You stay here, you spoil your vacation. That’s how I would put it across. Ginger Pondicherry was a great hotel to stay a year back with an average budget. Today when I went back I almost vowed not to put up there ever again.
I drove down from Bangalore to Pondicherry. Started at 10 am and reached around 5 pm in the evening with a few halts on the way. The actual drive time would be around 5-6 hours, though distance is only 310 km. Blame it on the bad roads. The road from Chengam (after Krishnagiri) to Tindivanam is like hell and not worth calling road itself - NH66. The stretch is about 50 km full of hue pot holes and sudden broken road that have the potential to break your car down. While the rest of the road you can cruise at 100 kmph. Also travellers check weather before they arrive here as it is really hot during most part of the year and carry enough medicines and drinking water.
I had booked two rooms as my parents also accompanied us for 3 nights. After we reached Ginger they allotted us a room where the electronic keys didn’t work. Despite being tired I had to come back to the reception from 3rd floor and plead. They asked me to manage in the same room and their staff is going to open the room with the normal or non-electronic key. I agreed but there was no solution. Their staff could open the room but the room got no electricity as the electronic keys didn’t work. Back to square one and they allotted another room - they tried to talk me into one of their twin rooms but I didn’t agree. Finally got a standard double room – what I had booked.
There are a few things that you should consider if you plan to stay here. The rooms get very heated because of the sunrays falling on them and they have a big glass on the walls which is not even tinted and prevented with a cheap blind. To make things worse they have what I call a mini-AC which takes a few hours to cool the room and that also is not maintained well. So, if you go out in the morning and return to your room in the evening, the room would be quite a furnace. It’s a peculiar temperature in the room which is not only uncomfortable staying in but also unhealthy. Moreover, the hotel has become a den of mosquitoes. I am not sure if there cost cutting measures have cut down the spray also. I passed a sleepless night there before I could buy mosquito repellents the next day.
The house-keeping staff is worthless and rude. They do not clean rooms until you have repeatedly told them. The bed linen and towels are old and carry dirty patches all over. It’s so bad that with basic hygiene in place it would be difficult to use those bed sheets or covers. Complaining just lands on deaf years and one of the staff told me that they are cleaning things from morning till evening. It is not possible to clean every room :)
Eating here is another waste. The breakfast which hotel might have given you complimentary is completely bogus. All you get to eat is some breads-butter or south Indian food like idly & vada. It’s a perfect chaos there for breakfast where half of the things would not be available and you wait infinitely for food to arrive, besides shortage of spoons, glasses etc. Lunch and dinner costs 200 INR per person per meal. Not worth at all. Same food is recycled over and over.
I have been very passionate about TATA enterprises over all these years. For me that's an Indian name that stood for ethics and quality but I feel that this hotel chain has severely let it down. Also be careful, you need to pay additional 5% service tax, besides what you book by paying. Normally all such taxes are included in the hotel price but they are just getting smarter with time. I paid 1650 per room per night + 5% taxes for service charge.
We spent the whole day and evening outside visiting places in Pondy - Auroville, Aurobindo ashram, the different beaches including unmanned ones and the small shopping street. We ate at a restaurant named Surguru – it’s a south Indian vegetarian restaurant. But you also get enough north Indian stuff to survive. This is a good hygienic hotel with good food. I saw they have been rated no. 1 restaurant on this site as well. Last day we drove down to Mahabalipuram and ventured the sculptures and temples there. The drive via ECR was especially pleasant.
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- Also Known As:
- Ginger Hotel Pondicherry
- Pondicherry Ginger Hotel