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Brijrama Palace -- the second best hotel in Varanasi

Brijrama Palace -- the second best hotel in Varanasi

Old Oct 29, 18, 7:46 am
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Brijrama Palace -- the second best hotel in Varanasi

The best is the Taj Nadesar Palace, but i didn't book there because their reservations people were being amazingly annoying. Instead I just arrived at the Brijrama Palace. It has one thing the Taj does not -- it is directly on the Ganges and literally next door to the most important temple in a town filled with temples. The hotel has only four suites, and one "larger" room called Varuna Burj (the latter not shown on the website) that have a view of the river. All the suites were full, so I booked the Varuna Burj. I just checked in

You get here by taking a car about 50 minutes from the airport and then transfer to a 20 minute boat ride.

It's a smallish room, about 400 sq ft including the bathroom which has a shower but no bathtub. The top rooms include a free minibar and other snacks. Everything is immaculately clean. The a/c works well. BUT this is a 100% vegetarian hotel and no alcohol is served. This is probably not critical since the average stay here is either 1 or 2 nights max. I don't like that the room key must be inserted in a slot and if you take it out, all -- and I mean all -- the lights go out.

For the top level rooms, some tours, both way airport transfers, unlimited mini-bar refills, and some laundry is included in the rate. I'll add more later on. But this place has something no other nice place in Varanasi has -- location, location, location.

Last edited by RichardInSF; Oct 30, 18 at 8:51 pm
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Old Oct 29, 18, 5:35 pm
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Just a brief note on the food, now that I've had dinner here. It is decent vegetarian food, with both Indian and Western choices. But it isn't anything that was memorable., I think two breakfasts and two dinners will be plenty Service in the dining room is good.

When I asked, the hotel gave me a second key to leave in the slot so the current keeps running, that's good too. Staff really does come across as accommodating.

Unfortunately, the hotel managed to screw up the very last thing they had to do -- get me back to the airport. This should take 80 minutes -- first by boat, then by car. Both the boat and the car failed to show up as they should have. The prospect that I might miss the plane left a sour taste that could have been easily avoided. Fortunately, the plane was late.

Last edited by RichardInSF; Oct 31, 18 at 6:34 am
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Old Oct 30, 18, 8:03 am
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have never stayed here but i attended a wedding at this property a couple of years ago....the hotel is beautiful & the the food (even though it was vegetarian) was quite good....
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Old Oct 31, 18, 7:42 pm
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Thanks for this review. I'm staying at the Brijrama in February (the Varuna Burj was already booked so I've taken a Maharajah suite). I agree about the location- thats what sold me.
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Old Nov 3, 18, 12:58 am
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Originally Posted by CedarSwampThing View Post
Thanks for this review. I'm staying at the Brijrama in February (the Varuna Burj was already booked so I've taken a Maharajah suite). I agree about the location- thats what sold me.
Just bear in mind that if it will likely be a suite that is a lot smaller than suites at most other upscale hotels. Other than that, have a great stay. We paid the hotel for a walking tour they call the "Heritage Tour." There is NO WAY you will find the right paths through the interesting part of Varanasi without that guide. Google maps is totally lost. Best to do in the afternoon so you can end by watching the evening ceremony near the hotel, which starts at 6:30pm.
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Old Nov 4, 18, 6:28 pm
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Im not very worried about the room size- don't intend to spend much time there. I arrive in the afternoon and have hired a tour guide with a boat to view the ceremony from the water. The next day I will have the same guide show me around town on foot before heading out to catch my flight to Amritsar. The Brijrama seems charming and I'm looking forward to my brief stay in Varanasi. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts about the hotel and for the tips!
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Old Nov 11, 18, 2:58 am
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The hotel provides a free boat to view the ceremony, or you can just walk there and sit down on shore to watch it if you arrive 30 minutes before to find a decent spot (and listen to the 'pre=show') -- it's like a five minute walk. I doubt that paying for a guide or a private boat will add much.

For the tour the next day, you will have to bring your passport and take off your shoes on occasion. You will not exactly be walking in your socks on anything immaculately clean although fortunately there aren't any cow patties inside the actual temple. The passport bit allows you to skip a two-hour queue for one of the temples, but there still will be a very silly security check.
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Old Dec 22, 18, 6:09 am
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Originally Posted by RichardInSF View Post
The hotel provides a free boat to view the ceremony, or you can just walk there and sit down on shore to watch it if you arrive 30 minutes before to find a decent spot (and listen to the 'pre=show') -- it's like a five minute walk. I doubt that paying for a guide or a private boat will add much.

For the tour the next day, you will have to bring your passport and take off your shoes on occasion. You will not exactly be walking in your socks on anything immaculately clean although fortunately there aren't any cow patties inside the actual temple. The passport bit allows you to skip a two-hour queue for one of the temples, but there still will be a very silly security check.
brijrama is fully booked for the time I wanted (Dec 29-Jan1). I dont think it would be a good idea to just show up bc its peak season. Did you go during peak season? I wonder if they keep the varj room off the website for walk ins or to upgrade guests who are celebrating something special?
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