HOTELS OF THE MONTH
For those who find the time to stop and stare, Le Dupleix – named after the last governor of Puducherry – is a hedonistic treat. When the Governor’s house was razed, Dilip Kapur, Founder and President Hidesign, was able to save a large part of the woodwork which has been re-installed here. The architecture celebrates the best of French design with unmistakable Indian elements, evident in the ample display of authentic carving, antique textiles, and a custom design stone courtyard.
A striking element is that every room in this hotel is different, with a particular piece that is unique to each. If one features a swing in the porch, the other highlights exquisite embroidery. These rooms range from luxury, deluxe, superior rooms and luxury suites. For auxiliary indulgence, you can stay at one of the penthouse rooms.
It’s natural that the food is just as fresh as the air here. The menu is specially crafted to optimise local specialities such as the seafood, fresh herbs, and the French history, like the mussels Provençal, the refreshing lettuce salad, the classic French onion soup and dosa suzette. The sago with chilled coconut milk and mangoes as well as the gooey brownie are decadent desserts. Cleanse your palate with one of their fresh orange and ginger or citrus lemon sorbets.
A wonderful central piece at the bar, The Tree Of Life, has been specially created for the hotel by Jean Francois Lesage. There is also an interesting water cascade in the hotel. It is crafted out of carved stone. It begins at the mezzanine landing space, and flows down under the corridor. The floor is made of transparent and translucent glass and helps one enjoy the movement of the flowing water. All the furniture, the lamps, chandeliers, the fitted pillars and the ceiling are original antiques.
The sun rises spectacularly, causing its glow to spread in a crisscross of diamonds glinting upon the sea. The Promenade, a luxury boutique Hidesign hotel, is situated at the edge of the ocean and allows you to witness many such marvels of nature. Head here for a holiday which is all about laid-back fun under the sun. It lies along the beautiful Boulevard, and is situated beside the old lighthouse and opposite the Gandhiji statue, in the most prominent location of Puducherry.
Most of the rooms look out on the azure waters of the Bay of Bengal, immediately lending a tranquil feel to the entire landscape. There is a range of accommodation options, from luxury and deluxe suites to more opulent ones such as the Presidential Suite, the Gandhi Suite and the Lighthouse Suite. The view from the rooftop suite is particularly wonderful. The landscaped porch and the Balinese motif lounge pool are good options to spend a relaxed evening.
The Promenade offers some of the best known dining and lounging options in Puducherry. Lighthouse is a rooftop restaurant that gives picturesque views of the Bay of Bengal and is towered over by the town’s ancient Lighthouse. It offers a barbeque and grill menu for dinner. Blueline serves Oriental and Mediterranean dishes round-the-clock, and boasts an elaborate buffet. Risque, is a leather lounge with contemporary music overlooking the pool.
UP AND ABOUT
There are several things to do in this sun-soaked city. This Indian city has a strong French influence, since its days as a colony. This is most evident from the several ‘rues’ and boulevards that are lined with Mediterranean-style houses and bakeries. The Sri Aurobindo Ashram is a lovely place to just meditate for a while. The older quarter with its colonial villas, verdant parks and attractive cafes, and Puducherry’s shopping district, a well-known centre for handicrafts and fashion goods, is at a short walking distance from the hotel.