Staying At A Beach Hotel To Attend an International Wedding in Pondicherry
Pondicherry or Puducherry is such a beautiful place that one wants to use bigger adjectives like fascinating, mesmerizing, enchanting etc., but none of them can do justice to it. So let me use what fits it perfectly Pondicherry is unique. No it is not like hippie heaven Goa, there is no comparison and I will not attempt any. Though feel free to give your opinion in the comments about the same if you have been to both places like me.
When I posted some of the pictures of the hotel we stayed in Pondicherry a few friends wanted to know where we stayed and how the experience was. This led me to write about the Kailash Beach Hotel we stayed in Pondicherry.
As I mentioned we were in Pondicherry to attend an International wedding, where our Tamil friend was getting married to a beautiful French girl, while both of them now live in Melbourne. Most of the guest arrived a few days in advance and stayed in French quarters, and later shifted to the beach hotel we were staying. We have already been to Pondicherry earlier and stayed both at the beach as well as French quarters, so I decided to move straight to the beach resort, a wise decision I must say.
The first day the resort was with me and only the family of the bride who were also staying there. I took the opportunity to click pictures of the empty corridors and the pool that I must say was very well maintained. Though I was booked in a villa, but when I arrived it was still being cleaned, so I asked the manager to check me into any other room. I realized what a mistake I have done, for next day when I checked the villa it was a huge colonial style bungalow with attached private pool, protected by green hedges and lily ponds.
But I was too lazy to change the rooms and my room was promptly taken by another guests.
Coming to rooms the hotel is clearly divided into 3 wings, the main wing is near the entrance, and is built in a fusion style of French and south Indian architecture. It has a huge central courtyard which is surrounded by guest rooms on two floors. One side opens to the massive pool and the other to the garden.
The other wing is where I stayed a 2 story complex with a beautiful water body along the sitting area and banana plantation on the back side. I was on 1st floor and could hear the ocean in the night. The third residential wing is the private villas which I missed staying. ( it was compensated by a late night singing and storytelling session on the day of engagement.)
Between the villas and wing 2, there is a huge garden, with Gazebo on one side, which was used for a Bharatanatyam and Mohiniyattam ( classical Indian Dance forms) performance and for the main marriage ceremony on the wedding day. Looking at the beautiful gardens full of hibiscus blooms it was difficult to imagine that the hotel got destroyed in Tsunami and then again in a cyclone a few years later. But the hotel owner Raj and his French wife lovingly rebuilt it once again and added more rooms and facilities to the same like Banquet halls, and a beautiful art gallery.
The Food is good enough but not great, and was toned down for the international guests who were staying (WARNING=Don’t trust a guy on food, who who loved only his grandmother’s cooking, and please don’t send this post to my mother).
How to reach:The hotel is a bit out of town in a small fishing village called Purnankuppam, you will see the boards to it and Le Ponde resort on the Tanjore highway around 10 KM from the French town in Pondicherry. Once you enter the village keep on following the signs and then you will see a huge Hanuman statue (for some reason blue and not saffron as in most of India), from there the hotel is visible.
The best part of the hotel is it is right on the beach, and though next to a fishing village the beach is clean and safe to take a walk. If you continue left you will reach the Le Ponde resort, continue further and you will get tired, and come back. But if you continue you will reach Boat house, a touristy kind of place with a beach, looked same to me, continue further is and you will reach Paradise Island which is island only during high tide.
If you plan to go to the downtown many times during your stay I would suggest you stay in the French part of Pondicherry,( autos were charging INR 250 one way) but if you are looking at relaxing and peaceful beach holiday with your family go for it. The staff is very friendly and the manager a retired Anglo-Indian gentlemen from Indian Army will go out of way to make you comfortable. The only thing I did not like in the hotel was the toilet area, in largish bathrooms they have given a very small enclosure to think about world problems. Other wise it is a good place to stay with great detail to every thing including the shell shaped key ring, with room number marked as a symbol of Vishnu for my room ( check the last picture).
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