When Yatra.com offered us a discount coupon, we used it as quickly as possible to book our Aurangabad stay. We were aware that Aurangabad would be very demanding a place. After whole days of exploring the UNESCO World Heritage sites and absorbing loads of historical data we were sure to need a calm place to retreat in and sleep the nights away without spending a bomb.
Treebo is a chain of hotels which has earned quite a name for itself in the Indian budget accommodation market. The reason behind the nomenclature ‘Treebo’ has an interesting explanation. The hotel chain derives inspiration from the ‘Bo tree’, commonly known to us by the name fig – the tree which sheltered Gautama Budhha when he attained enlightenment.
We were very eager to test if this Banyan tree inspired hotel chain can satiate our desire for ‘semi-luxury’ when we return after a body as well as soul wrenching historical experience from the Ajanta and Ellora caves.
The hotel is quite a distance away from the MSRTC bus stand and the Aurangabad railway station. It is located in a silent alley in Osmanpura neighbourhood of Aurangabad. Autos generally charged us INR 60 for a one way trip to the bus stand.
The distance would not be a problem at all if you plan to hire a private vehicle to go sightseeing or visit the Ajanta and Ellora caves. Living away from the railway and bus station has perks of its own, though. This part of the town was cleaner, quieter and the locals here were not hard pressing us to sell products or services!
Check In and Reception Desk
Housed in a building which is also host to some chartered accountancy firm, the Treebo Admiral Suites occupied the upper few floors. Directed by the security guard, we took the lift and arrived at the reception on second floor.
Though the official check-in time is 12 noon, they allowed us in at 7.30 AM without any extra cost. I and my husband have different surnames. Something unpleasant about the system was that, even after we showed the staff our valid identity proof, he questioned us if we were married. Unfortunately, having sex before marriage, living in the same room before marriage, etc are still considered a taboo topic in the conservative Indian society.
We were carrying the soft copy of our marriage certificate in our phones, but it didn’t come to that and the staff took our word for it.
The reception area was tiny but clean with a couple of couches and a floor to ceiling window on one side which allowed loads of natural light to pour in.
The Room – Durable Furniture
The room was spacious with a very comfortable double bed which could easily accommodate three adults. The mattress was super soft. The white linens were clean but they looked quite old and we would have appreciated better ones. There were pillows, bolsters and cushions. The cushion covers were green in colour, representative of Treebo, but the quality of the same wasn’t impressive.
A very spacious wooden wardrobe with hangers which can easily fit in a year’s worth of clothes impressed me. Beside the wardrobe, opposite the washroom door and near the exit door was the huge dressing table. The shelf of the dressing table had a ribbed vault. I am sure such a design was chosen by the hotel with good intention, but the ribbed nature allowed for dirt to settle in.
The room had one wall occupied by a window and just by the side of the window was a round table with two height adjustable cushioned chairs. On our 3rd day of stay we enjoyed our breakfast and morning coffee on this table, sitting gleefully in the height adjustable chairs. If I had brought my laptop along, I would have treated this setup as my work desk!
The ‘view’ from the window included watching the drama unfolding on the neighbours’ roofs. We decided we were better off pulling the curtains. The curtains were of very good quality.
The room was amply lit up even though two of the lights appeared to be non-functional.
The best thing about the room was the abundance of electrical sockets all over. Let me tell you something frankly, when on long trips we don’t take any chances and often travel with our multi-plug board. It’s awful but so is our need for charging electrical devices – phones, cameras, torches, kindles and what not!
Another thing which requires mention is that, often we find electrical sockets on the wall but no shelf to place our stuff upon. As a matter of fact, due to the lack of surface to place our gadgets on, we end up never using the sockets. This problem was non-existent in Treebo Admiral Suites. Throughout the perimeter of the two long walls of the room, there were glass shelves. We used them to keep our gadgets, purses, books, pens and my (Tania) cosmetics. One of the shelves had a water jug and two glasses to drink water from. Below it was a dustbin with proper garbage bag.
The bed had two end-to-end running side tables on both the sides. The fact that there was never a dearth of space pleased us both. A landline phone on the bedside table was provided to call the reception.
The Room- Electrical Appliances
The flat screened TV played almost all channels available on the Indian network.
The mini fridge kept just below the TV worked fine and we used it to stock up soft drinks.
The coffee maker and cups were clean and Treebo provided us a couple of sachets of coffee, tea-bags, fine sugar and milk whitener for free. However, we never used this particular appliance so we cannot attest for it’s working condition.
The air condition worked fine. No complaints.
The free wifi was a joke. Yes you heard me right. The signal was pathetic and the password never worked. We asked the concerned people more than thrice throughout our stay and everytime they gave us the same password, but it never worked.
I (Tania) am very picky when it comes to the washroom. To my delight I found the attached washroom was strikingly clean with a huge mirror and wash basin and an extremely tidy and disinfected chamber pot.
On a shelf rested the complimentary toiletries provided to us by the hotel- a couple of small soaps, shampoo and a sample pack sized VLCC moisturiser.
The bath area was separated from the rest of the washroom by a bathroom curtain and different levelling of the floor. Functional geysers, showers and modern tap system were installed as well.
Ample hooks for hanging clothes were on the wall and the entire washroom was tiled.
We were entitled to get the complimentary breakfast for both of us for two days. We skipped the first breakfast(day two of our trip) as we were in a hurry to reach the Ajanta caves. The second day we ate the in-house complimentary breakfast and coffee.
The options were limited; we had to choose between poha and veg sandwich. None of us are poha fans so we settled for veg sandwiches. After half an hour our sandwich arrived. We tasted cucumber, onions and a thick coating of mayonnaise and some herbs clubbed between the breads. The sandwich, I must say, was very tasty.
BUT, the appalling quantity served as breakfast to two full grown adults broke our heart. Even our little 5-year-old niece eats more than this. We were literally served just two pieces of small bread cut into half and made into a sandwich. It did nothing to satisfy our hunger and we anyway wasted another half an hour eating proper breakfast in a regular eatery, delaying our trip to Daulatabad Fort. Had we known earlier that the hotel serves such less quantity of food in the name of ‘complimentary breakfast’ we wouldn’t have wasted our time waiting for it and could have utilised it getting food elsewhere and chalking up our plans accordingly.
Thankfully, the quantity of coffee was sufficient.
The corridor on our storey had a floor to ceiling glass window with proper couches, same as in the reception area. Cleanliness was very well maintained throughout the hotel. The signature Treebo decorations like installation of green artificial trees, twigs, leaves were seen all over the public areas of the hotel.
The best, however, was the witty comics. We loved reading all of them.
The staffs of the hotel were very attentive to all our needs and requirements. We understand that sometimes there are situations which are out of anybody’s control. At no point of time were they rude or unwelcoming. We had called them multiple number of times, sometimes, it was a tap at fault, sometimes for drinking water and sometimes it was the TV which needed attention. We almost felt guilty for calling them up time and again but they were very well behaved all the time.
We both loved our time in this hotel and would love to stay with Treebo again. Though there were some issues with the wifi and complementary breakfast quantity, we are more than willing to get over it and give this hotel another chance. The positives of staying at Treebo-Admiral Suites overweigh the two negatives.
Have you ever stayed at any Treebo property? How was your experience? Did my blog help you in taking better informed decision? Comment below and let me know!
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