Around seven pm on June 28, 2014, I climbed the steep flight of steps of Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation’s (H.P.T.D.C.) Chandra Bhaga Hotel in Keylong, Lahaul Spiti District of Himachal Pradesh. The hotel manager asked my floor preference, a nice gesture. He showed me two rooms: 305 and 306. I selected 306 because of its clean bathroom.
The Room 306
The room was a sweet surprise, because the bright spacious room afforded a view of Keylong town and Kardang village surrounded by bare, snow-covered, and / or verdant mountain slopes. The blue carpet was quite clean. Bedding consisting of white pillows and bed-sheets, orange-green bedspread, and quilts in floral white cases was spotless. The double bed was paired with two bedside tables and lamps that were fully functional.
Absence of intercom was offset by efficient room bells installed above the bedside tables.
The television with a working Tata Sky connection was small given the size of the room.
The room featured four sockets facilitating simultaneous charging of batteries of a mobile phone and camera.
A small wooden table accompanied two chairs with cushions placed near wide bay windows offering fresh air, sunlight, and a glimpse of the settlements. The cushions were not very clean. A new white chair was a good addition.
A full-size dressing mirror with a narrow shelf just sufficient for basic accessories was installed on one of the walls facing the bed.
The walls of almost square en suite bathroom were covered with clean white tiles. However, the water pipes required more cleaning. The bathroom featured a bucket, geyser, pair of mugs, washbasin with mirror, ventilator that opened into the corridor, and western commode with flush. There was no exhaust fan. The flush was loud. I heard flush sounds from the adjacent rooms during my stay between June 28-June 30 and July 18.
I liked the geyser because it gave me full freedom to enjoy hot water anytime. The hotel provided two small soaps, shampoo sachets, and white towels.
Room service was prompt. However, the room was not cleaned and bed was not made when I returned in the evening on June 29, 2014 although I left the keys at the reception. The room boys had a lame excuse: They thought that they would clean the room in my presence.
Meal Plans and Room Tariff
The corporation does not allow to book European plan (room only) online. I was therefore forced to book MAP. I was unhappy with meal plan restrictions because I do not like oily breakfast consisting of parathas (shallow fried Indian bread), puris (deep fried Indian bread), bhaturas (deep fried Indian bread), or white bread with butter. The breakfast lacks vegetarian protein punch. Dal served during dinner was almost same every day. The repeat menu is not only boring but also not good for body.
I paid INR 3,809 for my stay from June 28-30 (single occupancy for two nights). I also paid luxury tax (10%) and service tax (7.2%).
If H.P.T.D.C. continues to maintain the hotel and offer well-kept rooms, I would stay here next time provided the corporation allows me to book European plan (EP).