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“Three is generous” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Suraj Guest House

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Suraj Guest House
Ranked #51 of 202 Varanasi B&B and Inns
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Level Contributor
179 reviews
71 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 150 helpful votes
“Three is generous”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 March 2012

We are long term travelers with basic needs - general level of cleanliness and enough space for our (minimal) stuff. Some rooms are tight with only slightly more room than two backpack's worth of ground space. Other rooms are a bit bigger but don't have a bathroom. All rooms face the inner courtyard, which is cozy and gives a sense of peace. However, I'm not sure how hot this would be in summer (a bit warm in Feb). Also, it is difficult for anyone to get sleep when the family is playing music late at night or talking/yelling in the morning. Although the doors shut and lock, they don't line up at all, which allows all possible sounds into the rooms.

The place has artwork of former guests on the walls, which is a cool idea...however, the general look is kind of tacky. The main area is blue with pink trim. One room is pepto-bismal pink. Some rooms are green. I believe only two rooms have bathrooms. The rooms upstairs share a shower with water heated by the sun. Actual hot water is only in the bathroom shared downstairs, which the family also uses...and leaves their clothes hanging in there for days. (I started a shower one evening, and the water just completely shut off. This is a city issue not the guesthouse so it does affect my review...but just a general forewarning to future visitors of Varanasi.)

The wifi was good when it worked. One time, we received a message that the bill had not been paid. We told the family, and the wifi was working later in the day...not exactly sure what the issue was. The wifi as well as some lights and a few outlets are attached to a backup battery(?) for when the power goes out. (Power outages are common in Varanasi, and this does not affect my review of the guesthouse...just a general forewarning for future visitors.)

The towels actually felt clean...as compared to many other places in India. However, we had to checkout and stay at a different place for our last night in Varanasi because we did not book enough days initially. When we returned to Suraj to get our bags, the sheet was definitely not changed in our room, and new guests had moved in. In general, the place could be cleaner. The rooftop has nice views, but there is no reason to be up there because there is nothing really to do or anywhere to hang out. The location is good in that it is close to the water.

I believe one of the family members was a cousin? He tried multiple times to try to get us to do his city tour. I'm glad we didn't just sign up on our first day as we grew to like him less every day. We did allow him to set up two boat rides for us. He said another family member would go with us for a bit more money and give us a tour. There wasn't much info or enthusiasm coming out of the 'tour guide'. He barely spoke up at all. In fact, after the first ride, he made us tip the boat driver (you would think this is something they cover when they overcharge you for the ride in the ride in the first place)...then he told us we would go with a different boat driver in the morning because he didn't like that guy. So why did we even go with him that time?

If they just repainted, cleaned up, and stop letting the teenagers/young adults harass tourists to take tours, this place would be much better. We all got a good vibe from the owner/dad, but he needs to get control back.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LifeDocumented
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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207 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
36 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 February 2012

The larger room we had pre-booked seemed over priced so we asked to move to a smaller room (half the price). Prabu (owner) kindly obliged us and we had a lovely 3 night stay at Suraj. The family are helpful and friendly - they even took us on a free sun rise boat ride along the Ganges. Great location near the Burning Ghat and the guest house had free music and dance shows in the communal area some nights. Lots of fun and easy to meet other travellers.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Chloe S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Varanasi
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 February 2012

Overprized and dirty and they use heavy loads of Phenol in the whole guest house to disinfect. Phenol is a strong toxin that can cause lung edema, heavy headache and many other bad things. It is definitely NOT for domestic use and it's horrible to sleep in this smell when you know it is so dangerous for you.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled solo
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank KlausBo67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 February 2012

The pick up from the airport is well worth it. They stayed even though we were 3 hours late and took us to the house. Located in the middle of the winding streets, very close to the Ganga river the surroundings are very atmospheric and you feel the history around you. They had a cute little puppy. The rooms were reasonably clean and the shower and wifi were great. We wanted to change rooms to a cheaper room and the manager was very accommodating to keep us happy. I would say that they could do the roof top up a little bit to make it nicer (put a monkey net up to stop them) and them you could serve food up here. The views are wonderful of the old city. It could've been a little cleaner and the price could be a little lower for what you get. All in all we were happy here.

Room Tip: Check out the German bakery near by and Aum cafe right at the other end of the ghats. Also negotiate...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Fleekul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Warszawa
Level Contributor
24 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 February 2012

Very nice Guest House run by family. You sleep in 100 years old house where on the ground floor lives famiy and on the upper floors are rooms for guests located around central yard. We slept in basic rooms (basically equipped) without bath. Bathroom, clean, with warm water (sun heated) was located next to the rooms. Hot shower was on the lower floor. It is nice guest house with rooms having nice specific climate of old town. Beacuse we were family for two nights owners gave us free of charge Ganga morning boat trip :-). They are also helpful in organizing trips to specific places and if you want do good shoping they can also give good advice without insisting you to do this or that. There is also nice roof top terrace with nice views for Ganga and old Varanasi. There is a lot of monkeys in the old town and they can appear around roof top, but if they see coming people they usually go away.

Room Tip: On the highest floor you can meet monkey if go out of the room, but they are not offensive and go aw...
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Pawel W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
3 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 January 2012

Me and my boyfriend stayed at Suraj for 2 nights and we found it to be heaven in wat was hell to us at first sight. We grew to love Varanasi, but the first hours were very hectic, even after spending 4.5 months in India. Yes, we had some power cuts and lack of running water, but that's just what you expect or at least SHOULD expect when you book a room for such a bargain. We really had a very nice time and think back to Suraj Guest House only with positive feelings.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Berber W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 November 2011

We stayed at the Suraj Guesthouse for three days and were amazed by the friendly and helpful way we were welcomed there, especially since Prabhu was sick when we arrived. The guesthouse arranged a pick up for us which was very useful because we would have never found the guesthouse on our own. The location of the guesthouse is absolutely perfect! You are right in the middle of the old town with all the small streets and just a few minutes away from the water. We specially want to thank Mayur, the young guide who showed us around the city, helped us find our way to fine restaurants, working ATM`s, etc. and who helped us without asking for commission with all the tickets we needed for the rest of our trip. If you have the possibility, don`t hesitate to book this guesthouse and a citytour with Mayur, he is absolutely the best and knows a lot about this dazzling city and it`s beautiful sites. A big thanks to Prabhu and Mayur, we had a great time in Varanasi thanks to you!!

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Teske135
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Suraj Guest House

Property: Suraj Guest House
Address: CK 10/37 Braham Nal, Varanasi 221001, India
Region: India > Uttar Pradesh > Varanasi
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #51 of 202 B&Bs / Inns in Varanasi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hostel The Suraj is one of the best budget hotels in Varanasi providing all the basic facilities for backpackers. The Suraj is situated in a quiet alley right inside the heart of Varanasi...within 2 minutes of the holy Ganga River....within 5 to10 minutes of the main road and auto stand...feel the capital breathe right into you at Suraj. It's a place for community, friendships and fun. We have an obsessive affair with travel and a soft spot for everything that moves with a backpack. We are proud to offer stunning sunrises and river views from our rooftop terrace with holy morning mantra chants from the Lord Shiva-temples surrounding the guesthouse. It is also a great place for yoga and meditation. We also have a very comfy living room where you can meet other guest, enjoy alone time while reading a book from our shared library. Come on over, let us show you our holy ancient living city in the world! ... more   less 
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