Bundelkhand Riverside Retreat Orchha
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Bundelkhand Riverside Retreat Orchha Reviews
Royal accommodation - literally! Aug 22, 2010
When the Indian the government started cutting down on the benefits of Indian royal families, these families had to start looking for alternative ways of generating income. For the first time in centuries these families had to actually work for their money.
Some of the more clever families opened their extensive properties to the public, often turning them into hotels, something which caught on very quickly and proved to be very lucrative indeed.
One of the first to do this was the Maharaja of Orchha, who converted part of his residence into the Bundelkhand Riverside. These days the place is owned by his grandson, who still has his residency here (though most of the time he lives in Delhi).
The place looks how a palace should look, with beautiful ornaments everywhere, beautifully decorated rooms, a wonderful garden with comfy seating areas, etcetera. The staff acts like servants in palace should, bowing deep every time you meet them and responding swiftly to every request.
Our room was very palace'y indeed. Very large, with big wood-carved beds, very old-fashioned ornaments and a huge marble bathroom. And we were staying in a standard room, not one of the fancy suites, which they also have.
The room comes with all the expected amenities: Air conditioning, coffee and tea making facilities, a desk and a small seating area. The hotel also has a pool and there is free wi-fi available in the lounge.
From the roof you have great views over the Betwa river and the palaces and temples of Orchha in the distance (the hotel is two kilometres from town). A pity they don't have a rooftop bar though. It would have been a killer place for a pint at sunset.
The restaurant is also very nice, if a rather pricey. Part of the price is probably justified by the band that plays traditional music while you eat. To be honest, I would have paid extra for them to shut up! I guess traditional Indian music is not my thing.
Another thing I liked about this place is the tip boxed they have placed at the reception and restaurant, with the clear instruction NOT to give any tips directly to staff. This way they prevent staff from being over-zealous (and thus over-irritating) in their service. And I have to say, it works. Of all the places I stayed at in India, this was the one where I was least irritated by the staff's behaviour. They're there for your needs, but for the rest they leave you alone.
Just how far the service stretches showed at check-out. Our did not leave until late in the afternoon, but since the hotel was not full, we were allowed to keep the room until we left - at no extra charge!
One the downside, they have rats in the lobby. Or at least one resident rat.
As we were sitting in the lobby waiting for our pick-up to the railway station, I spotted a big black rat returning to his home inside the comfy couch (which I was sitting on!). When I told the receptionist about this he looked at me affectionately and said “yes, I know, it's a reincarnation of Ganesh”.
Now I know that in India pretty much any pest is considered a reincarnation of one of their many gods, but while it is one thing to visit a temple full of rats, I could do without a hotel full of rats.
Furthermore, they charge a ridiculous amount of money for purified drinking water: Rs60 for a litre, which is about 10 times the going rate. Just absurd, since you have little choice but to buy it there - the nearest shop is 2km away!
Lastly, while this doesn't necessarily say anything about the quality of the food, this is the one place where I ended up getting food poisoning. I know, you can hardly avoid getting sick in India, but it is poignant that of all places it had to happen to me here.
Despite those negative notes, I guess I would still recommend it, for those who like luxury (and who doesn't?) and don't mind overpriced water and the likes. Obviously, you don't have to eat in their restaurant either, there are plenty of options in the city as well. And as for the rat, well, just make sure you stamp your feet when you walk through the lobby and it won't show itself. Unless you're a Hindu of course, then pride yourself lucky to be able to share a sofa with Ganesh' reincarnation!
Part of the Kiev to Kuala Lumpur 2010 travel blog
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Bundelkhand Riverside Retreat Orchha Overview
The Bundelkhand Riverside Hotel is perfectly located for both business and leisure guests to Orchha. The Bundelkhand Riverside Hotel boasts a convenient location with modern amenities in every guestroom and superb service. Being one of the good quality hotels in Orchha, guests staying at this hotel will find its convenient location and tranquil atmosphere pleasurable. Please complete our secure online booking form by entering your period of stay.
Bundelkhand Riverside Retreat Amenities