The North-East was always on my wishlist and i finally was able to make my dream come true with my Meghalaya holiday. I wish I had planned it better and could spend more time in Shillong itself. But my itinerary quite hectic; trying to pack in as many sights as I could. I definitely plan to come back again and explore Shillong in a more leisurely way.
Aerodene Cottage was everything I had read up about , and highly recommended by my friend. I had booked my stay only for a very brief time, as I was planning to be on the road exploring far off "Must-See" places . The warm hospitality and gracious service by Sharlene and her staff made me regret my shortsightedness. The cottage has a lovely old-world feel. The rooms were spacious, yet cosy; with every little detail taken care of. Electric heater pads for the night, Kettle with Tea-bags, Coffee sachets, Creamer, Sugar and even a little jar with biscuits. The bathroom had 2 each of Soaps and miniature bottles of Shampoo, Conditioner, Moisturiser and Shower-caps and Hot water at all times. The meals served up by her kitchen staff were also delicious and quite generous. The whole place was meticulously clean and, the surprise delights were Sharlene's Orchids in every veranda and her Kitchen garden. Sharlene also stocks Shillong's famous Orange -flower Honey for those who would like to take back some local produce. On the whole, a truly a 5 Star experience in a very affordable setting.
Sharlene also arranges for a taxi for local sightseeing and recommends places depending on what one wants to do. I also picked up Shillong's famous Jams and Juices from the Govt. Cannery on Sharlene's recommendation. She also gives really good tips on local cafe's to eat out at.
Meghalaya is a destination by itself and deserves at least a week to do it justice. Some places like Cherra are quite a distance away from Shillong and it doesn't make sense to travel back and forth. Doing a side-trip and staying at a local resort there and exploring that region thoroughly makes more sense.
But definitely do visit Meghalaya once in your lifetime. The sheer breathtaking beauty of the mountains and the clouds coming down to kiss its tops make one's heart fill to overflowing. Truly the Abode of the Clouds.
Location – The hotel is conveniently located just off the main centre in the Thana road near Police bazaar. This is a slightly congested lane off the main road. The hotel has its own car parking slot in the nearby car parking area and our car was stationed there during our stay in Shillong. Ambience – We had booked in advance from Kolkata without much knowledge so we were slightly apprehensive as to our selection. However we were greeted very cordially by the staff and the overall ambience inside was assuring. There is some infrastructure up-gradation being carried out like lift & a new reception. Service – In general the service was good although in our brief sojourn of two days we did not push the service department much – but little things like hot water & maggi for our 3yr old, morning tea & newspaper were immediately attended to. Rooms – The rooms were midsized in line with its tariff category and furnished with a dressing table almirah combo complete with a t.v. & phone. A small window opened out into the side street. The bathroom is sized appropriately and the fittings and fixtures were very adequate and functional with hot & cold water available. A large sliding window here is a plus point. There was no carpet on the floor and we did not miss it given the temperature which was pleasant. Most importantly the rooms were good and clean and homely – quite suitable for a couple and a kid. Value for Money – We were very satisfied with our stay in the hotel overall & rank this hotel as a very good value for money in its category. The hotel ensured that our stay in Shillong was pleasant & memorable.
Best Experience: Restaurant – The Bistro is a pure veg restaurant on the 3rd floor. With glass windows on the two sides it offers a great view of the surrounding hills and the city. The quality of the food is excellent and very reasonably priced given the quantity served, so much so that local people book a part for small parties. We had breakfast options of puri sabzi or aloo paratha or bread butter jam & corn flakes or all of them and it was included with our room rent package.
Located right in middle of the city. Bare minimum amenities in the room, compared to the price of over 6 k. No wifi in the room, only available in lobby, even though there are other wifi signals reaching the room, but not of the hotel wifi.
They switch off hot water around 9 pm and don't start till around 6 am. In between if you need, you have to call them and really insist that you need it, and have to call numerous times before you can have properly heated water. So if you plan to take shower late at night or early in the morning, stay away. Staff are very polite but not too effective in keeping commitment. Cleanliness is good - bathroom, sheets etc.
Our trip to Shillong was planned as a break from routine. We wanted to relax looking at beautiful views of hills. That isn't possible from Aerodene Cottage which is in the city of Shillong. Apart from that the cottage itself is charming and the rooms are decorated with an old style sweetness that is comfortable. There are plenty of sitouts in the lush outdoors rife with orchids and other plants. The lane it is set on is a little off the main street preventing road side noises from disturbing us, but close enough to hop into a cab after a short walk.
We spent five days there and the first two days were in a room that was a little small for three people. I feel that we could have been guided to take a larger room. After we moved to the large room with peach curtains our mood improved hugely.
I was disappointed with the breakfast - the juice was from an indeterminate fruit and frighteningly acidic. As a health conscious person and because the cottages look so wholesome I kind of expected an awareness to serve brown bread, fresh fruit and good filter coffee which would have improved the experience hugely.
The bathrooms were lovely and clean and there was plenty of hot water. Rukma Sen was helpful in suggesting places to eat in Shillong. The staff too directed us to the nearest wine shop to buy a bottle of wine for our first evening there. It wasn't very far and nor was the ATM.
I stayed there comfortably. Location of the hotel was convenient. I went there for official purpose. Appearance wise, it was good. Staff was very cooperative and helpful. Staff was quickly responding to our requests. Everything was good there. There was a little delay during check-in regarding booking and all. Room was spacious and very well-maintained. AC, geyser, TV or everything was there in the room and all of them were functioning properly. Washroom and furnishings were neat and well-maintained. View was not visible from the room. I had breakfast, lunch and dinner there and it was very good. Complimentary breakfast was there. Veg and non-veg varieties were available in the food. Quality and taste of the food was good but it was little bit spicy. There was no activity. Only garden was there. Sightseeing trip was organized by our own. Parking place was available there. I traveled there in March 2014. Overall, cost wise it was luxury. I was happy with the hotel. Room service should be quick. Shillong as a destination is excellent. Hotel's location was also excellent. Hotel appearance was excellent. Staff behaviour was also excellent. Room was also excellent. Food and drink was excellent. Activities were also excellent.