As Ianp1 says, this is all about the destination, not the hotel. I am guessing from the photos that we had the same room as he did.
The whole place is very clean, and although simple, a lot of thought has gone into doing it up. The décor in the room, whilst not to our taste, is pretty amazing – all that orange and green is hand-painted patterns that look like the type of tiles that may have been here originally.
There is now a phone in the room (old-fashioned style and apparently original). We had good supply of hot water at all times, and someone had thought to provide a pullout washing line in the room – the only one we saw in our whole trip. There was a kettle and tea and coffee making supplies in the room. Yes, the aircon was noisy, but there was mosquito netting over some of the windows, so you could leave them open at night instead of using aircon. Internet access was available via a computer in the reception area.
We found the food excellent of the ‘home cooked’ variety, and the staff keen to explain any dish that we wanted information about. Beer was available. Meals are served in the main hall, which also has a selection of coffee table books and comfortable chairs.
You are free to wander around the whole of the building and are likely to encounter the owner often. He is keen to explain his home and life to everyone (one of the magazine articles we read described him as a ‘dedicated talker’!).
There is a swimming pool here, although we didn’t even go and look at it.
There are a couple of push bikes (free) to enable you to cycle around the village and explore and we’d recommend you take full advantage of this – the whole place is like a ghost town. There are over 100 mansions in this small village alone.
The hotel will organize for someone to take you into a couple of other mansions, owned by a cousin of the owner of Chettinadu mansion. Or you can just turn up at the door of many – there are caretakers who look after the empty houses and supplement their income by letting tourists in and hoping for a tip at the end. Although the layout of all the palaces is very similar the décor and materials vary hugely.
The Raja’s Palace is right next door to Chettinadu Mansion but seems to have closed indefinitely (officially for restoration, but we were told there was a family dispute).
When deciding where to stay in Chettinad you need to think carefully about location – there aren’t many places available, but one or two of them are in Karraikkudi rather than out in the villages. We would have felt we had missed out if we had stayed in town. Wandering the village as it got dark, looking at these eerie great mansions, was a highlight.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC