Suryauday Haveli is a wonderful new haveli, tricky to reach requiring either a 15 minute boat ride or walking through the winding alleys of Varanasi's old town, but the journey is well worth the effort and quite an introduction to this incredible city. The haveli is a small property with only 14 rooms and was originally built by the Royal Family of Nepal as a retreat for the aged. It has a wonderful location near Shivala Ghat. This is a good quality small hotel for anyone wanting accommodation near the ghats of the sacred Ganges.
Once you have arrived the haveli is perfectly situated for exploring the Ganges and the ghats by a boat ride or by walking through the alleys of the old town. It is around a 15 minute walk to Vishwanath Temple located in the centre of Varanasi's old town.
The traditional Hindu chef here serves vegetarian fare in a cosy dining room and doesn't work from a menu, but decides on the meals each evening to bring guests traditional Indian food from across the continent. Light snacks and drinks are served on the roof terrace which is a wonderful place to take part in early morning yoga sessions with a trained instructor or to relax in the evening and enjoy the sunset.
Open: Suryauday Haveli is open all year.
Location: Suryauday Haveli is on Shivla Ghat in Varanasi. Varanasi airport is about 30kms away and the railway station is 6kms from the hotel. It is a 15-minute boat ride from the famous Varanasi ghats and a 15-minute walk from Kashi Vishwanath Temple.
Rooms: There is a master suite and 8 river-facing rooms and 5 further guest rooms, all with en-suite bathrooms, air conditioning, direct dial â€˜phone, TV, â€˜fridge, tea and coffee maker and free Wi-Fi internet access.
Activities: Yoga sessions on the roof terrace, walk through the alleys of the old city, take a boat trip with the hotelâ€™s river guide, watching activities on the river from the terrace. The hotel can arrange excursions to local places of interest such as Sarnath and Bodgaya.
Facilities: The restaurant specialises in Indian food and local dishes. The food is vegetarian. Meals are taken in the courtyard and on the rooftop terrace, where drinks can also be enjoyed. The hotel does not serve alcohol. There are several restaurants within easy walking distance of the hotel.
Dining: Meals are taken at separate tables.
Children: Children of all ages are welcome.
Health: We recommend malaria prophylactics for travel to India.
Communication: There is free Wi-Fi internet access in guest rooms and in the public areas of the hotel.
A rich mix of the north's highlights - from the Taj to the ghats and from tigers to palaces.
"We were disappointed not to have a river view room, though it was easy enough to get up to the roof or communal balcony if we wanted to look at the goings on on the Ganges. The food was tasty, but the staff were over attentive; we felt we were constantly being watched, and they kept topping up our plates after every other mouthful, which got very annoying!"