Le Pondy: A hotel review (Pondicherry)
Pondicherry or Puducherry to us is not just a beach destination in Southern India. It is an all in one package. It is a foodie’s paradise, a French boulevard, an International city of Auroville, a land of backwaters, fishing villages, clean and wide roads, well laid gardens, orange and yellow coloured churches, huge mansions and a romantic escapade. True to its tourism tagline - ‘giving time a break', Pondicherry provides its visitors calm, quiet and peaceful atmosphere. This is a place to spend time with yourselves and in many ways to find yourself again. The time just slows down at this seaside sleepy town and gives one a lot of opportunity to unwind. Pondicherry is not just a place, it is a state of mind.
Puducherry, previously known as Pondicherry is one of the Union territories of India. Literally meaning - New Town in Tamil language, Pondicherry was a colony of the French colonial empire for about 300 years before it was transferred to Republic of India around 60 years ago. Still French remains one of the official languages of Pondicherry. A part of the city is based on French grid patterns, perpendicular streets and its villas and buildings have french architecture. Many French people are settled here, streets have french names and various french cultural organizations as well school thrive in the city. Having been to Pondicherry a few times before we had already experienced all of this before and our recent visit was just a relaxed trip in search of some peace. We decided to skip the traditional sight-seeing spots, settle at one place and spend some time together. In our hunt to zero down on the perfect peaceful place, we found many potential options but none lured us more than Le Pondy. We selected Le Pondy for our stay mainly because of its location – it is located on one of the best beaches in Pondicherry - The Paradise beach which makes it a bit far from the commercial town of Pondicherry.
We rented a motorbike from Chennai and started early in the morning driving around 150 kms to reach Pondicherry. We also spent some time in the heritage town of Mahabalipuram on the way. Le Pondy resort is 12 kms from the White Town of Pondicherry. The last 2.5 km stretch of the approach road to the resort was very narrow and bumpy. We had to use Google navigation till the end to ensure we don’t lose our way through the meandering streets of villages. We were just wondering if we had made the right choice when we reached the Le Pondy and were left in awe. The first thing we saw was a circular area with a dome shaped structure in the centre. We thought we were at reception but it was just a receiving area. The hugeness of Le Pondy dawned on us when we were escorted in a golf cart to the reception. They greeted us with welcome drinks while the check-in formalities were done. We were then escorted to our rooms.
The rooms in Le Pondy are huge. They have generously designed all rooms giving a sitout area, king size beds and ample space to move around. The bathrooms too are big enough with a dressing area. Le Pondy has 70 rooms which includes presidential pool villas, luxury pool villas, sea view rooms and lake view rooms. Each has its own charm and attraction with contemporary design, elegant wooden crafted furniture, ample space, adequate privacy and supreme comfort. They obviously provide needful items including toiletries, coffee maker and small refrigerator stuffed with snacks and drinks which are payable. Nestled in greenery all around and earthen colors of interiors give it a unique charm of living in nature with high end luxury.
The design of the resort itself is uniquely crafted. The green expanses and landscaping of the gardens are perfectly in sync with the pyramid shaped husky rooftops. Just a walk here takes you to another world. Being in pondicherry and having been named Le Pondy, it ought to have a french taste to it. The iconic white pillars and arches do their job well of taking you to the colonial era. Handcrafted wooden furniture give a rich majestic feel to the lobby. Add to this the ever smiling staff and the attention they give you makes you feel so pampered as if you are a heir to a royal family.
Food here takes you to another level. The multi cuisine restaurant, the poolside bar, a coffee shop and another bar overlooking the ocean ensures that you have a tough time choosing where to go for food. About the taste, lets just say whatever you order, you are going to love it. The ambience around the dining area is enhanced by a huge pool besides it. The crystal clear water of the pool is difficult to resist and the pyramid shaped rooftops supported by the iconic pillars keep the flavor of Le Pondy intact.
The very end of Le Pondy opens up to its very own private beach - The Paradise Beach. The beach gives you all the solitude one can ask for. There was absolutely no one there whenever we visited it. Walking around 100 metres to the left takes you to a place which is often frequented by tourists. Paradise beach is one the most famous beach in Pondicherry and people usually come here through a boat from Chunnambar boat house. The beach is cut in half by the Chunnambar river flowing into the Bay of Bengal and paradise beach is on the edge of an estuary formed by the river. Hence there are only 2 ways of reaching this peaceful beach, by boat and by walking along the premises of Le Pondy. Since the boat service starts only at around 10 AM and stops by 5 PM, this beach is yours to enjoy for the remaining times. While we enjoyed the isolation and peace on Paradise beach, the wooden beach umbrellas, dilapidated shacks, jelly fishes and starfish made it a peculiar experience.
The night transformed Le Pondy into a different magical world all together. The yellow lighting in lobby and chandeliers in common areas which we had not even noticed brightened up the place in a surreal way. The colorful fountains around the bridge that takes you to restaurant was simply magnificent. Ambience of Le Pondy radiated warmth and mystery at the same time.
We were so mesmerized by the fusion of architectural and natural beauty in Le Pondy that we did not get time to explore its fitness and recreation areas as well as spa. We spent evenings and early mornings enjoying the isolation of Paradise beach and rest of the times in restaurant and pool. We never realized when time flew by and it was time to pack our bags again. But we have to give credit to the owners for creating such luxurious leisurely resort combining multiple elements of nature and history in their design and providing a world class service. We would definitely recommend Le Pondy to everyone visiting Pondicherry and would ourselves love to go back and lose a sense of time in this fairytale wonderland.
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You can book Le Pondy from any of the famous hotel aggregators by clicking on any of the websites listed on this blog. Have you been to Le Pondy? How did you find it? Let us know your thoughts on Le Pondy, Pondicherry and how you found our blog in comments section below. Feel free to share or pin this blog.
Note: All opinions expressed in this blog are our own and not influenced by Le Pondy