Ambassador Pallava Hotel in Chennai, India

by Santorini Dave • Updated: July 16, 2019

Review of the Ambassador Pallava hotel in Chennai, India.

Ambassador Pallava – Quirky, convenient, and conservative, it’s also family-friendly and great value.

The Ambassador is likably old-fashioned, although bordering on out-of-date, so renovations were sensibly underway in mid-2019. In an area packed with cafés and shops in the city center, this hotel provides top-end facilities at lower-than-expected rates. The pool is substantial with an attached area for kids – a rarity among rivals. Rooms are in two wings: The Heritage Wing and the ‘newer’ building, which now looks like a throwback to 1965. All accommodations are spacious, especially the suites, which feature separate sitting rooms with extra windows. The main selling points are an interesting and useful location, affordable rates, and attached sports/leisure center.

Ambassador Pallava – The Location

  • Address: 30 Montieth Road, Egmore, in the city center.
  • Area: Busy shopping district, with plenty of shops, Indian-style malls, and places to eat nearby.
  • How to Get There: There are efficient pre-paid taxi counters at the domestic and international airports; the trip takes about 45-55 minutes (16km). (Uber and Ola seem to be off-limits there.) The hotel is linked by metro to the airport, Central and Egmore train terminals, and CMBT (Koyambedu) bus station. (In fact, the Egmore terminal is less than 2km from the hotel.) See Local Transport below for more information.

Ambassador Pallava – The Basics

  • Guests: Curious mix of Indian and foreign business people and tourists.
  • Views: As expected in this inner-city area, a few high-rises block some views.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Not expected (or provided) at this sort of inner-city and old-style hotel.
  • Extras: Daily newspaper delivered to each room.
  • Wi-Fi: Free throughout for all guests.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: +91 (0)44 2855 4476
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: ambassadorindia.com

Ambassador Pallava – Amenities

  • Pool: Sizable and outdoors, it doesn’t look as inviting as others. Lacks shade and enough sunbeds, but a decent-sized kid’s pool is attached, which is rare among other hotels.
  • Spa: Located in the separately-run sports center (see below).
  • Fitness Center: Attached to the hotel, Sports Planet is a huge sports/leisure center with a gym, spa, squash court, and table tennis. Separate areas for men and women.
  • Other Facilities: Travel agencies. Florist. Money-changing. Computer station with free use. Laundry.

Ambassador Pallava – Food and Drink

  • Restaurants & Bars: Salt & Pepper Coffee Shop – Casual and open 24 hours, the meals are excellent. • The Society – On a mezzanine level, with a row of tables alongside a sunny window and overlooking the pool. Tasty meals, and buffets at breakfast and lunch. The attached bar is dark, but drinks can be ordered at the restaurant.
  • Breakfast: Included in some rates, but check when booking.
  • Room Service: Available 24/7, but limited menu overnight.

Ambassador Pallava – Rooms

  • Room Types: Deluxe Rooms • Executive Rooms • Heritage Rooms • Executive Suites • Pallava Suites
  • Smoking Rooms: A special floor for smokers.
  • Best Room: The Pallava Suites are 4 times larger than the standard rooms. Grand, graceful, and delightfully old-fashioned, they feature long balconies.
  • For Families: All rooms are big enough for an extra single bed each. The management is happy to accommodate families, so check about possible configurations and connecting rooms.

Ambassador Pallava – Local Transport

  • Walking: With plenty of facilities along a comparatively quieter street, walking is more pleasant than most other areas of the city.
  • Public Transport: The metro offers services to both airport terminals, the major train and bus stations, and the city center. The nearest metro station – LIC – is 1.4km away (5-minute drive). The more useful Egmore metro station is about 2.5km (8-minute drive) from the hotel.
  • Taxis & Auto-rickshaws: The black-and-yellow taxis at the airport are nowhere to be seen in the city. Instead, they have been replaced by the app-based Uber and Ola. Plenty of auto-rickshaws around but the drivers won’t use meters, so they usually cost more than Uber or Ola.

Ambassador Pallava – What’s Nearby?

Restaurants & Bars

    Plenty of places selling street food along the road in front. The ones below are within 200m northwest up the road.

  • Vestin Park – Directly across the road, this hotel offers a decent restaurant, Splendour, and to the side, Brew Bites. 1-minute walk (75m).
  • Cakewalk – All sorts of pastries and coffee. A few tables inside. 2-minute walk (150m).
  • Domino’s – Familiar pizza joint for eating-in, takeaway, or delivery. 2-minute walk (160m).
  • Olive & Basil – Tempting menu of mostly noodles and seafood. 2-minute walk (170m).
  • Spice Trail – In the same building as Olive & Basil. Popular, with a focus on local cuisine, including tandoori items and biryanis (rice-based dishes). 2-minute walk (190m).

Shops

  • Lots of places along the road in front. A few call themselves ‘malls’ but these are just a meager collection of shops, with little of interest to most hotel guests.

Ambassador Pallava – The Hotel

The hotel is located in a busy city center area.

The likably old-fashioned and good value Ambassador is in a comparatively busy area of shops and cafés within the city center.

Guests are welcomed by a friendly doorman.

The friendly doorman is always smiling.

The airy and spacious lobby has a few odd pieces.

The lobby is airy and spacious, but does offer a few oddities.

The lobby features a full-sized horse carriage.

Immediately seen on entering the lobby is a full-sized carriage (with no label or explanation).

The lobby also has a green and glowing fountain.

Among other quirky things around the lobby area is this green and glowing fountain.

The lobby even features a florist.

Between the reception desk and elevators is a florist.

A large display stretches between the lobby and the elevators.

Along the extended corridor between the lobby and elevators is space for an interesting display.

The corridors on each floor feature quirky furniture.

Each level of the hotel features some likably quirky furniture along the corridors.

Salt & Pepper Coffee Shop is open round the clock, and serves Indian and western meals.

Open 24/7, the Salt & Pepper Coffee Shop offers a wide range of delicious Indian and western food.

The Society restaurant serves the same menu as the cafe.

The same menu is offered at the classy restaurant called The Society.

The Society offers pool-facing tables as well.

Especially inviting at The Society restaurant are the tables facing the pool.

The Society Restaurant serves breakfast and lunch buffets.

The Society restaurant serves buffets at breakfast and lunch.

The pool is large but needs an update.

The pool is a decent size, but like the rest of the hotel, it could benefit from some modernization.

Surprisingly, there is a decent-sized children's pool as well.

Unusual among competing hotels, at the end of the pool is a sizable area for children.

The pool deck could do with some extra chairs and umbrellas.

Because there isn’t much shade, a few more chairs and umbrellas could be added.

Sports Planet in an adjoining building has a gym, spa, and squash court.

Upstairs in a building attached to the hotel, Sports Planet provides a gym, spa, and squash court.

Rooms have either street or pool views.

Most rooms face the streets, while a few overlook the pool.

The suites are very spacious.

The suites are as spacious as anything offered by a more renowned 5-star hotel costing much more.

Suites come with separate sitting rooms.

Suites feature separate sitting rooms with more windows.

The decent-sized suite balconies offer interesting views.

The balconies attached to the suites are a decent size and provide some interesting views.

The old-fashioned, retro-style furnishing needs to be updated.

The furnishings are old-fashioned, almost retro-style, but honestly, they simply need some updating.

The spacious rooms have functional but outdated furniture.

All rooms and suites are spacious and the furniture is functional, if a little outdated.

The neighborhood is busy and fascinating.

The general area is busy and always fascinating.

Splendour at the Vestin Park hotel opposite the road is a good restaurant.

Opposite the Ambassador, the Vestin Park hotel is home to a couple of places to eat, including Splendour.

The neighborhood has several shops and cafes targeting locals.

The road in front of the hotel is lined with shops and cafés, but is probably of minimal interest to foreign guests.

Cakewalk close by serves cakes, pastries, and drinks.

Along the road nearby, Cakewalk offers tasty treats and drinks that can be enjoyed inside.

Spice Trail and Olive & Basil are both located close to the hotel.

Also close to the hotel are Spice Trail and Olive & Basil, which are both in the same building.

Spice Trail is known for its biryanis and tandoori dishes.

Spice Trail specializes in biryanis (traditional rice preparations) and tandoori dishes.

A Domino's outlet is located close by.

Also along the main road, only 100m from the hotel, is the familiar Domino’s pizza joint.

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