Since international travel and vacation is, mostly, out of question this year, we compiled a list of local vacation spots. Go light on the pocket and support local business, while you’re at it. So Chennai-ites, with the full holiday season coming up soon, pick from our curated selection of boutique hotels and homestays in Chennai and around it too.
In fact, a quick and rejuvenating weekend trip may suffice to a few of these spots, if that’s what you’re looking for. All of these locations are just a drive away from the city. Happy and safe, vacation-ing, everyone!
Located in the heart of Pondicherry, Palais De Mahe is a quaint, but luxurious little boutique hotel, inspired by its French neighbourhood. It’s got a beautiful courtyard, featuring a pool, and not more than a handful of rooms. It’s private, luxurious, and just 50 meters from the Bay of Bengal.
La Villa is a 19th-Century mansion, turned boutique hotel. While the outside celebrates beautiful French, colonial architecture, the rooms are spacious and completely contemporary. Since each nook and cranny of the hotel is so unique, there are different types of rooms to choose from: the villa only consists of 6 rooms. The restaurant, at La Villa, is a popular hit amongst everyone who visits Pondicherry.
If you’re looking for a luxury, heritage experience in the solitude of the hills, then there’s nothing like Tamara. The boutique property is located more than 2000 meters above sea level, offering breathtaking views, antique design, gorgeous architecture, and amazing food! What more does your getaway need? The pictures of this statuesque, colonial-bungalow-turned-hotel are enough to make you want to book right away.
A splendid private property, it can house a maximum of 16 people. You can choose to rent it as a whole or pick either the north or south wing. Home chefs, cleaning services, and more come in tow with the rental of this breathtaking bungalow. Initially a pre-independence bungalow, it was later bought over by an Indian businessman in 1947. The home still remains within the family and you can feel all its love and warmth, when you choose to book this homestay.
Ivy Villa, tucked away in a quiet spot not far from the Mahabalipuram temples, is an adorable homestay that comes equipped with a pool, kitchen, and balcony. The luxurious villa is the perfect staycation spot. They serve Bali-style floating breakfast in the pool, access to the beach, and amazing Instagram photo spots.
Located on Pine beach, Manna villa is a 16,800 sq ft, fusion-style villa. Outdoor sitting, spacious bathrooms, luxury amenities, and more come with this homestay. There are plenty of tourist spots, hotels, and restaurants nearby. It’s the perfect place to get away with kids or friends, chill, soak in the peace, and have a cook out.
This 17th-century bungalow, located in Tranquebar (Tharangambadi), was revived by the Neemrana group, turned into an exclusive, boutique property. With a 14th-century Pandya temple to the left, a Danish fort to the right, and beach right out front, the views are outstanding! Visit this tucked away piece of history and you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to a magical place and time.
What’s not to love about the Evolve Back Kamalpura Palace in Hampi? It’s built to bring back the magic of a bygone era. Experience the splendour of Hampi, a UNESCO world heritage site, just 4km away from the property. Evolve Back is a boutique property made up 4 suits, all inspired by royal Indian architecture. They also offer plenty of activities, a spa, a pool, and treks to explore the history of Hampi.
This is the first heritage hotel in Karaikudi, a 100-year-old, regal Chettinad home. Even with all the modern amenities, it still retains its old-world charm. Plus, it’s family kitchen is one of India’s most renowned restaurants, serving authentic Chettinad food. The property also features a gym, a library, a pool, and guides that can show you the surrounding architectural wonders.
Visalam is another property located in Chettinad, a region that’s famous for its wealth and palatial homes, inhabited, once upon a time, by a successful merchant community. This boutique homestay offers a window into the life that once was. The 100-year old property features a pool, an Ayurveda spa, and an interactive kitchen.
All images: Courtesy properties