“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
My thumb up for:
- 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 : firstname.lastname@example.org
Website : http://www.hotelsunshinesonamarg.com