Hotel Gomti in Lucknow
One of the hazards of interviewing fresh candidates from highly reputed, government-controlled colleges is to stay in government-run hotels. Typically there is an unwritten rule for these colleges and that is to utilize state-run establishments whether that means using Indian for flying or IndiaPost for courier or Hotels.
Me and my colleagues were there in Lucknow, capital of Uttar Pradesh, on a talent acquisition spree for my organization in early May 2007. We had zeroed in on one of the better technical institutes of India (definitely one of the top ones in Uttar Pradesh) and that happened to be IET (Institute of Engineering and Technology). We were put up at Hotel Gomti, which, as expected, is a state-run hotel.
Gomti Hotel is very well located, close to Sahara Ganj and is a relatively old structure. It was inaugurated in 1981 by erstwhile Prime Minister of India, Mr. V. P. Singh. It has, I guess, quite a few rooms, close to 50.
We stayed in the best rooms and the usual rack rates are around Rs. 1500 for a single and you get the complimentary breakfast. The rooms are spacious but lack all modern fittings. So no coffee makers, no new age furniture, poor ventilation and a very badly stocked rest room. Fortunately they have redone the floor and other fittings in rest rooms so that’s some solace. A/C works pretty well and we were there in mid summers and it was quite comfortable.
There is a small lobby which can sit 10 odd people, a coffee shop, a bar and a restaurant. We just checked out the restaurant and it was quite an old-world dark and dingy place. Somehow most of the state-run hotels have this dingy darkness probably because of ill-designed interiors or just plain apathy. Interestingly, unlike most of the other hotels, they don’t have a breakfast buffet, rather you can choose from certain combos and it will be delivered to your room.
Room Service is quite dismal and it took them as much as 1 hour to get us a cup of tea and much more to get breakfast. To top it all, the flask was broken and the waiter was in bathroom slippers. From my experience in staying at all kinds of hotels, this must be one of the few times when I noticed the waiter in worn-out bathroom slippers. I don’t know how they get to keep their jobs.
All in all, a poor and dismal show. Saving grace was that we were able to find some very bright talent and we don’t care too much for a bad hotel. Avoid.