Hotel Review: Hotel Sunshine, Sonamarg, Kashmir

Sonamarg on the bank of river Sindh

Sonamarg on the bank of river Sindh

“Hello, good evening! Hotel X-land……. Yes sir! Yes, yes, rooms are available……..We have a tariff of Rs.7500/- for double bed with one extra adult……..We offer you a special discount of 20%”.

Oops! I do not fit in that range. So I called hotel Y-heights and then Z-resorts. But all were in the same price range. I wondered; quiet a high price for a place like Sonamarg! Now I had only one phone number left. The last hope was still alive! Thank God! This number did not disappoint me, at least tariff-wise. It was Hotel Sunshine at Sonamarg.

We were coming from Baltal on our way back from Amarnath Yatra. We crossed the Sonmarg town. It is a small town with string of shops on the Srinagar- Leh highway (NH-1D) spreads over a kilometre or so. We noticed some road side hotels there, but all looked very ordinary. We moved towards the direction of Srinagar and after travelling less than a kilometre we stopped at Hotel Sunshine which locates on the national highway and adjacent to Hotel Snow Land (a luxurious hotel).

The first look of the Hotel from outside was impressive! Location, marvellous! Sometimes we find it hard to get a hotel in a good location that fits into our pocket. Hotel Sunshine offered us the both.

Hotel Sunshine, Sonamarg

Hotel Sunshine, Sonamarg

Another view of Hotel Sunshine

Another view of Hotel Sunshine

Locale: Located in Sonamarg on the bank of river Sindh ,Hotel Sunshine is surrounded by the lush green mountains with snow cape peaks. It offers respite to the visitors from the hustle and bustle of Sonamarg town. The hotel complex shares the same view at an affordable price with its costly neighbour ‘Hotel Snow Land’.

Rating for Locale: I give 5 out of 5 (My maximum rating on each account is 5).

“Hello Ji! Please come, please come”, a middle aged gentleman welcomed us. He was dressed with a dirty shirt and pyjama. Hard to believe but true is that he is the owner of that hotel. Mr. Sultan Bhat, the owner, may be in the age group of 50-55 years, built this property only two years back. However, the exterior colour of the property has not yet faded out unlike his shirt and pyjama. With such a grand welcome we checked in the hotel.

Reception: It was prompt, nice and no waiting for checking in.

Sitting Area of Block ‘B’

Sitting Area of Block ‘B’

Stairs to upper floor

Stairs to upper floor

To upper floor

To upper floor

Rating for Reception: I give 4 for prompt service and the manner in which we were received. But I deduct 4 for Mr. Bhat’s dirty shirt and pyjama. So Hotel Sunshine gets a zero on this account.

Rooms: Hotel Sunshine is a two storied building and it has 3 blocks. Block ‘A’ houses 6 rooms, kitchen and restaurant. Block ‘B’ & ‘C’ houses 8 rooms each. Rooms in block A & B are clean, cosy, furnished with DTH connection & intercom, walls are decorated with pine woods and fitted with sufficient number of lights and plugs. It has long windows which offer clear scenic view of Sonamarg. The tariffs of rooms in block A & B are higher than the Block ‘C’ which provides economic accommodations. Rooms are decent and comfortable but not luxurious. The room No.109 in block ‘B’ is adjacent to the kitchen and its door opens to the restaurant. I will skip this room if I visit there again.

Hotel Room

Hotel Room

Hotel Room, another view

Hotel Room, another view

Rating for Rooms: I give 3.5 out of 5.

Bathroom: Many travellers choose or reject staying in a hotel by looking into the bathroom. The bathrooms in Hotel Sunshine are small in size. There were running hot waters though not for 24 hours a day. However, we were provided with hot water in buckets whenever we asked for the same after the schedule time in the morning and evening. They allow washing of cloths in the bathroom as they don’t have a laundry service.

Rating for Bathrooms: I give 2.5 out of 5.

Restaurant & Food: The restaurant of the hotel is on the ground floor of block ‘A’. It serves purely vegetarian food, as they claim. However, I have seen them to serve boiled egg in rooms. The foods were tasty, if not superb.

Restaurant Sunshine

Restaurant Sunshine

Rating for Restaurant & Food: I give 3 out of 5.

Lawn: The long lawn on the front side of the Hotel offers its guest to sit there and enjoy the scenic view of the surrounding mountains while sipping a cup of tea or coffee. Guests can also enjoy their meals in the open air lawn. However, there is further scope for beautification of the lawn which I believe management will surely look into.

Parking facility: There are ample spaces within the hotel complex to park vehicles under the sky.

Lawn of Hotel Sunshine

Lawn of Hotel Sunshine

Rating for Lawn and Parking: I give 4 out of 5.

Room Tariff: I stayed on the ground floor of Block ‘B’ and paid Rs.2000/- (European Plan – EP) per day for three adults. The tariffs shown in their website are very much negotiable and actually they let the room out at a cheaper tariff. The tariffs in the website are overpriced.

Rating for Room Tariff:  I give 4 out of 5.

Other Amenities:

  • Car/taxi rental service, travel desk
  • Trekking to the Himalayan lakes of Vishansar, Krishansar, Gangabal and Gadsar Lake are arranged by the hotel on request.
  • The Hotel also arranges river rafting over river Sindh on request.
A view from Hotel Sunshine

A view from Hotel Sunshine

My thumb up for:

  • Location
  • Polite and gentle behaviour of the staff.
  • Rooms are good, if not luxurious.
  • The lawn
  • Decently furnished clean Rooms.

My thumb down for:

  • No wi-fi;
  • No laundry (you need to depend on laundries in the market place);
  • No facility for safe deposit.

Overall Rating: My rating (average of all the above) for the Hotel Sunshine is 3.15 out of 5.

Should you be visiting Sonamarg and looking for budget accommodation in a marvellous location, you may step into Hotel Sunshine, where Mr. Sultan Bhat (I hope by then he will wash his cloths) and his staff will make you feel at home. But please check the toilets before you check in.

My Stay in the Hotel:  I stayed in Hotel Sunshine on 10th and 11th July, 2014.

Contacts of Hotel Sunshine:

Cell Phone       : +91-9419629229, 9419781016, 9596392151

Tel.                     : 0194-2417277

Email                 : info@hotelsunshinesonamarg.com

Website            : http://www.hotelsunshinesonamarg.com

18 Comments

  • Mukesh Bhalse says:

    Anupam ji,

    A very detailed and useful review of hotel Sunshine. So..The kamij and Payjama of Mr. Bhat disappointed you. You raised our curiosity in Sultan Bhat’s dress but kept us deprived of seeing Sultan in his dirty dress…..

    The hotel looks really beautiful. The location, the building and the tariff all are attractive and above all I liked their restaurant a lot.

    In a nutshell the review was really informative and may prove helpful for aspirant fello ghumakkars. Thanks for sharing.

  • Naresh Sehgal says:

    Good and detail review. Thanks for sharing.
    One correction required in your post which I ignored in last Post.
    The river flowing in Sonamarg is Sindh but it is not Indus (Sindhu). The Indus river flows in Ladhakh region.
    So.. next post on Srinagar..

    • Thanks Naresh Ji for correcting me. Yes it is river Sindh, the largest tributary of the Jehlum River of Kashmir. I would request Nandan to help me in making the correction.

      No, the next is Zojila…moving towards Ladakh region :)

      @Nandan – The word Indus appearing in Locale may be deleted and the word Sindh appearing within bracket may be brought out of bracket…..Please.

  • Prasad Np says:

    It is very difficult to write such objective reviews of places you like. Hotel Sunshine sure seems like a great place to stay. I like the front lawns with tea tables the most….

  • Avtar Singh says:

    Hi Anupam

    Its always been difficult to write a review as one can always be blamed for biased or promotional writing.
    People blame some sites as they are flooded with doubtful reviews, Now a days, for the marketing agencies, it has become very easy to manage several accounts and post fake reviews.

    In spite of that, you took the risk, write in a some what fluid and juicy style and put forth both the sides of the coin in front of the reader.

    I must say, a good detailed description, rating with proper reasons and interesting to read.

    Kashmir is always on the wish list of every tourist, so it will be useful for them.

  • Arun says:

    Anupam Ji,

    You are a genuine traveller, who observes each and every thing during his journey and one of your best qualities is that you share all the information (point wise) among the ghumakkars, which may really help to the future travellers.

    In one word ………… WONDERFUL

    Thanks
    Arun

  • ????? ?? ???? ???? ?? ??? ?? ???? ?? ?????????? ?? ???-??? ???? ??? ????/????/???????/??? ??????? ?? ??????? ???? ?? ???????? ?????? ?? ?? ??????? ?? ???? ????? ?? ??????? ???? ?? ????? ?? ????? ??? ?????? ?? ?? ?? ??? ???? ?? ????. ???? ??? ??? ????????? ?? ????? ???? ?? ??? ???? ???? ????? ??? ????? ????????? ?? ????? ??? ?? ??? ???? ????? ?? ????-?????? ?? ??? ?? ???? ???? ?????.
    ???? ???? ?? ????? ??? ?? ??????? ?? ???? ?????? ?? ??????? ??????? ?? ?? ?????????? ?? ???? ??? ???? (??-?? ???? ??? ?????? ??? ?? ?? ?? ??? ??? ??????? ????? ???? ??? ?? ???? ?????? ??????? ?? ?????? ?? ?????? ??? ???? ???? ????? ?? ???? ?? ?? ????????? ??? ?? ???? ???? ????? ? ??? ?? ???? 1982-83 ?? ??? ?? ?????????? ?? ??? ????? ?? ??? ???? ?????? ???? ??? ???? ?? ???? ???? ?? “?? ??? ?????? ?? ??? ??”, ?? ??? ???? ????? ?? ?? ??? ??? ??? ??? ?? ???? ?? ?? ??? ????? ???? ??).
    ????? ??????? ?? ?? ????? ????? ??. ???????.

    • Thank you Tridev Charan Ji for your praise worthy words. I would have loved to type this reply in Hindi but then I can’t write/type Hindi, though I can read Hindi well. They have changed a lot from then, but major changes are yet to come, I would have loved not to see a wall in Srinagar painted with “Go India Go Back”! May be a painting of many years ago…. and there are lot more to talk about on this issue….

      Thank you once again for coming to this post and keep your views.

  • silentsoul says:

    very honest review.. it is very important if we find a good place, we tell our fellow ghumkkars about the place….if someone takes it as ad…let him think.

    good effort/…Yes I also never visited Kashmir mainly due to hostility of kasmiris against Indians (?)… but now I am planning to have a round of Leh via Manali and Srinagar

    • Thank you Silentsoul for your nice words. My purpose was to help the Ghumakkars like me who travels within a specific budget, because more you travel more fund you require. My post of Ladakh will follow soon, hope that may be useful to you, though not fully, because I went through Srinagar-Leh highway and returned from Leh by flight.

      Thanks once again

  • Pamela says:

    Dear Anupam,

    Thank you for sharing an excellent details. We always find a place with good comfort zone & obviously at cheaper cost.So your description is too much helpful for us those looking around good hotel at good cost. As a female I always prefer to look at washroom during travel, so you comment will keep in my mind here .. Now its turn to food & you already provide the rating. American plan(AP) at 2000/- is freaking good though mostly I prefer Modified American Plan (MAP) with breakfast & Dinner.
    So next time when will plant to visit Kashmir definitely check in at SunShine hotel :)

    • Thanks Pamela for you nice comments. My apology, I wrote AP inadvertently instead of European Plan. I have made a request to the admin for necessary correction. Please read it as EP.

      Thanks

  • Nandan Jha says:

    Hotel reviews are one of the most useful thing to travellers. And it is really really hard to find a detailed, photo-rich review. Trip Advisor is the site to look upto but the reviews there are not detailed though one can get a sense from ratings (which we lack here). So keep the hotel reviews coming (w or w/o tea)

    Don’t know when I see myself that side but when I go and when I would look at this ‘Hotel Sunshine’ blue boards (why so many of them, it is killing the facade) I would remember you and your post.

    On to Zozila ?

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