This is going to be one of the most contradicting reviews I´ve ever written! First of all, months before we arrived in the town, I booked a room by email with Lutz in Germany. When we arrived, however, the friendly caretaker, "Kutty", was totally unaware of our booking!! It would appear, therefore, that communication between Germany and India is sparse, to say the least!
I would describe the guesthouse as backpacker standard. There are only four rooms: two at the front, which are reasonable in size, and two smaller rooms at the side. These have a view of a rubbish dump next door (see photos).
The location of the guesthouse on the beach was perfect for us. We arrived at the end of the monsoon (mid-December) and loved listening to the crashing waves and watching the activities of the fishermen, the sacred cows and stray dogs. The downside was that we had a huge puddle on our balcony and the occupants of the two rooms at the side had problems trying to prevent the water from coming in.
There is no hot water and no TV - the mattresses were painfully thin and damp (it was the monsoon, so the more upmarket places down the coast would have had the same problem), and I got an electric shock from one of the switches on the balcony, which could have been fatal if I´d been standing in the puddle in bare feet. Downstairs, there is quite a large open space, which apparently used to be a restaurant. Some local fishermen tend to "doss down" there at night. The door to the guesthouse has disintegrated so much, it is no longer fit for purpose (see photo). There is also an open sewer next to the guesthouse. "Our " room was the first one you reach, which is also the largest. We paid 500 rupees, which we thought was good value (prices ranged between 400 and 600). There is no breakfast. For three nights of the five nights we were the only guests and we immensely enjoyed having the whole place to our ourselves. We also enjoyed chatting to the fishermen and laughing with their kids.
Decide for yourselves if this is the place for you - we all have different needs and varying budgets. All I can say is that despite all the negative points, we had a great time!!!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Mahabs is just 50 kilometers south of the metropolis of Chennai, the Capital of Tamilnadu, India, location of an International Airport. Visitors from all over the world flock here to Mamallapuram to see the world famous 7th Century Pallava Dynasty Cave temples, including Arjuna's Penance and the often photographed Shore Temple, all Unesco World Heritage recognized monuments. When in Mammalapuram consider Lutz Guest House and Sonny's Restaurant as your first destination for budget lodging and food. We are located directly on the beach north of the Shore Temple and face into the constant sea breeze blowing off the Bay of Bengal. ... more less