A French colonial settlement until 1954, Puducherry (or Pondicherry) proudly displays its continental heritage. Affectionately referred to as ‘Pondy’ it boasts a much more tranquil stay than frenetic Chennai. The French Quarter in particular is awash with quaint boutiques lining the neatly cobbled streets. Our pick of the best places to stay in Puducherry provide the best in character and cuisine.
Capturing the laid back bohemian feel of the city the Old Town is in our opinion the best place to stay. Not suffering from the ubiquitous congestion of other Indian cities, why not hop on your bike for a great way to explore the town.
Set back from the seafront begin at Goubert Avenue before cycling along the promenade passing crumbling churches and temples along the way.
Thanks to the French missionaries Puducherry boasts some of the country's best collections of cathedrals. From the eldest, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, completed in 1791, to the lavish Sacred Heart Basilica, both are well worth a visit. You cannot miss the twin towers and dome of the Notre Dame des Anges.
Another welcome hangover from the French is the excellent cuisine. Satsanga in particular serves some excellent fusion cuisine, whilst La Pasta does what it says on the tin and is ideal if you are just after some comfort food.
Whether or not you are interested in the art of meditation a visit to nearby Auroville is a must to witness the impressive gilded orb (reminiscent of a giant golden golf ball) around which the ashram is situated. Excellent locally made cheese, jams and handicrafts are also sold here.
Further afield, if you fancy an utterly relaxed beach break then Nagapattinam is as peaceful as it gets and foodies will appreciate a visit to Chettinad: the culinary capital of Tamil Nadu.
Around a four-hour drive from Pondicherry, Tanjore is worth a nights stay if you are interested in its well-stocked museums and historic temples.
Our pick of the best places to stay in Puducherry all reflect the culture of the region whilst providing a comfortable stay.
Still not sure which to book? From coastal to character browse through our list of the best places to stay in Puducherry to start to plan your trip. Nothing that fits the bill? Widen the net and check out all our recommended properties in Tamil Nadu or contact one of our friendly gurus for advice.
Nineteenth century family home turned welcoming guesthouse stay. Le Club restaurant serves Indo-French dishes cooked with love. Rooms are simple yet colourfully decorated with plenty of black and white photographs and curios on the walls. Excellent value in a great location.
This 18th century property displays the best in colonial architecture. Today, full to the brim with Indian antiques: capacious four poster beds, printed fabrics, local artwork and rattan chairs. The restaurant is 'Exotic Marigold' worthy, achingly quaint and serves Creole and Continental dishes.
Located in Pondicherry's quaint French Quarter, Le Chateau but adds to the area's charm. Original features such as checkerboard flooring and wood-framed windows complete the look. There is a lovely roof-top restaurant with views across the Bay of Bengal.
Simple yet chic, rooms feature private balconies overlooking a sparkling pool. This bijoux property has many of the facilities of a resort hotel: a spa, pool and great food, all for a fraction of the cost. A little bit of French charm in Tamil Nadu.
White period facade, black and white tiles, four poster beds: this property ticks all the 'character' boxes. Fusion decor compliments the fusion menu, which consists of Indian and French dishes, served in an atmospheric dining room. You are within walking distance of Pondicherry's main attractions.
This boutique offering has a combination of trendy modern and retro chic bedrooms. Colourfully tiled floors, hindi motifs and locally produced fabrics. The menu, serving gourmet fusion dishes in an open air restaurant, is well renowned in town. An ideal stay for your young couples or small families.
This intimate hotel combines contemporary comfort with sophisticated elegance. Airy rooms are classically decorated in a colonial style with ceiling fans and wooden furnishings. Accents of vibrant colour punctuate the colonial French decor, adding a Tamil influence. Simple and stylish.
Palais de Mahe perfectly echoes its setting; with simple elegance and colonial charm this hotel is the perfect base for exploring the surrounding area. Rooms are spacious and airy; classically decorated, with wooden furniture, simple white linens and smooth painted floors. A slice of history.
A chic retreat on a sleepy street in Puducherry’s charming Old Quarter. With beautiful rooms, delicious French food and a lovely rooftop swimming pool, this is a haven of calm and tranquillity.