If I thought Dhaka was manic, then Chittagong topped it. After a crazy night train (which became a 16 hour train and was supposed to be 7/8hours) from Dhaka to Chittagong, I was in need of a decent hotel on arrival in Chittagong. I didn’t bother booking anything in advance – Bangladesh is still off the wall and rooms won’t sell out. I decided to get off the train in Chittagong station and go for a walk then get a hotel I liked.
I had looked at a few options in the Solitudinal Sphere while on the train and one that stood out was the Golden Inn. It’s only a 6-7 minute walk from the train station (though there are about 7 hotels closer) but this place offers good views, spacious rooms and it had guaranteed WiFi so it felt like the right option.
When I left the train station in Chittagong I hadn’t slept in 32 hours so I was a bit weary. Once I realised where I was going (take a left and keep walking along station road until you see the Golden Inn on the right) I was in automatic backpacker mode. I found the hotel within minutes and went to check in.
The security guard said hello to me, the porter opened the door and the management greeted me with “Hello Sir, how are you?”. Bangladeshis can teach the world a bit about customer service. I’m only a cheap backpacking guest, but they made sure my stay here was as good as it could have been.
I told them I wanted WiFi but didn’t need air conditioning and didn’t need breakfast. I also told them I write about travel and handed them a business card. They were all pretty happy to see me. I was able to get a cosy single ensuite room with a view, WiFi, breakfast included (at their insistence) for 900 Taka per night ($11 US).
I would only need to stay two nights as the third day I was heading to Chittagong Airport for my flight out. The hotel was brilliant I have to say and here are five reasons why you should stay here when you are backpacking in Chittagong.
Location wise, the Golden Inn is brilliant. It is 6-7 minutes walk from the train station, close to a bus station, and just 2 minutes walk from the main bazaar.
It is also in a much more convenient location than the posher hotels like the Radisson Blu and the Premier Suites, which are actually a bit out of the way for sightseeing.
I really mis-judged Bangladesh in advance, probably based on my time in Myanmar where the internet was horrendous. But here the WiFi was fast, in every room! I got a lot of blogging done by night, it’s where I typed up my Dhaka article and my post about my website being 8 years old.
- Friendly Staff
I met most of the staff over the two days. Rupak Chowdury is the senior manager and I had tea with Zunied and Azgar, two of the managers. The staff were helpful – one of them even hung out my jeans to dry in the sun, another brought insect spray to my room and another gave me a wake up call.
- Clean, spacious Rooms
It’s hard to find a really clean and spacious hotel for this price. I’ve heard of the cockroach and rat ridden spots in Bangladesh. This place was a breath of fresh air. My room was tidy, clean and spacious.
As a bonus, the top floor (Floor 7) offers fantastic views over the city. Weirdly the city looks smaller from up here, but it’s a cool vantage point.
- Free Bangladeshi Breakfast
Breakfast is included and you have a choice of Continental or Bangladeshi, so obviously I chose the local feast which was fabulous. A choice of tea or coffee comes with it.
As a bonus, rooms have TV including international channels, I had a fan above my bed (didn’t need air conditioning), beer can be ordered in for you (but it’s dear) and you get a free bottle of water every day. On my first morning here, at breakfast the local paper had the train crash on the front page. I was on the train going the opposite way at the time of the crash.
Here are the details for booking the Golden Inn in Chittagong:
Here are some of my videos from the Golden Inn in Chittagong: