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.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Agoda and Priceline so you can book your Suraj Guest House reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.