Located outside the main market area of Kaza, Spiti valley hotel offers large spartan rooms with no character. Frankly we were quite disappointed with our stay. Our visit started on the wrong foot. Arriving late in the afternoon we were greeted with an empty reception area. After a few minutes of wait, while we looked up the contact number details of the manager, we were greeted by a property manager who frankly was quite dispirited.
Spiti Valley Hotel
The room allocated was large but had seen better days. The furnishing including the carpet was faded. The room had an attached balcony which was large and faced the main Kaza road. This was nice as we could catch a glimpse of the monastery just across the road. The washroom again was big, clean but had a water heater which had seen better days, I will come to this later. Towels and toiletries were not available in the room and had to be specifically asked for.
No Lunch Available
Having arrived in the afternoon, we looked up the same manager for the availability of some lunch. To our surprise we learned that the property does not offer lunch. Since most tour groups are out sightseeing for most of the day, they have taken a decision to not have facilities for lunch at all ! I found this surprising, but was actually more irritated on account of the fact that this information had not been shared up front. If I was aware, we would obviously have had lunch at Kaza market and then checked in. On the bright side, this led to the discovery of lovely little cafe in Kaza called Himalayan Cafe, cosy interiors and amazing food, detailed review coming later.
Tricky Hot Water
Coming to the water heater, the availability of hot water is subject to two conditions. First up the main switch outside the room should not have tripped. Now in case this is working then within the wiring of the heater, the cut off switch should also be functional. Only if the above conditions are met will hot water be available. Now obviously this is unknown to the guest resulting in the loss of litres of water waiting for the water to heat. In fact this ‘secret sauce’ is also not known to some of the staff so you have to wait for the same indifferent manager to be available to get this sorted for you.
The Dining Affair
Dinner is served at a large dining room on the top level. The food on offer was indeed good and we had no complaints. There are fixed timings for dinner, which are clearly called out and is fair. However on the last day of our stay when we reached the dining area, we observed that there was a large group settling down for what was obviously going to be a drinking session. We had no qualms about it as we could have dinner in a corner without folks bothering one another.
However the manager ‘suggested’ to us that the food would be sent down to our room and we can avail ‘room service’ . Now in an upmarket hotel this would work but in a spartan room in Kaza with one small desk which is holding your luggage this makes no sense. Again if we had been forewarned and requested to have our dinner early we would have gladly accomodated. But at the last moment being forced to accept an option left a bitter taste in the mouth.
Final parting thought. The hotel manager ‘graciously’ offered to reduce our bill by suggesting to not pay the tax component. All he had to do was mark us as No-Show and we would pay him in cash. Needless to say I rejected the offer and paid in full.
- Pro : Located just opposite the Kaza monastery, away from the bustle of the market
- Con : Limited to no hospitality, expensive, bare basic rooms
Overall, I would not recommend the property and I am sure there would be better options available in Kaza. I hope the information above was of help. If you have any other questions, please feel free to comment and ask; or drop a note in the Forum Thread; and I will be glad to reply.