Visalam is an elegant 70-year-old Chettiar Mansion which has been carefully converted into a boutique hotel in the heart of this fascinating region. It really captures the soul of Chettinad, a region renowned for its palatial homes, fiery cuisine and colourful culture.
This heritage Art Deco family home of rare distinction is bursting with the typical charm we have come to expect from the South Indian CGH Earth brand. The staff are adorable and attentive, and around every corner you will see the understated yet authentic design; from beautifully carved high ceilings and framed photographs of the ancestral owners to original handmade tiled floors.
The generously sized en-suite bedrooms are light and airy, and are all furnished with period antiques, locally made cosy bed linen and gleaming floors upon which you will find an artistic greeting welcoming you in. Each room comes with an elegant balcony; the perfect spot to sit back and soak in the views over the hotel’s beautifully tended gardens.
A freshwater swimming pool can be found at the back of the house in the gardens, along with a picturesque pool house and sun loungers – you’re bound to be tempted to take a refreshing dip here after a day's sightseeing! We highly recommend spending the afternoon relaxing poolside with your favourite book or enjoying the games terrace close by. As the day draws to a close, the courtyard at the heart of hotel comes to life with a charming performance of music and dance by the hotel staff. There is also a sheltered patio where breakfast is served, and at other mealtimes, guests are welcomed into the open kitchen full of lovely old crockery and home-grown spices – if you wish, you may participate in preparing some Chettinad cuisine here.
The hotel offers a number of activities which embrace local Chettiar culture, from cycling tours around the village and walks to ancient and impressive mansions to iconic bullock-cart rides through the meandering streets of Karaikudi, known as the capital of the Chettinad region. If you’re feeling adventurous, take a 20-minute local train from Chettinad to Karaikudi accompanied by a member of hotel staff for an insight into the daily commuter life! We also recommend visiting the weekly market during your stay and soaking up the smells of the colourful golden rich spices that permeate around Chettinad.
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
- Jaime Benitez, South India
- Anonymous, India
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
- Leslie Siben, India
- Mr David Wallace, North India
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India