometimes have a universal power point or a USB power point.
- A ‘quiet’ room means less, not no, noise, so the hotel has done its best to give you a quiet room if you asked for one.
- Electrical switches are extremely confusing. They can relate to lights or power points and often their position on the wall bears no logical connection to the actual position of room lights. Expect to have to get up to switch off your room lights when you go to sleep, rather than accessing it from your bed. Take a torch as you will find it very handy.
- In cheaper/mid-range hotels the bathroom often comes with a bucket and jug which, apart from being a very efficient way of bathing, is great for washing your clothes.
- White towels are invariably a shade of grey especially in large city hotels because of how they are washed. If you happen to get a fluffy white towel then enjoy it.
- Beds tend to be large and very firm, for a softer bed you need to use tourist-oriented hotels.
- Reception staff sometimes take a little while to ‘warm up’ to you as a person, so engage them in conversation early and often and you’ll find them very friendly.
- Hotel taxis are often more expensive than hailing one in the street. The same taxi/auto drivers often hang around outside a particular hotel, so you can use them again if you like their service. Uber (and Ola in India) is now common and a very easy and cheap way to get around if you are staying in a big Indian city.
- Rarely is any information provided in the room about the hotel or tourist sites; this is what Reception is for.
Thanks to Carol Chapman for this advice!
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