I always stay at The New Woodland Hotel in Mylapore: great vegetarian food and close to a branch of the Saravanah Bhavan restaurant. They have family rooms/suites and are v reasonably priced...see web site.
Chris (Cambridge, UK)
Unique Quality: pool, Hindu (so good veg food)
I stayed in this hotel for 5 days when I was in Chennai in July 2006. The hotel is a budget hotel, the cost for a AC Room on a double sharing basis costs Rs.1350. The hotel is near the heart of the city. Rooms are below par according to my opinion and the service too is below par. The hotel has a good vegetarian restaurant and serves excellent south indian dishes. You can find autorickshaws outside the hotel but then one has to be wary if he/she is new in the city. They would just try to fleece you , and surprisingly the hotel staff and the gateman is of no help to the residents in such matters. Overall an okay place to stay if you are only looking for coming back from work and grabing your dinner and jump into the bed.
The New Woodlands to my mind has one serious defect: the rooms are not screened against mosquitoes. It would only take a little netting to make this hotel a very good choice indeed. The grounds are spacious (including restaurants, shop, hairdresser, banquet halls and some cottage-style rooms), the service is good and unobtrusive, the restaurants offer excellent South Indian vegetarian cooking, rooms have cable TV, a fridge and a choice of A/C or a fan. My single room cost about 17 Euro.
I enjoyed the ambience: this seems to be a hotel of choice for social functions (weddings etc) so there's always something going on. In this hotel, unlike boring five-stars, you know which country you're in!
Unique Quality: Pleasant grounds, vegetarian restaurant, banquet rooms, Hindu temple, pool.
Directions: 2 Km from Anna Salai flyover, 1 Km from Marina Beach, less than 1 km from Mylapore temple
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Address: 72-75, Dr. Radhakrishnan Road, Mylapore, Chennai (Madras), 600004, India