Visiting Pak? Carry a tent

If you are planing to visit Lahore, make sure you are carrying a tent, because the hotels here are putting up the house-full signs.

india Updated: Mar 12, 2004 01:14 IST

If you are planing to visit Lahore, make sure you are carrying a tent, because the hotels here are putting up the house-full signs.

An Islamabad resident, whose company has a deal with one of Karachi's plushest hotels, was asked to pay $500 a night for a single room. That came down to $250 as a special concession because he was a regular. The normal rate is usually around $100.

"This is a great time for commerce," says Nadeem, who works at an agency specialising in arranging rooms for people. They bulk block hotel rooms and offer them to customers at three or four times the rate.

Lahore, which is expecting a deluge of visitors from India for the twin one-dayers and the Test, is already prohibitively expensive. An employee of the Pearl Continental here says people are willing to pay anything. "We received a call for six rooms for a batch of Indians from England. We settled at Rs 22,000."

A journalist with a reservation at a leading hotel found her booking had been cancelled since they couldn't hold a room till she got her visa. Luckily, she had made another booking and wasn't fleeced, relatively speaking. She's paying Rs 7,500 a night for a single room.

When she asked why they were charging so much when the usual rate was Rs 3,900, she was told they wouldn't mind if she wanted to shift to another hotel. End of conversation.

First Published: Mar 11, 2004 23:57 IST