When we planned for a trip to Guwahati, we had a big confusion with regards to our accommodation option. After going through various options on various websites, I zeroed in on Baruah Bhavan. I was a bit apprehensive as this was my first experience with B/B option. But then the reviews made me feel somewhat comfortable. I contacted them on phone and asked them for tariff etc. I was informed that I would have to pay 100% advance and that too not in the name of Baruah Bhavan but some Meghna Warehousing. With a lot of hesitation, I deposited the money in their account and then kept on troubling them for the receipt. They were nice enough in not only sending a scanned copy of the receipt but also hard copy by speed post.
I did a lot of research on Google and realised that this place was close to a lot of attraction points in the city. When we landed in Guwahati, it was easier for us to reach this place (our GPS navigation system was working perfectly). We were greeted by Mr. Sarkar and offered our rooms. We had reached at around 2.30 pm and were offered tea. They then checked out our programme and suggested that we should go for river cruise in the evening (We had thought of the same, the river cruise area Machikowa was on the way to Baruah Bhawan from the airport – around 3.5 kms). They were helpful in organising vehicles for us for our visit to Kamakhya next day – in fact they suggested that it is a cheaper option to use Radio taxis (the point to point option) for this. We went by their suggestion and didn’t regret.
The property is mostly frequented by foreigners (non Indians). The guests use this as a stopover for their trip to Kaziranga or other places like Shillong etc. We were probably one of the few guests who used this to stay for 2-3 days and visit only Guwahati. This is a heritage property – it’s actually a large bungalow where on the ground floor on one side there is an office and a library, on the other side it’s the residence of the owner. The guest facilities (rooms etc.) are on 1st floor. There is a large terrace on 2nd floor which is used for organising Dinner parties etc.
Rooms -– Excellent. All the rooms have different theme and décor. The furniture is as per the theme. The rooms have ample space. One big scoring point -the wash rooms are impeccably clean.
Food – The food is served on fixed timings. For lunch and dinner one needs to inform them in advance. One can try Assamese food also (again on request). We only had breakfast here, the food quality was decent and quantity was okay.
This place is ideally located – away from the hustle bustle of the city (disadvantage of staying in the so called heart of the city were realised by us in 2 days, while travelling passed by Hotel Kiranshree – were really disappointed by its location, and thanked our stars that we didn’t stay there). The river promenade is at walking distance from this place, so is the Guwahati planetarium, the state museum, the Guwahati High Court, Digholi Pukhuri, the famed Cotton College area, Nehru Park. There are some decent eating options in the vicinity including Dosa Plaza, Cafe Coffee Day, the Food Villa etc. We actually walked around daily to most of these places. There are good shopping options also in the vicinity.
The owner of this property Mr. Raj Baruah is famous for dishing out traditional Assamese dinner on requests. He and his family are well known in Assam and the house has lots and lots of pictures of his illustrious family.
Few points of improvement – the city has frequent power cuts (in our case the power cut happened for nearly 5-6 hours one day, the day we were leaving), they have inverter facility and thus you are not in darkness but it would be great if at least one or two points in the entire complex (if not in every room) could be given for charging your mobile phones (we had to leave and the batteries were almost dead). The staff members need to understand that there might be guests who are not using their property as a stopover (one night arrangement) and are neither on a religious trip, i.e. people like us who wanted to actually enjoy the sights of Guwahati. During our entire stay we were made to feel that we were doing a mistake by not visiting so and so location (not in Guwahati), or this was not the way to visit a religious place. They didn’t have any internet connectivity (though they do mention that the same can be provided on the ground floor in their office area).