Varanasi India – Best Ideas on Where to Stay
Varanasi offers a spiritually enriching experience like no other. With the holiest river Ganges flowing through the city, it boasts some of the most serene and beautiful scenery. Because Varanasi is a holy city visited for both recreational and religious reasons, it offers a variety of accommodation options for the visitors. While a number of foreign tourists prefer staying in ashrams if coming with spiritual purposes, hotels, lodges and resorts are also plentiful.
Where to look for accommodation
Although the accommodation options are scattered around the city, Dashashwamedh area is one to check first when in Varanasi. This is the area with the highest concentration of hotels and eating options. The close proximity to major ghats and shrines make this area the most sought after among the tourists planning a visit to Varanasi.
As mentioned above, many Varanasi visitors opt for staying in ashrams. Flawlessly clean and well maintained rooms as well as extremely affordable rates male ashrams the most popular accommodation choice in Varanasi.
One of the ashrams worth mentioning here is the ISKON (B 27/80, Durgakund Road) in Varanasi. It is often filled with Krishna followers and mingling with them is always a one-of-a-kind experience. They charge INR 300 per day. However, before heading there check with the venue if they accept non-life members at the time of your visit.
Another area to seek for budget accommodation is Old Town or Main Ghat. Here you’ll find plenty of affordable and clean backpacker-stayle places to stay. Worth checking out is Hotel Alka (Meer Ghat D 3/23, Dashashwamedh) where you can rent a room for INR 550 per night. The rooms offer some of the best views in the city and it is only a few minutes’ walk to the closest ghat.
Run and operated by the owners of Hotel Alka is the Teerth Guesthouse (D 8/9, Kalika Gali, Dashashwamedh) which is one of the favourite backpackers haunts in Varanasi. For approximately INR 600 per night you will get a clean room with an ensuite bathroom with a shower. It is also located very centrally.
Ganga Paying Guest House (B30/250 A, Nagwa Assi Ghat) is popular among the visiting foreigners so it won’t be hard to meet your like-minded fellow-travellers. INR 600 buys you a double room with shared bathroom – add extra INR 200 for a private bathroom. What we really liked about this guesthouse was the warm welcome the owner gave us (literally – with a hot cup of chai and a chit chat session afterwards). It’s definitely worth checking out because it makes you feel like you’re at home away from home.
For those willing to spend a little extra, there is a very famous riverside lodging with great rooftop dining – Ganpati Guest House (D3/24, Meer Ghat). The location is absolutely unbeatable – and so are the views from many room. Some of the main ghats like Manikarnika ghat, Dashashwamedh ghat, Kedar ghat, Harishchandra ghat and Assi ghat are only a few minutes’ walk from the guesthouse. It is about 1.5 km to the famous Kashi Vishwanath Temple, too.
For INR 3000 per night you can wake up to some of the most beautiful sunrises along the river Ganges.
Away from the hustle and bustle of the Old Town is Hotel Landmark (B 38/7-3, Opposite Akshwani, Mahmoorganj). A deluxe double room with a private bathroom comes for INR 4000 per night. It gets highest marks for exceptional room service and friendly professional staff ready to assist with all your needs. There is also 24/7 hot water what is kind of a rarity here. Kashi Vishwanath temple is only a kilometre from the hotel and if you are lloking to get away from the congested alleyways closer to the ghats, then The Landmark is definitely for you.
Another hotel in the mid-range segment that we would highly recommend is Hotel Varanasi Inn (C 19/218 N, Big Bazaar Road, Sigra). It is situated relatively close to major ghats like Kedar ghat and Harishchandra ghat as well as Alamgir Mosque and Bharat Mata Temple. Varanasi junction railway station is only about a kilometre from the hotel. Room rates include complimentary breakfast buffet. There is also room service on offer.
Another hotel known for its amazing customer service and in-house facilities is Hotel Park Plaza at S 20/53-14, Budhha Vihar Colony, The Mall Road, Cantonment, Varanasi. The hotel restaurant is known for its world cuisine and very popular among the foreign travellers. Room rates start at INR 4000.
Kashi Annapurna Paying Guest House (D 8/20, Kalika Gali, Dashashwamedh) falls in between budget and mid-range categories offering rooms of different types. Budget doubles equipped with twin beds and a private bathroom are all-year-round bestsellers at INR 550. The family room costs INR 2200 per night and comes with 4 beds. The location of the guesthouse is ideal as it very close to Kashi Vishwanath temple (600 metres which is a walking distance). The manager is very friendly and makes you feel like at home. There is a police post right next to the guesthouse feels and is very safe.
The next few options are for the ones who have a penchant for anything and everything to do with luxury. Even if the majority of visitors to Varanasi are pilgrims and other travellers pursuing spiritual targets, the city doesn’t disappoint those with a taste for finer things.
Situated amidst huge gardens and orchards, The Taj Nadesar Palace (Nadesar Palace Grounds, Varanasi) is quite a stunner. With a comprehensive list of services and amenities, you will definitely find a reason or two to extend your trip. Room rates are stunning, too, starting from INR 40,000. A stay at this hotel will ensure you get the inner and outer peace you came looking for in Varanasi.
Another luxury retreat conveniently located in the heart of the city is Hotel Radisson (The Mall Cantonment, Varanasi). To facilitate your travels around the city, you can order a hotel chauffeur to drive you around. Special in-house spa treatments available on request will set your mind, body and soul on ease. INR 17,500 per night also gives you access to their fully equipped gym, swimming pool, steam room, Jacuzzi and more. For those planning a visit to shrines and ghats, the river Ganges is only a few kilometres from the hotel.