12 Photos of Budget Hotel Rooms in India
As a photographer I'm always bothered by the pictures of hotel rooms on booking sites. They always look either horrible or too perfect. So, that's why I decided to take a picture of every room we booked on our trip, starting in India. OK, I've missed a couple in the beginning but I'm starting to get the hang of it and every picture shows the hotel room right before we leave to the next place with nothing but natural light or a light from the room itself; no extra artificial lighting. The personality of a room; that's what it's all about! Check this post to find out what photography gear I use...
Booking a budget hotel room in India
“Where are you going to sleep if you don't book everything in advance?” That's a question I heard a few times before we left but for us it was absolutely no concern. These days with smartphones and a million and one booking sites you don't have to go through too much trouble to find and book a decent room in India.
Simply select an option that suits your needs, enter your information including your credit card number, book it and when you arrive, pay. And if you don't want to or don't have access to the internet, you can still do it old school and just walk from door to door... Unless you go to very rural places, there are normally plenty of accommodations for every budget.
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While traveling in India we booked every place one or a few days in advance so we didn't have to worry and spend time looking after arriving to a new city. On the other hand, there's always a little uncertainty of knowing in what kind of place you're going to sleep that night. No one wants to shower in cockroach infested bathrooms, spend the night with some extra friends hiding in the bed or stay in a room that's so damp that it feels like the jungle and has no windows at all...
Read the reviews
So that's why —especially in India— we booked our budget rooms in advance after comparing at least two or three options and reading the reviews. Those reviews are so valuable and useful when picking a room that we actually managed to never have one that was horrible.
A lot of people say that the pictures they find on the internet of budget hotels, guesthouses or hostels in India never look the same in real life. But for us, it was never like that. Every room we booked was pretty much like we expected every time. Of course, there were some unforeseen things like bad neighbors, a shower that didn't work like it should or a loose screen on the windows that led to the Mewari Villa 'horror' story but nothing worse than that.
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Make sure though you read enough reviews and you'll get a good picture of what to expect of your guesthouse or hotel in India. And because sometimes the pictures on the booking sites are too overdone or too bad, I decided to take realistic pictures of every room we had in India and leave you with some comments on how it was and extra information.
All these budget rooms are for two people and had a private bathroom.
Hotel KumKum • $29 / night
This was our first hotel of the trip. You'll notice that it's a lot more expensive than all the other hotels we stayed in. We purposely looked for a good one for the first few nights to climatize and have some rest after the long flight to India. In hindsight it was seriously over priced and we stayed in much better rooms later for half the price, even in big cities like Delhi.
Immanuel Home Stay • $8.80 / night
A home stay can go either way depending on the family you stay with. In Calcutta for example, we stayed with a family that was a little bit too much but in Kochi it was a relaxing experience; it was more of a hotel experience with home cooked breakfast in the morning.
Munnar / Anachal
OYO 10644 M S • $15 / night
Here's another hotel / homestay experience but like in Calcutta the people were a little bit too pushy. A local Indian breakfast is something a Western stomach has to get used to and some dishes we just don't like in the morning. So, when there's no other breakfast option and the host keeps filling your plate without asking and insisting to give a good review... Well, you get the picture.
YoYo Serviced Apartment • $13.20 / night
A little out of the way but clean and comfortable and that's all we need actually. When we look for a place to stay it's all about cleanliness, price and location.
Shree Ravi Krishna Guest House $16.70 / night
Mosquitos, mosquitos, mosquitos. The room itself was actually pretty good. As you can see, the window looks out on a wall but we always rather have that than no window at all (humidity) but the bathroom here was the mosquito's party room. The ventilation was open to the alley behind the room and that's were they all came in...
Hotel Sun Village • $13 / night
Sometimes the room is 'ok' but there's a neighbor problem. I can tell you that most Asian people have no respect for their sleeping neighbors. If they have to get up in the middle of the night they don't bother to whisper. Actually, they crank it up and start yelling from upstairs to people downstairs and vice versa. In this particular room, we had neighbors from hell. It seemed to be a few families traveling together staying in different rooms. Kids running around constantly screaming. Parents yelling at them and each other. And when we politely asked to keep it down because we had to get up at 2:00 am, they later cut off our electricity with the kill switch in the hallway. Assholes...
Mewari Villa • $12.50 / night
Let's just say it was a lively and creepy night. More on that later.
Mewargarh Palace • $8.80 / night
We wanted to stay longer in Udaipur because we were still recovering from the “Delhi Belly” but we also really liked the city so we decided to stay in a different hotel. This one was a lot nicer than the last, super cheap and the view over the lake was amazing.
Durag Niwas Guest House • $12 / night
Too far from the city centre to walk but a really nice and relaxed vibe. The room was spacious and clean and the rest of the guesthouse was really nice laid out with rooftop terraces and an open courtyard to chill.
Saffron Guesthouse • $11.80 / night
We booked this room not knowing that it was actually inside Jaisalmer Fort, one of the attractions of the city. It was a little bit cramped but charming. Overall very clean and the location was definitely a plus.
Hotel Jaswant Bhawan • $15.30 / night
We stayed one night in Bikaner to catch the train back to Delhi. We didn't do anything in this city but it was one of the nicest guesthouses when it comes to looks. Beautiful old building with courtyards and spacious rooms. Definitely worth the stay.
Treebo Natraj Yes Please • $17 / night
Our second stay in Delhi. Definitely the best room we had in a big city in India and for that price. I think it's difficult to find anything better with the perfect location.
Let us know in the comments if you've had any memorable or horrible hotel rooms!