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“wonderful welcome to India”

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Vivanta by Taj - Connemara, Chennai
Ranked #17 of 397 Hotels in Chennai (Madras)
Certificate of Excellence
Zurich, Switzerland
Level 6 Contributor
414 reviews
84 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 215 helpful votes
“wonderful welcome to India”
Reviewed March 1, 2014

We spent only one night (actually half a night) in this nice place which is like an oasis in the big city of Chennai. Its central location, its perfect service (even 0300am with tired kids and parents) and its charm are remarkable. We especially like the breakfast and the pool area.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank haktus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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988 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (205)
Date | Rating
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English first
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed March 1, 2014

This is a hotel that had a glorious historical past in British colonial Chennai. Long time “the” hotel in Chennai, it is now slipping down the lists (c 7th in the best Chennai hotels according to Trip Advisor). Much of the slippage relates to failures to adapt to a constant demand for both excellent service and accommodation, elements with which I long thought were synonymous with Taj. Not so much now, to judge by the state of the Connemara. There is something of a hit or miss value with rooms. The more modern rooms (executive) tend to be small and penny--pinching. Far better to try and book one of the older neo-colonial rooms: though at extra cost. Try and get an inward looking room as it cuts down on the Chennai noise. These rooms can be very good, but let down by poor maintenance. My room was part of the then old colonial set, high roof and spacious bedroom, now approached by a modern atrium with well-maintained garden. It also had an extension developed from an old veranda added as a sitting/working area. However this was let down by the bathroom: broken toilet flush handle, broken shower doors and corrosion painted over in white in a tacky move to avoid any rust colour. The shower unit needs complete removal as a health hazard. This exemplifies why Taj Connemara has slipped down to Vivanta level. It has lost out to the other Taj hotel in Chennai (the more corporate Taj Coromandel) on the basis of its age and failing fabric. Clearly some expenditure has been made in trying to update the site, but the gaps show – and it’s what people who know Taj, seem to recognize most as a failing in this Taj hotel. Reception was effective and seamless. Food was generally OK for the western traveller, with a wide choice of buffet and relatively mild spice loads. Western food can be found on the a la carte menu. The sous chef is to be congratulated on his willingness to engage with guests and to try and help them with food choices – the sweet naan was something to remember, as my waistline will remind me. The staff are generally attentive and courteous though sometimes a little dreamy. You do need to keep your wits about you when ordering food – you need to be specific and literal, otherwise some different combinations can emerge. Other staff (housekeeping) are again courteous and efficient. Perhaps a little over efficient: knocking on the door several times a day to establish whether everything is all right. Gone are the Taj days of the red light for privacy! This is still a hotel with a potential for an embracing comfort that many western travellers will remember, however it is not a certainty and in likely adversity, one must demand better at the time. One final item and it is not Taj’s fault, but Chennai traffic in the day-time is horrendous, gone are the days when this hotel was at a convenient site for access to the city. Once again, like many Indian metropolitan areas, the galloping traffic paralysis ensuing from building a metro system has struck - it can take an hour plus to get to the airport from this hotel, where in the past it took 30 minutes. Another reason for moving elsewhere.

Room Tip: Go for older 'colonial' style rooms.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Littoral744
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gmovivanta, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj - Connemara, Chennai, responded to this review, April 17, 2014
Dear Guest,

Greetings from the Vivanta by Taj - Connemara!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to write a review on Tripadvisor further to your experience at the Connemara.

It is our ernest endeavor to ensure that our guests take back delightful memories of their stay with us. We greatly appreciate your affinity to the old world charm of the hotel and we intend to live upto your expectations by attending to the typical requirements of a heritage property.

Its a matter of great concern that you had to have certain minute observations on the overall upkeep of the hotel's heritage rooms. We are in the process of constant upgrade of the property and have already completed the rennovation / restoration of several parts of the hotel. The old world rooms are definitely on our look up and we have already taken a few steps in this regrad.

We are most certain that you will find the hotel in much better shape on your next visit and rest assured that we would never take away the old world charm and the luxury of space from the old rooms.

I also appreciate your kind comments on the service levels of the hotel from its experienced staff. We take a lot of pride in our employees who use their experience and genuine warmth to leave our guests with fond memories. Your comments on the slight over intrusiveness of the housekeeping staff is taken due note of and kindly accept our sincere apologies for the same.

Thanks ever so much for sharing your feedback.

We greatly value your patronage and look forward to welcoming you back at the Vivanta by Taj - Connemara soon!

Kind Regards,

Samrat Datta
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed February 28, 2014

My wife and I visited Chennai recently and we stayed at the Connemara. If you grew up in Chennai during the 80s, there were two places you wanted to experience - the old Chola and the Connemara. I stayed in the Chola (they have renamed it My Fortune) last year and this was my trip to the other dream hotel.

Check in was fine. We chose a Premium Indulgence room facing the pool. When we walked in, the room was fantastic - high ceilings, spacious etc. Upon closer inspection, we realized that the room was a little dated. When you look at the furnishings up close, you can see the age. The chairs were even mildly uncomfortable.

When you step out of the room, you have a choice of two staircases to walk down to the restaurants. Apparently, I picked the service stairs because the area around these stairs looked pretty messed up. We even saw a rat scurry past us into a janitor closet! Not something you want to see in a 5-star hotel.

All this aside, the stay was fantastic. Our experience with the restaurants were great. The service at the Raintree was top-notch.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank kovilkalai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gmovivanta, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj - Connemara, Chennai, responded to this review, April 17, 2014
Dear Guest,

Greetings from the Vivanta by Taj - Connemara!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to write a review on Tripadvisor further to your experience at the Connemara.

It is our ernest endeavor to ensure that our guests take back delightful memories and I am quite concerned to note some of your observations about the heart of the house upkeep as well as overall conditions of the room.

We are in the process of constant upgrades in and around the hotel in a manner that the old world charm of the property remains unchanged while efficiency levels remain at par with guest expectations. we have already completed rennovation of a few areas and your feedback on the heritage rooms will be definitely given due consideration.

We also sincerely apologize for the condition of the service steps that your errenously alighted. We believe in equal standards of upkeep for all areas of the hotel irrespective of their location and this abberation has been strongly addressed with the housekeeping department.

Thanks ever so much for sharing your feedback.

We greatly value your patronage and look forward to welcoming you back at the Vivanta by Taj - Connemara soon!

Kind Regards,

Samrat Datta
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed February 23, 2014

Our two nights stay was a special treat after several weeks travelling around. The building was beautiful, and its fascinating history well displayed in the public areas.
Our room, as expected, was perfect, with a choice of pillows, tea and coffee making facilities, a hair dryer, bathroom scales - even an iron and ironing board. The pool area was surrounded by tropical greenery, with an attentive towel service, and food and drink served at the tables round the pool.
The Raintree Restaurant, located in the gardens looked wonderful, but we did not have time to eat there. However, we had several meals in the Verandah restaurant. where the dinner buffet was excellent value, with many choices for vegetarians as well as meat and fish, and a superb selection of desserts. The buffet breakfast was also a real feast.
The staff were all charming, and the reception staff generously let us have a very late check out.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank readsandtravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gmovivanta, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj - Connemara, Chennai, responded to this review, February 28, 2014
Dear Guest,

Greetings from the Vivanta by Taj - Connemara!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to write a review on Tripadvisor further to your experience at the Connemara.

It is our ernest endeavor to ensure that our guests take back delightful memories and I am pleased to note that you had a wonderful stay. We have taken note of your appreciation especially regarding room appointments and food at the Verandah. This has been communicated with all the associates concerned to motivate the further.

Thanks ever so much for sharing your feedback.

We greatly value your patronage and look forward to welcoming you back at the Vivanta by Taj - Connemara soon!

Kind Regards,

Samrat Datta
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Delhi, India
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed February 20, 2014

I stayed here for 3 nights with my husband and daughter. Everything in the hotel was perfect and as we expected, food had varieties and rooms were spacious and comfortable. Staff in the hotel was friendly and nice

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BhavnaJain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gmovivanta, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj - Connemara, Chennai, responded to this review, February 28, 2014
Dear Guest,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to write a review on Tripadvisor further to your experience at the Connemara.

It is our ernest endeavor to ensure that our guests take back delightful memories and I am pleased to note that you had a wonderful stay.

Thanks ever so much for sharing your feedback.

We greatly value your patronage and look forward to welcoming you back to the Vivanta by Taj - Connemara soon!

Kind regards,

Samrat Datta
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dona Paula, India
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed February 16, 2014

Stayed here with family on a short 3 day visit to Chennai. Very welcoming staff. Breakfast offers huge amount of variety. Room was very spacious. Very cozy atmosphere. However, room service tends to delay orders. Overall excellent service and excellent property.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Akshay_04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gmovivanta, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj - Connemara, Chennai, responded to this review, February 28, 2014
Dear Guest,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to write a review on Tripadvisor further to your experience at the Connemara.

It is our earnest endeavor to ensure that our guests take back delightful memories and I am pleased to note that you had a wonderful stay. We have taken note of your appreciation especially regarding the Breakfast and rooms. This has been communicated with all the associates concerned to motivate them further.

Your feedback regard the timliness of room service has been taken with utmost seriousness and has been addressed suitably. The actions put in place would certainly ensure non recurrence in the future.

Thanks ever so much for sharing your feedback.

We greatly value your patronage and look forward to welcoming you back at the Vivanta by Taj - Connemara.

Kind regards,

Samrat Datta
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Granada, Spain
Level 6 Contributor
174 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
Reviewed February 15, 2014

Overall, my wife and I enjoyed our three night stay at the Connemara. We chose the hotel as we like hotels with character and this did not disappoint as many of the original 1920's features remained. However, we would not rate this in the 5 star category. Check in and out was flawless, the room was large and clean, and the bathroom retained the original marble floor and surrounds, but the grouting around the bath was beginning to fall out and had become black with age. The staff were friendly and helpful, and the food was excellent and reasonably priced throughout. However, there were some areas where the hotel did not meet the standards of other Taj hotels. Our room had been prepared for single occupancy, so needed extra towels etc, the minibar had not been restocked since the last guest which I pointed out to the management on two occasions and was assured we would not be charged, however we were, but this was removed without a problem. We would be shown to a table for a meal and invariably there was cutlery or condiments missing, The poolside attracts mosquitoes in the evening, which one would expect, but there were no anti-mosquito coils or deterrents placed by the tables. These are small issues which would not deter us from staying again, and overall we had a relaxed experience.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Graham R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Vivanta by Taj - Connemara, Chennai

Property: Vivanta by Taj - Connemara, Chennai
Address: Binny Road, Chennai (Madras) 600002, India
Location: India > Tamil Nadu > Chennai District > Chennai (Madras) > Nungambakkam
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Chennai (Madras)
#11 Spa Hotel in Chennai (Madras)
#13 Romantic Hotel in Chennai (Madras)
#15 Luxury Hotel in Chennai (Madras)
#16 Family Hotel in Chennai (Madras)
#17 Business Hotel in Chennai (Madras)
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Vivanta by Taj - Connemara, Chennai 5*
Number of rooms: 150
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

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