When I visited Patna a few months ago, I was disgusted by the unsavoury clientele and indifferent service I had experienced at Hotel Maurya. This time I opted for Hotel Chanakya, which was like moving from the frying pan to the fire!
The entrance lobby was small and forlorn. The reception was frigid and my passport was whisked away to the third floor to be photocopied, even as another guest was clamouring for the return of his identity document.
My bed had just one light blanket and room seemed quite cold – the outside temperature at 1030 pm was around 10 degrees Celsius and expected to fall during the night. When I asked the reception about heating facilities, they graciously offered to provide me with a “room heater” which turned out to a much battered and very noisy old convector. Consequently, I had a choice between a warm but noisy room and a quiet but cold one – I ended up alternating between these charming options for most of the night! To add to my discomfort, the bed was not long enough to accommodate my 5’11” frame and my ankles were projecting beyond the edge of the mattress.
In the morning, I drew the curtains and sunlight flooded the room. Within minutes, the room temperature became uncomfortably warm. I realized that the large windows were equipped with very thin panes, which provided no thermal insulation.
The bathroom was notable for its dim lighting, discoloured tiles, stained towels, dubious toiletries and an extraordinarily slippery plastic bathtub with neither handholds nor anti-slip surfaces. The hotel was considerate enough to provide a plastic bucket and mug, but there was no possibility of using them, since the mixer was located directly above the notorious bathtub!
Buffet breakfast at Samrat restaurant was insipid and the service was sloppy. Breakfast service ended at 1030 am and the very next minute, a zealous cleaner began sweeping the floor beneath the feet of the guests who were still seated!
The last straw was that they managed to misspell both my first name and my surname on the bill, though I had provided my business card as well as my passport while checking in.
To be fair, I must mention that Takshila restaurant offers half-portions, which suits guests who are eating alone. My dinner was tasty and the service was prompt – the only positive feature of my stay at this hotel.
On the whole, a student or a pilgrim on a shoestring budget might tolerate the rickety infrastructure of this hotel. However, the tariffs – which are comparable to those of entry-level five star properties in other state capitals like Lucknow, Ranchi or Bhubaneswar – would suit only business travellers. I wonder if the original Chanakya, the great economist and political strategist of the 3rd century BC, would have approved of his modern namesake’s rip-off strategy!
- Also Known As:
- Chanakya Hotel Patna
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