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Visalam
Chettinad

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 fantastic and attentive, and around every corner you will see the understated yet authentic design; beautifully carved ceilings, original handmade tiled floors which are made locally, and old and coloured framed photographs of the ancestral owners. All of the generously sized en-suite bedrooms are light and airy and are furnished with period antiques. There are suites which can also be connected which means they are perfect for families. There are beautifully tended gardens, and a games terrace which is perfect for a relaxing afternoon drink and a game of backgammon.

In the evenings, the courtyard at the heart of hotel comes to life with a charming performance of music and dance by the hotel staff. A fresh water swimming pool accompanied by a quaint pool house and sun loungers can be found at the back of the house; it’s probably the finest in Tamil Nadu and perfect for a refreshing dip after a day's sightseeing! There is a sheltered patio by the swimming pool where breakfast is served, and at other mealtimes, guests are welcome in the open kitchen which has lovely old crockery and home-grown spices, and they may participate in preparing some of the famous Chettinad cuisine.

The hotel offers a number of activities which take in the local Chettiar culture, including village walks to see the ancient and impressive mansions, a visit to the local hand-produced tile industry or a bullock-cart ride through the meandering streets of Karaikudi, known as the capital of the Chettinad region.

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So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
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I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
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