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“A slice of history”

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Vivanta by Taj - Connemara, Chennai
Ranked #17 of 397 Hotels in Chennai (Madras)
Certificate of Excellence
Christchurch, New Zealand
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“A slice of history”
Reviewed May 14, 2014

It's a nice heritage hotel. Some parts of it feel a bit old and in need of an upgrade. The breakfast is really good and the service is great. The halls are dotted with old photographs which are fascinating to look at. There is also a board just outside the lobby noting the history of the hotel. Overall, a pretty good hotel and the location is good too. The room was decent. I only stayed a night on this trip so didn't really matter much.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank SVMet
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, May 16, 2014
Dear Guest,

Greetings from Vivanta by Taj Connemara, Chennai!

We thank you for your valuable comments on Tripadvisor. Its very heart warming to read your kind comments on the overall service levels of the hotel. We also take note of your comments on the challenges related to the age and infrastructure of a heritage hotel like ours.

Its our constant endeavor to ensure that we are meeting the unique upkeep requirements that a hotel like ours could have. We are continuously upgrading and restoring various parts of the hotel throughout the year. We would most certainly ensure that no efforts are spared to overcome the deficiencies you would have observed.

Thank you once again and do let us have another opportunity to be of service on your next trip to Chennai!

Kind Regards,

Samrat Datta
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Auckland, New Zealand
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed May 13, 2014

I found the Connemara pretty average for a Taj property. Hotel needs maintenance! Some staff were very motivated by the tip and it seemed a bit annoying. Too many bell boys try to do one job which makes it uncomfortable to tip the person who really did all the work.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Hanami1915
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, May 16, 2014
Dear Guest,

Greetings from Vivanta by Taj - Connemara!

We thank you for your valuable comments on Tripadvisor. Every feedback matters to us as they help in taking us one step closer to meeting and exceeding guest expectations.

We have taken a note of your comments on the inadequacies of service levels at some places where you have experienced over enthusiasm or too many employees trying to assist with one requirement. We will most certainly address these as training objectives in the relevant departments.

I would like to assure you that the hotel's experienced staff always try to go one step beyond guest needs to make experiences more memorable and services more anticipative. However, despite the intent; the enthusiasm levels could agreeably be a bit intrusive.

We have also taken a note of your comments on the overall upkeep of the property. It is our constant endeavor to ensure that a heritage hotel like ours stays in great shape at all points of time. We would definitely strive harder towards that objective to make up for deficiencies that may have been felt. Kindly accept my sincere apologies for the same.

Your feedback is important to us and we would do all it takes to ensure that it is used to make services sharper. We thank you once again and look forward to welcoming you back at Chennai soon.

Kind Regards,

Samrat Datta
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, California
Level 5 Contributor
67 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed May 3, 2014

My original business trip was scheduled for a month long stay at the Taj, but I changed hotels two weeks after arriving at the Taj Connemara. I will never return to this hotel. My stay began on Dec. 30, 2013 and was not 5 star standards.

First night and second day, the shower would not drain and flooded the bathroom, the toilet would not flush. On the first day I called to have the issues fixed, someone came to my room when I was leaving for work, but on the second day (New Year's Eve) the issues remained. The hotel manager was not accomodating (at first) in having me change rooms. My first 3 calls were ignored. Later the same day when I did speak to the manager, he told me a room change was not possible as the hotel was booked for New Year's Eve. However, after my insistence of a room change during the same conversation, I was able to immediately change rooms. I am not sure why, if rooms were available and they could not fix the issues, why I was told I could not change rooms.

3rd day .... My laundry came back dirty (pressed as if the items had been cleaned) and I was charged for cleaning services. I called housekeeping to have my dirty clothes sent back to the cleaner a second time.

My cleaned clothes were returned and had holes in them. Co-workers later told me they, too, had their cleaned clothes returned with holes, during their past visits. Many items, not one or two, came back with holes.

I had my laundry collected before 10 AM, to be returned the same evening by 6 PM, per the hotel brochure. Three days later my laundry was still not returned and I had to call to inquire why. The hotel had my clothes, they simply had not delivered them, as they told me.

4th day ... Upon my check-in the front hotel staff told me and my business partner I had a complimentary breakfast, then when escorting me to my room, they walked me to the dinning area to show me where I could have the complimentary breakfast. On my fourth day, I decided to have my "complimentary" breakfast. After leaving the table I was chased down and in front of 25+ guests yelled at for not paying my bill. I then learned I did not have a complimentary breakfast. Very embarassing. The hotel informed me I did not have a complimentary breakfast, but they would now offer me one. In the days remaining I never returned for breakfast. I didn't want to risk another similar yelling incident again.

5th day ... First visit at the pool and my guests and I were told to leave as we were not hotel guests. When I explained I was a guest, we were allowed to stay, but we received no service. I invited friends to join me for dinner at the Raintree. Pre-dinner we went to the pool area, where we were the only pool guests. My friends and I sat pool side and their 8 year old daughter got into the pool to enjoy a swim. The pool attendant saw us arrive. After the 8 year old got into the pool, the attendant approached the child and told her to get out of the pool, he never approached the adults to ask if any of us were guests. The parents and I spoke with the attendant, he told us that we were not allowed to use the pool as we had come from the street and were not guests of the hotel. I had to explain I was a paying hotel guest. We remained at the pool, where the child swam, but then received no services. The pool attendant stood 10 feet away and stared us down the entire hour of our stay.

There was a bit more, but I never fully recovered from being yelled at in front of others over the complimentary breakfast bit. I was disappointed to learn that with a reservation, I had to give 36 hours notice to leave without having to pay for my reserved room days.

The Raintree restaraunt is nice and the customer service was outstanding.

The hotel is hot and humid. Upon check-in I was told I was not allowed to touch the airconditiong unit, i.e. I could not lower the temparature for comfort, because the building is old. As a result the room and the hotel are hot and humid. Not touching the thermostat is also stated in the hotel room directory.

The hotel has a wall of approx 20ft high glass doors, approx 100 feet long. The doors are usually left fully open during day hours and sometimes during evening hours. This presents two problems, one the hotel becomes heated and warmed (just below the first floor of rooms) and the opened doors allow for many mosquitoes to enter the hotel and guest rooms. The hotel is swarming with mosquitoes unlike any other places in Chennai I visited. It is horrible. I have scars on my feet from the excessive bites I received from this hotel.

The hotel lobby bathrooms are old and run down, more so than the guest rooms. The fixtures need to be replaced, the toilets and sinks are old, cracking, dirty. One lobby bathroom did not have a towel dispenser (no towels) for guests. The hotel entrance is not inviting. It is cluttered and is not well designed. There is lack of security, too, upon my return arrival from work each day, no one asked to scan my bags before entering the hotel. Easily enough, you can also bypass the main entrance to enter the buildings without being noticed, too.

The guest rooms are tired and worn. The room was lovely, but was in need of maintenance.The wood flooring was severly warping (uneven), not all light fixtures worked. The bathtub and faucet was not the cleanest. Not all outlets in the room worked, a challenge during computer work days. The room did not come with a clock (not business friendly).

The walls are paper thin. When you can hear a full conversation (normal room voices) then the walls are too thin.

There is warm (not hot) water for showering.

Housekeeping was good about servicing my room each day. My only issue was with the laundry, holes in clothes and being returned dirty is not acceptable.

The pool is small and crowded for so few rooms. It was in need of maintenance while I visited.

The hotel has 3 restaurants, a bar, and room service. The bar was never opened before 6 PM, odd. I only visited two restaurants, the main restauraunt the verandah, which is opened 24 hours, where breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffets are served and the Raintree.

Service in the Venrandah is poor. One day, no one visited my table, despite waitstaff frequently visiting the table 3 feet away from mine. On other days, I would have to get up to request service (like beverages and silverware) for the buffet dinning. There were two people who were consistent and offered good service, but they were typically not available when I dined in the verandah.

Upon check-in, the hotel should inquire as to their business guests working hours, so the hotel can accomodate the business guests. I don't want calls and visits during sleeping hours or if this presents an issue for laundry delivery, as what happned with me and why my laundry was not delivered to my room for 3 days.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 935teresa
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, May 8, 2014
Dear Guest,

Greetings from Vivanta by Taj - Connemara!

Thank you for your valuable comments on Tripadvisor. We at The Taj always see detailed guest observations as opportunities for improvement as these form the stepping stones for our success which lies in meeting your expectations.

I understand that some of my managerial colleagues had already interacted with you earlier on your feedback. I would like to reiterate my sincere apologies on behalf of all of us once again for your experiences that ranged from room upkeep to laundry or from breakfast services to the pool.

I would like to assure you that each of your individual observations have been taken note of by the concerned department managers personally and no efforts have been spared in ensuring that none of these moments reoccur for any of our discerning guests as you.

I would request you not to hold this against us. Do consider us the next time you travel to Chennai. The hotel product and services are on a constant cycle of small and large improvements. I am sure we will send you back with nothing but pleasant memories of your stay.

With kind regards,

Samrat Datta
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi, Kenya
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed May 1, 2014 via mobile

This heritage hotel exceeded my expectations. The garden side rooms were simply beautiful with polished wood furnishings and classic leather chairs. The service and food was top notch.

It is located near both modern and traditional shopping centres. Don't miss the old shop of curiosities around the corner.

Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
Helpful?
Thank Aa_Kenny
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, May 3, 2014
Dear Guest,

Greetings from Vivanta by Taj - Connemara, Chennai!

We thank you for your time spent in sharing your valuable feedback on Tripadvisor.com.

Your kind words of praise for the classical heritage appeal of the hotel complimented by the warmth of our highly experienced staff goes to assure us that we are on the right path of product and service offerings.

Please do continue your patronage to Taj Hotels, Resorts & Palaces and be assured of many a memorable experiences with us.

With 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.
NY
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed May 1, 2014

This is the only sort of heritage Hotel in Chennai. Nice but a bit overpriced. The Food & Beverage Department has serious managerial issues. The Breakfast Buffet is posted to be ready at 7AM. This was confirmed verbally. The first day absolutely nothing was on the buffet by 7:05 and next day at 7:30 only 20% was ready. They offer to make anything you want but it will take at least 20min. Not nice if you have to get out in time and highly unprofessional particularly for a Taj Group hotel. The bar list is very nice e but only a fraction of the liquor/drinks are a actually available.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank pfjust
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, May 3, 2014
Dear Guest,

Greetings from Vivanta by Taj - Connemara, Chennai!

We thank you for writing your feedback on tripadvisor.com. Your observations about the hotel's services help us address those gaps which come in the way of offering great services to our guests and we are grateful for the same.

We take note of the specific observations you had with regards to the timeliness of breakfast set up on both days of your visit to The Verandah. Rest assured, I have addressed it in a suitable manner with the Food & Beverage team and all necessary steps are being taken to ensure that such experiences do not reoccur. In the meanwhile the beverage lists are also being given their due share of attention overcoming the small difficulties we experienced in recent days involving availability of certain labels in the city.

I regret that you had to go through the inconveniences and request you to let us have another opportunity to be of service. I am sure that the legend of Connemara and the genuine warmth of its hospitable staff will be able to offer one of many Taj experiences with us.

With kind regards,

Samrat Datta
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chennai (Madras), India
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 19, 2014

The hotel had spacious rooms but with old furniture. View outside the room was not good. It also didnt have dual curtains to block view inside the room. Bathroom also had a bathtub apart from the shower cubicle.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mimurtuza
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 21, 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.

We take note of your comments with regrads to the room furnishing and we would definitely be working on these aspects going forward.

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.
Dunsmore, England
Level 6 Contributor
223 reviews
71 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 159 helpful votes
Reviewed April 16, 2014

We arrived at the hotel after a 2 week tour of Southern India. We had upgraded to a higher quality room with a garden view but that turned out to be a dingy room overlooking trees. We were shown several other rooms and eventually had a poolside room which was also dingy (in fact dark) due to the overgrown plants. We were also shown a room on the first floor overlooking the pool, but you could not actually see the pool due to the lush plants, hence another dingy room. Extremely disappointing and this situation needs to be changed with a bit of judicious pruning. We never got to sit on the chairs around the pool near our room because they were continually used by other guests.

The main problem is that lots of these rooms need a revamp. The bathrooms are worn and grubby in places, especially around the shower tray. A few pictures, a lovely lobby and a few tubes of shampoo and shower gel do not make up for this. Staff were helpful in trying to find us a suitable room. This hotel is definitely not 5* in its present condition. We tried all the restaurants and they were all extremely good, so no complaints there. Breakfast was also good.

Part of the swimming pool area is "roped off" with orange netting near the pool house making it very unattractive. This hotel deserves to stay hidden because I am absolutely certain there are better places to stay. I would not recommend it, or return.

Room Tip: As we failed on all counts to get a good room, I do not know what to say! A modernised one with a c...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BindiB
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 a matter of great concern for us that your stay experience was marred owing to your overall impressions of the room options provided. We will certainly look into your feedback of landscape pruning which does not affect the much needed sunlight requirements of our rooms by the garden.

We are also in the process of constant upgrades of various parts of the hotel. Its regrettable that the fencing provided by the poolside cordoning off the Spa areas currently under rennovation took away from your experience of the poolside besides the rush by the area.

Upgrades and upkeep of beautiful old world properties like ours is a time consuming task that can be executed by a certain degree of expertise we have employed. I am confident of being able to address the observations made by you and you will find the hotel in much better shape should you come back to us soon.

kindly accept my sincere apologies for the deficiencies and 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.
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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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