...after the poor bird inhales noxious gasses.
It takes a lot for me to write a review this negative. Sunbird already has a "poor" TA review for disgusting bathroom (unfortunately did not read prior to staying here) so what's described below is inexcusable.The owner proudly said Lonely Planet gives great reviews to his restaurant's food, so I trust he cares about write-ups and reads those on Tripadvisor too.
Past the dark dining room and into the courtyard, buildings seem lovely. (Forgotten life lesson here: Don't judge a book by its cover.) Choices: Rs 2400 "deluxe" bungalow, or "super-deluxe" Rs 2700 room in the main building. The lattter large and bright; exterior of the building lovely. But the room had that awful shower where water drains into a hole in the floor, the area separated by a shower curtain that nonsensically ends 18 inches above the floor. SInce it doesn't meet the floor, of course all shower water covers the rest of the bathroom.(There's a photo on another TA Sunbird review where the shower curtain actually reaches the floor encircling the shower area. It wasnt any of the three rooms I saw during my stay.)
I chose a bungalow, which seemed a charming A- frame. Peaking into the bathroom, I saw the same ridiculous ineffecive too-short shower curtain, but the floor and toilet appeared ok, if a bit dingy, with some long black hairs around the base of the commode.
Not spotless, but for only one night. I called for a roll of t.p. (there was none) picked up the hairs with a piece of toilet paper, scrubbed my hands, and took bicycle rickshaw to Kaladeo Bird Park. The owner kindly loaned his binoculars.
As it was our last day of travel together, I wanted to treat the driver who had been with me for 5 days, to a clean room with private bathroom and TV (as drivers usually stay in more basic places). The owner asked where--I told him probably across the street at The Royal Guest House, since it had great reviews and rooms for 600 INR, The owner said because "your driver looks to be a good chap" he would charge 500 INR for a "budget" room at Sunbird I was so touched by this seeming generosity, I gave him twice that ( was still in a great mood , haha) and didnt ask for change. He showed me a small, dark, but seemingly clean room, proudly pointing, "Look, even a flat screen TV!" This room was already taken, but when an "identical" room opposite was clean, the driver could occupy it.
After several peaceful hours in Kaladeo Bird Park, we returned to our rooms. I prepared to wash, and pulled back the shower curtain.
Reaction: disgust and nausea.
The bucket and pint-sized measuring cup, omnipresent in India's bathrooms, were filled to the brim with filthy black water. Looking closely at the drain, I saw its dark color was due to hundreds of strands of black hair trapped in the drain filter!
The front-desk guy came to the room, said he hadnt noticed this earlier because the shower curtain was pulled across, He apologized, said the housekeeper had gone home, but he would discuss it next day. He moved me to room next door. Aside from general grime and finger dirt on the light switches (not the first time seen in hotels) it appeared ok. THIS room even had a shower area where there was a one-inch lower level for the shower area--so showering carefully limited the amount of water ending up on the floor, sprayed under the short shower curtain.
The next morning, driver--not having a TV at home-- was happy to have had a room with one (not flat screen in this room--no big deal, although I had been told the room was "identical" to one that had it.) Said he'd been warm enough, even though the portable heater didn't function. Inspecting it, I saw it covered with a thick layer of grease, oil, and soot, and Lord knows what else, as if it had been used in a cooking area for years. Ewwww.
I wonder if these bathrooms or bedroom floors are ever truly cleaned and disinfected. I've read reviews where people complain of the lingering scent of disinfectant in India's 3 hotels Well, here it would be a welcome perfume!! The cleaning method for these bathrooms, I suspect, is to take a wet towel from the bathroom (which is already soaked due to the absurd shower curtain) and use it to wipe the surface. Thus, It may LOOK clean, but ...
Breakfast: Asked for quick and simple-just toast and masala chai--as we had to get to train and were now given an estimate of travel takingup to 30 minutes in morning traffic (vs the ten minute estimate we'd been given the night before) . Breakfast...well, "quick" it was not. although we were the only ones in the dining room The owner considerately sent a guy with us, to navigate the driver the fastest way. I gulped the tea, and off we went.
Be aware of the time factor to RR station,if you stay at any hotel close to Kaladeo Park and have to take a train.
Recommendation: If you must spend an overnight in this unattractive town of Bharatpur, perhaps try the Royal Farm, a just opened a well-reviewed farm lodging.I orignally wanted to stay there, but we were unable to find it. It is booked via the Royal Guesthouse.
Incidentally, the place next door, Birder's Inn, is owned by brother of owner at Sunbird.
Liked: Owner's enthusiasm about the bird park--loaned us binoculars. Owner's cheerfulness --even if he does need to better monitor housekeeping of his hotel. Fresh tomato soup at dinner. Helpful fron-desk staff and kitchen staff. The cute *surface* appearance of little bungalows and building facing the garden.
Disliked: ("Appalled" better describes it) Misnomer of "deluxe" room (although this is all too common); disgusting, shoddy, unsanitary,negligent housekeeping in bathrooms; mediocre food (except for the tomato soup) at dinner.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- At Hotel Sunbird we offer you the best of everything - food, comfort and hospitality.We assure you that you will not feel homesick at Hotel Sunbird because we believe in the personal touch in offering you a home away from home. Our Bedrooms are well furnished and spotlessly clean, as are the bathrooms (with hot and cold running water).The entrance to Keoladeo National Park is just a few hundred metres away. Our staff is in touch with the park staff and know the best and most knowledgeable bird guides. ... more less
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