Location: No.104, East Raja Street, Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram) – 603 104,
Tamil Nadu, India.
When we landed in Chennai and even before that when people got to know that we were planning to stay in Mamallapuram the erstwhile Mahabalipuram for a few days, the first reaction was of disbelief; what’s there in Mahabalipuram that you would want to stay for long duration? You can cover the same while on your way back from Puducherry (Pondicherry) or stay in some resorts near Chennai and visit Mamallapuram/Mahabalipuram. You don’t require to stay.
Second reaction on hearing that we are firm with our plans and don’t want to stay in any resorts in Mamallapuram/Mahabalipuram was – they are crazy, they don’t know what they are doing, don’t blame us, we warned you.
Then came the difficult part. We had no support in terms of choosing an accommodation option, we had to rely on our research as per as our specifications and the online reviews. Our specifications were simple – don’t want a home stay, mid budget, close to attractions, proper extra bed and not just a mattress on floor.
After a lot of research zeroed in on Mamalla Heritage. The google map showed that it was close to all major attractions in Mamallapuram. All major eating joints were close to it. (P.S. for us close means walking distance, and we don’t mind walking). Mailed the hotel directly and requested for rates and promptly got revert from Mr. Mani, the Reservation Manager. The rates for triple occupancy with extra bed were provided for Deluxe Room which were much lower than what was being offered by a lots of online sites.
Reservations done, confirmations done, yes we had finalised Hotel Mamalla Heritage.
It was easy to locate the hotel, it’s right on the main road (close to the Mamallapuram Bus Stand, Mahabalipuram Town Panchayat & Community Centre). Mamallapuram or Mahabalipuram is a small town and staying at East Raja Street was the best way to explore or get that small town feel.
The East Raja Street where the hotel is located is a moderately busy street in the day. The Hotel has ample parking space for vehicles. The complete structure is L Shaped. On the ground floor one has the reception area, extension of which (facing the road) will remind you of traditional Tamil homes; the dining hall (where we were served Buffet Breakfast) and the Golden Palate restaurant (a pure vegetarian restaurant), and some rooms. We were given a room on the 2nd floor, the rooms in the 2nd floor give a view of the swimming pool (located on the 1st floor) from the gallery.
The room given to us initially was a smaller room and was devoid of mini bar or let’s say the mini refrigerator. The room was clean though. The Air Conditioning was not functional in this room. We complained about the same and also about the room size. We were informed that person manning the front office or reception had offered the room in error. We had booked a Deluxe room and this was their standard room (they had only 2 categories of room). We were immediately shifted to another room, this room was spacious, the bathroom was spacious and the view from the room window was that of Butter Ball complex. Yes from the upper floors of the property you would be able to see the Butter Ball complex and the new Lighthouse.
The washroom or the bathroom had a shower cubicle of a decent size. The toiletries were the standard toiletries including the Medimix Soap which one gets in any similar property in Southern India, an interesting addition was the presence of a shower gel dispenser. The shower gel was refilled daily.
The room was clean, had a decent size LCD television with limited channel options – we had options of some news channels, some free hindi movie channels, some Tamil channels and few English channels. The mini refrigerator was functional – we are not calling it a Mini Bar as it was empty and served effectively to cool drinking water and bakery items. They provide with one complimentary bottle of drinking water daily. The room did not have Tea/Coffee Maker. They have facility of room service and you can order from that. The room service is operational from 7.30 a.m. in the morning.
The extra bed provided was decent (a fold-able cot with mattress).
When we were in the hotel there was some renovation happening in some rooms on the 1st floor and they were in the process of installing an elevator (yes they didn’t have that when we were there). Still they paid attention to the cleanliness of the floors.
The swimming pool is a decent size swimming pool and is operational from 7.00 a.m. in the morning to 7.00 p.m. in the evening. We used the pool once in the evening, the size is decent – just one small issue, they use too much chlorine in the pool.
The breakfast spread is decent with options of South Indian dishes including on request Dosas, eggs of choice on order, fresh fruits, cereals (cornflakes mainly), tea and coffee (yes they also have freshly brewing coffee machine) along with fresh fruit juice.
We tried their restaurants for lunch and dinner once; Wok to Dhabha, the multi cuisine restaurant which has an entrance from the main road also for lunch, the restaurant is highly rated by online sites – we have a difference of opinion here, taste wise the food can be rates as average and below average, service wise its fine; Golden Palate the pure vegetarian restaurant again gets very high ratings on online sites and again we found it average on taste when we had our dinner.
We had ordered a traditional South Indian Thaali in room service for lunch one day, quantity wise and taste wise it was good.
All the major attractions are really quiet close including the Pilgrimage Beach, Shore Temple, Group of Monuments etc. (around 600-700m).
We had requested for an airport drop, the same was provided. The airport drop facility is provided on charge, the vehicle provided and the driver are good and reliable.
We don’t regret staying at Mamalla Heritage. There are many properties around it but this was definitely the best.