Terrible Service at Arunai Anantha in Tiruvannamalai


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.



7 Responses to “Terrible Service at Arunai Anantha in Tiruvannamalai”

  1. Neil Harvey Says:

    I just got back from a 3 week holiday in India and while there stayed at Arunai Anantha for 3 nights last week. I can only say that the standard of rooms and service were up with the best that I have experienced on 4 holiday’s in India. I have experienced a lot worse service at much more expensive hotels in the past.

    The room was clean and there was real hot water available which I find is a rarity in India even at the good hotels. The hotel staff generally spoke good English and were very friendly. The range of food was a bit limited but it seemed to cooked well and was served promptly.

    Things may have improved there and I would sugget other visitors to India to give it a try.

    Neil Harvey

    • Richard Clarke Says:

      Thank you for your good report. Maybe we will try them again. We had been there at ather times and it was OK. This time it was the worse service I had gotten about anywhere anytime. Otherwise I would not have made the post. It is noit usual for mde to be so critical.

  2. kashluck Says:

    Reviews on Trip Advisor about Arunai Anantha are also negative.
    One review says that they have engaged local villagers as waiters to cut costs. One visitor from North India had difficulty in communicating since he knew only Hindi and English whereas the waiters could speak only Tamil.

    I had been to Ashreya and Yes! the food was great.

    I visit Thiruvannamalai to bask in the divine grace of Arunachala.
    Luxuries are not priority for me. I prefer to stay in a hotel which fulfills basic needs and is clean.

    Recently I stayed in Hotel Ramana Residency. It is within walking distance from the temple. The rooms are basic with aircon, 24 hours hot water and TV (No use for me, as i do not come to Thiru to watch TV!). The toilet was clean, but they do not provide shampoo, tooth paste etc. The bed was ok with the sheets quite thin. There is no restaurant in this hotel, but good restaurants can be found nearby.

    There is something funny with the aircon. There is no remote in the room. If the aircon setting needs to be adjusted you need to contact the reception and they would send someone to adjust the settings! My room temp was set at 17deg and after sometime it became too cold for comfort. I simply switched it off!

    Overall, i would say that for the rate of Rs.770 per day it was ok. I would stay there next time unless i find something better for that price range.

    A. Raviprakash

  3. Sudhir Rosaliene Says:

    I Booked last year In this Hotel for 4 weeks. When I came to Tiruvanamalai after a travel for 4 hours from the airport in Bangalore , they did not have a room for me,they told me they did not got my reservation….!!!My name was not on the list, and they had never sent me a mail for confirm.

    After searching for a whole day, I found Ashrya Hotel.. You dont know,I had the most wonderful 4 weeks in this Hotel, good food, very friendly and nice staff and I got friends with some of the staff until now!

    I do recommand this Hotel to all who are coming to Tiruvanamalai.


  4. rchand420 Says:

    Thank you very much Richard for this useful review.

    Request you to also review Sparsa when you get a chance.

  5. peace1170 Says:

    Hi Richard,
    I am a subscriber of your blog. I stayed in Hotel Arpanaa last year. It is the best, had rooms designed after hotels here, the food was great, and the staff was very courteous, & helpful. I cannot say enough good words about their staff, including the managing director/owner. Overall, it is the worth the money, pleasant stay and will be a place of my choice when I visit Thiruvannamalai. My friends also went there, they were very pleased with overall service.

  6. Suryanarayana Raju Says:

    Thank you so much for the information Richards.Namaste.

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