Location : 12 Labourdonnais Street Puducherry, India
We were searching for accommodation options in Puducherry the erstwhile Pondicherry, even checked with a friend who is regular in Puducherry.
We were very clear in terms of our requirements – the property should be in our budget, it should not be a home stay or just Bed & Breakfast option, it should not be a resort away from the main city or main attractions, the property should be close to main attractions as we wanted to explore Puducherry on feet (No, sorry we were not being stingy, we feel that the best way to explore a city is either on feet or on a bicycle), the property could have some heritage feel to it.
We zeroed in on a few properties; one right on the Beach Road in White Town, two in the Main City Commercial Area, one in Tamil Quarters of Puducherry, two in White Town but not facing beach; 3 heritage properties and so on. We checked for online reviews of the shortlisted properties. We asked for rates from all the shortlisted properties (yes we wanted to book directly and not through any website or aggregator or travel agent). Some reverted promptly some slept over it. One property had always been on the top and we hoped that they could offer us a good rate as on various websites they were on a higher end.
The property was prompt to revert on the rates and also suggested us the perfect room category for 3 of us. We liked what they had offered. But we still waited for the others. This property always stood on top, even post rate comparison it didn’t lose its charm. We went ahead with booking with them – This was the Richmond Puducherry, one of the hotels of Residency Group which has properties in Chennai, Coimbatore and Karur.
And we are happy that we didn’t regret our decision.
The Richmond is a small hotel in White Town or the French Quarters of Puducherry. It has 14 rooms and is located in a lane just opposite the PWD Bussy street office (a heritage building). It is quiet close to all the major attractions of Puducherry – 700 mts from Rock Beach 750 mts from Bharthi Park, 500 mts from Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges and so on.
We reached Puducherry at around 2.00 pm in the afternoon by road from Chennai. We had been awake since 3.00 am in morning and were slightly tired after a 4 hrs long flight and then almost 3 hrs road trip. Finding Richmond was not difficult. The exterior was exactly the way we had seen in pictures on various sites.
The team at Richmond was of through professionals. The check in process was smooth – no time was wasted during check in, no unnecessary questions asked, just the routine formalities. Our room was already ready and within few minutes of our arrival we were in our room – a Family room on 1st floor.
The décor of the hotel is tastefully done. They have used the space intelligently.
The Family Room which was suggested to us was spacious, it had a comfortable queen size bed and a large sofa cum bed which could open up and become another queen size extra bed. The room can easily accommodate a family of 4-5 members. A large couch/sofa along with a centre table also was there. The room had a large LCD Television on which one could check a variety of English, Hindi, French, Tamil and other language channels.
On one side of the room there was a large wooden cupboard with an Electronic Safe, a fully loaded Mini Bar and space to keep your luggage on with a large mirror. Electric Kettle for making Tea/Coffee (tea/coffee/sugar/milk) and complimentary bottles of drinking water was also provided.
The washroom or the bathroom was also spacious and had all necessary amenities. There was a shower cubicle in one corner. Hair Dryer was also provided.
The focus on Richmond was on quality. From the variety in Tea/Coffee packs to the toiletries in the washroom, everything highlighted their focus on quality. The toiletries (soap, shampoo, moisturiser, talc etc.) were from Biotique, a company renowned for its Ayurvedic products.
During our stay we had a small issue with the Television in the room and the Richmond team was prompt in changing our room (from 1st floor to similar room type on 2nd floor).
Richmond has a small in house restaurant cum bar; Bistro and S3 located at the lobby level. Galleries on each floor face provide a beautiful view of the restaurant.
The buffet breakfast provided had ample options, from traditional South Indian to Continental, with decent options for beverages – variety of fresh juices, butter milk, herb water, tea, coffee (they had that freshly brewing coffee machine – so one could enjoy those cups of cappuccino, mochaccino, latte & what not; they also served the tasty filter coffee). One had options to order eggs of your choice.
The food at Richmond or Bistro is delicious, the quality and quantity is good. We were always looking forward to our dinner at Bistro, post our dinner on the 1st night of our stay. We loved their Mutton Roghan Josh, the Paneer Corn Steak with Ginger sauce (an interesting experiment or Fusion of a vegetarian continental dish with Indian spices) in main course, the Bhuna Murgh and Lemon Chicken in starters.
The team (especially Mr. Sevaganapathy G. and Ms. Ashvini S. from the front office) were very helpful. Ms. Ashvini also helped in organising a vehicle for us till Mamallapuram (on payment basis, charges much lower than the various local taxi and tour operators)
Our stay at Richmond was memorable, for us accommodation option in Puducherry would now be synonymous with The Richmond.
We would be looking forward to experiencing more of the Residency Groups hospitality in Chennai and other cities.
A good mid budget range option
Pros : Located in White Town, Close proximity to all major attractions in Puducherry, Good Food, Good Services with focus on Quality
Cons: For us this was irrelevant and thus not a con but for people travelling with own vehicles this could be a con – they don’t have parking space (this is same for most of the properties located in White Town)