My wife and i decided to celebrate New Year away from home for the first time ever, and we zeroed in on Pondicherry. For me the important thing was to find a place that would give me an 'experience', in addition to having a good time. Gratitude Heritage helped me do just that. They dont claim to be a Hotel and neither a Homestay. They claim this to be a 'private residence with exclusive rooms for guests'. What you get in Gratitude is some very warm people and great hospitality from people like Virginia, Anto, Vijay, & Kakoli. You morning starts with the dong being sounded at 830 am, and you gather at the dining area for some fresh breakfast. While the breakfast spread is basic, what is interesting is the people you meet. Virginia does her bit in introducing people and making them feel at home, and this helps one build new friends and acquaintances. The rest of the day there is really nothing to do at Gratitude but to enjoy the beautiful courtyard, visit their small library, sit on the breezy terrace and read a book or have a drink in the evening, and chat with people from across the world. Quite a relaxing experience. The place has a unique feel to it, with the smell of lemon grass in all the rooms, and old antique furnitures around. Another plus for the property is the proximity to the beach road and to various good eateries. Very convenient. What took the place to another level was the surprise plan they made for New Years. They got a musician (Lithuanian, from Frankfurt) and he played the flute and violin for the guests, along with some wine and snacks. The last hour of 31st was spent on their terrace chatting and laughing with new friends - perfect first new year getaway for me and my wife.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- ‘Gratitude’ is a home and a place of retreat in Pondicherry, India. It has been restored lovingly over a period of three years maintaining the authenticity of the architectural style and method of construction that was prevalent when this house was built. What gives ‘Gratitude’ its true essence is the quiet joy and peace that gives this home a healing atmosphere which is rare to find in the world outside without compromising on comfort. ... more less