There’s always a trade-off we make when we look for super affordable hotels in India.
If its easy on the wallet, we need to keep our expectations low. We can get by with just clean linen and expect that we’ll need to just ‘make-do’ with whatever hotel room we’re handed.
But as the young, modern, traveler ups his standards and expects more bang for his buck, hotels like Delightz Inn turn out to be ideal. Not only do they offer value for money, but they focus on what counts. Fantastic service (Delightz Inn offers it in spades!), great location – close to the hub-bub but far enough to have a peaceful stay, and lip-smacking food. Sure, millennials like me would never complain if offered a bunch of amenities to go with it, but when you peel away the indulgences and come down to the bare necessities, we’re just looking for an inexpensive, well-kept, comfy place to come back to after a day of exploring the town. Am I right?
So here’s my review of Delightz Inn in Ooty. It was one of the smallest hotels I’ve ever stayed at, yet I didn’t feel that the hotel lacked or compromised on the comfort of the guest.
It’s not about where you’re going. It’s how you get there that counts, isn’t it? I travelled via a self-drive car from Pollachi, passing through little villages and expansive tea gardens. From Bangalore, Ooty is a 6 hour drive away and is quite a fun journey, allowing you to pass through two national parks with the chance of wild animal sightings! I did this route on my way back to catch my train from Bangalore and squealed when I saw a baby elephant.
You can also travel to Ooty by train or by bus – and the railway station as well as bus station (5 kms away) is a short drive from Delightz Inn. From the station, you will need to hail a taxi as the hotel is not walking distance, but is located at the end of a long, bumpy, uphill-sloping road.
ABOUT DELIGHTZ INN
Delightz Inn is a great budget hotel in Ooty for families, couples and friends and is located on Tiger Hill. During my stay, I found there to be only families, plenty of kids and elderly folks and a whole lot of family chatter at every corner of the property.
As I mentioned earlier, the hotel is small and compact – only comprising of the rooms, parking space for 6-8 cars, and garden patch out in front. They don’t have acres of land, a sit-down restaurant, or amenities to boast of, yet, the hotel is packed to the brim with holidaying families and I could see that it was undoubtedly a popular choice among visitors to Ooty.
I visited the property in November, at a time when the weather was such that you just wanted to disappear under a blanket and emerge a few months later. The temperature hovered around 10 degrees, and dipped lower at night, which was when I’d peep over my blanket to watch a cooking show or two on TV.
Comprising of a queen bed and fluffy pillows, two side tables and a cupboard connected to a dressing table with a mirror, the cosy room was minimally decorated. The bathroom is basic yet not shabby, and is kept absolutely clean. Toiletries are provided.
Pull back the curtains, slide the side glass-door open and you’ll find yourself standing on a compact patio with a view of the parking lot, garden patch and hills in front of you. The porch has a table and chairs – great for enjoying lunch on, but as the temperature drops during the evening, you can easily carry the furniture inside the room, to sit on for dinner, as there are no seats in the room itself.
I stayed in a double room, but for larger groups, there are rooms that can accommodate up to 5-6 people too, making it very affordable for friends who want to explore Ooty together.
Among the best things about Delightz Inn, the food and service was unmatched! Start your day on small garden patch in front of the hotel, where a buffet breakfast spread is laid out. You have to try the fresh watermelon juice – it was so refreshing that the pitcher would empty out within minutes of having being brought to the buffet table. When the weather is that nippy, any one of us would gravitate towards a hot cup of tea or coffee instead, but for once, I chose the healthier option!
Speaking of tea, I’d like to share a small incident with you – that shows how thoughtful the staff is! It’s a given that you won’t find the tea at any place as good as the tea at home, merely because we all have our own way of making it. When we found the tea way too milky for our liking, we requested for tea with less milk once during our stay. Thereafter, despite having full occupancy, the hotel staff always ensured we had the perfect cup of tea sent to our room when we ordered it.
Lunches and dinners are sent up to guests’ rooms because of the absence of a restaurant. However, service is pretty quick and the quantity is generous! I wanted to take advantage of a sunny afternoon and asked the staff if I could have my lunch in the garden. Within no time, a table was set up and laid – complete, with a vase and flowers from the garden!
Yet another incident that totally made my day (I even shared it on Instagram Stories!) was when I ordered for Mushroom Munchurian and Fried Rice for dinner. The staff didn’t tell me that there were no mushrooms available, but instead, went to the market to buy some! When they had bought it up to my room and they told me what they had done, I couldn’t help but feel special! It would have been so easy for them to request me to order something else, and I would have done so without a second thought. As you can see, they do go out of their way to make every guest feel welcomed and special!
Narrating all this to you now, I almost forgot to tell you about the food! Of course, it was excellent! Do try the chole-puri at breakfast, the fish and prawn tikka, mushroom Manchurian (of course!) and the Indian + Hakka Chinese fare in general! Also, interact with Mr. Bala, the FnB during your stay. He is so pleasant and genuinely warm that you can even hear him smiling through the phone at the hotel.
The staff also has great tips on things you can do in Ooty, where to buy the best home-made chocolates (a specialty of the land) and the best tea estates around. And if you have been to Ooty before, I’d love to know what you did there! Comment below and let me know!