Standing proud as the only heritage hotel in Chennai, the Taj Connemara is conveniently located in the city's business district. Beautifully combining old-world charm with modern amenities, whilst also paying homage to its surroundings, from the dramatic temples and churches on its doorstep to the British Fort St. George nearby, the Taj Connemara is one of our favourites in Chennai.
This hotel's rich history is showcased in its eclectic mix of architecture and interior design: originally a Nawab's house in the 19th century, it became The Imperial Hotel in 1854 and was renamed The Connemara in 1890 after Robert Bourke, Baron of Connemara, the Madras Governor from 1886-1902. In 1937, the Art Deco façade was sensitively crafted – including beautifully preserved wooden carvings from the nearby Mahabalipuram monuments. Later, legendary architect Geoffrey Bawa made his mark on the hotel by introducing the Tower block and the inviting pool, before encouraging The Taj Group to sign a 100-year lease in 1984. To this day, the Taj Connemara continues to be refreshed, fitting in with the times and needs of modern travellers, while also remaining true to its legacy.
With over four acres of land to play with, the Taj Connemara has 143 double rooms and 4 suites spread across its two wings: the Heritage building and the Art Deco Tower. Each room differs slightly in style, yet they are all tastefully decorated in pastel tones and are equipped with spacious en-suites. Within the lush atrium gardens lies the centralised pool, a pretty spot to rest with a book under the shade of a silk parasol... and when hunger strikes, you can wander over to eat at The Verandah. We also highly recommend dining at Raintree, an al fresco space amidst garden trees accompanied by Indian flute performances in the evening. As the sun sets enjoy a colonial inspired cocktail or two at The Lady Connemara Bar and Lounge – the city’s first licensed bar that still retains its sophisticated atmosphere to this day.
If you can bear to leave the quiet haven of Taj Connemara for the day, we recommend taking a Madras-Chennai heritage tour: walking in the footsteps of those who influenced the city’s history and admiring the beautiful British-era buildings that shape Chennai is bound to be a highlight of your stay here.
- Jaime Benitez, South India
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
- Leslie Siben, India
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India
- Mr David Wallace, North India