I have used the Indian Railway Retiring Room services twice before: For the first time in Naharlagun( Arunachal Pradesh) & the other being in Guwahati Jn. As I was going to Gangtok next morning that’s why I decided to spent that night at New Jalpaiguri Railway Retiring Room.
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I booked the New Jalpaiguri Railway Retiring Room one day before my journey through IRCTC ONLINE. I booked a Non-AC Double room online since the AC Double room wasn’t vacant. I reached New Jalpaiguri around 8:00 pm. The booking slot had a time period of 12 hours, starting from 8:00 pm and ending at 8:00am next day. So, I checked in at around 8:15 am. The Retiring Room in-charge noted down my details, checking along the printed copy of the Retiring Room reservation slip, opened the room and told me if I want to go outside I have to arrange lock and key of my own.
Clean floor, walls, mattress, bed covers, pillows, and blankets. It ticked every point. Regarding furniture’s 2 plastic chairs and 1 wardrobe was there. One mirror also fitted with wall. My room had a balcony also from where you can view the busy station. They had 15 rooms in totality. The next big thing was the bathroom. How was it?
It was quite spacious. Also had a geyser (yes it was working). I didn’t face any water supply problem throughout my stay. Also had a big mirror fixed with wall. Mugs and bucket were also provided.
After all this stuff, the biggest uncertainty I had on my mind was the honking of the trains. Won’t that disturb me? Now, since I had a Non-AC room, the chance of getting disturbed was more. But surprisingly I wasn’t really disturbed by the honks of trains in night.
Now comes the question of money: How much does it cost? I think the prices are quite low. I spent ₹300/- for the 12 hour slot. For the 24 hr slot, it was ₹500/-. AC Double bedded rooms were ₹600/- for 12 hours. Dormitories are also available in case you don’t get a separate room. They too are a great option to stay at if you were with family.
At NJP Retiring Rooms were at ground and first floor. I got my room at first floor. One thing you note down that you had to bring toiletries of your own. As per safety is concern it is safer, as the RPF office is in the ground floor. So, you were 100% safe with your family. Moreover, room could be booked and canceled online. You would get RO filtered cool water on platforms with a minimum price of Rs.5 per liter. Restaurant (Jan Ahaar) is also on the no. 1 platform with sufficient options.
At such low prices, you are getting above decent rooms which you will barely find outside the station. Also, the biggest advantage I observed was the 12 hour slot option. Unlike the hotels which usually charge you for the whole day, IRCTC charges you as per to your requirements. Also you need not to rush with your entire luggage outside the station to move in to a hotel. You reach the station and you reach your room.
Overall, I would personally recommend New Jalpaiguri Retiring Room as they save you a lot of time and money. The only thing is, they are hard to get as they are less in numbers and are reserved in long advances.