I thought I'd stay a step ahead by booking my Delhi hotel on-line. I also thought it said "wireless". And I thought that, for $17 a night, I might straddle the line between really crummy and not so bad if you squint.
I was right, except about the internet - they seemed stunned I'd ask.
But I know now what my budget level ($10-$20) gets:
Your tv's remote - its buttons worn to unmarked stubs - will be delivered, along with a small towel, a matchbook size bit of soap, and a roll of toilet paper, only after you've checked into your room.
There will not be any actual tourist info at the front desk, even at the counter marked "Tourist Info" - you'll be directed to a "sister concern" around the corner (where I am now, waiting for their tourist info person).
The room service menu will have dribbles on it.
The decor: all marble - everywhere. Smudgy white-ish marble is the linoleum of India.
The bathroom will not inspire you to wash.
The hotel's halls and lobby will be filled with men who seem to be on the hotel payroll but whose jobs are unclear - security? elevator operator? bell boy?
Your room will be so very dismal that - on the upside - even sleepless from another bus-ride, you'll still go straight out into the Delhi streets rather than stay in it.
So - ultimately, cheap hotels are a tourist's friend.
C - again in Delhi