Maison Perumal, a sepia serigraph of another time – dusted off perhaps, but not retouched.
CGH Earth has two properties in Pondicherry – Maison Perumal in the Tamil Quarter and Palais de Mahe in the French Quarter just off the famous Pondicherry promenade. We split our time in Pondicherry in two parts – two days in the Tamil Quarter and two in the French, and stayed at both of these boutique hotels. One a restored Tamil home, another a recreation of a French home.
Definitely amongst the most charming of boutique hotels in Pondicherry, Maison Perumal is the one hotel there that I haven’t had enough of. Just as much as I can never tire off being in Pondicherry, I can’t think of not wanting to go back to this beautiful heritage home.
Maison Perumal Review: Past Perfect in Pondicherry
Restored by INTACH, this heritage building in the Tamil Quarter of Pondicherry was once – nearly three hundred years ago – a Chettiar mansion in the affluent neighbourhood around the temple. Maison Perumal is located right at the heart of the bustling side of Pondicherry, where the locals go about busily attending to their day’s work away from the precise boulevards of the French Quarter where most of the tourists restrict themselves to. It is the perfect location for those wanting to get a glimpse into the local Tamil way of life and still be able to get back to the promenade and its chic cafes and boutiques on a whim.
From the redoxide flooring to the typical colonial Indian wooden furniture, Maison Perumal, transported me straight back to my grandparents hundred and eighty year old house in Visakhapatnam and I happily walked straight back to those summer holidays of my childhood. This beautiful house is tastefully done up in furtniture and accents that are are alive with detail. And, the sunlight that filters in through stained glass windows only adds dimension to this heritage home sequestered away in the colourful lanes of the Tamil quarter.
Quietly elegant, the rooms are furnished keeping with the Franco-Tamil character of this property and this corner of India that is Pondicherry.
Restaurant + Food
The smell of cooked fish that wafted from the kitchen clung stubbornly to all that came out of the kitchen. So much so that I couldn’t gulp down more than a sip of my fresh watermelon juice the first night we were there. Making the one restaurant in the hotel, out of bounds for vegetarians, especially for those like me, who have been so all their life.
& NO, there is no room service.
But having said that, the food is delicious and is served hot and fresh by staff who are willing to whip up whatever it is that suits your preference. Like they did for us.
We had checked into the hotel only late in the night, way past dinner time but the staff were so welcoming and helpful, they rustled up a quick vegetarian dinner for us by the time we were through checking-in. Not only did they suggest this themselves (we were too tired to even think of dinner!) but they did it happily too.
And, just for that they deserve a big thumbs up!
Unlike most other hotels, wifi works well in the rooms too.
Two litres of bottled water replenished daily.
Getting Out & About
The leafy lanes of the forgotten Tamil Quarter are shady, colourful and peppered with just the right amount beautiful old buildings. Add to that there is only the occasional tourist that wanders on to this side of the canal that divides Pondicherry into precise cultural quarters, there is much to explore right outside the Maison Perumal. The staff are also helpful enough to find you a “tuk-tuk” for those times when you aren’t just up for a walk and would rather head straight to the promenade or the more happening neighbourhood of Pondicherry.
Value for Money
While Palais de Mahe, has the feel of a modern day hotel with all the amenities, Maison Perumal which is priced a little lower feels like an old lived in home, which is what it is. And, for those who love staying in heritage homes, Maison Perumal at around Rs.10,000 (150 USD) is good value.
My Take on Maison Perumal
Would I stay at Maison Perumal again?
Most definitely, yes!
What did I love about Maison Perumal?
Genuinely helpful staff
Decor and Ambience
What did I hate about Maison Perumal?
Smell of sea food. But thats just a personal quirk. 🙄
58, Perumal Koil Street
Find it on Google Maps.