How is it to holiday at a beach destination, be close to UNESCO World Heritage Sites and stay in a luxurious and invigorating space? Well if that got you thinking, the InterContinental Chennai Mahabalipuram Resort is where you will get all of this at one place and more. I was lucky to discovers this quiet oasis by the Bay of Bengal that is a melange of culture, history and heritage, giving you a holiday like no other.
Located 60 minutes south of Chennai, the ride to this place is on the scenic East Coast Road that gives you a stunning view of the sea on a road that you can literally cruise on. The resort is nestled in a secluded landscaped hideaway, tucked in between groves of casuarinas and extends seamlessly into the ocean. Being located a mere 12 km from Mahabalipuram, the decor of the resort is inspired by the local heritage. Since stone work is known in these parts, the charcoal grey granite facade of this building seems quite similar to the stone-work aesthetics of Mahabalipuram. Designed by Isabelle and Collins of Collins Vergnaud Pty Ltd., the style is contemporary and tradition has been reinterpreted in the wide open spaces at the resort. The beautiful space comes alive in the evening ritual of lighting candles signifying the transition of the resort from day to night. And if you are here over the weekend, a musical flute or violin performance happens if the resort has sufficient occupancy.
The resort has 92 rooms across various categories overlooking the pool and a unique bio pond and 13 suites with ocean views. The Resort Classic and Deluxe rooms come with a small sitting area inspired from traditional South Indian homes and have a cosy home like feeling. The Club Intercontinental Rooms epitomise luxury with a day bed, walk-in wardrobe, stand-alone bath tub, rain shower and complimentary hi-speed Internet, butler services, exclusive Club InterContinental Lounge access and select spa experiences of 60 minutes per guest per stay! However if you want more, choose the East Coast Suite that comes with a private balcony, garden and ocean view, a living room and an en-suite bathroom with a stand-alone bath tub and double vanity. Spread over 700 sq ft, this room also has butler services, Club InterContinental Lounge access and designed Spa experiences of 60 minutes per guest per stay. The last word in luxury however is the 1345 sq. ft. Vilasa Suite that gives you stunningly breathtaking views of the Bay of Bengal from your oversized bed. This room has an outdoor private pool, dining and lounge areas, a garden in the centre that opens to the sky, private working space, en-suite oversized bathroom with chic amenities, butler services, Club InterContinental privileges and a unique spa experience of 60 minutes per guest per stay.
While you are here, you will be spoilt for choice as far as indulging in some great food is concerned. Stop by at The Melting Pot a Market Café that showcase culinary delights from three live kitchens European, Pan Asian and Peninsular Indian and has a health drink station at breakfast. The buffets served are extensive and apart from the a la carte menus, the chefs can curate degustation menus if you have a specific choice too. If Chinese is your craving, head to Tao of Peng, a contemporary Chinese cuisine restaurant that serves delicacies from the Sichuan and Canton regions of China. On the other hand the Gatsby Lounge offers guests classic cocktails and beverages in an ambience inspired by the spirit of the roaring twenties and the jazz age. This is where you can sample wines, beers and locally-inspired cocktails such as the ‘Nemelli Express’ teamed with a delicious assortment of tapas. The best part is to chill in the alfresco seating area under the star-lit sky with the cool ocean breeze that makes it magical. If you are here with someone special, you can choose to spend time in a private tent by the beach that has a table with the ocean touching your feet. “Choose our signature ‘Wine By Design’ experience; select a bottle of fine wine, handpicked from vineyards across the globe, and a personalized menu of appetizers to go with it. Or choose to ‘Dine By Design’, and enjoy a delectable meal curated by your own personal chef. With an abundance of aphrodisiacs and live music setting the mood, it promises to be an unforgettable dinner by the Bay of Bengal,” promises General Manager, Vijai Singh.
Facilities & More
Samaya, the resort’s signature event space has a contemporary design and comes equipped with the latest technology. Ideal for themed dinners, gala events and intimate weddings, there is a large pre-event area and outdoor open courtyard with separate entrance to ensure privacy. There are also two well-equipped meeting rooms Manaand and Manthan, ideal for business meetings that comes with high speed Internet and video conferencing capabilities. The unique selling proposition here is that the team works at creating customized experiences which come from experience in ensuring that guests can enjoy the moment. While you are here, head to the private 600m stretch of white sandy beaches or take a swim in the temple tank inspired swimming pool. The well equipped gym and yoga on the beach will impress health seekers. However the best way to relax and rejuvenate is to head to the spa – Amrtam by Escenza to indulge in some local sea-inspired beauty treatments apart from international treatments. If you are travelling with children the inhouse Planet Trekkers, has a range of indoor and outdoor activities.
Do check out the cave temples, giant air rock reliefs and Shore temple in Mahabalipuram, a great way to revisit Pallava history. The resort has tied up with various internationally-recognized partners to offer water sports including surfing, kayaking, stand-up paddling, wind surfing, scuba diving, deep sea line fishing, snake catching with the Irula tribal’s and programs that help you discover reptiles and turtles. Well if you thought that packed a punch, discover the resort for yourself – you will be sure to discover more.
Address: No 212, East Coast Road, Nemelli Village, PerurPost Office, KanchipuramDistrict, Chennai -603104, Tamil Nadu, India. Phone: +91 44 7172 0101.
This story appeared in the January 17 issue of Air Costa’s Happy Flying here: