Kabini River Lodge came recommended to me by a close Indian friend and also through Trip Advisor. However the room that we were assigned was the worst place we ever stayed.
We were really looking forward to our stay there. Our plane landed at 11:30 in Bangalore and we drove to Kabini, actually eating lunch in the back of the car to avoid wasting any time. We were the last to check in on a Saturday night at 6:30 pm. When I saw the room I almost cried.
The walls for sure hadn’t been painted in a decade. There was about a four inch circle of filthy fingerprints around every wall switch. See the attached pictures. The bathroom was not beautiful by any stretch but the bathtub was so badly stained that it was disgusting. There was about a half inch at the bottom of the outside door that opened on the bathroom. Things were always crawling through there. Even a toad jumped over my foot in the room on the last night.
Most of the lights did not work. They sent someone down to rewire a couple of switches for the wall/ceiling lights. Later we found that the bedside lamp did not work and neither did most of the outlets. We tried to charge my phone, to no avail as the outlet had no power. The bathtub didn’t even have a plug. My husband thought that the finger prints were the result of people repeatedly trying to get the lights to work.
We heard that the newer cottages are very nice. Nearly all other “foreigners” were staying in these. When we complained to the manager and I mentioned how much money we had paid, so far in advance, to be assigned such a horrible room, he told me flat out that the cottages are much more expensive but for foreigners they charge the same for a “good room” as they do a “bad room”. There was no remorse whatsoever about the situation.
A couple of other tourists who we met said they were happy with their cottages, which were very well maintained. They did comment that they found the management the most unfriendly at registration of any place in India. That was certainly our experience when we checked in and in later dealings we had.
The general workers around the lodge were quite nice. The food was OK, nearly all Indian, which was OK with us as we were in India. We took the boat safari and enjoyed it very much. On the jeep safaris there was not a lot to see, deer, gaur, wild boar and langur monkeys were plentiful and we saw only a couple of elephants. We had been forewarned by our Indian friends not to expect much game in this area and even though the sign at the front tells tales of leopard and tiger sightings almost daily, it wasn’t true. No-one on the drives had seen any. Even one of the naturalists at the lodge admitted that those sightings were very rare indeed.
There are many better places today close by. If you happen to be assigned a filthy room like we were after paying so much, you will not be pleased I am sure.
You can take a look at my reviews of many other hotels where we have stayed and you will see that we are pretty generous reviewers. It has to be bad to deserve this one.
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