Pocket-friendly in Pondy

The Pondicherry Hotel Guide has some cool budget and mid-range stay options in this peaceful sea-side town
Sea Side Guest House
Sea Side Guest House

Hotel Atithi
It&rsquos your rock of recovery in the most chaotic sea of traffic as you turn into Pondy town off the East Coast Road, but this Aitken-Spence property oozes insouciance despite its distance from the quiet Frenchified boulevards of White Town. It calls its multi-cuisine restaurant Boulevard and peoples it with a forest of chairs, has nouveau rather than art deco-furnished rooms and makes much of its rooftop pool, business centre and conference facilities. Tariff From Rs 3,500 (single) to Rs 5,500 (double-bedded suite), inclusive of breakfast and taxes Contact 0413-2345000, atithipondicherry.com

Lotus Pondicherry hotels
One of the bigger players in town, the Lotus group has one property in the Tamil end and another near the promenade. D&eacutecor may be unremarkable, but the Bay View is nothing to sneeze at of a morning. The group also runs service apartments on the edge of town that could give starred hotels a run for their money, price-wise. Tariff Comfort Rs 2,350-2,850 (doubles, inclusive of breakfast and all taxes), Bay View Rs 3,150 (non sea-view) to Rs 9,900 (sea-facing suite for six) Contact 2228777/9777, lotuscomforthotel.com

The Sunway GRT Grand
Yet another for those who prefer the anonymity and convenience of a larger property, the Sunway is a byword for outmodish southern Indian hospitality around here, second only to the Surguru. No pool here, but there&rsquos carpets underfoot Tariff Rs 4,000 (superior single) to Rs 8,000 (suite), inclusive of breakfast Contact 2281608, grthotels.com

Hotel Surguru
This local legend of rooming VFM may be guilty of the typical unimaginative d&eacutecor that puts the &lsquoindustry&rsquo into the hospitality business, but it is truly unbeatable for rock-bottom prices and one of the most popular vegetarian restaurants in town. Tariff From Rs 1,300 (superior single) to Rs 2,000 (executive suite) Contact 2339022, hotelsurguru.com

The Taj&rsquos budget brand is more a mid-level offering in Pondicherry, with a modest eatery instead of the order-in menus usual at most Ginger properties &mdash in deference to its out-of-the-way location, off to one side of the East Coast Road heading into town. So if you intend to hire a two-wheeler to do your sightseeing most days, or you&rsquove left your bookings too late, the Ginger is all right. Otherwise, there are many more options in the town proper at comparable prices. Tariff From Rs 2,499 (singles) to Rs 2,999 (doubles), taxes extra Contact 6663333,gingerhotels.com

The Richmond
One of the better full-service small hotels, bang in the middle of White Town, matching it with a typical sunny fa&ccedilade frosted with white, the Richmond is not so much a repository of the spirit of place as a place with spirits, perhaps. But it has all the mod-cons, a three-way (Chinese, Indian, Continental) menu and room service to boot, besides being in a nice spot for proximity to the waterfront and relief from the hectic roads of the Tamil Quarter, with a side order of shopping and eating out. Tariff Rs 3,000 (standard single) to Rs 5,500 (triple-bedded family room), inclusive of breakfast Contact 2346363, theresidency.com

Sea Side Guest House
For proximity to the promenade and rock-bottom pricing, though, you can&rsquot beat this Ashram-run guesthouse. All you have to concede is its youth-hostel caveats an 11pm curfew, no booze, no butts, no living beings on plates, plus stringent ID checks for police verification. In the other corner, though, there&rsquos waterfront location, cleanliness, comfort, and quite a well-manicured fa&ccedilade. Tariff From Rs 850 (standard room, single) to Rs 1,650 (triple-bedded sea-facing suite), inclusive of breakfast. All rooms air-conditioned, but there&rsquos a Rs 100 discount on room rates if the AC is not used. Contact 2336494, 2221825, seaside@sriaurobindosociety.org.in

Patricia Guest House
If it&rsquos institutional order that makes Sea Side, this little homestay thrives on the egalitarian spirit of a colourful family residence. Draped in bead curtains and mesh canopies, busy with artwork and antiques, the 200-year-old home of Patricia Michel and her son Olivier encourages guests to come and go as they please, and generally... well, make themselves at home. Tariff From Rs 2,000 in the low season (Sept-Nov and April-June, not including breakfast) to Rs 2,500 in high season (July-Aug and Dec-Mar, including breakfast) Contact 2335130, patriciaguesthouse.spaces.live.com

Dumas Guest House
On the far end of the promenade, secluded yet eminently accessible for your evening stroll, this is yet another restored colonial property of seven air-conditioned double-bed rooms, prettily furnished with old-world charm and a small pantry open to guests. Tariff Rs 2,000 Contact 2225726, dumasguesthouse.com

The main draw of this little &lsquoboutique guesthouse&rsquo is its airy charm and sea-view terrace. Tariff Rs 1,500-2,500 Contact 2222562, www.lescalepondicherry.com

Ocean Spray
A mint-new resort off the East Coast Road, Ocean Spray is an ambitious 23-acre property with a range of dining and business venues, a pool and a five-acre manmade lake, to support its six tiers of accommodation Tariff Rs 4,900 (standard singles) to Rs 25,000 (royal suites), taxes extra Contact 2650000, oceanspray.in

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