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“Triplicane Budget Hotel”
Review of Broadlands Hotel

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Broadlands Hotel
Ranked #79 of 415 Hotels in Chennai
Reviewed 12 February 2012

The guide said it best: You either love it or hate it. I loved it. And judging from the other reviewers the character that they and I loved best was the laid back nature of this place. The manager is a nice guy who is very helpful. He helped us get last minute train tickets to Kerala the day before the journey. The price was extremely reasonable - ~only Rs 400 and I take it its even less in the off season.

We met a lot of travelers who came back to this place every time they were in Chennai - some coming back for over 20 years. Many stay months at a time.

The architecture and layout of the guest house is very authentic and isnt like any of cookie cutter multinational chains like Hilton, Holiday Inns etc that are opening up everywhere.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Josh K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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59 - 63 of 80 reviews

Reviewed 8 February 2012

1994. 2004, and now 2012: has Broad Lands changed? Certainly Chennai has changed - so much I shudder to think of returning there, though I still love Pycrofts Rd. and A2B restaurant. Chennai has become a traffic madness, yet Broad Lands is as cool and detached as it ever was. If it weren't for Bharatanatyam and flights to South East Asia, I doubt anyone sane would now go to old Madras. But if you have to go, and you still hold a lingering love of the old days of India, when dirt was not an issue, just a fact, then stick with Broad Lands.

I have to say, the staff have gone downhill. They used to be friendly and laid-back. Now they are engrossed with their own dramas and frankly useless. Even getting the usual pleasant refreshing services has become a matter of chance or hours late. But do they care I say this? Not in the least! Just like old India, they don't give a twig what you think. They don't own a computer, let alone surf this Web site.

The place is filthy - please all new Indian travellers, stay away ... you will be horrified at the dirt on the windowsills and mould in the bathrooms. There was a time when travelling in India was simply living with dirt - no pedestal toilets, no toilet paper, no TripAdvisor response to hold above the quivering guest house owner like a baton lest they treat you wrong, no luxurious AC rooms with Italian marble floors, no hot water, no bed sheets, no one who took the slightest interest in your complaints or suffering. But India for the tourist has changed, as we all know, and if you love the new tourist scene, give Broad Lands the swerve - it's not for you. They tell me the place next door is heaps better.

Broad Lands doesn't care, because its clients just keep coming. Maybe one day they will find themselves left behind, but for now, there are plenty of travellers who relish in this unique and fascinating place. Where else can you have a giant Neem tree growing in your courtyard?

To business: rooms 44 and 43 are the pick, as all Broad Lands old-timers know. But just keep in mind the temperature. Sure these are superb rooms, but they are on top, meaning they get the heat from the sun. Down below, it is significantly cooler. But if it's not heat peak season, these two rooms are the prize.

We stayed in 44 this time: windows on all sides (except the bathroom side is best kept closed), and all on it's own. 43 is also superb and probably better air-flow, except it takes the full brunt of the Muslims over the back. I say this because while we were there the typical short prayer session stretched from 9:30 pm to midnight, during which you had to suffer the most insane violent and extremely loud ranting I have ever heard (during which the children in the front carpet area periodically broke out in bursts of laughter - India is weird). I kid you not - I have never heard anything like it anywhere. But that was just a twelve day Mohamed's birthday special event apparently, so not to be generally expected.

Mind you, it was a relief to return to after a day trip to Kanchi - traffic noise and intensity is far worse than a few ranting Muslims just doing their purposeful prayers. I found myself quite fond of our local Muslim ranter after suffering the brunt of modern Indian commercial secular road madness. Honestly, and I know I've said this for the last 40 years and it hasn't made a spit of difference, but India can't go on just adding more people, cars, motorbikes and noise - something will rupture long before capitalist nirvana arrives.

This is why I love Broad Lands, with all it's dirt and lazy cleaning ladies. My wife, however, I think has had enough - so there you go.

I say, stick with Broad Lands and Triplicane High Road, if you do have to suffer the insanity of modern Chennai. But don't leave without seeing a quality professional performance of Bharatanatyam dance - you will never regret that!!

PS1 - don't pre-wrap parcels for the Triplicane Post, they'll just pull them apart and do it themselves all over.

PS2 - the best tailor has left Broad Lands street location, and is now in a small lane off Pycrofts Rd. I forget their name, but ask around and you'll find them.

PS3 - if you do a day trip to Kanchi, remember the temples close between 12 noon and 4pm. Best time is to leave at 5:30 am and return in the afternoon, else you won't see much and spend most of your time in traffic.

Room Tip: 44 and 43 when it's not full summer.
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  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank Michael1052
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 January 2012

Ahh, Broadlands, returning after 5 years and the place is just the same, leafy, full of motorbikes probably the price also. It is funny reading the mixed reviews here, they differ violently but everybody is right! It is run-down, peeling paint, dark etc. But I love the mellow vibe, the staff are super-relaxed and there is a great sense of calm stepping into Broadland's cool courtyard after a mad day out in Chennai. Although I can imagine arriving exhausted at night and being horrified like the fellow below. But I reckon the current Lonely Planet runs a pretty fair description of the place and it's not one I would have chosen to bring children to. Cheap, full of character, rough round the edges, avoid if you're a clean freak, but I really love it.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled solo
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1  Thank ShakkaKhan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 January 2012

i love this place for its: 1) simple and classical design that seemed dated but yet it existed in a modern city 2) the balcony from my room which has a really nice view of the mosque though it gets loud during prayer times 3) large and spacious though seemingly empty room 4) laid back characters of staffs that makes you feel relaxed all the time

i dislike this place for its: 1) seemingly dirty common toilet (but it is not exactly dirty, just that the lighting was poor inside) 2) mosquitoes! 3) place is not very clean as though it hasn't been sweeped in ages 4) somehow when i was there, there is a photoshoot of models going on. not exactly sure if they usually allow non-guest to enter the hotel at will.

overall, i think this laid back place suits chennai and i will likely to go back again,

Room Tip: choose one on the top floor with a balcony
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  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled solo
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1  Thank frolicker_leon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 October 2011

This hotel might not be the cleanest in the world but still it remains my favorite in Chennai. The staff is really friendly and helpful. It's also full of charm even though it could use some fresh paint. Still I don't see why i should stay elsewhere when in Chennai. Let ask the staff to clean the place a bit more.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled solo
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2  Thank Clodreno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Broadlands Hotel

Address: 18 Vallabha Agraharam Street | Triplicane, Chennai 600005, India
Region: India > Tamil Nadu > Chennai District > Chennai > Royapettah
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #79 of 415 Hotels in Chennai
Price Range: ₹ 641 - ₹ 1,154 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 50

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