Hotel and other accommodation in India for tourists


Visiting India and concerned about accommodation? Hotel accommodation is easy to find in India. From luxury hotels to budgets hotels to lodges and dormitories and homestays, there is a vast choice. The room tariffs are reasonable.

Are you visiting India and worried about accommodation? When it comes to hotels, India offers a wide-range of options – from the super expensive luxury hotels to smaller, stay only rooms. Here is a lowdown on what you can expect on your visit here –

Low-cost vs. luxurious hotels


In India, there is a room for every budget. You can stay in well-appointed, comfortable and luxurious rooms for as low as $375 a night. These are five-star properties that look like palaces – you feel like royalty. Such properties are spotlessly clean, have running water supplied 24/7. The rooms are centrally air-conditioned, have comfortable bedding, television, a mini-bar, a small refrigerator, a locker for expensive personal belongings and a few complimentary edibles and toiletries. Towels, toilet paper and free Wi-Fi are provided. Breakfast is generally complimentary, with a lavish spread, serving Indian and continental cuisines. Eggs to order, sausages, ham, bacon, croissants, breakfast buns, butter, bread, jam, cupcakes, cereals, and milk, tea, coffee and fresh fruits are standard items on the breakfast buffet.



Five-star properties have a number of restaurants serving various cuisines. They also have well-equipped bars. You also have access to in-house facilities such as the pool, billiards room, the gym and the spa etcetera. However, not everyone comes to India with a fancy budget.

Hotels with four and three-star rating are also good and cost a wee bit less. They offer similar amenities as the five-star hotels but are a little less posh.

You can also find a mid-range accommodation between $10 and $40. These will not be classy, but they can be clean and comfortable. Breakfast if included, might not be as large a spread as the better hotels.

Backpackers can find really low-priced accommodation in dormitories and small hotels near the railway stations and the inter-state bus stands. Though, the hygiene and safety can be an issue. The YMCA also offers budget accommodation, but you will need to book in advance.

Consider homestays as an option. You get to stay with locals, in their homes and get to savour traditional Indian meals and hospitality.

The significance of location


Hotels located centrally, close to bus stands and metro stations are preferred over ones in remote areas. Getting around can be a major problem if you are staying away from the city centre. If you plan an itinerary before you arrive in India or are visiting only temples in India then it would be better to choose a hotel close to the places on your itinerary. It saves you time, money and prevents burnout. You can always use Google maps to check distances before you select a hotel and confirm your booking.

Room safety


Pricey hotels have smart card access and you and your belongings are assured safety. Even mid-budget hotels have smart card access, though you might not find lockers in these rooms. It is the small budget hotels and the dormitory's that can be unsafe. If you're putting up in a dorm, don't leave your valuables lying around. Check with the establishment if they have a common locker or luggage room that you can use. Leave your belongings there, but carry along money, cards, your passport and any other thing of value. If you have to leave valuables in the room then conceal them cleverly in the suitcase.

Budget and low priced hotels pose a safety threat, anywhere in the world. Get a padlock to lock your room when you step out. You'll find padlocks can be used in most low-priced hotel rooms. When in the room bolt the door from inside, immediately. Also check for loose ventilators in the bathroom, from where intruders might have access to your room. Ensure that windows have grills and your room is safe.

Take a room on a higher floor, as ones at the lower levels are easier to break into because of the close proximity to the streets outside. Check for hidden cameras, especially in the bathroom. There is a lot of sleaze out there, and you need to be cautious.

Fire safety


While star hotels have clearly marked alleyways that show you the emergency exit routes, you'll find the same missing in the smaller hotels. Smaller hotels are also located in congested and overcrowded areas, with narrow lanes with no place to run, in the case of an emergency. They also have huge gas cylinder installed within the building and gas leaks can easily spark a fire. Pick your hotel carefully, check for basics, such as fire extinguishers. Learn to navigate around the building, so you can move yourself to safety, in the chance of a mishap.

Flip flops


You can buy them in India for as less as $1. You need these for common showers and the loo. Hygiene is not something you'll find in toilets in small hotels. Bigger hotels are en suite and clean.

Dealing with bugs


Your biggest worry inside and outside the room will be mosquitoes. These little critters can give quite a bite and their incessant buzzing can keep you from falling asleep. There is also the danger of contracting malaria, dengue and chikungunya – some deadly diseases caused by mosquitoes.

You'll find smaller hotels infested with these bugs, even if they have air conditioning. The best form of protection is sleeping under a mosquito net. Ask the lodge owner for one, or buy one – they're locally available and cost a pittance. You can also invest in a wall-plug repellent available across the country or use a spray/slap on repellent if you're fine with using it. All Out, Hit and Mortein are some of the popular brands. These are small gadgets into which you insert a phial of fluid and plug the apparatus into the wall. It emits pleasant smelling mildly toxic fumes that kill the mosquitoes.

There'll be bed bugs and cockroaches too in smaller hotels. Hence, choose your lodging with care.

Does the air conditioning work


Budget hotels do not upgrade their gadgets, so the air conditioning in your room might not be effective. Some AC units drip, yeah, they do, others can be noisy, and some others do not cool enough.
Ask for a change of room, for you'll not be able to sleep in the hot, humid conditions.

Towels


There is a healthy supply of towels in luxury and star hotels, but they are conspicuously missing in the budget accommodation and smaller properties. Bring a towel along when you arrive. You may also pick one up in India. But, know that cheap ones can be rough on the skin and the dye may also leach. Step into a 'biggish' store and buy a branded towel, with a good ply, for good absorption and softness.

Flash light


A headlamp or a flashlight is needed as the power supply is quite erratic. The better hotels have power backup which comes on almost immediately; it is the smaller hotels where you'll face problems. Power outages can leave you fumbling in the dark – so come prepared.
Candles also work well, and your lodge may supply you with one.

Indian style toilets


A typical Indian toilet is quite unlike the western commode. It is more a squat toilet, where you place your feet on footrests across the toilet bowl and squat on your haunches when you need to go. It'll take some time getting used to.

You may be lucky to find a WC installed in the toilet, but then sanitization could be an issue. Use strips of toilet paper on the seat, before you seat yourself on the throne. Also, carry your own toilet paper, as you'll not find any in these toilets.

Bathrooms in budget hotels might not have running hot water. It may be delivered to you in a bucket.

Tipping


You tip when the hotel staffs do something for you. Carry your baggage to your room and bring you hot water for your bath etcetera. INR 10 is a decent amount for these chores. You tip a little higher at star hotels, between INR50 to INR100 to the bellboy. A ten to twenty percent tip on the bill after a meal at a star hotel. You tip the cabbie (taxi driver) after a day of sightseeing, or the guide and the driver of the coach/bus if you take an organised tour.

Hotel reservations


It is best that to make reservations before you arrive here. A word of caution – don't rely on the information posted on websites, as services are generally not the same as described. Though you can safely trust accommodation at star hotels, it is the smaller establishments that you need to be wary of.
Check reviews or online portals for recommendations on accommodations. Better still read through travel blogs for authentic information.

The peak season in India is between November and February. States that lie in the North get cold during these months. Hill stations in the southern states also record low temperatures. Check this information information on climate and weather during different months before you travel to India.

Final word


Whenever you check into a new place, disinfect the environment. The door handles, the toilet seat, the switches and the faucets. A sanitary wipe should do. It'll shield you from germs and bacteria that might be lingering there.



Carry along thin sheets to line the bedding with, for added protection. This you do in budget hotels where you cannot vouch for the cleanliness of the sheets on the bed.

Avoid using public Wi-Fi for money transactions or when sharing personal details on the net.

Have a travel plan before you arrive in India, map your travel route based on tourist destinations in India that interest you.
Finally, the Indian customs and traditions are very dissimilar than the western world. Avoid embarrassing faux pas.


Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

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