The Senator Hotel in Kolkata, India

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by Santorini Dave • Updated: October 9, 2019

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Review of The Senator Hotel in Kolkata, India.

The Senator Hotel – Small, personable, and affordable mid-range choice in a better-than-average area.

Catering mostly to Indian business people (but still ideal for foreign tourists), The Senator is named after the numerous embassies that once dominated this area before the colonial capital moved to New Delhi. In the lower end of the three-star range, there’s no pool, gym, or spa, but this is reflected in the rates which are pleasing in overpriced Kolkata. Rooms are comfortable, without being remarkable, and they’re not cramped like those at competitors. A major attraction is the location: noisy but vibrant and convenient, walkable to a metro station, and surrounded by some of Kolkata’s finer cafés and bars.

The Senator Hotel – The Location

  • Address: 15 Camac Street, which is a one-way heading south. Between 2 main roads: AJC Bose (to the south, with a flyover) and Shakespeare Sarani. In the inner southern suburbs.
  • Area: Comparatively affluent, with many offices, banks, and other commercial buildings. Many middle-class workers in the area, so the cafés, bars, and shops are better than average. A quieter area immediately in the front and a park at the back.
  • How to Get There: Taxis from the pre-paid counters at the airport take 45-55 minutes (21km). From the main railway station (Howrah), the hotel is 25-35 minutes (7km) by taxi. See Local Transport below for more information about taxis and the metro.

The Senator Hotel – The Basics

  • Guests: Caters mostly to Indian business people, but foreign tourists are still welcome, of course.
  • Views: Street views are extensive and quite interesting, although windows are surprisingly undersized. Rooms to the back overlook the modest Victoria Park, with a stagnant pond and walking path.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Not expected or provided at a lower-standard inner-city hotel 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 2289 3000
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: thesenatorhotel.com

The Senator Hotel – Amenities

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

The Senator Hotel – Food and Drink

  • Restaurants & Bars: Lounge Restaurant – Great-value buffets for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even afternoon tea. Cheerful, and popular with local workers. • L’Oriental Restobar – Open all day for a la carte Indian and Chinese, but most guests are there for the bar. Separate family area.
  • Breakfast: Included in most rates, but check when booking.
  • Room Service: Available from about 7 am to midnight.

The Senator Hotel – Rooms

  • Room Types: Crystal Rooms • Gold Regular Rooms • Gold Premium Rooms
  • Smoking Rooms: Ask the management about booking a smoking room.
  • Best Room: The Gold Premium Rooms are a little more spacious and more likely to offer better views from the upper floors.
  • For Families: Nothing set up especially, but with lower-than-usual rates, booking 2 adjoining rooms is quite affordable, though none have connecting doors.

The Senator Hotel – Local Transport

  • Walking: The sidewalks are full of food stalls, but it is still a comparatively pleasant area for strolling. Plenty of tempting shops and cafés in the area, and a tiny park right behind the hotel.
  • Public Transport: The Kolkata Metro is reasonably useful to reach areas a little further south or north, but won’t reach the airport and main railway station (Howrah) until at least mid-2021. The nearest metro station, Rabindra Sadan, is conveniently located at the major corner, 650m away. Head left (south) from the hotel towards the flyover and then turn right. 8-minute walk.
  • 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. Oddly, no types of rickshaws anywhere in the area.

The Senator Hotel – What’s Nearby?

Restaurants & Bars

    All sorts of food stalls catering to local workers pack the sidewalks, so this may be a good time and place to try some authentic street food.

  • I Love Haldiram – Cafeteria-style, with huge dining area. Tasty food, low prices, and spotlessly clean. The traditional masala tea is excellent. Also, sticky sweets and cakes. Directly opposite the hotel. 1-minute walk.
  • Monkey Bar – One of several bars also serving excellent food, and located on the upper floors of office buildings along Camac Street. 150m up from the hotel (away from the flyover). 2-minute walk.
  • Hotel Hindusthan International – Posh hotel offering several excellent options including: Kalash (gourmet Indian, adorable setting, and silver service), Mythh (lunch/dinner buffets and a la carte 24/7), and The Oriental Express (wide range of Asian cuisines and chic décor). Head left (south) from The Senator and turn right at the flyover. 4-minute walk (300m).
  • Deck 88 – Lovely café with al fresco setting and lively bar, open from late afternoon. In The Astor hotel, about 350m away. Walk up the street (away from the flyover) and left at the junction. 4-minute walk.
  • Kebab-e-Que – At ground level below Deck 88. Classy décor and popular with meat lovers. 4-minute walk (350m).

Shops & Markets

  • Better range of shops in this more affluent area. The New B. K. Market is an indoor collection of stalls, mostly selling clothes, but with few customers, the hard sell is common. Up the street (away from the flyover) and left at the junction. 5-minute walk (400m).

Attractions

  • 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. 18-minute walk (1.4km).
  • 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. 6-minute drive (1.8km).
  • 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. 9-minute drive (2.3km).
  • 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. 21-minute drive (7km).
  • 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 (16km).

The Senator Hotel – The Hotel

The hotel is located in a business district.

The Senator is located within a reasonably interesting business district.

The mid-range hotel offers affordable rooms.

The Senator is a mid-range hotel without all the facilities (e.g. pool, gym, and spa) that many guests here won’t use – and without the corresponding high rates either.

The under-stated hotel lobby is manned by friendly staff.

The lobby doesn’t have chandeliers or traditionally-dressed doormen, but the staff is friendly.

The guest lounge is small and very pleasant.

Just inside the hotel door is a small but welcoming guest lounge.

The Lounge Restaurant offers good value meals through the day.

The Lounge Restaurant at the lobby level offers buffets for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner. Mainly for business people, and excellent value.

The spacious rooms are comfortable.

Rooms are actually more spacious than they appear, and comfortable, without being overly fussy.

Corner rooms come with more windows.

Rooms in the corners offer twice the windows and views.

The rear rooms have views of the pond at Victoria Park square.

Rooms at the back overlook the rather unappealing pond in the Victoria Square park.

There are several food stalls on the streets.

With so many workers in the area, the sidewalks are overflowing with food stalls.

There are several street food stalls around the hotel.

The area around the hotel may be a good place to try some authentic street food.

There are several fruit stalls around the hotel.

Or perhaps, guests may prefer to just try some delicious tropical fruits from stalls near the hotel.

I Love Haldiram opposite the hotel is popular for its Indian food and sandwiches.

Directly opposite The Senator, I Love Haldiram is a huge and spotlessly clean cafeteria offering sandwiches and Indian food.

I Love Haldiram is also known for its sweets and pastries.

I Love Haldiram also sells sticky sweets and pastries.

There are several bars on Camac Street.

Camac Street (on which the hotel is located) is home to several bars on the upper floors of office buildings. These bars, which also sell food, are popular among local workers.

The Monkey Bar is one of the best bars around.

The best of the local cafés/bars is Monkey Bar, just 150m up the street (away from the flyover).

Deck 88 is a terrific cafe and bar at the Astor hotel.

Head north up the street from the hotel and turn left at the traffic lights. Inside The Astor hotel are 2 terrific cafés/bars. On an upper level, Deck 88 is casual and mostly al fresco.

Kebab-e-Que is popular with meat lovers.

At ground level and below Deck 88, the more formal Kebab-e-Que is popular among meat lovers.

Hotel Hindusthan International nearby has several great options for meals and drinks.

Hotel Hindusthan International provides several great options for a meal and/or drink, including Mythh. At the end of Camac Street (at the flyover), turn right for a total of 300m.

Kalash is a great restaurant at HHI.

Worth a splurge for gourmet Indian is the Kalash restaurant, also at the Hindusthan Hotel.

The neighborhood has several upmarket shops.

Catering to more affluent workers, shops around the hotel are more upmarket than in most areas of Kolkata.

Yellow taxis are the preferred mode of transport in the area.

There are no auto-rickshaws in the area, so grab a yellow metered taxi instead.

The metro is of limited use as it is still under construction.

The local metro station is about 650m away. However, services are of limited use to tourists until they connect to the airport and railway station in about mid-2021.

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