This hotel was once a grand old home and is beautifully decorated. A senior staff member, Ramu, welcomed us and took us to the kitchen for a wonderful lunch of various dishes served on banana leaves: grilled chicken with rice for me and various spicy dishes for my husband and our Indian guide. Our room was very comfortable and meals were in different locations: breakfast on a porch with free range chickens running around and several peacocks and peahens; lunch by the large pool; candlelight dinner upstairs- all delicious. The next day, after Ramu took us around the area and to some gorgeous houses, he gave my husband an enjoyable cooking demonstration and the recipe which will be tried later. Most of the staff waved goodbye when we left.
It was fun to stay in an old palace. This is a CGH Earth Hotel, so very ecology minded. Rarely do we find such genuine hospitality as we experienced here. The staff of this hotel was outstandingly nice; no request was too much to ask. The whole building is impressive. The rooms are vast, but weirdly hard to organize your luggage because the space was so spread out.
Excellent sleep quality. Beautiful pool which is "chemical free" so the purified water felt lovely for swimming. We stayed only one night while touring the area,so we did not participate in any of the activities offered. We enjoyed the opportunity to try the famous Chettinad cuisine.
Visalam is a beautiful house, and we really liked all the art deco features. Our room was very large and comfortable. The women who clean the rooms made a really nice job of decorating the bed for Valentine's Day. We booked some time ago, with booking.com and our 2 night stay was very expensive indeed (I think that it would have been somewhat cheaper if I'd left the booking until nearer the time). For the price, I would have expected good quality bath towels - as it was, there were only small hand towels, and we resorted to taking a couple of pool towels (that had seen better days) to dry ourselves with. Good quality bathing products would have been good too. I would also have expected tea & coffee facilities in our room, rather than in a nearby common area. We enjoyed the afternoon cooking demonstration - what a lot of salt - and the chicken masala that resulted was very tasty. Overall, however, the food was mediocre at best and very expensive (and bottled water was R100 - very expensive, when one considers that most Indian hotels provide this for free in the rooms). It isn't the hotel's fault that they can't sell alcohol, but this does detract from the overall experience. Most staff were very helpful, and the General Manager was chatty and friendly. Particular thanks to one of the cleaning women who returned the keys/rings I had inadvertently left behind in my room. Visalam was certainly an experience, but one that we wouldn't be able to afford to repeat,
You have the feeling of staying at a Chettinad museum. The building is very beautiful and harmonious, with a nice patio on the building's center. The pool is nice and small (but still adequate to the number of bedrooms) beautifully inserted in a small garden. The rooms are very large and with high quality wooden furniture. The bathroom is also very spacious. The staff is always very present and kind. At check in you will be received with great attention and care. The three meals are eaten at three different places, all of them very beautiful. A safety box "laptop-friendly" is available in the room
Being hosted in a nice chettinad museum also entails some disadvantages. In the rooms there are no usual facilities such as TV and fridge (we have not missed them at all), as they would require retrofitting of plants for which it would be necessary to break the walls, which are coated with a very special and typical paint, based of egg. For those who need it (it was not our case), alcohol of any type is served, since an Indian law grants hotels permission to serve alcohol only above 22 rooms available. Being a small hotel, there is not much choice for meals; at lunch time you need to decide and order what to eat for dinner, because the chettinad kitchen requires slow cooking (this is the explanation we received)
Ideal base for anyone wanting to explore Chettinad culture. Located in the heart of Kanadukathan, in the middle of Chettinadu, a charming converted Art Deco Chettinad mansion offers breakfast in the garden surrounded by bougainvillea, chooks, and the occasional monkey, lunch by the excellent pool, and dinner on the open terrace (with a view of the Chettinadu Choo-Choo). Food is excellent in all cases, prepared in the traditional Chettiar style (go to the cooking demonstration). Rooms are spacious and comfortable. The illusion of staying at a Chettiar merchant's family house is sustained. Staff unfailingly helpful. The guide for our local tour was actually the engaging Deputy Manager, Ramu, who took us into his own family home and celebrations. A bullock cart ride organised for us overcame our scepticism about such things and was delightful (make sure you are supplied with pens).