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Tue, 25 Sep – Wed, 26 Sep (1 Night) | 1 Room | 1 Guest
Dal Lake, Srinagar , 190001 | Show on Map
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by Jonathan S on December 5, 2017
Yousef makes a point of telling you over and over again how honest and nice he is. He even pulls out a book of hand-written reviews from people who have visited him. He then spends the rest of the trip pressuring you into buying things, including clothes and tour packages. The clothes his friends come to sell are extremely overprices, as are the packages he tries to sell. He continuously pressures you the entire trip. I must've said no to him a hundred times. Finally we agreed to a trip to a glacier for 4000 rupees. We were told it was 3 hours each way and included everything. Since the drive was so long we were asked to tip their driver. I asked what a normal tip would be and was told 500 rupees. In retrospect, that is far too much, but not knowing this at the time, I agreed. The trip only ended up taking 2 hours, and the driver didn't talk to us at all or tell us anything about the surrounding area, its culture and history, or anything like that. I think he spoke less than a dozen words to us the entire way there, despite us continuously trying to engage with him. Once we got to the top, we were then told it'd be 2400 rupees more to rent 2 donkeys and go to the place where we could take pictures. I was shocked. I had agreed and paid 4000 rupees thinking it was all inclusive, and now I was in a parking lot on the side of a mountain and being told it was 2400 rupees more. A total scam. After we came back, Yousef was continously pestering us to leave a review in his book, as well as one online. I told him I felt uncomfortable with the amount of pressure and sales tactics, and was also upset because I paid for the trip with incomplete/incorrect information about what I'd get. He acted completely offended and angry, and tried to pressure me into saying what a great guy he was and to stop inferring anything wrong had happened. He said he never forced us to do anything. I calmly explained to him the difference between pressuring and forcing, and let him know that I stood by what I'd said. They tried to have us leave an online review whilst we were still there - whilst they were watching. This would have been extremely awkward, as we were stranded on a houseboat and the only way for us to get to the airport was for them to get us to land on a boat and then drive us. I said I'd leave a review online after the entire experience was over in order to write about the whole thing. I wrote something nice in their book (that it was calm, peaceful, quiet, and as much as I could think of that was good without mentioning the bad stuff), and then we left. I promised I'd leave a review online, and here it is. Avoid this place at all costs. You will spend far too much and you'll feel super uncomfortable in the process. This place is not worth the money. Yousef will continuously tell you he normally sells rooms for $100/night. They are worth closer to $5/night. Of the goods that are brought to you, they are priced upwards of 20x more than you can get elsewhere. We were brought scarves which we knew we could get for 100 rupees, and the guy tried to charge us 2200 rupees. I just laughed, said no thank you, I don't want to negotiate, and went back to my room. Speaking of the room, it was super cold. There was an electric blanked, but then you're just sort of confined to the bed for the entirety of the say. There was no heater on the boat for us, even though I was promised that from the place I booked the accom with. The bathroom had a toilet that dind't flush properly, which resulted in feces just floating in the bowl all the time. There was no bum gun, and the only "toilet paper" they provided were cheap, plastic-y napkins. The food served was extremely basic, although portions were good. We were pressured into having the veg option each night, and I did so to try and be nice. In retrospect I should've said we wanted non-veg more forcefully. In summary, these guys are TOTAL SCAMMERS. In the end I think they made about $285 from me over the course of 3 nights - $40/night for the accom/food, $100 for the glacier trip, and $65 for a jacket, gloves, hat, and some trinkets. The owners are not looking out for your best interest or trying to be good guides and get you decent deals on stuff. Their interest is solely in getting the most money possible from you without outright stealing it. Never ever go here. There are much better places that are 10x cheaper in the surrounding area.
by davishek on July 3, 2017
Never ever board to this houseboat..It is clearly a trap, a cage, once you are booked, you are cracked..The owner named Yousuf alltime tries to prove that how good,honest and friendly he is..Which is actually not at all..The BIGGEST BLUNDER is -- This Crooke is patched up with JKTDC..I wonder why JKTDC like govt. organisation is insisting the worst houseboat for package which I was offered straight from Shrinagar Airport.. This houseboat is located farthest from boulevard road and doesn't have any window view..You open the window, will see another housboat..Located in a congested area in backwater..surrounded by lazy houseboats.. My suggestion is, don't opt for package from JKTDC..Choose from many apps and obviously tripadvisor.
by Ausra V on January 2, 2017
I have got very good time here, it is safe and super-nice plac with a wonderful people who are always around, they are really helpful and polite! Good intrnet connection, very tasty food and unlimited tea! All rooms are clean and cozy so you can feel like at home! More important is connection between these nice people who works here and honestly wish to help in any situacion also respects everyone and works with open hearts! I honestly recommend this place as a wonderful opportunity to feel the real beauty of Kashmir!
by EmilyF2667 on December 6, 2016
Pressured by a man we met on the bus to follow him, he took us to his friends houseboat by Shikara. There was quite a lot of pressurising tactics but luckily we were there in low season and made it very clear we willing to move on if nessacary. We got the price down from 1600rs per night to 1300rs including heating, free use of their shikara, tea and food. The wifi worked well, although the power often turned off. It is not a peaceful place to stay as morning prayer started at 6am and they had loud conversations on the decking just outside our window. There were three rooms on the houseboat and the walls are paper thin, so if the other people staying have young children don't bother staying here (it's like they're crying in the room with you) Towels and toilet roll were also provided. The meals were good and we were given refills. The TV in the room didn't work despite them promising us it did before we payed. Getting to land could also be a bit annoying as you have to wait for the free shikara to turn up.
by JianHuiL8 on September 30, 2016
Ever wanted to live like a prisoner? Look no further, houseboat Shreen and Shreen Jr can offer you the perfect experience. In my short 3days 2nights stay here, it felt like 3years. We were taken to the houseboat to negotiate the prices for the stay, like how can I leave if I disagree, right? We agreed to paying exorbitant prices because the owner promised us so much- clean rooms, good food, great hospitality and offered to take us to anywhere we wanted in Srinagar. But NO! The rooms were dusty and unkept, water from the taps were greenish, evidently drawn from the polluted lake without much filtration. There was no food and drinks so we decided to go to Dalgate to get our supplies. However, for access out of the houseboat we first had to locate and please the houseboat owner before he would get us a shikara. The next day, the owner cooked up a story to avoid taking us to Phalgalm (which was agreed in the deal). I felt like I had signed up for a bargaining workshop because I was bargaining all the time with the owner who beat us with his experience and expertise. We were totally drained. I love how the owner kept checking with us if we wanted chicken or mutton for dinner because irregardless of what we wanted we were served with a load of bullcrap which clearly was short on both quantity and quality. Being tourists in a foreign land (and stranded on the houseboat) we had no other options. Well, the scenery was not bad but how long could you stare at the polluted lake without feeling sick and bored? Our next alternative was to use the wifi which we spent half a day waiting for the owner give us the password, and days trying to connect. Perhaps I could entertain myself playing some offline games on my phone but I obviously cant do so without draining my battery because they only switched on the generator only when they needed power. Suicidal thoughts were rampant in my mind but I thought it wasnt such a good idea to die in this polluted lake. We contemplated taking out the owners because thats how caged animals usually behave- they take out their captors. But oh well, we managed to forced our way out with the help of a local, also stuck in the same situation. This ordeal ensures that I would never step foot into Kashmir ever again.
by Gabriel F on July 28, 2016
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