On 15th December 2019, I and my mother had to travel from Guwahati to Delhi. It was within the same period when unrest in Assam, over a political issue had just begun. Curfew had been implemented and the mobile internet services had been suspended by the government. There was no way to pre-book a hotel in Delhi, online. Luckily, one of our friends had access to a WiFi connection, so he did it on our behalf through the OYO app But, before diving further into the story, I would like to state that, this article does not intend to defame or advertise about any organization or entity. It solely represents the experience that I had during the journey.
At 2 PM on 15th December 2019, we had almost reached the hotel in Paharganj, Delhi. For some reason, the name ‘Hotel Cottage Lord Krishna‘, did not make a great impression to me even before we checked in. After confirming the booking at the reception and paying the rent, we were led to our room by a guy who’s attire was too shabby to be acceptable in the hospitality business. The room was on the second floor and due to the unavailability of an elevator, we had to climb monstrous stairs along with luggage in our hands to reach the room. Once the guy unlocked the door of the room and opened it for us, we were greeted by a smelly, dirty room. We requested for a room service immediately and the guy agreed and left. As soon as we entered the room, we realized that it was not just a room, it was a box of surprises. Surprises that you never want. In addition to the damp smell and the dirty floor, there were no blankets, the towels were wet, and the beds had no sheets on them. These were the issues that needed addressing, to a room service person for whom we had waited forever.
A few hours passed and the sun had started to set and there was no sign of any room service personal. Since we were in the Paharganj market area, I and my mother decided to go shopping. On our way out, we addressed the issues in the reception and they agreed to resolve the problems as soon as we come back from the market.
A few hours later, after having dinner we had returned to our hotel. Once again on our way to the room, we reminded the receptionist about the issues but, we were completely unaware of the horror that awaited us. As soon as I put the lights of the room on, small cockroaches started entering in every possible cracks and corner in the room for hiding. Since it was dark for a few hours, cockroaches, which must have been hiding in the corners of the room had come out. We immediately called the room service but, apparently, the hotel had the worst and the slowest room service ever. About an hour later, a guy with a broomstick appeared at our door. He informed us that the cleaning of the cockroaches would be only possible in the morning. To add to our frustration, he also informed us that there were no blankets and sheets available as they have been sent for cleaning. It was 9 degrees Celsius and the hotel had no blankets. It was already night and we did not want to get into the trouble of changing hotels at that time. The decision to leave the hotel early in the morning was made and we booked another hotel through the OYO app. For the night, we covered ourselves with the jackets that we had brought with us to beat the cold.
It was already difficult to fall asleep in that cold weather, with cockroaches in the room, someone with the worst voice started singing songs on a mic. Just perfect. It was a marriage party just near our hotel. The singing continued even after midnight until the party was over. When we were finally blessed with absolute silence, the wrath of a drunk man was released. The drunkard was mumbling and shouting utter non-sense at the top of his voice. Every time the drunk men shouted something an angry female voice would accompany it. It was possibly his wife’s voice, who was not allowing her drunk husband to enter the home. In between these dramas which continued till dawn, we killed a night, possibly the worst in my life.
In the morning when we thought that the horror was finally over, there final surprises waiting to greet us. The geyser was not working and the complimentary breakfast that we were supposed to receive was not provided to us with an excuse that the kitchen was not working. We decided not to argue and checked-out of the hotel and moved to another hotel, ‘Hotel Smart City‘, which provided us with an experience a thousand times better than before at a much lower price.
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Disclaimer: The image is for representative purposes only.