We arrived into the hustle and bustle of Delhi from Chiang Mai and headed straight to our hotel, The Hotel Vedas Heritage. It was a strange ‘welcome’, slightly awkward and reserved before we were shown to our room on the second floor. We were given a couple of bottles of water with the seal broken and of different brands. Clearly they were filled from their own water source – a no no in India. The boy, as he was called by the manager, checked the lights and showed me how to turn the volume and channels up on the TV before leaving us to admire the room.
The room was basic with a very low bed, a desk, occasional chair and an ensuite bathroom. The view was rather bland with the window blocked with a frosted contact and the decor was depressing. Peeling paint and badly marked walls added to the dismal environment. But there was air conditioning and a ceiling fan, which kept the room cool.
On further inspection it was clear the room wasn’t the cleanest and as the initial fragrance of air freshener wore off, the musty adore arrived. And when you opened the bathroom door, the smell of warm urine greeted you. Very pleasant! Although the toilet was sealed with a paper seal noting it had been cleaned, it clearly hadn’t been done well. Mind you, I don’t think India has the best drainage system which has probably contributed to the adore.
After settling into our home for the next three nights we decided to wander the area and find a place for dinner. When asked were can we go for a look around nearby, the manager stared blankly at us and wasn’t firing up any recommendations. He did however recommend one and only restaurant down the street for us to have dinner. To say the staff were unhelpful was an understatement.
In the early evening, Chris attempted a shower in the not so clean bathroom. It was cold and after a brief wash he gave up waiting for the hot water to come through. After calling to ask about the hot water, Chris was told you need to ask them to turn the boiler on before you have shower. Perhaps it would have been great to give new guests a heads up about this upon arrival! I later assumed (stupidly so) that in the morning they might automatically turn the boiler on, particularly after you could hear other guest’s showers running. Not so.
Chris had another humorous encounter with a staff member when he asked for an iron. ‘Certainly sir’ said the gentleman as he held out an iron with the whole base tangling down and hanging off by one screw. Clearly not useable or safe, but the guy didn’t seem to notice or care. After holding it there for a few minutes with Chris trying to stop himself from laughing, his colleague pointed out, it probably wasn’t going to work. ‘Oh no sir, we don’t have an iron’ he said.
We enjoyed breakfast in our room the first morning, with a choice of continental, eggs or an Indian breakfast. When our order finally arrived, it was occupied by several items we didn’t order including juices, boiling hot milk and an extra bowl of ceral. The food was bland, not anything to rave about. The following morning our breakfast was served in the dismal basement restaurant and we had a choice of ceral, toast, curries and rice and hardboiled eggs. There was also juice, tea and coffee. We were the only guests in the dining room and enjoyed our breakfast while the two staff members stared from a small distance away.
During our stay, we also tried the room service for dinner. The menu had an extensive list of Italian, Chinese and Indian cuisine including a selection of snacks, mains and desserts. The prices were reasonable for in house dining and the portion sizes were generous. The food was surprisingly pretty good and ideal to cure our hungry pains after a day of sightseeing.
The rooms are not cleaned throughout your stay, which we preferred for safety reasons more than anything else. The WiFi is slow, but the cable TV works without a hitch. The air condition blows furiously over you while your in bed even on the lowest setting so you will most likely wake up in the middle of the night feeling like you are in Antarctica.
On our last evening, we asked the manager for advice on how far the New Delhi train station was and how we would arrange a taxi in the morning to catch a 6am train. After a moment of consideration, he said it would only take 15minutes and he would book a taxi for us to be out the front of the hotel at 5:15am. Perfect. In the morning we headed down to reception to fix our account and head off in the taxi to the station. Chris elected to pay our room and food by credit card and although this was accepted, the man insisted Chris pay part of the bill by cash as the hotel needs to pay a third party for the food. This wasn’t too great a problem for us, apart from needing the cash to pay the taxi fare, but it was the rude and pushy was he asked that irked us.
As I head out to the taxi with a few bags, a man helped me down the stairs. When I asked where the car was, he just said ‘yes,yes’ and pointed at Chris suggesting we wait for him before getting to the car. Clearly this wasn’t the case as we figured out he was the doorman not a taxi driver and there wasn’t actually a taxi arranged. After no help from the man at reception, we waved down a cab and told him to drive as quickly as possible to the station. You can read all about our experience there and how we nearly got scammed once we arrived.
Our three nights at the Hotel Vedas Heritage was memorable for all the wrong reasons. The unhelpful and unwelcoming staff, the dirty and bland rooms, the staring men that would follow you to and from the lift and the unorganised taxi. Needless to say, we won’t be returning for another stay at the Hotel Vedas Heritage. Perhaps we should have expected an interesting stay judging by the photos on their website!
Hotel Vedas Heritage
8A/28 WEA, Channa Market
Karol Bagh, New Delhi
+91 11 4578 9000