by Santorini Dave • Updated: July 16, 2019
Taj Connemara – Exquisite, historic, convenient, and iconic – what’s not to love?
There is just so much to adore about this gorgeous 160-year-old hotel. In a city of charmless high-rises, the Connemara – with its whitewashed walls, marble lobby, and spiral staircase – exudes colonial elegance. Everything is so regal, especially the Raj-style bar/lounge, and the flourishing gardens are extensive and rare among rivals. Also, the outdoor pool is sublime: surrounded by palms and other thriving plants, it offers a tropical island vibe. Meandering corridors packed with photos and prints of old India lead to rooms and suites in separate buildings: the Heritage Block around a courtyard garden, and the more modern wing overlooking the pool and gardens. All types of accommodations are wonderfully furnished and oh-so-colonial. If not staying, it’s still absolutely worth visiting from anywhere else in the city.
Taj Connemara – The Location
- Address: Along Binny Road in the inner southern suburbs, just south of the river from Egmore.
- Area: Faces a road that isn’t too busy, and about 200m from the main city thoroughfare, Anna Salai (Mount Road). A few facilities in the immediate area, and 600m from a world-class mall and the metro.
- How to Get There: There are efficient pre-paid taxi counters at the domestic and international airports; the trip takes about 35-45 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. See Local Transport below for more information.
Taj Connemara – The Basics
- Guests: Almost entirely upmarket tourists. Business people are more likely to stay at the sister hotel, Taj Club House, about 300m away.
- Views: Rooms are on only 3 or 4 levels. The few facing the front offer street views (and are soundproofed), but most face the pool and lovely gardens (and are, therefore, quieter).
- Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Not expected (or provided) at this sort of historic hotel in Chennai.
- Wi-Fi: Free throughout for all guests.
- How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
- Phone: +91 (0)44 6600 0000
- Email: [email protected]
- Website: tajhotels.com
Taj Connemara – Amenities
- Pool: Gorgeous and surrounded by lush gardens which ensure a tropical resort feel. Flanked by a café, gym, and spa.
- Spa: In a separate whitewashed building facing the pool, the Jiva Spa offers a superb array of treatments and therapies: arguably the finest in the city. Yoga and meditation also available.
- Fitness Center: There isn’t one at this historic hotel but guests can use the gym at the sister hotel, Taj Club House, 300m away. That gym is huge and open 24 hours, and personal trainers are available.
- Other Facilities: Business services. Money-changing. Travel desk. Heritage walk through the hotel for guests.
Taj Connemara – Food and Drink
- Restaurants & Bars: The Verandah – Lovely setting with tables inside and next to the pool. Lunchtime buffets and live music on Sundays. It’s as adorably colonial as the rest of the hotel. Open 24 hours. • Raintree – Easy to miss at the back of the gardens. Some tables outside in the delightful shady courtyard. Award-wining cuisine, but dinner only. • The Lady Connemara Bar & Lounge – Chennai’s most appealing bar exudes a colonial charm. Separate lounge area and fascinating décor. If staying elsewhere, come for a drink or signature afternoon tea (but book in advance).
- Breakfast: Not normally included, but this depends on the type of room and how it was booked.
- Room Service: Available 24/7.
Taj Connemara – Rooms
- Room Types: Heritage Rooms (King or Twin Beds) • Luxury Rooms (King or Twin Beds) • Luxury Grande Rooms King Bed • Colonial Rooms with Private Sit-Out • Executive Suites
- Smoking Rooms: Some rooms allow smoking. Check when booking.
- Best Room: With a modern layout incorporating the hotel’s overall elegance, history, and ambiance, the Colonial Rooms feature pastel colors, antique furniture, and ‘private sit-outs’ (i.e. porches).
- For Families: All but the Heritage Rooms can accommodate families of 4. The Executive Suites feature separate living areas which can be converted to second bedrooms.
Taj Connemara – Local Transport
- Walking: The main road isn’t as busy as others. Sidewalks and a few shops make walking reasonably pleasant.
- 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 about 600m from the hotel. 7-minute walk.
- 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.
Taj Connemara – What’s Nearby?
Restaurants & Bars
- The sister hotel, Taj Club House, is about 300m away. Head down the road (away from the river), cross at the lights, and walk along Club House Road. This modern hotel offers a number of classy options including: Beyond Indus (swish décor and traditional cuisine from across India with modern influences), Club House (open 24 hours for contemporary Asian cuisine, including buffets and live music on most nights), Kefi (on the rooftop, featuring Mediterranean cuisine and stylish Greek-themed décor), and Blend (bar/lounge, which turns into a nightclub on weekends). 4-minute walk.
- Most guests will probably head to the fantastic Express Avenue mall (see below). It offers familiar outlets, such as Subway, Burger King, Pizza Hut, and Starbucks, as well as numerous atractive cafés and restaurants, such as Chili’s American Grill and Cafe Coffee Day. And the food court is huge. 8-minute walk (600m).
- The hotel is an easy walk (600m) from the world-class Express Avenue mall. Huge range of bistros and boutiques over 5 levels, as well as one of India’s largest games arcades and a cinema complex that shows western films, too. Head down the main road (away from the river). Turn right, and then left at the next junction and walk down Pattullos Road. 8-minute walk.
Taj Connemara – The Hotel
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