Giving time a break in Pondicherry 1: Loving the stay

Me: You have to take 2 weeks off. You have never seen Mysore “properly”. I don’t know how you do it. But you better.

K: Oh that’s too long.. yaada yaada .. Europe…blah bleh bluh….. I don’t like weddings…. pitter patter….

Me: You are coming. I am booking the tickets.

K: Oh that’s too long.. yaada yaada .. Europe…blah bleh bluh….. I don’t like weddings…. pitter patter….

Me: There, we are going!

K: Whaa? Okay.  I will come on one condition.

Me: I don’t like it already.

K: We must go to few places other than Mysore. After all, I am using up all my leave. Let’s do Pondicherry and Goa.

Me: Blah.. Pondicherry wow! but Goa? Too far…. wedding too long.. blah bleh…. something else? Ooty?

And that my friends is how the long dormant seeds called Pondicherry and Ooty germinated. I cannot describe the fun we had during both these trips. I am so glad that K imposed those conditions. We have been wanting to do a few places in India for long now and these were definitely 2 of them.

But after booking flight tickets, I we conveniently postponed booking the accomodation. When I finally decided on a place called Le Dupleix, I did not get an enthusiastic response to my queries. Le Pondy, our second choice was not available either. Magically, as if this was where we were destined to stay, tripadvisor showed Anantha Heritage as the #1 heritage hotel with excellent service and food. The reviews were too good and the manager had personally responded to every review. I know a few do it but somehow this seemed too good to be true. I logged into their website and was spellbound by what I saw – my paaTi‘s place! Or something very very similar to it. On a whim, I just booked a suite for us for 4 days 3 nights.

We have shelled out a great deal of money and stayed in lavish hotels and resorts but let me admit – this was by far the most unique and one of the most beautiful experiences of our lives.  I felt like I was amidst the most hospitable of people and the most considerate management by far.

This is one of those “hotels” that you will hardly notice – quaint, obscure and very deceptive along a busy road. And I am very eager to share some sneak-peeks into this beautiful place with all of you.

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Move a step closer and you will be drawn into a world of red-oxide floored homes, agarbatti smells that will ever so gently hypnotize you further and the warmth that exudes from every inch of that inanimate furniture that gives you that inexplicable feeling of having come home.

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As soon as we entered, this beautiful lady welcomed us with aarthi and tilak while Mr. Gomez, easily one of the best hotel managers I have met made sure that he had the key and the rest ready for us while Ranjan (a very sweet, extremely shy and helpful person) helped us move our luggage to our suite.

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While K did the signing, I was lost in the innumerable paintings and idols they had on display there from many years ago.

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They had tastefully and minimalistically revampED what they said was an Indo-French king’s summer palace.

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Do you spot the chess board-table here?

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The corridors along which the rooms were located had that ancient charm to them. Our room opened up to this backyard where there were tables for dining on one end.

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Whenever we go on a holiday we like to enjoy the “room”. This one right here – we made sure we cut down a bit of sight-seeing if needed, just to sit here and dream of yesteryears.

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There is something beautiful about staying in heritage homes.  K and I had some of our best moments here. To wake up to smoke coming out of the chimney signalling hot water for bath the smell of dosa batter that the cook had prepared right next to our room,  ear-to-ear smiles in that 4- manpower home, taking long baths till we looked like raisins, a simple hearty breakfast with unlimited dosas – we never felt the need for anything else. Internet was used only to read a bit about the places to visit. We mulled and asked for filter coffee at odd times of the day, had the hosts help us with sight-seeing with 0 hassles – I will never ever forget the stay here. This is not good customer service. This was all about home away from home, of the highest order hospitality. Even afternoon lunches were cooked just for us specially and served  home-style !

And just for this amazing experience alone, K and I would love to go back someday. I pray that these lovely people stay blessed and continue to touch lives this way.

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34 comments

  1. Destination Infinity · October 2, 2013

    Great. I need to go to Pondy sometime… I was planning to take my bike and had almost prepared for the journey, but it had to be cancelled a couple of days before. I will plan for it sometime in the future. Meanwhile, I would like to see the tourist places there on your blog 🙂

    Destination Infinity

    • kismitoffeebar · October 3, 2013

      Hallo! Yeah, please do. You will really like it and it doesn’t tire you out coz’ everything is so closeby 🙂
      I will be writing on the places we saw in the week to come!

  2. freakyveggie · October 2, 2013

    Liked your review of this place so much that I want to visit Pondicherry soon and stay here 🙂

    • kismitoffeebar · October 3, 2013

      Hello Freakyveggie! 🙂

      Welcome here ! Thanks so much. I hope you get to do it soon. And when you do, please share your experiences 🙂

  3. Filter Kaapi · October 3, 2013

    The place looks quite charming. Hey we went to Pondicherry last year. My parents were super excited to visit Aurovile.

    • kismitoffeebar · October 3, 2013

      Thanks FC! Really nice you got to visit Pondicherry! I was super excited about Auroville too and wasn’t disappointed 🙂 Did you parents like Auroville?

    • kismitoffeebar · October 3, 2013

      Phew. FK it was but I used the C of coffee. Oopsie!

  4. paatiamma · October 3, 2013

    Lovely!!

  5. The Girl Next Door · October 3, 2013

    Sounds like a fantastic and warm place. Would love to stay here whenever we are in Pondy next. Did you see Gratitude? That was where we stayed when we visited last year.

    Looking forward (can’t wait, actually) to hear your other updates about Pondicherry and Ooty. Hope you got to buy home-made soaps, marmalade and paper to your heart’s content in Pondicherry and shop for chocolates in Ooty. 😀

    • kismitoffeebar · October 3, 2013

      Thanks TGND! 🙂 I did see Gratitude and liked it a lot too but somehow this happened. I would love to hear your experience if you stay here next time!

      Oh, I did all of what you said 🙂 I can’t wait to show you all some of my loot 🙂

  6. Sugar and Spice · October 3, 2013

    I’ve visited Pondy umpteen number of times. But not stayed there till date. For these pics alone, I wish to stay there someday! 🙂 I love those pillars and the wire-woven-chairs the best!

    • kismitoffeebar · October 3, 2013

      I wish I could go to Pondy as and when I like 🙂 I loved the pillars and wire-chairs too! Hope you get to stay here someday SnS 🙂

  7. Jas · October 3, 2013

    I haven’t been to Pondicherry but it is on my list. And your pics are forcing me to plan the trip soon. 🙂

    • kismitoffeebar · October 3, 2013

      Jas, do make the trip – you will love it! So calm and so serene – I could get used to it 🙂

  8. ashreyamom · October 3, 2013

    pondy is great place.. visited only once for acadamic purpose.. now that my sis is studying there, i think i can make a visit.. the photos reminds of patti house.. i love red oxide floor.. 🙂

    • kismitoffeebar · October 3, 2013

      AM! That was exactly my thought – paati’s house! I love red oxide floors too 🙂 Please do visit it and spend a couple of days at least – you will love it 🙂

  9. Titaxy · October 3, 2013

    ok i am going to bookmark this page and make sure i remember about this place to stay in if/when i visit pondichery. the photos are amazing and your words kept me hooked. 🙂

    • kismitoffeebar · October 3, 2013

      🙂 Titaxy! I am so so happy you said that 🙂 I really wish you go there sometime. And I will wait to hear about your experiences !

  10. Tharani · October 3, 2013

    Pondi-my birth place and I just cannot stop talking about it. We have so many relatives there that we never got a chance to stay in a heritage home. The place looks lovely. Should try it sometime 🙂 Waiting for your ooty updates.

    • kismitoffeebar · October 3, 2013

      Hi Tharani!
      Pondi is your birth place? Wow 🙂 If it isn’t already evident, I LOVE Pondi! Sometime, you can sneak in a small stay outside of families – should a good getaway.
      Ooty updates to follow once I finish Pondi series 🙂

  11. Bindu · October 4, 2013

    Wow! Just my kind of place!
    We are planning a trip to Goa next week and have short listed a couple of similar home stays. There is something special about these old world homes, isn’t it?

    • kismitoffeebar · October 4, 2013

      Absolutely agree!
      Wow! I hope you have a wonderful homestay there! 🙂 Do share your experiences 🙂

  12. chattywren · October 4, 2013

    Loved the pics Kismi, I just love red-oxide floors, not very common now-a-days though! Pondy is so on my wish-list!

    • kismitoffeebar · October 4, 2013

      I LOVE red-oxide floors too Chattywren! 🙂 My grandma’s place still has them though a lot of renovation has happened…..
      Please do visit Pondy 🙂

  13. sjscribbles · October 4, 2013

    Just found the time to read your posts Kismi ! Wow – Splendid !
    Pondicherry has been on J’s list of places to visit for a long time now – The time hasn’t come yet !
    Beautiful pictures crafted with wonderful descriptions – Loved this post !
    Specially the lines ” agarbatti smells that will ever so gently hypnotize you further and the warmth that exudes from every inch of that inanimate furniture that gives you that inexplicable feeling of having come home.

  14. Amit · October 6, 2013

    I can go to Pondicherry just to stay in this place. 🙂

  15. Ramya · October 6, 2013

    The color kolams remind my home-town during Pongal season where the entire street and every street of the town will be painted with beautiful kolams, the red-oxide flooring of the first house that we rented when I was a kid and the many afternoons spent there sleeping and practising multiplication tables, the helper aunty more or less looks like the maid that we had (she was almost like one in the family) initially for many years..To live all of these together in the present, makes me want to go to Pondicherry 🙂 Thank you for the travelogue and the lovely pics..I’m sure you guys had a greeeat time and hve brought back truck load of wonderful memories.:)

    • kismitoffeebar · October 7, 2013

      Thanks Ramya.. Wow! I loved listening to you now. That must have been a lot of great memories. Sometimes I feel lost in all the goodness of yesteryears .. makes me feel so old 😛 Red oxide floors and kolam – I think we have to somehow pass on this legacy.. can’t imagine our children doing without these experiences! 🙂

  16. Pingback: A date at Villa Shanti : Giving time a break in Pondicherry 3 | Kismitoffeebar
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