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Quiet, hip, city centre, free wifi

IndiaWest BengalKolkata
Entire home/apt
4 Guests
2 Bedrooms
2 Beds
$40
Per Night
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About this listing

A slice of the exotic east. A cliche? Well check it out. It marries old composure with hip styling. Red, emerald walls with staid cream. Doors, windows n fittings that look elegantly offbeat. A chalet, a true-blue Swiss was reminded of. Somehow! :)

Quiet, hip, city centre, free wifi

The Space
Accommodates: 4
Bathrooms: 1
Bedrooms: 2
Beds: 2
Check In: 10:00 AM
Check Out: 12:00 PM (noon)
Room type: Entire home/apt

Amenities

Prices
Extra people: $20 / night after 2 guests
Cleaning Fee: $10
Weekly discount: 0%
Cancellation: Strict

Description

The Space

Enjoy central location, easy transport options, contemporary comforts, calmness and peace in a three-room apartment, which has been described as an 'oasis' and (even) 'paradise' by my gorgeous guests. It is located on the first floor of an old-style mansion of central Kolkata. The thick walls and double-layered wooden windows keep the apartment naturally cool even on a blazing hot day (relatively speaking of course).

The age of the flat makes it unique. It speaks a different language from the uniform global lingo we speak today. It speaks eloquently on top of that. Besides, it is comfy as hell.

It would comfortably fit in 4 persons, my max accommodation.

The first bedroom has a double pull-out bed, a coffee table, a TV with cable. It's air-conditioned. It has one-tonne window AC.

The second bedroom, with a 1.5 tone split AC, a double bed, a spacious wall unit with a work table, and a wardrobe.

The third room, the largest one in the house, basks in the sun for some time during the day, thanks to four large windows to the south and the east. It serves as a dining area. It has a dining table for four and a sofa.

This room has a connecting door with the second bedroom.

There is a corridor or inner verandah which is lined with doors leading to the rooms. The layout of the flat is traditionally Bengali.

The bathroom has a washbasin, geyser, shower and commode. And 24-hour running water.

Meals and dine:

A fully functional kitchen is equipped with gas stove, chimney, utensils, dishes, a microwave and a toaster. And of course, there's the refrigerator.

A small breakfast area in front of the kitchen with a hand-painted wall.

Water

The flat has its own water pump and motor. You will have to press the green button on the switch to fill up the tanks once they are almost empty. It takes roughly 10-15 minutes to fill up. Once the overhead tanks are full, there is a pipe which allows the water to flow out. Press the red button to switch off. You must absolutely remember to switch it off.

Location and neighborhood

Sealdah Station 20 min.
Metro station (Esplanade) 20 min
Airport 30 min
Howrah station 30 mins

Attractions & Distances

Mother Teresa's place is a 15-20 minute walk from here.
Typical tourist spots like Victoria Memorial, Indian Museum and New Market are nearby.
The apartment is close to Park Street, which is old Kolkata's restaurant street. Historically, Park Street was the epitome of big-time glamour. College Street, which is reminiscent of Paris's Latin Quarter, is also nearby.
Nearest grocer: Go left and on your right (after the pharmacy) will appear a pencil-slim alley. Go straight down that alley and then turn left. A grocery store will appear on your left hand side.
Nearest food joints: Go left and after a 10-minute walk you will come to Wellington crossing and Jaan Bazaar. Numerous food joints dot that area. Amit Hotels serves fine hot rotis, dal and other vegetarian food. For variety and class, take a cab to Park (website hidden)-be-que (Flavours of China) is best for Chinese and Peter Cat for Indian. The Bistro by the Park is the best platter-based food option, in my opinion. Nostalgic non-resident Bengalis land up in Flury's for breakfast. It's charming but maybe over-hyped.

Check-in 12-2 pm
Check out 12 pm.

A guest wanted to check out at 3 am. Since I had not mentioned here that it wasn't a possibility I let him do so. However, I dont think I can allow that again. At the most, it can be 10 pm if no other guest checks in on that day.

Unlimited Internet via Wifi and Cable TV

The landline phone is not for making calls. It is there only for the wifi.

Vehicles can be parked for 2-3 hours on the street. Every manner of hassle-free public transport available at the doorstep.

In case a booking is made offline and payment's in cash a cancellation fee of Rs 500/night is chargeable.

Security

Guests are requested to hand over photo copies of an ID proof (preferably passport) and outstation guests copies of both passports and visas for (unavoidable) purposes of security.

(More on) Security

For the express purpose of security the street door to the complex is locked at 11.30 pm and then unlocked around 6 am the next morning. I'll advise you to be be back by 11.30 pm. Maybe it can be stretched to 12 am at the most but not beyond that. If you have an early morning flight to catch or if you have to go somewhere really early, you can use the key that I have provided to unlock the gate but you must let me know or inform one of the residents who stay nearer the main gate. My apartment is the second last one from the main street gate.

Kolkata, like any modern city, has a climbing crime rate. Maybe it's a case of more crimes being reported to the police and subsequently being splashed across the media. But whatever be the case, for your safety and security, it's best not to invite trouble by being outside the house beyond 12 am. AFter all, you are here for not too many days. Besides, I imagine Kolkata's charms and quirks lie in many places which can be explored during the day. Yes, it has its share of nightclubs but I always think they are just a sham, a pale imitation of places that they have been imported from. :) (but thats of course my opinion)


Cheers

Guest Access

I rent out the entire flat. So the guests will have access to everything inside the flat.

Interaction with Guests

I'm almost always available on the phone and the Net. If I'm in town and not on another job, I'm also available in person. Also, if I'm in Kolkata, I will show in my guests.

With both my listings, my constant craving for meeting new people gets satisfied to a certain extent. If a few guests agree to become my friends, I feel extremely fortunate. I also am forever trying to beef up my vocabulary. And in the process, I sometimes end up shocking my guests by begging them to teach me some 'questionable' words in their native languages ... even after a very brief interaction. :)

The Neighborhood

The neighborhood will look quaint and alien to the western eye. Part of it is residential, and the rest filled with micro-scale industry. There are myriad shops, all really microscopic ones selling soft drinks, bottled water, potato chips, white bread and instant noodles, a bank or two, schools, a laundry or two, which however, you may find shut when you need it the most, ancient units of lathe machines filled with workmen covered in black grease hard at work, tiny tailoring units, a church, tiny Hindu shrines under trees, eateries, vegetable and fruit stalls, fish and mutton stalls, more industrial looking units that belong to the pre-information age ... all leading to New Market, at one time the one-stop shopping destination for Kolkata of the pre-mall age. Now it's a sweaty sprawl which nevetheless retains its bazaar charm. To reach the more western-looking Park Street you will have to take a lane on your left, called Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road.

Getting Around

Buses ply constantly down the one-way street called SN Banerjee Road. You will have to know the numbers. However, most go to Esplanade. Cross to the parallel road on your right, Lenin Sarani to go in the opposite direction.

Cabs easily available but try and insist on the meter.

Tuk-tuks also known as auto-rickshaws or 'autos' available after a short walk to Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road. They will take you to Park Street. Post-1 pm, the traffic rules change and you will have to go further down to Free School Street to take the auto to Park St.

Other Things to Note

For guests staying for a month and above, an electricity charge of Rs 3500/month is payable.

+ More

House Rules

TRASH DISPOSAL

Please place the filled-up trash bags from both kitchen and bathroom at the foot of a lamp post in front of the main gate. These bags are taken away by the Corporation. Trash includes leftover perishable food items, empty bottles, among other things. Pls do not leave leftover food inside the refrigerator.

HOUSE GUIDELINES

General:

Please lock all three doors both upstairs and downstairs when you leave the apartment. This is for your security.

Please ensure all lights and fans have been switched off when you leave the house. Please switch off all electrical equipment like ACs, geyser, microwave, when not in use.

Please switch on the light on the staircase if you are out for the evening, so that you won't have visibility problems while unlocking doors once you return.

Please keep the apartment clean. A person will come to clean twice a week (Monday and Friday), if it's alright with you.

Bathroom:

Please switch off the geyser after use.

Please use the wiper to swipe off water from the bathroom floor once you've had your bath. This is to ensure that the floor remains dry and convenient to use for the next user, which may well be you yourself ☺

Kitchen:

1. Please wash and wipe dry the dishes and leave them in their respective places before you hand over the apartment to me. If there's any breakage, replacing or compensating are the two options. I should also be informed about it.

2. Please clean the counter and the gas table after each use, otherwise insects etc will invade. This is a tropical country, the high heat and humidity combine as a magnet for insects and little naughty creatures like mice.

3. Please empty out the refrigerator and clean it after final use.

4. Please use the trash can and empty it out regularly. Spare garbage plastic liners are kept in the kitchen.

5. Please switch off filter, microwave, electric kettle, washing machine after EACH use.

6. Please do not move around the microwave and plug it into other points. It will cause a fuse blowout.

7. If there is any breakage or damage of anything, including crockery or decorative items, in the apartment, you will have to replace it if possible or compensate. I do not charge a security deposit because I believe in you my guests.

Guests' guests policy:

This is a private residential apartment designed to give you a safe, cozy, personalised and home-like stay in a new city. I will try my best to keep it that way and feel I have been rather successful at that, going by the feedback of my guests.

Keeping both your and my security as well as the regulations of the housing society in mind, the rules for guest-of-guests are as follows.

1. During your stay, guests of guests will not be allowed in the premises, unless they are part of the family. You can entertain them for a day/two for a few hours. If it is an extended gathering, it will have to be organized outside the flat.

2. People who act as professional escorts or travel guides will strictly not be allowed in the premises.

3. People who became your friends in the course of your travels will not be allowed in the premises.

4. If you plan to have a friend/spouse/any other family member join you later in the course of your stay I will have to be informed well in advance before the booking and ID proof provided along with yours.

Security

For the express purpose of security the street door to the complex is locked at 11.30 pm and then unlocked around 6 am the next morning. I'll advise you to be be back by 11.30 pm. Maybe it can be stretched to 12 am at the most but not beyond that. If you have an early morning flight to catch or if you have to go somewhere really early, you can use the key that I have provided to unlock the gate but you must let me know or inform one of the residents who stay nearer the main gate. My apartment is the second last one from the main street gate.

Kolkata, like any modern city, has a climbing crime rate. Maybe it's a case of more crimes being reported to the police and subsequently splashed across the media. But whatever be the case, for your safety and security, it's best not to invite trouble by being outside beyond 12 am. AFter all, you are here for not too many days. Besides, I imagine Kolkata's charms and quirks lies in many places which can be explored during the day. It has its share of nightclubs but I always think they are just a sham, a pale imitation of places that they have been imported from. :) (but thats of course my opinion)

Thanks a ton for your cooperation

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Availability
1 night minimum stay
Inside the kitchen

Inside the kitchen

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About the Host, Shoma

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Kolkata, India
Member since February 2012

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