The Palais de Mahe is actually a modern creation, restoring a part of the old corner of the French corner of Pondicherry with a pseudo-colonial facade and creating the magic of the era. It provides simple elegance at its best, and is in a perfect position to walk out and explore the many shops, restaurants or cafes. It is just a hop, skip and a jump to the seafront and the promenade. Pondy, as the locals call it, was the home of the French East India Company, and provides a wonderful fusion of Gallic style and Tamil gusto. It combines perfectly with a journey through Tamil Nadu, exploring the temples of Madurai or Tanjore, the remote village charm of Chettinadu or the hill country of the Western Ghats. In many ways, it is India's biggest secret.
The Palais de Mahe is run by CGH Earth, a hotel group that operate delightful hotels, offering amazing service and their hotels all carefully blend design elements from the local area with an appreciation of creature comforts. Palais de Mahe is a three-floor, 18 bedroom masterpiece. Walk in and find covered walkways and porticos overlooking a narrow, yet long swimming pool. Enter your room and you will first be impressed by its sheer size and tall beamed ceilings. The en-suite bathrooms have both bathtubs attached showers.
On the top floor you find the amazing open-air Mahe de Malabar restaurant. We suggest booking your table earlier in the day so you can feel the cooling sea breeze during dinner. Downstairs you find the Mahe Cafe, an ideal spot for afternoon tea before you wander through the streets of Pondicherry. There is also a small Ayurveda Centre offering treatments and a little library where you can find a book to read bedside the pool. In short, it is hard to believe Palais de Mahe is a modern recreation of a classic, and is testament to the thought put into the design.