This hotel from the word go proved to be a precious find. A friend who had previously stayed at Neemrana properties elsewhere, spoke highly of the group and the way it runs its properties. Basis this recommendation and other reviews in general we picked this hotel. Stepping into the hotel, especially, after the hot, dusty drive from Chennai, was like getting home. The hotel, a restored traditional Tamil house, feels and is run like one. The fact that there were few guests apart from us in the hotel at the time, may have played a role in amplifying this experience cannot be denied. But even at full capacity, I doubt this feeling will go away. A suggestion, do spend some time exploring the hotel and taking in the nuances. You won't need much time to do this but it is worth it, especially for city dwellers like us who've never seen such traditional houses.
The hotel rooms don't have numbers. They are named after precious stones like Diamond, Sapphire, Emerald etc. We stayed in the Diamond room, designed for triple occupancy. It's split into two levels, with a double bed on top (like a loft) and a single bed and the bathroom on the lower level as you enter. Our room had a sort-of terrace right outside. It doesn't have a ledge, so be careful with that. The room was air-conditioned, cozy, clean, with just the right amount of space for three people. The steps leading to the upper level are narrow and it did seem like an adventure walking up and down them.
Amenities: The hotel has solar heating. Eco-friendly, yay. But also means that it takes a few minutes to get hot running water for bath. There is one restaurant that can take care of basic food needs but not the kinds you'd specially go visit. The breakfast spread is limited (orders must be placed, not buffet style) - eggs, juice, jams, bread, tea / coffee, some south Indian fare and yes, our personal favourite and must-order, Danish. There are no coffee shops, swimming pools or spas in the hotel. But rather than detracting from the charm, I'd say it adds to the tranquility of the hotel.
Location: La Maison Tamoule (when translated, meaning The Tamil House) is situated in the Tamil quarters of the city. The location is convenient, in a way that the main bazaar is just a couple of minutes walk outside the lane the hotel is located in. And yet, the immediate vicinity of the neighbourhood is quiet and rather leafy. In fact one of the reviews we read on the web mentioned that the lane is considered to be one of the best restored ones in the city. The French quarters or the French part of the town, beyond the canal, which is the big draw for the tourists is a 10 -15 minute walk from the hotel or probably a Rs 40 -60 rick ride away. We did not find this an inconvenience though.
Service: was in one word, excellent! We did not interact with many from the staff. But the ones we interacted with, Ram and Selva will forever stand out for their excellent service. They were available at all times to help out with any problems we faced. They guided us well with regard to moving around the city, booking cabs or spa appointments. In fact, we unanimously agree that any of us is yet to stay at a hotel that actually calls and informs you about closing breakfast for the morning.
When we entered Pondicherry, as the cab passed through the crowded sections of the city we doubted our choice of holiday destination. But by the time we were done with our time there, we'd fallen in love with the place. This hotel definitely played the part of the matchmaker. Neither my friends nor I could recommend this hotel more.
P.S: Make sure you take exact directions to the hotel. We realised that not many locals could point us in the direction, basis the name of the hotel alone. May be the Aurobindo Ashram branch next door could serve as a landmark.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- On a distinctive Tamil street of Pondicherry with red-tiled verandahs and seating platforms, lies La Maison Tamoule. This street was restored under the Asia Urbs Programme. Polished red-tile Attangadi floors surround a pillared courtyard over two floors. The verandahs lead to the rooms with Burmese teak doors and furniture. Light filters through a translucent roof above and the windows in the rooms tint the sunlight with their stained glass panes. This Baroque, Franco-Tamil architecture represents the same fusion as the colonial furniture and Creole food of Pondicherry. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Welcomheritage Calve Hotel Pondicherry