The Peerless Inn in Kolkata, India

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Updated: October 9, 2019

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Review of The Peerless Inn in Kolkata, India.

The Peerless Inn – Affordable and central, it’s likably shabby in parts, but also very modern in others.

The Peerless does have strong four and five-star rivals but competes with them by offering less expensive rates in overpriced Kolkata. Rooms in the older wing are a bit ramshackle, but still immensely appealing with an almost retro 1960’s feel – especially the bathrooms which are screaming out for renovations. Rooms in the newer wing lack this charm, but are more modern, and views from all rooms are unobstructed and more appealing compared to neighboring hotels. Other than the affordable rates, the major attraction is the location: overlooking a park, backed by sprawling markets, and walkable to the metro station and Indian Museum.

The Peerless Inn, Kolkata – The Location

  • Address: 12 Jawaharlal Nehru Road, also called Chowringhee Road, in the middle of downtown. Entrance along a side street: Chowringhee Place.
  • Area: Faces a main road alongside a park. All sorts of facilities are within walking distance, including markets in all directions, but it’s very chaotic and crowded.
  • How to Get There: Taxis from the pre-paid counters at the airport take 50-60 minutes (16km). From the main railway station (Howrah), the hotel is about 20-25 minutes (5km) by taxi. See Local Transport below for more information about taxis and the metro.
  • Handy to: Indian Museum.

The Peerless Inn, Kolkata – The Basics

  • Guests: Caters for all. Many seem to be Indian tourists, but foreign business people also stay there.
  • Views: Quite good. Rooms at the front face a park from the higher floors. Those to the side and back overlook the side streets packed with markets. All windows are well soundproofed.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Not expected or provided at an older-style inner-city hotel like this in Kolkata.
  • Extras: Substantial discounts to guests at the in-house restaurants and bar.
  • Wi-Fi: Free throughout for all guests, and reasonably quick.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: +91 (0)33 4400 3900
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: peerlesshotels.co.in

The Peerless Inn, Kolkata – Amenities

  • Pool: There isn’t one. Not expected in the older wing, but perhaps there should be a pool on the rooftop of the newer wing.
  • Spa: No spa, but this is not unusual in Kolkata hotels.
  • Fitness Center: Small but reasonable. Outstanding views of the street and distant park.
  • Other Facilities: Business center.

The Peerless Inn, Kolkata – Food and Drink

  • Restaurants: Oceanic – Open 24 hours for all sorts of cuisines, but focuses on seafood. Undersized at breakfast time, but popular for Sunday brunch buffets. • Aaheli – Next to the Oceanic and serves local Bengali food. Silver service and tasteful décor. • The Tea Lounge – Coffee shop and patisserie at the lobby level. Sells beer.
  • Bars: Ego – Self-labeled ‘retro lounge’ at lobby level. Open from 7 pm for imported spirits and beers and Asian-inspired snacks.
  • Breakfast: Included in some rates, but this depends on the room and how it was booked.
  • Room Service: Available 24/7.

The Peerless Inn, Kolkata – Rooms

  • Room Types: Superior Rooms • Premium Rooms • Executive Rooms • Heritage Suites • Chowringhee Suites
  • Smoking Rooms: No smoking in the rooms, but a few dedicated areas available in the hotel grounds.
  • Best Room: Large and very appealing, the Chowringhee Suites offer separate living/dining rooms and vast city views from an upper floor.
  • For Families: Ask the management about fitting in extra single beds in the rooms or 2 extra singles in the suites.

The Peerless Inn, Kolkata – Local Transport

  • Walking: While the sidewalks along the main road can be disconcertingly overcrowded, the backstreets around the market area behind the hotel are easier and safer to wander around.
  • Public Transport: Local buses and trams are of no use to tourists. The Kolkata Metro is reasonably useful to reach areas a little further north or south, but won’t link to the airport and main railway station (Howrah) until at least mid-2021. The nearest metro station, Esplanade, is on the main road. 4-minute walk (350m).
  • 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. Also, lots of auto-rickshaws – and man-pulled versions – around the backstreets.

The Peerless Inn, Kolkata – What’s Nearby?

Restaurants & Bars

    The area behind the hotel is jam-packed with inviting eateries providing authentic Indian food, as well as fruit-juice stalls.

  • Rang Mahal +91 (0)33 2228 0929 – Cozy café/bar with a menu far more exciting than most. On a corner behind the hotel. 1-minute walk (100m).
  • Regent Restaurant – Opposite Rang Mahal, known for unfussy service and vast selection of Indian food, including rare non-vegetarian options. 1-minute walk (100m).
  • The Oberoi Grand – This opulent hotel 200m down the main road offers several sophisticated choices, including threesixythree° (lavish buffets and a la carte meals all day) and Baan Thai (award-winning food, delightful setting, and impeccable service). 2-minute walk.
  • New Cathay Bar & Restaurant – Upstairs and next to the Oberoi entrance. Pleasant staff, family-friendly, and fascinating street views. 3-minute walk (300m).
  • In a cluster, attached to the New Empire Cinema along a street behind the Oberoi, are 6 places, including Barista (pleasant coffee shop offering light meals), Wow! Momo (safe street-food in clean setting), and KFC (no description needed). 4-minute walk (350m).

Shops & Markets

  • The Chowringhee Market overflows onto the sidewalks in front of the hotel, and walking through can be quite disconcerting. 3-minute walk (250m).
  • More spacious and vibrant is the New Market which spreads along several streets behind the Oberoi and Peerless hotels. 4-minute walk (300m).

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, and 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. South down the main road. 7-minute walk (600m).
  • 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 (4km).
  • 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. 11-minute drive (3km).
  • 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. 15-minute drive (4.5km).
  • 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. 50-minute drive (14km).

The Peerless Inn, Kolkata – The Hotel

The hotel is located in historic downtown Kolkata.

The hotel is in downtown Kolkata, home to many colonial-era buildings.

The hotel has an older and a newer wing, connected via a sky-bridge.

The Peerless has 2 wings. Newer rooms are in the modern wing attached to the other wing by a sky-bridge on the 3rd floor.

The large lobby is manned by a friendly staff.

The lobby area is large, and the staff is friendly and efficient.

The Tea Lounge serves cakes, sandwiches, coffee, and beer.

In the lobby area, The Tea Lounge sells cakes, sandwiches, coffee, and beer.

Oceanic is open 24/7 and is popular for its Sunday brunch buffets.

At the hotel, Oceanic is open 24 hours and offers popular buffets for Sunday brunch.

Aaheli is renowned for its traditional Bengali menu.

Next to the Oceanic, Aaheli serves traditional Bengali cuisine, authentic to Kolkata and the general region.

The Ego lounge bar has a retro vibe.

Ego, the hotel lounge bar, has a retro vibe.

The decent-sized gym offers great views of the park and general area.

At the 9th level, the fitness center is a reasonable size and provides awesome views of the park, bus station, and general chaos over the road.

The older wing rooms are spacious and old-fashioned.

Rooms in the older wing are spacious and likably old-fashioned.

The older rooms are very appealing and offer the best value in the area.

Some older rooms are a little shabby but still very appealing. Also, they are the best value in downtown.

All accommodations come with the expected mod-cons.

The rooms and suites in both wings provide the expected mod-cons.

The rooms at the front offer good views but can get slightly noisy.

Rooms at the front offer extensive city views but might suffer a little from traffic noise (although windows are soundproofed).

The newer wing accommodations are more modern.

Rooms and suites in the newer wing are more modern, but not quite as appealing as those in the older wing.

Baan Thai restaurant at the Oberoi Grand hotel next door is very popular.

At the neighboring Oberoi Grand hotel is the exquisite and award-winning Baan Thai restaurant.

threesixtythree° restaurant at the Oberoi is known for its lavish buffets.

Also at the Oberoi, the threesixtythree° restaurant offers lavish buffets.

There are several stalls selling street food and fruit juices behind the hotel.

Streets behind the hotel are full of stalls and shops selling all sorts of street food. Fruit juices are particularly popular.

Rang Mahal close by serves Indian and Chinese food.

On a corner behind the hotel, Rang Mahal offers a menu with more interesting Indian and Chinese food than normal.

Regent Restaurant is popular for its non-vegetarian menu.

Opposite the Rang Mahal, the simple but popular Regent Restaurant serves non-vegetarian meals.

Barista nearby serves good coffee and pastries.

Within a cluster along a back street behind the neighboring Oberoi hotel, Barista is a western-style coffee shop that also sells pastries.

Wow Momo sells Indian street food in a clean and air-conditioned setting.

Alongside Barista, Wow Momo is one in a chain of outlets offering Indian street food in a clean and air-conditioned setting.

There is also a KFC and a cinema in the same building.

Barista and Wow Momo share a building with a KFC and cinema showing the latest Bollywood blockbusters.

The sprawling New Market behind the hotel is very busy through the day.

At the back of the hotel, the sprawling New Market operates all day every day.

The sprawling New Market behind the hotel is very busy through the day.

All sorts of things are on sale at the New Market, which spreads along the streets behind the Peerless.

Human rickshaws still operate in the market area near the hotel.

The sort of old-fashioned rickshaws banned in many other Indian cities still operate in the market area near the hotel.

Chowringhee Market is just around the corner from the hotel.

The Chowringhee Market spreads along the sidewalks beside the main road, just around the corner from the hotel.

The city still has working colonial-era trams.

Colonial-era trams still ply the main road outside the hotel, but are of little use to tourists.

The metro station is just 100m from the hotel.

A quick way to get around the city is by metro. A station is along the main road, only 100m from the hotel.

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