The Hotel Arunai Anantha was built a few years ago and styles itself as a ‘three-star’ hotel. It is one of the many options for rooms and meals when you visit Tiruvannamalai.
We have been going periodically for meals there since we came to Tiruvannamalai four years ago. This weekend we went for a Sunday breakfast, and had the worst service we have ever had at any restaurant in India, at that is saying quite a lot.
We arrived about 8:30 am, and got our order in right way. We were happy to get quick attention. We just ordered ghee dosas and coffee, a simple South Indian breakfast order, available everywhere. In 20 minutes we had received nothing. The party of 4 Indians who were seated after us was served by then, and at least one of them got a dosa. I complained to our waiter. Nothing happened. In ten more minutes I complained to the manager. In about 5 minutes we were served coffee, but no food. We drank our coffees. Then another 5 minutes passed, and we walked out. We spoke to the manager on the way out. He told us to wait for 10 more minutes. In most places this order is served within 10 minutes of ordering, often faster. Dosas are easy and quick to make.
They had different waiters than we had seen before, so maybe they fired their old staff and reorganized. If so, it is a real failure.
Here is their sign. Do not go here.
Here is another version of their sign. Again, do not go here.
There is a much better alternative very close to Arunai Anantha. About 30 meters farther down the road is a sign for Hotel Ashreya. Turn at the sign and go down to the end of the cement road. We went there instead, and quickly were served our food and drinks. The waitstaff always greets us warmly. The food is good—not too spicy—and the management knows how to treat their guests.
I am sorry to have to cross Arunai Anantha off our list of acceptable places to eat in Tiruvannamalai. There really are not many here that are suitable for Westerners. But we will never go again.
People who regularly read this blog know that I am a positive person, who usually has something good to say. Not this time.
By the way, about their so-called ‘three-star’ status: I do not know if this was given to them by anyone, or if they just declared it themselves. As another example of their true status, in the men’s toilet next to the eating area, the toilet seat has been broken off for four years, and no one has seen fit to repair it, so if you want to sit, you must sit on the porcelain body of the toilet. Three Star? I don’t think so.
Tags: tourism. touring