staying in pondicherry: hotel mango hill.

technically speaking, mango hill is in auroville, but let’s not let semantics distract us. it’s close enough.

i recently returned from a weekend spent in pondicherry with cindy, abhijeet, mihir, and fagun, and we all stayed at mango hill. i cannot remember when or where i first heard about mango hill – although sneha claims it was from her – but from the first sight of that pool and those thai cottages overlooking it, i was hooked.

when we began planning our visit, i kept coming back to mango hill. i looked at other places in the french quarters of pondy, and abhijeet sent me links for resorts directly on the beach, but i couldn’t get mango hill out of my head. between the pool and the homemade cheese, i just kept thinking it would be the perfect oasis for our long weekend away.

and in the end, i was right.

from the moment we set foot on the property saturday morning to when we left monday afternoon, mango hill exceeded my expectations. the pool was incredibly refreshing; the staff were attentive, friendly, and helpful; the food – especially the cassoulet, hands down the best meal of the weekend – was delicious; the room was spacious and clean; the balcony was a great place to read and just generally hang out; and it was walking distance to a bus stop, so getting into pondicherry and back was a breeze. in short, it was exactly the haven i was looking for.

DSC_1675
the entrance to mango hill. auroville, india. march 2016.
DSC_1677
mango hill lobby leading to the dining area and pool. auroville, india. march 2016.
IMG_7007
the pool at mango hill with the thai cottage rooms overlooking it. auroville, india. march 2016.
DSC_1681
our amazing deck overlooking the pool. auroville, india. march 2016.
DSC_1682
the view from our deck. auroville, india. march 2016.

what i liked:

  • the pool, as already stated
  • the deck of our room that was directly over the edge of the pool
  • the food was really good; everything was fresh, and it was obvious they used high-quality ingredients
  • we were allowed to check in early and check out late, which was a huge help with our weird bus timings
  • even after we checked out, we were able to leave our bags at the reception and have a trusted auto driver pick them up and bring them to us in pondicherry when it was time to catch our bus [this saved us a lot of back-and-forth]
  • the staff were very helpful, even calling us an auto at 5.45am on monday so we could go to serenity beach to watch the sunrise, and were generally very friendly
  • they have separate beach towels to use at the pool

what i think could be improved:

  • i think a few of the staff members were new, so they weren’t as helpful when i had a question about the beach or the bus and had a little difficulty understanding me; even when this happened, however, it was easy to find someone who was able to help us
  • the bar selection was pretty underwhelming, especially considering that the location is a little remote; they had only one option each for beer, rum, whisky, and wine, which was surprising [ed note: i think they received their liquor license only recently, so this could be something that changes in the future]

the details:

location: old auroville road, bommayarpalayam 605104, tamil nadu

contact: contact@hotel-mangohill-pondicherry.com // 0 413 2655491 / 92 // www.hotel-mangohill-pondicherry.com

room rates: rs 2500 + taxes per night for a thai cottage // rs 3300 + taxes for a classic room // rs 3750 + taxes for a deluxe room // with taxes, our thai cottage came to approximately rs 3200 per night // all rates based on double occupancy

amenities: free wifi by the swimming pool [i think there are other networks, but since our room was over the pool, the pool network worked up there as well]; inclusive breakfast buffet; solar heaters for the showers; potable drinking water in the rooms; all rooms have a deck or terrace; separate beach towels for the pool

nearby attractions: the town of pondicherry is about 7.5km away, including the french quarters, the promenade, and a number of restaurants // the mantri mandir and other auroville attractions are about 7km away // serenity beach is about 3.5km away

my tripadvisor rating: 4 out of 5 // mango hill is ranked #19 of 129 b&bs / inns in pondicherry

fun facts: they make their own cheese! the camembert – part of the 3 cheese platter on the lunch menu – is particularly delicious // the hotel is run by 3 brothers from france who oversee all of the day-to-day details

to keep in mind: you can get into and back from pondicherry for rs 5 each way on the bus [about 400m from the hotel], but after dark i would suggest travelling by auto; the hotel has a number of reliable auto drivers they contact for these occasions — durai bhai was the best one we met, and he can be contacted at +91.9943344329 // the hotel is about a 20-minute ride from pondicherry, so allow time for travelling if you have any kind of time commitment // during the week they offer the option to dine and swim at the hotel, so it could get crowded with people taking advantage of the offer

would i stay there again? most definitely.

xx

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