Revisit the bygone days with these colonial hotels in India
As we approach the 69th Republic day, take a trip down India’s memory lane. If you are someone who enjoys history and is equally fascinated by the old world charm and architectural opulence, we have the right places for you to tick off. From a charming mansion on a hill, to cozy cottages and transformed governor residences, here are some alluring colonial hotels in India as listed by Booking.com that will take you back on an enthralling journey and give you a glimpse into the lives of the leaders, governors and ambassadors.
Standing as the testimony of the British era, Lymond House spells of old world charm. Dating back to 1855, the mansion was owned by a British gentleman who was enamored by Ooty. Even 150 years later, when guests from all over the world pay a visit here, they can experience the love for the pictorial hill town with the elegance of the bygone days at the heritage hotel. Opulent décor, fireplaces, graceful furnishings, sprawling lawns, antique beds, dressers, floorboards and more take you back to the days of the yore. (The rooms are named after beautiful cities of Ireland, and England among other fascinating names.)
Brunton Boatyard is situated in the same place where Victorian shipbuilding yard once existed. This heritage hotel takes its guests on a journey back in the 19th century as the hotel maintains the colonial look. The hotel’s interior is inspired by Dutch, Portuguese and English style. At Brunton Boatyard, everything right from architecture to food reminds you of a glorious bygone time. It is a perfect place for those, who value history and seek to spend time amidst serenity.
Built in 1902, the beautiful Chettinadu Mansion in Kāraikkudi boasts stunning architecture, Italian marble flooring and classic wooden furnishings.The largest of 3,000-plus mansions across 72 villages, Chettinadu is the perfect place to explore the fascinating UNESCO Heritage homes of wealthy, late-19th-century traders and financiers who covered Southeast Asia.
The Colonial Manek Manor Hotel is famous for its ancient colonial style building. It has a rich history and was built even before India got its Independence from the British Raj. Set in the middle of the beautiful Aravali range, the Manek Manor Hotel is one of the most beautiful holiday hotels in Mount Abu.
This beautiful hotel in Shimla stands on the grounds of vast history. From a modest beginning in 1883 as a one storied house, with its famous inhabitant- Rudyard Kipling, the hotel found its place on all itineraries of those visiting Shimla. In the days of British Raj, it acquired quite a reputation, having hosted famous balls, dance shows, gala dinners and more. Equally fascinating is the tale of Mohan Singh Oberoi, a diligent worker at Cecil, who rose to ranks and ultimately went on to own the hotel. After extensive renovation from 1984 to 1997, Cecil was restored to its past glory. Oberoi Group of Hotels elevated the experience with their signature, making it an opportunity that just cannot be missed.
Established in the 19th century as a cozy boarding house for bachelor English and Scottish tea planters, it was converted into a hotel just before the outbreak of the Second World War. Well known to sophisticated travellers around the world over, Windamere is famous for its unique ambience and charm, and has been the subject of many leading stories in the international media. Windamere, the original "Heritage House of the Himalayas" is situated on Observatory Hill, a Darjeeling landmark, believed to be the focus and repository of life-enhancing cosmic energies.
Built in English Gothic style of architecture, The Savoy Hotel of Mussoorie is epitome of old-world charm. Since it has opened to guests in 1902, high-ranking officers of the British Raj, many renowned Raja-Maharajas, politicians, writers, and famous persons, including India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru have been guests at this heritage hotel. Envisioned by Irish Barrister, Cecil D. Lincoln, The Savoy Hotel was built to be a retreat for pleasure at Mussoorie, the upcoming hub of the British Raj. The fine specimen of Gothic architecture was equipped with Edwardian furnishings, Steinway pianos, billiard tables, champagne crates, cider barrels and oak floor furnishings. If the idea of your holiday is to seek solace in the hills and lay in the lap of charming heritage, then this harmonious setting is just the right place for you.
The Lalit Great Eastern in Kolkata is a landmark hotel. Once, merely a rendezvous venue for the East India Company’s officers, Lalit has developed into a renowned luxury hotel. It was often referred to as "the Jewel of the East" in its yesteryears. Gone under many renovations, the presently existing hotel is a distinct blend of Victorian, Edwardian and Contemporary architecture and décor. Along with appealing looks, The Lalit is known for rendering excellent services and hospitality.
The Imperial is the most elegant place to stay in Delhi and is seeped in history. The Imperial is where Lord Mountbatten, Pandit Nehru, Muhammad Ali Jinah and Mahatma Gandhi would meet in the 1930’s to discuss the partition of India and creation of Pakistan. With its perfect green lawn and majestic combination of Victorian, Art Deco and Old Colonial architecture, The Imperial still manages to exude an authentic sense of old-world charm in one of India’s modern and fast-moving cities.
The royal Tripura Castle was built in the early 1920’s, as a summer retreat for the royal family of the Manikya dynasty. The Maharaja of Tripura had fallen in love with Shillong and wanted to enjoy the bliss. His home is the epitome of romance of the royal king with the beauty. It is said that Rabindranath Tagore, the Noble Laureate had often stayed in the castle and enjoyed the hospitality of the Manikyas. Nestled atop a hill, spread over 9 acres of green, the luxury resort is a charming reminder of the olden days. The royal traditions and setting have been preserved carefully with the addition of modern conveniences and truly delightful experience.
Originally built as a colonial governor's residence, this 18th century French colonial villa embodies the laid-back grace of this charming coastal town (which only officially seceded from France in 1962). Imbibing Tamil elements into French architecture, this 14 room luxurious hotel offers all possible amenities and services to give guests the needed attention.
Le Colonial, by the Chinese fishing nets of Fort Cochin, is Asia’s oldest colonial house. Located right next to Saint Francis Church, it once was home to both Saint Francis of Assisi and Vasco da Gama. Built in 1506 as the home of the Portuguese Governor, it was one of the very few houses to have been spared 150 years later when the Dutch took over Fort Cochin and destroyed the town. It then housed the Dutch Governor of Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC), better known as the Dutch East India Company, for the following century and a half. In 1795, Jan van Spall sold the house to the British. In turn, they passed it on to J. Thomas, the legendary tea trader. These five captive centuries of history have now been lovingly restored and the hotel is a true living museum. Treasures of art from the colonial past have revived that era, turning Le Colonial into a “club” for discerning travelers.
The Woodville Palace was the former summer residence of the Raja Rana of Jubbal, a pre-independence kingdom of the Shimla Hill States. It is today a delightful option for guests to indulge in the days of the yore and luxuries. Step into the Woodville Palace and feel transported back to the days when Shimla was the summer capital of the Raj. You could relive the gala dinners and tea parties when British socialites mingled with Indian aristocracy. Currently owned and maintained by the descendants of the Jubbal Royal family, the hotel is not run like a typical chain hotel but focuses on providing an experiential travel experience.
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