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“A FRENCH ENCLAVE IN TROPICAL INDIA”

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Neemrana's Hotel de l'Orient
Ranked #27 of 82 Hotels in Pondicherry
Reviewed 19 October 2010

Pondicherry is a little bit of France left over in India and nothing typifies it better than the non-hotel from the Neemrana stable, Hotel de l'Orient.

The erstwhile crumbling 18th century French Ministry of Education building was painstakingly turned into a wonderful building of charm and warmth in a restoration effort that won it a UNESCO prize in the early 90s. It is at once a slice of India's colonial history with hundreds of antiques, bric a brac and period furniture that bring 250 years of French and Dutch presence alive --as well as a 21st century escape where you can slow down to this wonderful area's own little pace.

While the hotel itself is small and has no gardens or grounds, the obvious advantage is the location as it is bang in the middle of the atmospheric little French quarter with its boulevards, quaint French colonial architecture, boutiques and hip little cafes and is just a minute's walk away from the blue, blue Bay of Bengal. Stroll around in the mornings to the Aurobindo Ashram's many buildings close by where you can also pick up embroidery, batik and knick knacks and end the day shooting the breeze along the promenade on the waterfront.

When my mother and i visited in 2009, it was lean season but we found top-end service and fabulous French food in the most warmly intimate of little settings --a small patio or a dining room with antique maps of the area. The rooms vary in size --as for all Neemrana heritage places-- and you would do well to check individual rooms before you book. But if you want an affordable little getaway with a slice of Indian's unusual and offbeat history, this is the place to get it...we would go there again!

  • Stayed: November 2009
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1  Thank soulspace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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397 - 403 of 504 reviews

Reviewed 19 August 2010

We booked a weekend in Pondicherry without really knowing where to stay, and picked this hotel purely by the photos.

What a little gem! It's close to the Promenade and walking distance from the statue of Gandhi, set of little French style roads. The hotel looks small from the outside but when you walk in you are faced with a lovely courtyard setting and the hotel bedrooms surrounding the courtyard area.

Each room is decorated differently. The rooms we had (there were 3 of us), were large and different with plenty of space. All rooms were air conditioned and 2 of them had wet-rooms and one had a private courtyard patio.

Two of the rooms we had were facing the front of the hotel, but there was no noise or any disturbance at all over night.

The staff, like everywhere I've been to in India, were attentive and excellent. They arranged trips for us, cars for us and helped us plan and make the most of the weekend we had there.

The courtyard area is also the restaurant area and breakfast area in the morning. Breakfast is continental with a choice of eggs.

The rooms were clean and comfortable, the hotel quiet and comfortable.

Pondicherry was a lovely place for a weekend away, I wish I'd spent more time there though as there was more than a weekend's worth of sightseeing to be done.

I would definitely go back to this hotel again.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank geekie_gal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 May 2010

This hotel is owned by a company called Neemrana, who is renowned for restoring old buildings. The Hotel De L'Orient is certainly been well restored. It's just a shame that no investment has been made in the service and quality of stay, once the thing was restored.

Location - Well located and walkable to anywhere you might want to go and see in Pondicherry's French area.

Rooms - Nicely refurbished and furished. Though, unless we pestered the staff, nobody came to clean the room during our entire stay. Many of the rooms also have interconnecting wooden shutters between rooms. Luckily we didn't have anybody staying in the neighbouring room. However I can understand some other comments on tripadvisor form people who did have neighbours and were constantly bothered by the noise.

Food - Service was terrible and the the food quality was mixed. We had dinner here on the first night and not 1 person (total 6 people) received all parts of their ordered meal. Quality was mixed - trying to pass off a white, creamy sauce with no pepercorns in it as pepper sauce isn't particularly clever. This poor level of service appears to be reflexed in the rather mixed reviews written in the guest book at the hotel.

Other comments - In addition to the lack of cleaning and food service issues, the rest of the service was not great either. Staff not knowing their own check out time, no area maps and other such information available, not knowing what documents the hotel needs when checking in etc etc etc.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank PenfoldMumbai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 March 2010

very nice to look at but beware our room had an adjoining door the noise from next door was un bearable due to extra beds inside making it a group room no sleep for two nights of our three there would not recomend Pondercherry if like our selves it was going to be a place to un wind on the beach after our travels there is no beach and it is ilegal to swim in sea due to current. head for kerrela instead Pondercherry is overated

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank llloydUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 January 2010

The Neemrana Group has a reputation for finding and restoring interesting old buildings across India and converting them into what they term 'non-hotels'. The Hotel de l'Orient is a fine example: a traditional Pondicherry house centred on a courtyard with beautifully furnished, high ceilinged rooms. No modern glitz, but an intersting place to stay for any traveller visiting Pondicherry.

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank DRD-Whitchurch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 November 2009

I would visit Pondicherry again just to stay here. Fabulous location. Ask for the Kerikal Room. Huge high bed....it has steps to get up onto it! ...large balcony overlooking the central courtyard...wonderful 'geyser' shower with large rose...comforting celing fans..good airconditioning as well .......antique teak furniture...lovely bed covers...food very good..such reasonable prices...staff charming....love, care and attention in abundance....Go there!

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank mash07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 November 2009

Pondicherry is truly a treat...a gracious small city with French street names, wide streets, a seaside boulevard and historic buildings. Hotel de l'Orient fits in perfectly with the town---filled with antiques and antique prints, the hotel and the rooms are beautifully decorated. Our room was enormous and welcoming. We didnt have any problems with plumbing or A/C as reported elsewhere on this site and we didnt try the restaurant so cant report on food and service. loved our stay and loved the town!

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank lesliek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Neemrana's Hotel de l'Orient

Address: 17 Rue Romain Rolland Street, Pondicherry 605001, India
Region: India > Union Territory of Pondicherry > Pondicherry
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Pondicherry
#4 Business Hotel in Pondicherry
#6 Family Hotel in Pondicherry
Price Range: £47 - £92 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Neemrana's Hotel de l'Orient 3*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Only a French flirtation with India’s bewildering diversity could have produced the refined and elusive magic of ‘Pondicherry’ which contains the magic of the whole Orient in one name. Now, this French 18th century coastal lifestyle in India is brought alive again in a home which is a virtual art gallery with etchings and hand written postcards all over its walls. Recreated in high-raftered ceilings with savonnerie rugs and easy chairs to lounge away the afternoons. Four poster beds – (one accessed by three stairs ! ) – to help you recreate your past with dreams. Savour a French mansion full of Indian warmth. Enjoy fine Creole eating where Tamil spices mix with subtle French under-statement to titillate the palates of gourmets. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel De l Orient
De l Orient Hotel

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