After a 22-month closure, this hotel resumes its place in the cultural heart of South India. Source: Hotels.com
“IF the Taj Connemara, Chennai could speak, it would tell you tales from its history, the place became a household name across the globe, for it was here where the blue-blooded indulged and entertained.”
So states the description for Taj Connemara on its website.
Housed in a building that dates back to 1854, Taj Connemara was established in 1903. A relic of the colonial era, Taj Connemara was named after the then Madras governer Lord Connemara.
Back then, most of its guests were young British men – long stay guests who traveled with plenty of personal belongings and staff.
At more than a century old, it is South India’s oldest hotel.
After going through a series of renovations throughout the decades, the hotel was officially closed on Nov 1, 2016, for a major makeover to re-create the theme of its early past.
Aiming at recreating old menus and cuisines, the renovation would retain only the Verandah and Raintree restaurants, refurbishing all the rooms, lobby and banquet halls to look more like the hotels early years.
Source: Taj Connemara.
The hotel reopened as an intimate high-end luxury hotel on Sept 12, 2018, after an extensive 22-month renovation which cost INR900 million (US$12.4 million) and involved 1,400 workers.
Today, this symbolic hotel has been carefully restored to its premier status with influences inspired by the past and present.
“Enter the grand lobby through a foyer flanked by sepia-toned memories of a regal past. The refurbished grand wooden staircase embellished with South Indian stonework pays homage to the rich design culture of Chennai.”
“Right across this, standing tall amidst the muted tones is the centuries-old brass statue of Shiva & Parvati amidst an aura of glittering deepams.”
“The original lattice ceiling complements the Carrera marbled floor which paves the way to the personalized reception desks for a quick, efficient check-in.”
Source: Taj Connemara.
The hotel’s 147 rooms and suites spread across the Tower and Heritage wings are each appointed with elegant four-poster beds, vintage prints, and objets d’art.
Sensitive preservation of the art deco façade and interiors will showcase the hotel’s original features, including wooden carvings sourced from the 16th and 17th-century temples of Mahabalipuram.
Unique for a city hotel, Taj Connemara 4.5 acres of landscaped greens and enclosed atrium gardens – something both business and leisure travelers are sure to appreciate.
“Taj Connemara, Chennai’s grande dame, is the result of the efforts of a team including master craftsmen and artisans, who have tirelessly and lovingly worked on restoring the city’s legendary landmark to create a world-class hotel,” Taj Connemara Chennai general manager Ahmar Siddiqui said.
“I look forward to extending the warm Taj hospitality to our guests.”
Taj Connemara is located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal, Chennai, formerly known as Madras.
Recently declared as a creative city by UNESCO, Chennai is enjoying its place in the spotlight for its many strengths including its cuisine, architecture, culture and musical heritage.