My wife and I travelled to Chennai, as she had to attend a programme, SPARRC 2017, in Sri Ramachandra Medical College that is situated opposite this hotel, just down the road by the traffic lights. We went through a few reviews on trip advisor and were quite confused about the hotel, given that you have reviews from both extremes. Our experience at this hotel is what prompted the title and the five star rating.
We booked to stay from 4th January to 13th January, making the reservation directly with the hotel by email. The hotel does not provide a service to pick you up from the airport, and while they do provide arrange for a drop on request, we did not avail this facility. We arrived in Chennai on 4th night, and took a taxi from the Pre-paid counter at the airport to the hotel. While checking in at the front desk, we were asked if we were alright with two separate beds or we wanted a single bed. This question came across as rather strange, and yes, we wanted the latter option. The check in staff then told us that the executive room we were booked in had two separate beds, and if we wanted a single bed, we could upgrade to the deluxe room. I told him that this was unfair as we were not informed about this feature (or limitation) at the time of booking; he then proceeded to offer the upgrade at no additional charge to us, which we accepted. He suggested that we see the deluxe room before finalising the booking. We proceeded to then inspect the room and decided to take it.
The hotel provides four bottles (500ml each) of complimentary drinking water every day and free WiFi. The quality of the WiFi was good enough for me to work and stream video through the day. They also provide a kettle and complimentary tea/coffee/creamer/sugar. Hot water is available in the shower/bath every morning.
We also had complimentary breakfast in our room plan. The items on the menu include traditional Indian breakfast such as idli, vada, sambhar, etc., along with tea, coffee and juice as beverages. While the complimentary breakfast begins at 7 a.m., I would advise that you get there not earlier than 7:15 a.m., and if you would like to have the aloo paratha or puri (alternate days), get there not earlier than 7:25 a.m.
The hotel has a restaurant offering Indo-Chinese cuisine which we did not try. As you step out of the gate on to the main road, to your right there is a Cafe Coffee Day and KFC about 50 metres from the hotel. As you step out of the gate on to the main road, to your left you'll find a bakery, Cake Spot, within 50 metres of the hotel. A little further down the road, on the opposite side before the traffic lights, is a More outlet. There is also a cyber cafe near Cake Spot, first floor, where I printed my boarding pass for two rupees a page, although the sign clearly said 97 paise per page??? The building near Cake Spot houses an ATM which was "cashless" during the day. The guard would always tell me 6 p.m., and I did not verify if this indeed was true. This is the only available ATM on this street between the two traffic lights.
While my wife walked to and from the venue every day, it should be noted that walking on the side of the road and crossing can sometimes be quite a circus, with vehicles passing within an inch of you. There are plenty of Uber and Ola taxis available near the hotel; for some reason they tend to wait by the side of this particular street, so getting one of them is quite easy.
At 4:30 p.m. on the 12th, it was time for us to check out. We had called for a cab through Uber. While I was at the front desk completing the formalities, the staff member wondered aloud as to why I was leaving a day early having paid for till the 13th. I told him that I had done this to avoid the hassle of requesting a late check out, which is given at the discretion of the hotel, and the fact that their check-in check-out times were 12 p.m. and 11 a.m. respectively. He proceeded to tell me that this applies ONLY to reservations made through OYO; if you book through the hotel directly it's 24 hours check-in/check-out. I asked him if it was possible for him to issue me a refund; I had paid for the entire reservation using an international credit card. He requested me to wait for a while, possibly to get authorisation, and then generated the receipt for our stay with the refund, and handed me the cash for one night's stay.
Overall, we had an enjoyable stay. The staff were courteous and friendly. Ashok Residency is a place you can stay at without breaking the bank, nothing fancy. If you are looking for the Ritz Carlton or Radisson go some place else, don't post an unfair review.
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