When you walk into the Taj, impressions are at first very good. Nice marble, a warm welcome, nice Art Deco design and some of the best rooms we've seen in India at this price bracket. It also makes a nice sanctuary from the chaos of Chennai beyond the front door. The pool is a lovely oasis, with fluffy towels and flowers left for the guests, and a little trolley of water and papers for those lounging around. The reception staff were also very welcoming (although sometimes a little overpoweringly so.)
Negative points? Unfortunately there are some. The food is outrageously overpriced. Okay there is a nice setting by the pool but, for the quality, this was a very expensive meal which ruined the experience. We ate out after the first night. However if you do not want to venture into Chennai it is very convenient to have the restaurant in the hotel. Second, WiFi really should be free in this chain and for the price paid. Other hotels manage it so why can't the Taj? The hourly rate is approximately 4 times the price of services providers elsewhere. Again it appears the Taj is making money out of convenience. Final point. We needed a taxi to Mamallapuram. The Travel Desk calmly quoted 8,500 Rs/-. I said no way and booked an equally good taxi from the India Tourist office (just up the road) for 1,800 Rs/-. As we were checking out, we heard an American guy arguing at the travel desk over the cost of a 4 hour trip he'd been on booked through the Taj Travel Desk. Just be wary of the charges for extras at this hotel.
Otherwise a delighful place to end up in. The only question left is, why bother going to Chennai at all? I would not recommend it if you are travelling around India for a holiday.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Vivanta by Taj - Connemara, Chennai is the city's only heritage hotel, built in 1854 as the Imperial Hotel, renamed Albany in 1886, finally re-established as The Connemara in 1890. It was an Art Deco look that the Connemara sported when it ‘reopened’ in 1937. And the legendary architect Geoffrey Bawa added his touch to the tower block and linking pool in 1974. Today it is infused with the spirited style of Vivanta by Taj. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Vivanta By Taj - Connemara, Chennai Hotel Chennai (Madras)
- Hotel Taj Connemara Chennai