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“(Almost) 5 star quality at affordable rates”
Review of The Retreat

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The Retreat
Level Contributor
27 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“(Almost) 5 star quality at affordable rates”
Reviewed 9 June 2014

Stayed here over a weekend. The location is awesome, on the main Promenade and the sea just by it. The rooms are also top class, just dont expect TV and room service. The breakfast is complimentary, and the lunch and dinner are charged at reasonable rates and with a smile.

Room Tip: Tip #1: Sea Facing views are great and highly affordable. Go for the second floor if available. But...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MK_GK_SK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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69 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (40)
Date | Rating
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English first
Chennai
Level Contributor
23 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 May 2014

I have stayed here on two occasions and on both , quite happy with my choice. Retreat is an Ashram manged property so a few rules to be followed . No alcohol inside , No smoking inside the premises , The doors close at 11 pm . So these factors have to be considered before going to this place . On both occasions I stayed here for a night each as pondy was the stop over in my road trips.The hotel does not offer anything fancy .

This property is located bang opposite the promenade and is very clean and neat . The staff is helpful and nice . The rooms , linen , bath rooms etc are very clean .At the time of check in the bell boy will take the luggage in side the room ,escort you etc as in normal hotels . In the room There is a kettle for hot water and tea bags (Twinings - Assam tea this time around ) , they provide a bottle of purified drinking water at check in .

Complimentary Breakfast ( 8:15 am to 9:00 Am ) is included ( choice of south Indian fare or Egg and toast , with coffee or tea and a fruit .).The breakfast is not unlimited , it is portioned ,but good enough to satisfy a person with a normal healthy appetite.
There is no TV in the room . The soap , shampoo etc provided are good quality auroville stuff .
The best part is the Fantastic location it cant be beaten right across the promenade .
Details about the ashram and various programs , bookings etc can be done from the hotel.

So if you are looking for a place to crash in and have no problems with the Alcohol/smoking /Closing/ timings ... this is a very good option .

Room Tip: 1.Go for the rooms that are sea facing first floor and above ( , no elevator so keep that in mind...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Mukund B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hyderabad, India
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 May 2014 via mobile

Wow...wow...wow
I with my family had a wonderful trip to puduchery during this off-season period. Though d climate was hot and humid, the stay made our visit a memorable one.
Best, affordable, spacious and clean rooms. Decent food, be it breakfast/lunch/dinner (u need to inform them in advance). Breakfast was complimentary.
Suggestion: Book in advance and opt for sea facing room, that makes your trip, wonderful.
Con: I have only good things to share abou The Retreat. Negative point would be, a big no for people looking for stay a pondi for night life enjoyment. Liquor and non-veg not allowed inside d guest house. Gates wil be closed from 11.15 pm to 6.00 am.
Note: checkin time:2.00 pm, checkou time:12.00 noon.

Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank Anoop3222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mumbai
Level Contributor
17 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 March 2014

After a lot of searching, was on verge of finalising a hotel in Pondicherry when a cousin referred the International guest house run by Aurobindo Society. On doing a bit of research on trip advisor and visiting the website http://www.aurosociety.org/visiting/accommodation.aspx booked a seaside room in The Retreat after being informed that there are no rooms in the Sea Side Guest House, these two also being run by Aurobindo Society. Reserving a room is very hassle free. Just send a mail and talk to them. The auro society also arranges for pick up and drop from the Chennai railway station/airport.

Location – This property is located on the promenade just bang opposite the beach with a road separating the guest house and the sea.

About the guest house – This guest house is a newer version of the Sea Side Guest House with another building separating the two. Till I reached this place I was apprehensive about what kind of guest house would this be. But when we were ushered in the room, after a quick check in, my apprehension vanished and was happy that I booked in this place and not in other expensive hotel. I had booked deluxe double bed room and had specifically asked for a sea facing room. The rooms have a balcony with lounge chairs & a table and if one feels lazy to go out for a stroll, then one can sit on lounge chairs with a cup of tea in the balcony and enjoy the view of the sea and the hustle and bustle in the evening as the road is closed to traffic from 6 pm to 7 am. The road and the promenade is filled with all kinds of people who are out for a stroll. The rooms which are quite big in size with an AC and attached clean bathroom with 24 hours hot and cold water. The room had a comfortable double bed with clean bed sheet and linens. The linens (if required) and towels were changed every day. The rooms and the bathrooms were cleaned daily. There are no TVs in the room though one can get wifi for certain charges. The gates to the guest house closes by 11 pm which is not a problem as we were back in the guest house before the deadline as there is nothing much to do at this time in Puducherry. There is a shop next door selling various items made by Aurobindo Ashram.

Breakfast is included in the tariff and one gets a choice of South Indian (idli or medu vada) or Continental (Bread and omelette) and tea/coffee and is simple and tasty. Breakfast is served between 7.30 am to 9 am. If you do not reach on time for the breakfast, then you would be called. An electric kettle is provided in a room along with tea, coffee, milk powder and sugar satchels, so that one does not have to go out for tea/coffee. This comes handy as they do not have a kitchen. Early mornings and evenings were spent on the balcony having tea at leisure without the worry of office or running an errand. For lunch one has to tell them in advance as it is sourced from other place and they do not have a kitchen. Only veg food is served (except for the omelette at breakfast) and no liquor is allowed. Alternately for lunch one can buy coupons for about Rs. 20 from the reception desk and go the mess/canteen of auro ashram which is about 2-3 minutes’ walk from this guest house. One should have this lunch at least once if not more as the food is very simple and tasty.

The ashram is just 5 minutes’ walk from the guest house and we were lucky in the sense that on the day we reached the guest house, we were told at the reception desk that on this particular day of the year which happens to be Sri Aurobindo’s birthday one is allowed to enter the his bedroom and other parts of the ashram which generally are off the bounds for visitors. Did not waste time to go and visit the place. There is nothing much to do in Puducherry except visit the Auroville, Paradise beach, etc. and this can be covered in a day. For hiring a taxi, we asked the reception desk and they provided a number of the taxi guy. The taxi guy was prompt and helpful and one gets a feeling that guests of the guest house must be regularly availing the service of the same guy.

If outsiders want to visit the inside of the Maitriya Temple in Auroville, then enquire about it specifically as otherwise visitors are allowed to just see the Temple from far. One should visit the inside of this temple. No one told us about this special permission and we missed a golden opportunity. Ask about the special permission in Auroville only and not at the guest house as they are not aware of this. Auroville also has a good restaurant and shops selling various things made by them.

There are many eating joints near the guest house. For veg – Surguru is at a 5 minute’s walking distance. For non veg, Rendouvous is about 10 minutes walking distance and they serve a variety of cuisine and drinks. We had tried Villa Shanti, Kaffe Express and Madam Shanthe also but these can be avoided. Lunch at least once in the Mess of Aurobindo Ashram is a must. A visit to the Baker Street is a must for its cakes/pastries/quiche, etc which though a bit expensive but is delicious.

In the evening, we used to go for leisurely stroll on the promenade which is full of people. With cool wind blowing we enjoyed our walks while munching boiled ground nuts/channa or having bhel or ice creams. We used to look forward to our evening strolls. We were lucky as one day there was a cultural program organised by the Tourism Department on the promenade.

Staff – The staff is cordial and friendly.

Tariff – On comparison with other hotels, the tariff is a steal and that too for an AC sea facing room. The prices are atleast 1/3rd of what others are charging for a similar room and that too not sea facing. None of the other big hotels barring the one owned by Hidesign has sea facing rooms.

Room Tip: At the time of booking specifically ask for a sea facing room on the 1st or 2nd floor for a better v...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Gautam_Rathor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 March 2014

Check in was from 2pm so I arrived from my other hotel around 330pm. Staff are friendly and efficient, very helpful. The room was on the ground floor facing the sea, a great view from the room and balcony. Wifi was 115 rupee for 24 hours, and the front gate closed at 11pm each night.
The room was spacious with a king size bed, the bed was very firm as most beds in India are. No TV but that was nice and relaxing. The bathroom was medium size with a shower that had a curtain so the rest of the bathroom did not get wet. The hotel is managed by the Ashram Trust, so very clean and comfortable with affordable prices across from the ocean. Breakfast is basic but plenty both Indian and Western is available.
Right on the promenade so easy walking along the ocean side and restaurants all around, you can hear the waves hit the shore which is also very relaxing and after 6pm no traffic is allowed along the promenade, a lovely place to stay.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Karen M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 16 March 2014

Highly recommended if you are traveling solo and are not particular about the plush hotel experience. It is right by the sea, and if you are able to get one of the sea facing rooms, you will have an amazing time. Easy on the pocket as well compared to other places which are by the sea.

Do remember that it is a guest house managed by Sri Aurobindo Ashram, and may not be the best place to say if you are looking to party all night or are traveling with a huge set of friends. This is more for the quieter trips when you are looking to just relax and get a clean amazing place to stay by the sea.

Room Tip: Ask for the sea facing rooms on the 1st floor.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank datkilldme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mumbai
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 January 2014

Well maintained hotel managed by the Aurobindo Ashram Trust. If you desire clean spacious rooms in a prime sea facing location, smiling efficient service staff at down to earth prices, this is the place to be. The Retareat at Promenade, Pondicherry offers all of this plus more. The bathrooms are spacious, comfortable and fit for purpose. While most of the rooms are sea facing, the rooms on second floor offer uninterrupted full view of the sea along with the soothing music of the waves which more than compensates the little premium for the higher floor room. The front office staff is ever smiling and willing to assist with all your requests. Well marked maps are available at the front office free of cost for visitors. The hotel campus has sufficient space for parking two wheelers, bicycles. The restaurant serves delicious fixed menu South Indian and continental breakfast and a fixed menu south indian thali for lunch. The food is non-greasy and has a homely appeal to it. Strongly recommend the thali lunch. The same management has another Hotel by the name Sea-side which is two blocks away and looks almost similar. We were a group of ten people including two infants spread in four rooms and none of us had any complaints with house keeping, room service, elevator at any point during our five night stay. The restaurant staff happily accommodated our request for special meals for infants.
The biggest surprise is that all of this comes at a very reasonable price compared to what other properties have to offer in close vicinity and it may well qualify as NO.1 Value for Money Hotel in Pondicherry!

Room Tip: Second floor sea facing rooms offer best view.
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Chheda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Retreat

Property: The Retreat
Address: 16 Goubert Avenue, Pondicherry 605001, India
Region: India > Union Territory of Pondicherry > Pondicherry
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 111 Speciality Lodging in Pondicherry
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £

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