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“Cozy & warm”
Review of Hotel Willow Banks

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Hotel Willow Banks
Ranked #16 of 112 Hotels in Shimla
Certificate of Excellence
Gurugram (Gurgaon), India
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Cozy & warm”
Reviewed 11 February 2012

I stayed at the hotel in 2nd week of January 2012. The superdeluxe room on the 2nd floor was very cozy, spacious & tidy. The house keeping services were smart & courteous. Room services were prompt.Quality of food was excellent. They always served piping hot in the room while we enjoyed the snow falling outside. My wife who is a great patron of cleanliness & hygiene at home commented that it was the first time that she did'nt miss the comforts of her home. Mr Gupta, the manager was very co-operative & always ready to help. Full value for money indeed.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank umeshjain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Bengaluru, India
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
Reviewed 11 February 2012

I visited shimla in feb 2012, I booked this property after seeing the review. I must say it is worth every penny. Location is perfect, on the mall road. Rooms are clean and well maintained, 24hrs hot water supply. Restaurant was bit over priced but you have ample of choices to eat outside as the location is perfect. Hotel rooms have got very good view of valley, also it is very close to tourism lift. Highly recommended property!!

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank neha4185
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mumai
Level 6 Contributor
72 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 February 2012

This hotel is located at the end of the famous mall road. That's the best part. Location is perfect. All good restaurants are couple of minutes away.

Rooms are spacious. Hotel Food is also good. Staff is good.

But, what hotel offers is vally view room is useless. It is a city view and due to problem of monkeys you cannot even open your gallery.

There is no arrangement for Driver's stay and food. Our driver was forced to stay in common parking area.

Room Tip: If you want breathtaking view from room then don't go for this one.
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  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank amol_swanandi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Colaba , Mumbai
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 February 2012

Before i start, lemme clear a thing-Some people find it bad coz they take services frm hotel which r very very expensive.I found the Willow Banks quite a nice place to stay at. This hotel is situated near the lift on mall road. The rooms are clean and well maintained. We stayed here during new year's eve and all the arrangements were very nice. It is a great welcoming, warm place, with nice exteriors and wonderfully cosy and tasteful interiors.

It was a 4day/3night package taken online frm Antilog Vacations ( we also covered Manali).In the end it proved to be gud option as we saved quite a money (and unnecessary tension).The services provided by AV were A-one & truly met our honeymoon expectations.

The nice tasteful rooms of WB are well equipped with running hot and cold water, cable TV, mini-fridge, central heating, balconies overlooking the valley or the Mall, (as the case may be).
My wife is a music freak so although she was happy with the orchestra but I hated the fact it was so loud that it trespassed our rooms peace. Serious let down this.

Some of the negatives were-

1.The Sauna and Steam were not working.

2. There is a big problem with the parking. You have to park near the tourist lift; you have to find a paid parking and then take the lift and walk to the hotel which is 100 m to the right of the lift. The hotel does not offer parking or any help in carrying your luggage to the hotel although you can hire porters.

3. The food too was on the expensive side(ordered alacarte), advisable to book at least 2 meals thru ur agent which we unfortunately didn’t. There are some nice restaurants around, you can try them for better costs with the food.

Still the positives I think outweigh the negatives. Great views of the valley, excellent location, lovely food and courteous service at your beck and call are all perfect ingredients for a nice stay there. Being centrally heated, it is very comfortable even in the peak winter season.

Its outdoor restaurant serves fast food and has nice views of the valley below, esp. those of sunrise and sunset .The indoor restaurant is near the reception and serves delicious food.

Overall our stay was comfortable and enjoyable & a nice honeymoon journey overall.Get a good travel agent and u save costs..simple

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Indra Mohan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ambala, India
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 February 2012

I traveled to Shimla recently on the 26th Jan break and stayed at Willow banks.Had read very good reviews here,so went for advance booking.No doubt that the location of hotel is awesome,rooms are also superb and view is also nice,room service staff is also courteous but the biggest turn off was the rude,careless and greedy reception behavior.The worst thing that a hotel can do is to lie about the services they don't have.

When i called the hotel for booking, i clearly asked about the parking space to which i was assured that 'we don't have our own parking but we ll get you accommodated for sure in the high court parking in which we have reserved slots for our guests'. After reaching Shimla when i called the hotel for parking i got a very rude indifferent response(don't want to name the person) 'dekh lo wahin pe koi jagah dhoond lo,aage chale jao parking dhoond ke gaadi lga dena'. Be careful, hotels present on the mall don't have parking space, you will have to park your vehicle in the paid parking which will cost you Rs 150 for the night and you might also have to leave your car keys with the parking guys.

I had sent at least 3-4 mails that i want the room to be specifically on the 4th or 5th level but none of the mails was properly read and i was given room on 3rd level.When i checked in, i asked the reception guy about my requirement of 4th or 5th level, he was not even aware that i had written any such thing in the booking mails and started checking the exchanged mail print outs.After reading he simply didn't respond and gave a blank face.

The room was good but again not well maintained.The hair dryer was not working, though it was repaired after i called the reception. The room had a bath tub which did not have the stop cork. When guests pay to stay in such costly hotels then people want perfection, i mean i can't go on calling the room service for each and everything.It should be well kept and everything should be perfect. The dinner served was hopeless, it was cold and worthless for the price charged.A much smaller hotel in Kufri(only half your price) offered much better food.

Another thing that really disappointed me was the greed of the staff.On the check out day, i asked the reception guy around 10:30 am that i am going for a stroll on the mall, meanwhile you get my luggage in the reception area and consider this as my check out.I will be back by 12:30 or 1 pm and clear the remaining dues.I had already paid Rs 3000 advance for a room of Rs 3500,so not much dues were remaining. But the reception guy was so so rude that he started arguing with me that if you are late than 12:15 then settlement would be a problem.

I had paid the porter Rs 50 to take my luggage from parking to the hotel and the next day the same reception guy asked me to pay Rs 70 for the same luggage to be carried to the parking.On reaching the parking the porter started fighting me to pay Rs 100(out of which he said that hotel has a commission).

The only good thing with this hotel is the location, rest everything is appalling.Its absolutely not worth the price.

One last thing i would like to mention, i have been around India to a lot of tourist locations but in Shimla the worst thing i found was 'greed' , be it porters,hotel staff or other service providers. It happens at almost all tourist attractions but it was particularly bad here.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
7 Thank bansal_84k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Delhi, India
Level 5 Contributor
37 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 January 2012

We stayed at Willow Banks recently during our trip to Shimla. We booked a Super Deluxe room which as good quality. Sadly, breakfast was not included in the booking which we thought should have been default so that was a let down. The room offered a great view of the valley and had good heating. The bathroom had a bathtub but no plug to hold the water.

Only problem with this hotel is the parking. You have to park near the tourist lift i.e. if you are lucky to find a paid parking and then take the lift and walk to the hotel which is 100 m to the right of the lift. The hotel does not offer parking or any help in carrying your luggage to the hotel although you can hire porters.

Room Tip: Book the rooms directly with the hotel and confirm that will get a room with view.
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Ajit S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Delhi, India
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 January 2012

Average Hotel but on the Mall, Rooms on the valley side are better, found little expensive, it has old interiors and food is again average, stay only if Mall is an attraction. Rooms on the road side are noisy during the day & early morning is a nuisance.

Room Tip: Stay only if Mall Road is an attraction
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sanjay J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Willow Banks

Property: Hotel Willow Banks
Address: Opp Tourism Lift, Shimla 171001, India
Region: India > Himachal Pradesh > Shimla District > Shimla
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 Luxury Hotel in Shimla
#6 Spa Hotel in Shimla
#11 Family Hotel in Shimla
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Willow Banks 4*
Number of rooms: 45
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Willow Banks was established in the year 1871, a landmark estate which spells history and exemplifies an era of gracious living. Originally owned by Arthur James Craddok, "Architect and Builder of Shimla," in a fitting tribute to his memory the building has been redesigned into a hotel, endowed with all modern amenities and comforts, effortlessly blending into the surrounding pine trees, landscapes and enhancing its beauty. The hotel is located on The Heritage Mall Road, a pleasant walking distance from the famous Ridge, Scandal point, Lakkar Bazaar, Gaiety Theater, Ancient Kali Bari & Jakhoo Temple, High Court, Secretariat, C.M. Residence and Raj Bhavan. Amidst the age old Deodar and Pine trees, Willow Banks Estate on the Mall Road overlooks the lush green valley, the majestic mountains and the complete well lit town of Shimla. The hotel is easily accessible from the High Court Parking and the Tourism Lift, making staying a convenient proposition for one and all. The charming walking trails of Shimla are a pleasant stone's throw away from the hotel. Whatever the purpose of your visit, relaxation away from the busy city life, exploring natural beauties that the town has to offer or pumping adventure trips, Hotel Willow Banks at Shimla guarantees to make your vacation worth remembering. The blend of extremes, modern facilities in a heritage estate and picturesque views at the Mall Road level, make Willow Banks arguably the best hotel in Shimla. Also rated by TripAdvisor as amongst the top 10 Jewel Hotels of India. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Willow Banks Hotel
Willow Banks Shimla

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