Finding the perfect abode for your travels can be very difficult if you’re travelling to a new place and are have a certain budget in mind and more so if you are a traveller like me and demand professional and reliable services without having to pay a premium for it !
So I went on to hunt for such a place if it existed for our 9 day trip to Jodhpur. Jodhpur, as all of you must know, is a tourist hub and the city thrives on tourism with a lot of people, I mean a lot of people having started their own B&Bs and home stays. Every kind of accommodation offers you different things. A basic accommodation option will offer you the basics but the only problem is the word ‘basic’ is not standardised. It is open to interpretation. Some will offer you wifi but low speed, unreliable or only in the common areas, some do not have an in house kitchen, but promise to offer you breakfast. So it’s a little confusing because more often than not, promises are meant to be broken in India !
The main points under consideration before zeroing down to the perfect budget accommodation for my 9 days stay were:
- Location – I needed a room that would be in the centre of town yet away from the hustle and bustle of the old city.
- Wifi – Extremely important ! I work online so good phone connectivity and a reliable, high speed wifi were two major concerns.
- Breakfast – Work starts early and I like finishing a bit of my work in the first half of the day before heading out to explore. Also the boy had a couple of exams to appear for in Jodhpur so, a good breakfast at the hotel / B&B was a must.
- Budget – Although, budget is a consideration but I it is always relative to what one is being offered. There are enough rooms and hostels / dorms available for Rs 500 / night but those are good backpacking options and not for me when I’m travelling with Karan.
- Sleep Quality – Again, because the boy had his exams and is a light sleeper, we needed a quiet place and not a hotel where the music plays all night long or the walls are wafer thin.
- Privacy – You know I’m quite the couchsurfer, in fact my first couchsurfing experience began in Jodhpur that turned into a life long friendship. But couchsurfing lacks privacy and it is beneficial when both the host and you have different cultures and experiences to share and learn from each other. For something like this, you need a considerable amount of time to spend together, either travelling or chatting about your experiences after you come back from a whole day of town hopping. Again, this was not something I was looking for in this trip.
- Air Conditioned rooms – Rajasthan tends to get very warm during the day and also being dusty, you need a stay option which you can return to and relax or sit inside and finish work without any hassles.
- Cleanliness / Hygienic washrooms – Last but most importantly, the rooms needs to be spotless whether it’s the linen or the washrooms.
So that left me with the option of renting out local hotels, beautiful and promising Haveli turned hotels, or warm family run B&Bs. Most of them promised Wifi, Breakfast and a Budget friendly stay. So then I went to tripadvisor to look at the reviews. After a long drawn research process, I selected a few accommodation options out of which 2 were OYO Rooms.
I realised that all the shortlisted hotel options were reviewed well but the question was how reliable were the reviews? So I went on to call a few hotels and realised that the information available on various websites and what the hotel receptions told me did not exactly match. The locations were different or the free wifi was only available in the common areas and I just could not take a chance of booking a hotel for 9 days straight, that did not deliver.
There was no confusion or two ways in what OYO Rooms were offering. So I started researching more about OYO Rooms, the brand and their concept. I was quite intrigues by the feature where one can order room service quickly via the OYO Rooms app. I’m still to download their app and try that one.
But what I was pleasantly surprised with, was how simply OYO Rooms had solved all my problems and were giving me exactly what I needed – Location + WiFI + Breakfast + Clean Rooms / Linen + Aircon ! I’m not a cable TV fan, but I’m sure the boy will indulge in it a couple of times.
So in my mind, the deal was sealed right then because I had the confidence that I was buying into a brand and not just a stand alone, family run hotel. Brands are logical and respectful towards their customers, they know that they are going to get business from you repeatedly as compared to a stand alone property that knows that you might probably never come back. More often than not, brands are born to solve a problem and during my research, I could definitely understand why OYO Rooms came into being !
So there, I’m reaching Jodhpur today and I’ll be staying at one of OYO Rooms properties. Let’s see which one I choose. Right now there is an elite property that can caught my fancy. Will keep you posted about my experience with OYO.