Puducherry, a former French colony, is often painted as a charming coastal town, with cobbled streets and impressive colonial mansions. In reality, a large number of the buildings are either turning to ruin or being converted into new-age apartment blocks. La Villa is one of the exceptions—here, a 100-year-old mansion has been carefully restored to maintain the original spirit of the house. The 6-suite hotel is located in the heart of the French quarter with Puducherry’s famous promenade a short, 5-minute walk away. From the moment guests step through the giant walnut door, they are transported into a peaceful existence further enhanced by the fragrance of lemongrass that permeates the property.
The front porch and courtyard of the house serve as the restaurant, where the focus is on local produce. Breakfast consists of local cheese, croissants and baguettes from Baker Street, the most famous French bakery in Puducherry and is best enjoyed by the sunny pool. Dinner here is a more formal affair with candle-lit tables under magnificent trees.
Each of the 6 suites has distinct interiors with a large focus on design from teakwood furnishing, new-age lamps and sleek white bathrooms. The private outdoor terraces have comfortable yet trendy seating options, from cocoon hammocks you’ll never want to get out of to cosy couches. Local artistic influences are visible everywhere, from the contemporary maps of India painted on the walls to the sculptures of local people lining the ground floor pathway.