from Ooty, India recommends this hotel
Room Quality: 4/5
Service Quality: 5/5
Dining Quality: 5/5
Howard Johnson The Monarch, Ooty - Review
I congratulate myself for choosing a wonderful Hotel at Ooty. Ooty have many Hotels, but most of them are budget Hotels.
1. Hotel Accessibility - The Hotel is situated at the top of up-Hills on Havelock Road, a 4-5 kms drive from the Main Market or Charring Cross (A Hidden mountain walking Short-cut is 1-2 kms). Rickshaws charge around Rs. 70/- (You will get a drop at the Hotel at any time, but while coming down you should be lucky to get a Rickshaw, The Hotel will always give you a drop at Rs. 150/- by car��very costly). The Roads leading here are very clean & in good shape, the Scenic view of the valley is very excellent (from the Road & Hotel as-well) with greenery all around & no Hassles of the city & its visitor��s crowd. Actually I discovered that instead of going-in for site-seeing it is better to enjoy in the Hotel itself as it is very secured & spacious. The Hotel is in Ooty itself & not out of the town. Hotel Situation & View gets full full Point 1+. (Mind you, if you need a market & crowd near you & are really not interested in the Calm Scenic beauty you should try some other Hotel. You take this Hotel if your objective is to Relax, be Lazy, Roam around and do Nothing. Of course, the Hotel has its own Swimming Pool, Shuttle Badminton Court (Indoor), a mini Theater, etc, which you can enjoy, instead of going out)
2. Welcome at Reception - Normally the Check-in Time is 12:00 Noon, we reached the Hotel at 9:45 a.m. we were immediately allotted a Room before the Check-in Time. [Here the Bell-boy expects some Bakshis from you, the Hotel should take care of the same keeping into view their star Ratings & the service charges (not taxes) which they take on food.] full Point 1+.
3. First Reaction of Hotel - It was very cold at Ooty, But the Hotel was pretty warm from inside as it has double doors, warm lightings & Carpets all over. The Reception Lobby is excellent & very spacious having large Sofa Sets which can accommodate atleast 35 people & if more chairs are arranged around 400-500 people can be easily accommodated. There are three shops inside the Hotel. 1. Travel Desk. 2. Artifacts Shop 3. A Shop for Souvenir, Toy, Oils, Sweaters, T-Shirts, etc. Here again the Hotel gets full Points 1+.
4. Hotel Ambiance - The outdoor open Parking space is pretty comfortable with a small garden next to it. Indoor - On entrance there is Big Lobby & at the Right side there is Big Reception table. In the Hotel Upwards there are Three Floors for Rooms & Suites with atleast 16 feet��s of Ceiling Height & on downwards there is a -1 Floor for Games, etc. Two Lifts are provided along with Two Sided Spacious Stair Cases. Just next to the Reception area there is a Big Multicuisine Restaurant, serving very delicious Food attached thereto is a Beautiful Garden having a Helipad (a unique feature about the Hotel) from there take a few steps downwards & you have a small garden with games for children��s. On the other lower end of the Hotel there is a The Mid - Night Cow boy Bar & Discotheque (Music is played at night till 11:00 but very very loud certainly not suitable for children��s, but what can you expect in Mithun��s Hotel) and an Indoor Swimming Pool with warm water (Depth 2-4 feets only, But good to enjoy with children��s & family). Overall the complete Hotel is really very spacious & beautiful with ample landscape & good scenic views. full Point 1+
5. Rooms �� The Rooms are very Big & comfortable with great Height & spacious feel. King Sized Beds having fresh Bed sheets / Spreads, nice warm double Woolen Blankets & very well-maintained room with wooden flooring. But require some renovations. The Room is equipped with a Phone, Bed-side desk with Lamp, 30 inch LCD TV, two sofa-chairs, a center table, a Dressing Table, Big Wardrobe & a Big Luggage Table. The Room does not have Fan & AC �� don��t need them in any season at Ooty. There is an Electric Heater which will be powered if you pay additional Rs. 300/-. The Bath Room consists of a Large Bath tub, though old but in maintained condition & good shower. I wonder why you don��t get Hot water from 11:00 pm. to 6.00 am. The Toilet Pot & Wash Basin is also old but clean & maintained. You get towels, napkins & all the toiletries except tooth paste & Brush. Every Room in the Hotel has their own private small Balconies which is around 10 x 3 feet��s) the view from here is very excellent of the valley & landscape. The Monarch is on top of a long and winding Hilly road, from that altitude, the Nilgiris stare right into your face, in their entire splendor. full Point 1+ (I was about to cut marks for required renovations, but left the same as the Rooms were really spacious & well-maintained & had an LCD).
6. Room & Hotel Service. The Room service is very quick and efficient; they clean the Room & change the bedding, towels & toiletries daily or whenever you call for. The outside lobby is also very comfortable. We order for Tea from Room on two occasions & got the same within 3-4 minutes (Mind you the Tea is very costly Rs. 58/- Plus taxes costs your pocket Rs. 70/-, which they ask you to pay instantly-not good). Hospitality here is good - All the staff here is well-mannered & behaved, they should be as they have their own Management School as-well. But they should train their Bell & room boys to not to accept & expect for Tips especially when they belong to this category of Hotels. Anyway Point 1+
7. Restaurant �� The Restaurant serves very delicious & excellent quality food, believe me, we Mumbaikars are very good in judging the same. The Space here is pretty comfortable, you have a Music playing in the background, a Mobile Charger Stand & an overlooking garden having a Helipad is in one of the corner. On the other next side you can have view of the swimming pool which is at lower floor. The restaurant serves you all kinds of delicious foods here South Indian / North Indian / Chinese, Veg & Non-Veg, etc, but mind you here, the price tag is very High. No gravy dish comes below Rs. 180/- tag, Rotis are Rs. 25/- each & plain Rice costs you around Rs. 120/-. I didn��t mind paying this price, but here again you have a trick on this price you have Plus Vat: 12.5% and additional Service Charges (not taxes): 10% on all Food & Beverages, which is really inflated & you may feel like cheated, instead why not add the same in the price menu. At First day I had to pay Rs. 300/- for the breakfast for the other days it was included in my package. Here the Dinner or Lunch will cost you not less than Rs 600/- for a couple on lower ends. You have an option in Dinner �� Buffet Rs.250/- Veg per person & Non-Veg Rs. 300/- per person, please don��t forget here Plus the above Taxes & guess what you have no option, but to pay the same as there are no Hotels nearby & going & returning from the market will cost you Rs. 140/- for Rickshaw or Rs. 300/- by Car. But on an occasion, you can try food at nearby Heritage Hotel Kings Cliff��s, which is equally priced & tasty, please don��t try the food at another nearby Hotel The Willow, The Hotel is good but the food is not. Points: 0.5 (Please Note that the deduction is for price & not for the food & ambience)
8. Recreation - At the Lower floor the Hotel is equipped with a Gym, Health spa (Steam & Sauna), Conference Room having seating arrangements for around 500 people & Four spacious Recreation Rooms. 1. Shuttle Badminton Court (Free). 2. Table Tennis Room. (Free) 3. Billiards (Chargeable) 4. Carom (Free). The Health Spa is not well equipped & the price tag here is Ok �� Facial costs you Rs. 200/- & equal charge for Steam & Sauna. I didn��t tried anything here as I found it little shoddy & uncomfortable. But the indoor Shuttle Badminton Court is very spacious, airy & pretty comfortable as compared to my Badminton Court at a Stadium near my residence & I really enjoyed the same. full Points: 1+
9. Garden �� The Gardens & landscapes here are very good. Yes you have two �� three gardens. One small Garden hidden near the entrance for your kids having regular activity games & Swings, another spacious one near the Restaurant having Helipad, with beautiful plants, grass & colorful flowers all over. The third one is besides the Parking space, but you will have to climb few steps to go there. Besides the Garden you can have a Pony rides for your children��s chargeable Rs. 70/- per kid. Point 1+
10. Other Facilities - For travel in and around Ooty, the Hotel has its own Travel Desk, which can be contacted all through the day, upto 9:00 PM. But the charges here are relatively expensive as compared to the market rates. Sight Seeing by Bus Half-day is Rs. 350/- pp at market it is Rs. 175/- pp & Car Hire is Rs. 1400/- market it is Rs. 850-1,000/-. To reiterate Rs. 150/- drop at Market place, whenever you require. Points: 0.5 (Deduction is for pricing)
Overall I found the Hotel Spacious, Courteous, Nice Rooms & food, Good service, but expensive (Remember they are strictly business-minded). The Room Tariffs are Ok, but the Extra costs are expensive. I think the Ex-season complete package (on MAP basis) with food would be great to enjoy this Hotel at its fullest. I will Rate this Hotel in between 3-4 Star Hotel Category. I will certainly consider this Hotel for second visit & recommend the same to all.