Taragarh Palace, originally known as Al Hilal (‘Crescent Moon’, a name still applied to the area around it), was once a palace owned by the Maharaja of Kashmir. It has been, for many years now, part of the Welcomheritage Group of Hotels.
The very best thing about Taragarh is its setting: all around is greenery, woods stretching away here and there, the air filled with the scent of pine and the sound of birdsong. The gardens are chockfull of delight for a nature lover: on a brief five-minute walk (which was cut short by rain), we saw orchids, chinar trees, lilies, roses, petunias, fuschias, deodars, hydrangeas, pines, cypresses, and much more. The next day, when it was sunny and beautiful, we were really able to enjoy the gardens.
When it comes to accommodation, we did not like the room we were allotted: it was shabbily furnished and looked more like a government guest house than a heritage hotel. Dirt-smudged walls, stained upholstery, a stained toilet bowl—we did not like this at all. We might have been able to adjust to it, but the crowning glory was when turning on the water from the geyser, we found our bucket filling up with reddish brown water. The staff tried to repair whatever problem it was, but despite more than half an hour of trying, nothing worked, after which they had to shift us to another room. This ended up being an upgrade to a suite, since they didn’t have another suitable room available.
Our new room, the Himalaya Suite, was a big improvement on the original room: large, comparatively well-furnished, with two separate window seats (one looking onto the snowcapped mountains, the other towards the property’s own garden). There was a large and very comfortable sofa chair too, plus a wardrobe, tea and coffee fixings, large flat screen TV, writing desk and chair, coffee table, etc. The bathroom, though it had a bathtub, also had a shower and a bucket and mug. Cleanliness here was generally much better here than in the earlier room.
Taragarh also ostensibly has free WiFi, but we were told at the very start that this was usually available only in and around the reception area on the first floor. Even here it’s very erratic, so (given that getting a signal is anyway difficult if you’ve a connection with service providers like Vodafone), I ended up mostly not being able to access the Internet during our stay here.
The restaurant at Taragarh offers a range of dishes from different cuisines, but it’s all fairly predictable: Indian Chinese, pasta, sandwiches, and lots of Mughlai/Punjabi dishes. Plus, a few local dishes (of which the khatta mutton, which we had at our first meal here, was delicious). We mostly stuck to the North Indian dishes, guessing that these would be the most palatable, but even these were somewhat erratic: mostly good, but sometimes (like a very under-seasoned zeera aloo) not. On the one occasion we tried something non-Indian (apple crumble), we were served something so odd that we never tried any more such experiments. On the second day, the number of guests had gone up to enough to merit a buffet, which was a mix of Indian and Chinese dishes. As expected, the Indian food was much better than the Chinese.
The best thing by far about Taragarh is its location. If you’re at all a nature buff, this is a great place to birdwatch, to go tramping through the little strip of woodland at the back, or to just sit around and enjoy the sights and sounds of the gardens.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC