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This family-friendly Chennai hotel is located by the sea, within 3 mi (5 km) of Kapaleeswarar Temple and Marina Beach. Phoenix Market City is 5.5 mi (8.9 km) ...
The Leela Palace Chennai£85The Leela Palace Chennai£85
Located in Central Chennai, this luxury hotel is within 3 miles (5 km) of Thiruvanmiyur Beach, SDAT Tennis Stadium and Valluvar Kottam. Ampa Skywalk Mall and ...
WelcomHotel Chennai- Member ITC Hotel Group£57WelcomHotel Chennai- Member ITC Hotel Group£57
Located in Central Chennai, this luxury hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Thiruvanmiyur Beach, U.S. Consulate and Valluvar Kottam. Music Academy and SDAT Tennis ...
The Residency Towers£52The Residency Towers£52
Located in Central Chennai, this hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Thiruvanmiyur Beach and U.S. Consulate. Valluvar Kottam and Music Academy are also within 2 ...
Grand Chennai by GRT Hotels£44Grand Chennai by GRT Hotels£44
This family-friendly Chennai aparthotel is located in the business district, within 2 mi (3 km) of San Thome Cathedral and Kapaleeswarar Temple. Chennai Citi ...
Somerset Greenways Chennai£52Somerset Greenways Chennai£52
This hotel is located in Anna Salai (Nungambakkam), close to British High Commission of Chennai, Apollo Hospital and Sankara Nethralaya. Also nearby are Valluvar ...
The Belstead Chennai (Near US Consulate)£30The Belstead Chennai (Near US Consulate)£30
A vibrant mix of modern and traditional, Chennai is the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu on India’s eastern coast. It was the first British outpost in India, and until 1997 was known as Madras. Today it combines diverse districts, some fine museums and a growing number of sophisticated hotels and swanky restaurants.
The historic heart to this gateway to South India is the 17th-century British Fort St. George, which is at the tail end of the narrow streets of George Town. The Portuguese left their mark, too, which you can see clearly in the 16th-century San Thome Cathedral in the southern part of Chennai.
Start at the Government Museum, a sprawling complex of galleries. The Bronze Gallery has an excellent collection of seventh-century South Indian bronzes. Your ticket also gets you into the National Art Gallery, the Children’s Museum and the Contemporary Art Gallery.
Look out for the elaborate colonnade of the eighth-century Parthasarathy Temple, one of the oldest in Chennai. From here you’re only a short walk to Marina Beach, one of the biggest gathering points in Chennai. Watch the locals play cricket as you wander past market stalls and fortune-tellers. Head to the southern end to find Madras Lighthouse, the only lighthouse in India that has a lift. The views from the top of the coast and the city are superb.
One of the most entertaining ways of getting to know Chennai is by taking an organised tour. Local experts take you around the city giving you the lowdown on everything from food to bazaars to temples.
There’s a good selection of hotels across Chennai, as well as beach resorts further down the coast – find a hotel in Mahabalipuram to get wonderful views of the Bay of Bengal. Choose a family-friendly contemporary hotel in central Chennai and you’ll be able to relax in the spa and indoor pool. Or book an upmarket Chennai hotel with fine dining and an outdoor pool.
Vegetarians will be spoilt for choice in Chennai, where you can feast on thalis – a feast of small dishes accompanied by rice. Dosas are another South Indian speciality, a thin pancake served with vegetables, lentils and coconut chutney. Meat-eaters can get their fill of biryani dishes in the Muslim district around Triplicane High Road. For high-end dining, check out the restaurants in Chennai’s luxury hotels, where you can get international cuisine.
Browse the many silk shops in the area around Panagal Park, where exquisite and colourful fabrics catch your eye. For a touch of luxury, check out the designer boutiques in Khader Nawaz Khan Road. If you want the convenience of having international and Indian brands under one roof, visit Chennai’s shopping malls, Chennai Citi Centre and Express Avenue.
After exploring Chennai’s many urban villages, temples and beaches, you’ll find plenty of attractive hotels wherever you choose to stay – whether it’s in the heart of the city or overlooking the Bay of Bengal.