Manuallaya -The Resort Spa in the Himalayas
10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Great Mountain Getaway
"UPS We had a great time at the hotel. It's located perfectly, away from the crowds, yet just a 5 min drive to the mall and market areas. The view of the snow covered peaks was breathtaking. In the night, with the curtains open, one could gaze at the silver peaks shining in the moonlight while lying in the bed. DOWNS The hotel had been booked by a private company. As a result the services to individual guests was slightly sluggish. The bathtub in my room was not filling up due to a leak. Despite repeated complaints and visits by the staff, the fault was not rectified during my stay. My kids had to go without their much awaited bubble bath! VALUE FOR MONEY Though we had a great time, I think the hotel is overpriced. The same type of room and services should cost a thousand or so less."
- Travel date: 24th April 2009
"very friendly staff,smilly faces and ready to help you at anytime.Great view either on mountine/river view or garden.I took deluxe room which is large and comes with balcony.The resort has a beautiful garden and you can spend your day with your kids in that garden.breakfast is nice and close at 11 am.You can arrange and book your daily activities from resort travel desk.Do'nt miss massage with hot oil"
- Travel date: 29th January 2009
"If you belong to middle class or upper middle class this hotel will surely give you a chance to experience the best. They have almost everything to pamper you- the food is excellent, service and warmth is extraordinary and above all a commitment to serve their guests. You must also use the services of their travel desk which would leave you mesmerised. Specifically we liked everything the rooms, hotel ambience and courtesy extended by the staff. These guys really mean business, they won't cheat you and you are guranteed to get the best value for your money, believe me it is in fact the best place to stay in Manali. For foreign tourists its an ideal place as everything is in sync with western standards and food would also match their taste. Only problem is with the south indian foods they offer, they need to have some south indian cook."
- Travel date: 11th December 2008
great view & great place
"Well honeymoon is very special time in every one's life. We are starting our new life & want to make this visit unforgettable. We have decided to go to manali & booked for manali. Thru Travelguru i booked for Manu Allaya. When we reach their we didn't know it is season for snow fall. When we checked in they upgraded to us in higher package on first floor which was welcomed. After going to my room we are simply delighted with a view. At that day we simply played around the hotel which is covered fully with ice. Restaurant has the fine food quality which simply added in our enjoyment. Breakfast & dinner is free buffet in our package which also offer new variety everday. Restaurant is located in front & if sun is on you get a view of hills covered with ice in bright sunlight. Service was nice & quick. Only problem in the room is they don't provide room heating in the day time. Their travel desk provides best advice & packages to visit in & around places but price is little on the higher side. As the snow fall started on third day we stayed in our hotel for last day. Overall i will say it is perfect honeymoon for us. After coming i also recommended this hotel to other people & they also loved it."
- Travel date: 5th December 2008
All that you want!
"All that you want... yup, its a great resort (called ambassador resort formerly). Great facilities, room service, food. The best part of the resort for me was the view that it provides, its like a dream. A balcony in a room which just has the beas river in front and then the gigantic snow clad mountains in the background... awesome. Make sure you choose a balcony room for your stay to really have the view of heavens."
- Travel date: 5th November 2008
Best Alll Inclusive in Manali
"A five minute cab ride from the mall area. Perfect place for families. The fabulous rooms with comfortable bedding easily accomadated our family of five, The Beas River is about a 100 yards away and you can hear the river flowing by from your room. Very picturesque vistas all around the hotel.Breakfast and dinner are included and have both Indian and Western cuisine. All in all a great experience. Would go back in a heartbeat."
- Travel date: 1st August 2008
Spectacular Views And Location And Wow Architecture
"It took me a long while to select this hotel-resort as the finalist from my shortlist of places to stay in Manali. Reasons being: - Most hotels did not put up pics of either the rooms and accomodations and/or of the properties and the views from there - so although they might have been highly rated or gotten great reviews I had nothing to see to help make my own judgement. - Those which did have good websites with pics did not have enough gallery images to give a good idea and feel of the place - There were not enough fact wise reviews for me to make out how good the place would be. Adjectives don't help when you are out looking for the right choice .. One person's 'great' might be another person's 'so so' .. You need some stories and incidents and points and facts to read in reviews. ;-)) a bit too much to ask for I guess [I had decided after my very drawn out and painful experience of choosing a hotel in Manali, that from now on whenever I stay at a property while travelling I will write in as detailed an info sheet, as much as time-space permits to help future nit-picky travellers like me - reviews for people who know exactly what they are looking for and ofcourse love pleasant surprises.] OK so back to focus. It was to be my first trip and vacation travelling with a young baby [20 months old] so I wanted something that would allow me the comforts of a good hotel but with a private cottage/home feel and ofcourse the views and location had to be as close to nature as possible. Well I was not disappointed on any of these counts at all. We booked the Royal Suite [we were travelling with another couple - childfree] since it had two private bedrooms, one at the lower level and one at the top level. Each room had it's own step out balconies and windows. The lower bedroom opened out into a large comfortable living area and dining area .. The main entrance door of the suite opened out to a common balcony-corridor with views of a lovely well kept gardens, a duck pool and rabbit cage. The WINDOWS!!! Yes the idea of lining the entire hotel with giant windows, French windows, doors high celings .. WOW that was a brilliant idea .. the sun and the views of the superb mountains and river Beas was there everywhere you looked .. and where they were not .. it was the terraces and gardens of roses and flowers with stone steps going up and down and ivy clad walls .. such old ivy that they were woody. At one point while standing at the balcony of my room admiring the quaint but intelligent architecture of the resort I remember wishing that had I the means I would buy up this resort and could turn it into a world class spa leisure hotel and spa or maybe get hired to freshly do up the place ;-))) I WOULD LOVE THAT for a job!!!! So why is it NOT a WORLD CLASS hotel?? Here is the list of problem areas written down in order of irritation [most irritating first] for me: - CLEANLINESS .. VERRY VERRRY BAD .. you would want a place that had such beautiful views and architecture to be gleaming and clean .. Heck it's clean and dust-free up in the mountains how tough can it be to have some basic quality control!! The carpets that lined the corridor were old and fraying, The upholstery was faded and fraying .. both in the rooms and in the breakfast hall .. needs serious rehaul. The entrance and reception lobby is so so lovely with huge cosy sink in black leather sofas on wooden floors facing mountain views through large glass fronts, nice contemporary woodwork.. marred by dirty dirty wood floors which look like they have not been cleaned or scrubbed in ages. There is dust and grime on the railings of the balconies so you can't casually go and stand resting your elbows on it, especially near the breakfast area where you might want your child to explore I kept seeing what all yuck he might touch that would go down with his food .. so instead of letting him roam I had him seated in his chair with two frayed cushions. The rooms and bathrooms were just peremptorily wiped down .. what made it all so visible is that it is all wood and granite which shines and shows up streaks and grime when not properly wiped down. Yes this must be sounding like a OCD person's description .. But honestly it would make even a normal person notice these .. I had to call the cleaner to reclean the bathrooms and had to point out the unclean surfaces. Later I marked out areas in the room where I did not want them to come and touch since I personally ended up cleaning them .. to store my baby's food supplies/towels/dishes etc Thank god I had taken my own bottle of cleaning fluid and scrub with me. Ofcourse thinking back I realize had my husband and I been childfree as in so many of our previous travels I would have ignored the gunk, because I can step around it .. But with a toddler who is going to get into and walk over anything and touch everything .. it sent shudders down my back. Yes I am definitely a clean freak in that sense. All it needed was some monitoring of the cleaning staff. Hugely cheaper rooms I have stayed in have been cleaner than this. Why it stood out was that there was all this expensive wood/glass/granite construction which shows up and magnifies the unclean surfaces. Here I can't resist making a comment regarding a kind gentleman's review which sort of had clinched the deal for me at Manu Allaya .. he'd said that his wife was also a clean freak and she loved that about the place. Ofcourse he had been there quite some time back .. maybe the management has changed and the cleanliness has gone to the dogs .. But ironic I thought!! - SERVICE, extremely helpful staff .. wonderful manners and all out to go out of their way to accomodate almost anything .. BUT the stuff they have to work with is so so "cheap" They use such BAAAD quality crockery and serving ware. Can you imagine sending room service into the best room in the hotel on dented alumnium trays that you expect to see at a cheapo roadside dhaba?? Dishes and plate covers made of steel that looks so unclean .. of a make only used at hospitals .. no tray cloth to cover up the ugly trays .. No trolleys to wheel in the service ofcourse :-/ Paper napkins of SUCH CHEAP quality even dhabas do better I think, and not enough of those at that .. if not forgotten totally. Bathroom towels that are also frayed .. No one does quality control to weed out the bad and worn out towels .. Again not enough of them. Also they were not jet cleaned .. so often they were stained with yellow / brown streaks .. so when the towels were supplied we had to inspect them in the light to see which ones we would use. I was seriously upset that this was one trip I did not carry my own towels. So when I did weed out a few good towels I held onto them and instructed the cleaning staff not to take them away .. they would have gotten replaced with more dirty towels. Come to think of it this section / point should have come in the cleanliness section ;-)) The dishes used at the buffet settings can also use a makeover .. seriously a little more upto the mark for such a fine resort. - DECOR This was the most discussed and puzzled over aspect for our party .. WHAT was the mystery behind the schizo decor ideas and we had some hilarious stories .. So here you had the modern, contemporary .. Ikea like Swedish feel of the resort architecture .. in wood, glass steel ash stone and granite in clean straight lines and askew angles and designer curves and painstakingly executed details so individual in look for each section of the resort .. and then you had the mismatched garish upholstery straight out of a musty Raj / colonial era [the curtains in our rooms did not even have drawstrings or ropes .. had to ask for them and I think they ran out of the few they had and tied two window curtains with white pillow covers scrunched up diagonally to make a ropey thing LOL .. I swear we had a laugh over that one. The furniture in our room was same gaudy heavy wood carved in some maharaja-raj-bygone French 15th century style .. White and gold .. eeyew!!! The lobby and some other areas of the resort had these YUCK figures a poor copy straight out of some old Italian mansion .. again trying out some strange old European castle look?? They had these planters balanced on top of these figures .. so so so out of place you had but to laugh it was so comical .. any decor specialist with a wry humour would make mince meat of the place .. well actually it is too easy .. he/she would play it up as comedy I think LOL FACILITIES: A musty gym stood in for a health club .. all rusty manual equipment .. it looked so bad that I did not dare step in even .. some evil stench I imagined worked against my looking in .. but the hubby braved the tour and came back looking grim LOL A decent enough bar .. great maybe for the winters .. but for the summer months how one wished that the glass doors were openable onto a terrace where one could stroll out and enjoy the magnificent views. It was warm in Manali .. this summer .. Not once did I wear anything more than a half sleeved T .. nor did the toddler .. nights were pleasant but we needed a fan in the room all day and night. Sorry this comment needed to come in a climate section and has not much to do with hotel review ;-))) Bar tender made some delicious bloody Mary .. did not scringe on the vodka I think. But no music here and a very sad and non-inviting atmosphere. The bar tender never stayed at the counter .. you had to wait to catch him whenever he strolled in. FOOD: Gosh a bit toooooo MUCHHH oil and masala every night for four nights .. I don't imagine very hygienic either given the cleanliness status of the hotel .. so I stuck to steaming well cooked stuff .. After two nights we craved some simple fare .. and none was on offer .. But yes a feast was laid out and we slurped it up .. .. strange menus .. where every night some Chinese non-veg would sit next to some North Indian non-veg, what was that all about!! Loved the idea of the freshly made tandoor rotis and parathas and kulchhas. So here again I must praise the at your elbow waiters .. who really waited on us inspite of it being a buffet .. so kind of became a asit down dinner .. ha ha ha The breakfast menu was a bit boring with repeats .. puris with haldi in it .. bhaturas with haldi in it and so so paper thin the pleasure of getting a mouthful was not there. Sweetish sambar and mish mashed idlis [the only thing I would give my toddler who slurped it down like it was a delicacy] .. So what else needs to be commented on .. yeah the activities .. great tour operator .. friendly fellow with interesting ideas and wonderful cabbies who really take care of you .. Hated the local cabwallahs .. just your regular rude non-mountain folk! We did the fishing and the Rohtang Pass .. gotta leave EARLY .. The lobby is wi fi enabled but the connection is so so so slow might as well be not there :-) So don't bank using the hotel Net. What they could have offered as a complimentary service is a drop off to town at regular intervals for folks with kids .. who could go to the VanVihar children's park .. or walk about on Mall road .. it's just like a couple of kilometers down from the hotel. It was a pain getting cabs if you had on planned ahead .. The resort seemed helpless to help .. I put it down to not will enough to make it happen. Some Manali hotels do have that complimentary drop off I found out. So overall what made it worth it's while after relating all these failing?!! THE VIEW .. THE GROGEOUS MOUNTAINS to wake up to .. the mist the clouds .. the snow clad peaks .. the murmer of rushing white waters .. the bird calls the Rain .. the way the room was positioned it felt like we were overhanging the valley jutting right out into the mountains .. unforgettable to wake up in bed open our eyes and get those peaks standing still .. so majestic .. For that I think it was ALL WORTH IT. Whoever is the architect .. and whoever thought of this placement had a VISION .. and I am so curious now to know the history of this strange schizo of a resort .. that offered us such a varied experience. Further SUGGESTIONS for resort: - If there was just a microwave in the room .. and a small sink with a bigger fridge .. Or even a small induction heater, would be a life saver for those with babies-toddlers who are yet to transition into hotel and adult food [they charged 25 bucks for a small plate of peanuts and 65 bucks for an egg poach sunnyside up] - Better quality toilettries - Stand fans, reading lamps in the rooms .. to make it more homey - Please replace the lights that have fused!! - Please put some extra railings on the balconies to make it safe for toddlers and young children to hang outside, now there are such wide gaps that they could slip through in the blink of an eye. Another idea is you could line them with potted plants .. would further beautify the balconies in the summer time. Well I think I kind of covered everything. This is my first review on tripadvisor .. which I will post on other travel websites that list this place .. and look out for more such reviews in future .. You see a book on a review site .. ha ha ha ha .. well that is me .. The Nit-Picky Traveller"
- Travel date: 23rd June 2008
fantastic place to stay
"i satayed at this hotel for 5 nights in march 2007, its really very good property, the view from its bacony room was amazing. as we checked in to our room after 17 hour tiring volvo bus journey from delhi, my wife was thrilled to see the beautiful snow caped view from our room. room was also very nice & having large glass window to enjoy the valley view even from the bed, hotel sevice was very good, our room was cleaned regularly, towels, bed sheets etc were changed every day. food of this hotel was also good, though we didn,t got a lot of variety in foods due to off season, i think more to be done in continental food. over all its really a nice big luxury hotel of manali. now something abut manali- though the main season for visiting manali is april - june, but i think those who want enjoy the snow capped mountain all around manali should visit manali before mid march, its really switzerland during this time. I willalso recommend to try chinese food at CHOPSTICKS at mall, the most delicious chinese food we enjoyed at this place."
- Travel date: 4th September 2007
Worth returning to
"First impressions were mixed, arrived very tired after a 9-hour drive, only to be faced with a grim, almost-rude front desk clerk. Fortunately, he was quickly replaced by his much more hospitable colleague (Mr Amar Deep) who went out of his way to show us around the entire hotel and its extensive grounds (that included a health centre, several well-tended gardens, apple, apricot and cherry trees). Things only got even better from then on- fresh air, great views of the mountains, no more of the horning and beeping that was driving us mad- hurray, fantastic service (although 4 waiters hovering around oneself at every meal can be a little disconcerting) but sometimes strange (we asked for tea, and already-made tea (from leaves) was poured onto teabags: tea-on-tea?). Food was pleasant but nothing to rave about (fried spring chicken turned out to be 2 little patties pounded flat, and fried to an almost-burnt crunchy crisp! ) The spa was a little spartan, nothing like what you'd find in Thailand, for instance. It's the staff who made it a memorable stay- their smiling faces, and the pleasant conversations we had with several of them. We'd certainly like to return, if we can bear the arduous journey there again."
- Travel date: 18th July 2007
"We stayed at the Ambassador Resort for 3 nights from 08 March - 11 March 2007. The hotel is located about 1km (walking distance) from Manali town on the sunny side of the river Beas. It is quite high-up the mountain which is great as you get a great view of the town, the river and the snow capped mountains. We stayed in a Balcony room which was great. The room was spacious and very comfortable with a large bathroom. From the Balcony you have an unobstructed view of the mountains. The food and staff was exceptionally good and the overall stay was extremely great value for money. They also have a good travel centre which can arrange ski trips, treks in the mountains and many other activities."
- Travel date: 8th April 2007
Manuallaya -The Resort Spa in the Himalayas is also called
- Ambassador Resort Manali