The guide said it best: You either love it or hate it. I loved it. And judging from the other reviewers the character that they and I loved best was the laid back nature of this place. The manager is a nice guy who is very helpful. He helped us get last minute train tickets to Kerala the day before the journey. The price was extremely reasonable - ~only Rs 400 and I take it its even less in the off season.
We met a lot of travelers who came back to this place every time they were in Chennai - some coming back for over 20 years. Many stay months at a time.
The architecture and layout of the guest house is very authentic and isnt like any of cookie cutter multinational chains like Hilton, Holiday Inns etc that are opening up everywhere.