I am European but have been living in India for 8 years. I have visited Agra quite a few times, and before, whenever I was thinking about going to Agra, I only had bad touristic memories in my head - cold, dirty hotels, aggressive shop keepers etc.. But I really wanted to take my Indian family (4 people in total) to see the Taj Mahal. So I took some time looking for a good, reasonably priced hotel online. I decided to choose Friends Paying Guesthouse firstly because they had a "family room" for all of us, and secondly because the "friends" part in their name sounded... well, friendly!
And I really wasn't disappointed. I had this grubby, dirty image of hotels in Agra in my head, and when I arrived at this guesthouse, it was a huge relief. The staff was very friendly and welcoming, and we had some very nice conversations with them. The common room of the guesthouse with the Bob Marley restaurant reminded me of the cosy, friendly youth hostels I used to go to in Europe when I was younger, and it almost made me forget that I was in India. With fun notes from guests on the walls, nice and cosy decoration/arrangements etc. We really had a (short but) nice time there - the room was simple but comfortable and exactly what I had been looking for.
They also have CCTV cameras and the place feels safe and warm.
Really we just felt like at home there.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- "Explore the epitome of love and one of the most visited destinations of the World: Agra, with all home-like comforts and exceptionally customer friendly services..... Backpacker Panda, one of the finest hostels to enjoy and experience the fascinating historical Mughal city, always on its toes to serve you the best! Located just a stone's throw away from jaw-dropping splendid white marble mausoleum, Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of world! Just believe! Neat and clean dorms with cozy mattress, a multi cuisine restaurant with finger-lickin' food, well-equipped kitchenette, coffee and tea making facility, fast and reliable Wi-Fi, friendly and immensely helpful crew, clean and hygienic washrooms, safe abode, pure drinking water......Perfect for relaxation after exploring the magnificent city of love! So come, stay and live your backpacking moments! " ... more less