We stayed for 2 nights on a very busy weekend and had booked a suite, but a simple (and cheaper) room would have been a better option, since rooms (at least some if not all?) also have AC and have a balcony to sit on. The suite was spacious and clean. Towels were white and clean (at least those of the room). Toilet paper OK. The breakfast buffet was nice. They can make dosa on order (if the cook is around... if not, they'll call for him). The staff was really nice. The reception can arrange for hiring a taxi (you'll probably find cheaper options around in Mahabalipuram, but to have a travel desk in the hotel is convenient and is worth paying slightly more for this).
They have "tips boxes" in which you can put your tips/backsheesh, but they'll also be very happy if you give them directly. In any case, the staff are friendly and helpful. The food at the restaurant was average but correct and served quickly and with a smile. There are some strange birds around the property. It is nicely located. Go out of the property trough the exit at the back, and you'll easily and quickly get to the beach (less than 5 min walk).
What makes this hotel a good value it its amazing, big and very clean swimming pool. It is open from morning until 8 PM. Then the staff will start cleaning it and put chlorine on it. Thus it is always clean (and no mosquitoes around amazingly). There is a small round pool for children separated from the main swimming area with small pilars.
Just a confusing thing: the name of the hotel on their visit card is "Hotel Mahabs Inn"... it seems that "Hotel Mahabs" is the budget hotel and that the "Mahabs Inn" is another one? or the more expensive part of the property? I am not sure about that, but when we arrived, they had the reservation with my name, so I knew it was the right place. They even sent a re-confirmation e-mails a few days ahead.
The only thing I did not like is that there was noise all afternoon long (and they already had started in the morning) since they are renovating the area on top of the restaurant. It was not possible to take a nap. Quiet at night tough.
I would definitely recommend it. They accomodate a lot of French travelers (and families).
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