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Family to Shimla for Aunt's dream trip - Alternative to Wildflower Hall

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Oct 28th, 2010, 08:04 AM
  #1
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Family to Shimla for Aunt's dream trip - Alternative to Wildflower Hall

Just at the very beginning of thinking of a trip to Shimla as part of trip to visit family in India. An older aunt, living in India, has never been to see any of Himalyas and we think now is the time to grant this wish of hers.

My dream of course is we all stay at Wildflower Hall - but I think the $$ are just too much. The website is showing in the $500++. I would jump on it around $300++ .

A few thoughts. What would a Wildflower Hall alternative be. We would still want great views, comfortable, super clean. The hotel/resort should be a place we could just hang out and enjoy ourselves vs always having to leave in order to feel like we are on holiday.

We're going First week of June. We'll be 6 Adults and 4 kids.

One idea is maybe in working with a travel agent or something there are discounts for Wildflower. Or some sort of Oberoi package as we might also stay in Delhi a couple of days and would have to consider a trip to the Taj Mahal - before we head south to Bangalore back to stay with family.

Koti resort looks somewhat ok - but everything feels like a let down since I looked at Wildflower first. I shouldn't get too bogged down in this. Our family might be too uncomfortable if it were super fancy and we'll have younger kids - so a less posh option might be better anyway. Cecil Oberoi could be a nice alternative.

Thanks for any thoughts. I've read tripadvisor but it would be nice to have any thoughts on how others weighed the options.
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Oct 28th, 2010, 08:51 AM
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Check some of the discount booking sites. I was able to get the Oberoi Grand in Kolkata for less than half the price shown on the website.
www.agoda.com
www.gtahotels.com
even www.travleociy may have some good rates
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Oct 28th, 2010, 01:39 PM
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If you're getting a good deal at the Oberoi Cecil, grab it. Its slightly cheaper than the Wildflower Hall but is almost as good. And it has a great colonial historic feel to it. Plus, I've never heard of a bad or even just-about-ok Oberoi hotel so you can't go wrong on that one.

As Kathie points out, try Travelocity or Expedia for some discounts. Check their Indian versions also for a quick check (replace the .com with the .co.in).
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Oct 28th, 2010, 02:14 PM
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Would the Oberoi Cecil feel too "busy" as it is more "in town". I don't know much yet.

I do think the Cecil might be more appropriate for children as they mention them vs Wildflower might be more honeymooners only.

I looked at the discount sites but the would show nothing unless you only booked 2 in a room. We would want to book 3 rooms but they would have more than 2 in each room.

On a separate note....and I know I should do another post.... I am trying to Fly Delta to India and while there are certainly options it isn't so robust. Too bad.
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Oct 28th, 2010, 11:30 PM
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We (dtr and I) loved Shimla, and was there last June(same time of year as you) Weather was perfect!! You will love it. You will also, at that time of yr, likely find many families from other parts of India, as school holidays start then.

There is a pkg run by Oberoi hotels, in which you pick a certain number of their hotels and get some sort of package. Even this way, it is by no means inexpensive, but might help you get to your $300 desired price.

http://www.oberoihotels.com/india/ex...ons_winter.asp
The above end before June, but they will offer something similar after that.

BTW, I've NEVER seen Wildflower for less than $500 /night.And Lord knows, i spent lots of time searching.

We stayed in Shimla at Clarke's(Mr Oberoi's first hotel, but no longer an "official" Oberoi hotel .It was terrific for the price, atmosphere, and location (we wanted to be right ON the Mall) but i sense you want something a bit more resort-like.

So...How about the Radisson??? The location is in the hills above the Mall, but close enough for convenience to walking 'round town. It is also within your price range, has a pool for the children, and gets good reviews on hotel sites (TA, Holidayiq, etc) We spoke with someone in Shimla who said the hotel is beautiful.

Also--not to put a damper--but if you imagine seeing many snowcapped mountain peaks right in Shimla in June...you may be disappointed. It is still beautiful, but not in that way.
Manali has more of what you're envisioning as snow-capped mt scenery, but i woulc avoid its crowded, noisy streets and tourist chaos in June

http://www.radisson.com/himachal-pra...171001/indshim
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Oct 29th, 2010, 12:31 AM
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Well, the Cecil is mostly busier than Wildflower simply because it is the cheaper option among the two. However I've not heard many complaints on the front that it is too busy, noisy sometimes - yes, but it still has a somewhat laidback atmosphere.

However, I'd really recommend checking out CaliNurse's choice - Clarke's. Its got a solid reputation and while I've not stayed in it, everyone I know who has been a guest there loves the heritage property.

I'd also throw in another choice in case you want to have a look - Chapslee. Its a resort / hotel which is truly colonial style, which also means that its building is really old and just a tad worn down. The service however is impeccable. The downside is that it is slightly distant from the major attractions and may not be suited to your tastes if you are used to standard modern hotels like a Marriott or Holiday Inn.
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Oct 29th, 2010, 06:13 AM
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Chapslee looks interesting but I am not sure if I would do it with our crowd - more if it was just me and hubby up for an adventure.

The radisson looks interesting and lovely although part of my cringes at staying at an American hotel chain in Shimla. I am used to a whole range of hotels but want comfort for the extended family.

Will look more at Clarke's - recent TA reviews seem to suggest it is Oberoi.

Thanks everyone
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Oct 29th, 2010, 08:57 PM
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SF Mater--Clarke's is most definitely NOT part of the Oberoi chain any more, even though the old brass room keys still say "Oberoi." As i wrote above, it was the first hotel Mr Oberoi bought, and there is a plaque about it in front of the hotel. I heard that Mr O still has great sentimental fondness for the place. It has "old style" charm for sure. Daughter and i loved the atmosphere, and our suite and the restaurant.The beds were fantastic!!

But it is not, based on your original post, what you want. There is o resort type feel lor amenity there. Oberoi Cecil has indoor pool, which you and kids would enjoy. But..that elegance comes at a price.d

As for your understandable cringing at an "American chain' --it is not less "Indian" than other more expensive chains, and more and more Indian "chain hotels" are getting that Ikea modular look. Radisson has a kids' activity room and an outdoor pool.

Another possibility: the East Bourne Hotel resort in Shimla. It too has an indoor pool. Its tariff is in your desired price range and it is in a foresty setting, but outside the main part of town (Mall area)

When you go to Shimla, don't miss the old Viceregal Mansion, now an Institue for post-doc scientific learning. Tours are given in English and Hindi. Amazing historical place with an old automatic sprinkler system (very novel for the time) and the room, and table, where Partition was discussed by Nehru, Jinna, Mpuntbatten.
The kids will love running around the park like gardens outside of it.



Cecil has ain indoor pool which would be good for you and the kdis. (VClarkes' does not, and i cant recall even a fitness center.

Gthe Cecil is at one end of the Mall, the Clarkes is at the other.
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Oct 30th, 2010, 03:31 AM
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My daughter remembers the pool in The Cecil for the monkeys. She was the only one in it and she was swimming up and down. She turned on her back and saw a monkey on the roof (which was clear) which was walking up and down above her, following her progress!
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