Lytton Hotel in Kolkata, India

by Santorini Dave • Updated: July 1, 2019

Review of Lytton Hotel in Kolkata, India.

Lytton Hotel – Old-style and budget-priced, with a touch of serenity and history.

More of an upmarket guesthouse than a low-end hotel, the Lytton has been a popular hangout for decades. Upgraded a little since, it still maintains some charm but doesn’t care about (or promote) its interesting background. Based around a shady courtyard, the rooms in the three buildings are unfussy but comfortable enough. Most guests are attracted by the affordable rates, priced more for Indians than foreigners, and it also offers special rates for single travelers. The inner-city location is excellent: convenient to the metro and magnificent Indian Museum, and located along the comparatively pleasant Sudder Street, which offers all the necessities for independent travelers: money-changers, train ticket agencies, and pizza joints.

Lytton Hotel – The Location

  • Address: 14 Sudder Street, about 200m from a major thoroughfare (Jawaharlal Nehru Road which turns into Chowringhee Road) in an inner-city suburb. The Indian Museum is a major landmark at the corner of Jawaharlal Nehru Road and Sudder Street.
  • Area: A fun area that’s far cleaner, safer, and less crowded than most of Kolkata. The street features plenty of places to eat and drink for westerners, a few agencies changing money and arranging train tickets, and some colonial-era buildings.
  • How to Get There: Taxis from the pre-paid counters at the airport take 45-55 minutes (22km). From the main railway station (Howrah), the hotel is about 25-30 minutes (5km) by taxi. See Local Transport below for more information about taxis and the metro.
  • Handy to: Indian Museum.

Lytton Hotel – The Basics

  • Guests: Caters equally for Indian business people and foreign tourists. Affordable place to arrive for the few first nights in chaotic Kolkata.
  • Views: Pretty good, but varies. Rooms on the upper floors in the building at the front provide fascinating street views.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Not expected or provided at an inner-city guesthouse like this in Kolkata.
  • Wi-Fi: Available free throughout for all guests.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: +91 (0)33 2249 1747
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: lyttonhotelindia.com

Lytton Hotel – Amenities

  • Pool, Spa, & Fitness Center: Not expected or provided.
  • Other Facilities: Money changer. Laundry. Business services. Travel advice/bookings.

Lytton Hotel – Food and Drink

  • Restaurants & Bars: Gaylords Restaurant – Surprisingly classy and offering a changing menu of Indian, Chinese, and western food. • Dynasty Restaurant – Focuses on Chinese and Thai cuisine. Also popular with locals in the area for the tasteful setting. • Sunset Bar – More modern than the rest of the guesthouse, it’s also much more cheerful and welcoming than most city bars. • Garden Restaurant – Shady courtyard overlooking the street and recently revamped. Barbecues and cocktails during the evenings.
  • Breakfast: Included in all rates.
  • Room Service: Available from 7 am to 9 pm.

Lytton Hotel – Rooms

  • Room Types: Deluxe Single Rooms • Double Deluxe Rooms • Suites
  • Smoking Rooms: No smoking in the rooms or public areas, but permitted elsewhere.
  • Best Room: Suites are considerably larger than the rooms. The separate living area is called an old-fashioned ‘drawing room’ on the website.
  • For Families: Space in the suites for 1 or 2 extra single beds, or book 2 adjoining Double Deluxe Rooms (which won’t have connecting doors).

Lytton Hotel – Local Transport

  • Walking: One of the nicest and most interesting areas anywhere in Kolkata, where top-end boutiques share street space with market traders. Some homeless people closer to the Indian Museum, but locals are used to foreigners.
  • Public Transport: Buses and trams career along the main road about 200m away but are of no use to tourists. The guesthouse is halfway (about 650m) between 2 stations for the Kolkata Metro: Esplanade (8-minute walk north along the main road) and Park Street (8-minute walk south). The metro provides a couple of useful stops to avoid jam-packed sidewalks, but won’t connect to the airport and main railway station (Howrah) until at least mid-2021.
  • Taxis & Auto-rickshaws: Plenty of yellow taxis (with no air-con) and blue-and-white ones (with air-con) for longer trips. Both types have meters, but drivers need to be pressured into using them. Rides can also be booked using Uber and Ola apps. Inexplicable lack of auto-rickshaws in the area, but man-pulled versions available for short trips.

Lytton Hotel – What’s Nearby?

Restaurants & Bars

    Fabulous selection of budget-priced restaurants where burgers rather than biriyanis dominate the menus.

  • The Elgin Fairlawn – Adorable guesthouse with a shady courtyard café serving coffee and light meals, and an old-fashioned dining room with chandeliers and tablecloths. 1-minute walk (120m).
  • Zaranj – At the corner opposite the Indian Museum. Plush and pricey, the menu is tempting and the service, impeccable. 2-minute walk (160m).
  • Blue Sky Café – Long-time favorite for all types of western meals, as well as the usual Indian fare. 2-minute walk (160m).
  • Kasturi Restaurant – One of several across Kolkata for unfussy Indian food at reasonable prices in a clean setting. Just past The Elgin. 4-minute walk (300m).

Shops

  • Sudder Street is lined with interesting shops, as much for foreign tourists as Indian locals. The alleys off Sudder are also packed with market stalls. An attraction for some is the helpful (and rare) travel agencies which can arrange train tickets and change money.

Attractions

  • The must-see Indian Museum is the country’s largest and oldest. It houses a world-class collection of ancient artifacts from India and beyond, along with Raj-era relics housed in an occasionally frustrating manner. Open from 10 am to 6.30 pm on weekdays and until 8 pm on weekends. 3-minute walk (240m).
  • Victoria Memorial – Kolkata’s most popular attraction, this opulent British-era white marble replica of the original Victoria Memorial in London was built to commemorate Queen Victoria’s 25-year rule of India. In addition to lush gardens, statues, and sculptures, there are sound and light shows from March to June (7:45 pm). Open daily from 11 am to 4pm. 9-minute drive (2.5km).
  • Mother House – Also known as Missionaries of Charity, it houses the tomb of Mother Teresa as well as her photographs, awards, articles, and belongings. The description of work done by her charity is eye-opening. 13-minute drive (2km).
  • Howrah Bridge – This famous Kolkata landmark is the world’s busiest and sixth biggest cantilever bridge. Built in 1943, it connects Kolkata with the important Howrah Station, and features wide footpaths full of pedestrians on both sides. 20-minute drive (5km).
  • Dakshineswar Kali Temple – Historic Hindu temple, built in 1855, featuring a vast courtyard, 12 shrines dedicated to Shiva, a Radha-Krishna temple, and a bathing ghat by the riverfront. 1-hour drive (15km).

Lytton Hotel – The Hotel

The hotel is located on Sudder Street in the city center.

The Lytton is along Sudder Street, a quiet, convenient, and well-developed lane within the city center.

The hotel is especially popular with budget-minded travelers.

Since opening its doors decades ago, the hotel has been a favorite among budget-minded travelers.

The historic hotel has been upgraded recently.

Dominating this part of Sudder Street, the upgraded hotel with an old-world charm is easy to find.

The hotel surprisingly has a courtyard and a carpark in the busy Sudder Street.

Built before Sudder Street became so popular, there is space for a shady courtyard and carpark.

Gaylords Restaurant is bright and very appealing.

At the hotel, the Gaylords Restaurant is so much brighter and more inviting than most in the area.

The pleasant Sunset Bar offers a good selection of beers and spirits.

The hotel’s Sunset Bar provides a range of beers and spirits in a likable setting.

Garden Restaurant offers a courtyard setting and barbecues in the evenings.

Also appealing is the courtyard Garden Restaurant, which offers barbecues in the evenings.

The modest rooms are spacious and comfortable.

Rooms are modest but spacious, clean, and comfortable.

Rooms feature an understated but pleasant decor.

The décor in all the rooms is understated but pleasant enough.

Rooms could do with an upgrade, but are still good value for single travelers.

Some rooms need renovations but are still good value, especially for single travelers.

The colonial-era Wesleyan Chapel is located close to the hotel.

The hotel is along Sudder Street, home to a few colonial-era buildings such as the Wesleyan Chapel, which still functions today.

The neighborhood has several shops and stalls.

The alleys off Sudder Street are packed with shops and stalls.

The area near the hotel is pleasant, but not so further away.

At the start of Sudder Street, near the Indian Museum, some people run food stalls during the day and sleep on the street during the night, but the area near the hotel is more pleasant.

Sudder Street has a lot of agencies offering diverse services useful to tourists.

One great reason to stay on Sudder Street is the presence of agencies which change money and arrange train tickets, among other services.

The Elgin guesthouse close by has a delightful courtyard café.

Only 100m along the street (away from the Indian Museum), the delightful guesthouse called The Elgin has a shady courtyard café.

The Elgin has a delightful British-era charm.

It’s worth spending some time at The Elgin to admire the setting which is reminiscent of the British colonial days.

The Elgin's restaurant - The Dining Room - has a lot of charm and history.

The Dining Room at The Elgin guesthouse oozes so much charm and history.

Sudder Street has a lot of restaurants and stalls geared towards foreign tourists.

The restaurants and other facilities along Sudder Street cater more for foreign tourists than local residents, e.g. takeaway beer stalls and restaurants selling fried chicken.

Kasturi is a clean and quiet restaurant nearby.

Within a few minutes’ walk from the Lytton, Kasturi is one in a chain of clean and quiet restaurants across Kolkata.

The Blue Sky Café serves good western and Indian fare.

The Blue Sky Café has been around for ages serving western delights as well as the usual Indian fare.

Zaranj restaurant is a refined place on the corner of Sudder Street.

On the corner of Sudder Street, opposite the Indian Museum, is the refined Zaranj restaurant.

The magnificent Indian Museum is a major attraction close by.

A prominent landmark and major attraction at the turnoff from the main road to Sudder Street is the magnificent Indian Museum.

There are a few human rickshaws in the area.

There are no auto-rickshaws around the area, only some man-pulled versions.

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