The Heritage Madurai hotel dates back to the colonial times of India. Now it offers a luxurious hotel residence which is arguably the best of Madurai India.
In the 1920’s the heritage property was residence to senior members of Madurai Mills, only later to become the British Madurai Club.
With grand settings close to the heart of Madurai there are offerings of Luxury Villas, Deluxe Club Rooms and Standard Club Rooms.
With a range of stylish villas, the rooms are a combination of lounge, bedroom, wet room and a back courtyard with a plunge pool.
Whilst visiting Madurai heritage sites is quite apt within the temple city. The competing Taj Gateway, Madurai is of a similar style only it is based on a very steep hill so is not good for those who struggle to move around easily.
The Heritage hotel Madurai has now become my works’ preferred choice for placing guests. In recent times the courteous service has won over the decision in spite of tough competition from the Taj Madurai.
The service is indeed very 5 star and the porters and staff will do anything for you. Communicating what you’d like can be a struggle with accents working both ways. Just the other day I asked for a chicken sandwich only to be queried as to whether I wanted it vegetarian? I was also asked if I wanted it plain or toasted, I asked for plain. The response was “Okay we will do it toasted”.
Whilst English is the national language of India, it is a binding commonality. India is such a diverse country for regional language and based in the heart of Tamil Nadu, Madurai is the same.
My residence was in a set of four separate guest rooms in a villa complex. Each villa requires you to walk outside to get to reception. This is all well and good during most of the year, however my visit in late October was at the height of the raining season. Umbrellas at the ready!
The lounge area to the room was spacious and very colonial in style. Wooden floorboards throughout and white painted walls. Wooden window frames and wooden shutters between the lounge and bedroom.
A flat screen TV is located in both the lounge and bedroom. There are many television channels to be found yet many are of a local nature.
On my previous visit I recall being able to receive BBC World (news channel) yet not this time. You are stuck with the customary CNN. Whilst of an international nature I must agree with Tyler Brule‘s preference for the BBC over a watered down CNN. The Americans seem prone to promote newsreaders and journalists as celebrities. I want to watch the news and learn, not to see ego tripping people on TV.
The lounge also includes a solid wooden work desk, plus soft seating and a coffee table. Tea and coffee making facilities are close to the work desk.
The modern day travel essential of a wifi connection is available at the Heritage. It is complimentary, however like the electricity it is sporadic and liable to cut out at any moment. The speed is not very fast. This is more of an infrastructure issue than the fault of the Heritage. After visiting India on numerous occasions I am accustomed to slow/unreliable connections. My patience has improved and I tolerate it now.
My Bedroom At The Heritage Madurai
The bedroom is very comfortable with a thick mattress double bed. Four pillows are provided yet one never seems quite enough to comfortably rest my head.
From the bed you have prime viewing position for the bedroom TV. Beyond which are ceiling to floor glass windows looking out to your own private court yard with a plunge pool.
A wardrobe is provided yet lacks the much required ironing board and iron. Bedside tables exist on either side of the bed and overhead fans are present in each room.
Air conditioning is also available and much required.
The experience of your stay is enhanced with those little extras which make it special. On arrival there was a bowl of fruit and a plate of biscuits on the coffee table. On first inspection the apple didn’t look too appealing and as a Westerner precaution has to be taken over what you eat.
The Heritage property does also provide two complimentary water bottles and a tube of insect repellent. The repellent even has a lovely perfume smell so putting it on is not something to whine about. It is also probably essential as the location and plunge pool invite a range of bugs and even squirrels. A plug in mosquito control unit is provided yet the little blighters still seem to fly around for ages.
The wet room is very spacious and just what you need for that perfect walk-in shower. The control for the shower is easy to use. It is a very large shower head though sadly not adjustable. There is only one type of shower spray option, no power shower or massage options here.
This is quite a novel concept for me since I’ve not stayed in any other hotel with a plunge pool before. This one is 4 feet deep so nice and comfy to sit in. I actually pretended it was my only private little swimming pool. I could manage three strokes to swim from one side to the other (five if they were feeble strokes). It was also just wider than a full body length across.
It is an enjoyable way to cool down on a hot day but maybe not great for a few people. Just be wary of mosquitoes. The evenings come in early here, around 6-6:30 the sunsets and the mossies soon thrive around still water. Hey, and you taste delicious!
The hotel does offer an Olympic size swimming pool (outdoor) for the keener guest. There is also a gym and games room with such as table tennis as well as a Spa.
Restaurant and Bar
The restaurant and bar are stylish, clean and a great setting to wind down. Service is prompt and with a smile. The drinks are from bottles, no draft ale here. Kingfisher is the local beer and pleasantly refreshing on a hot day.
The menu offers primarily Indian food although there are some western style dishes. I asked for a very mild curry (I can’t go hotter than a rogan josh). It was very pleasant and filling. I’ve also had no side effects so far!
I received room service a few times. The price was very reasonable and service was prompt. I suppose like anything in India (and indeed abroad) when they put British sounding dishes on the menu they just don’t match up to what we have back home.
Fish ‘n’ chips included an array of small grilled fish, pleasant but not quite what I was expecting.
English Breakfast delivered to the room was a fair attempt at the real thing but not the same. The scrambled egg didn’t taste all that great and as for the bacon. Well American bacon fails by a long way to live up to British bacon (no one does it quite like we do) but the Indian was far inferior to the American version. Relatively tasteless and lots of fat.
To be fair it is not their speciality and I’m still going strong after their curry!
Overall impression of the Heritage Madurai hotel
The Heritage Madurai is a delightful and comfortable location to enjoy your stay and temple visit in luxury. Around 30 minutes from the much improved Madurai Airport, it is ideally situated to appreciate the life and history of the heritage of Madurai.
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