Welcome to Grande Bay Resort – Mamallapuram, South India

Grand Bay Resort

Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, South India – has a Tropical monsoon climate, with little difference between the summer and winter temperatures.

Grande Bay Resort is a delightful hotel owned and operated by Sethu Sethuraman, Restaurateur and Hotelier. He is a charming, hardworking world-traveller who brings back the best in designs and industry-knowledge to his businesses.

L’atitude 49 Restaurant onsite is co-owned with Chindi Varadarajulu who took her knowledge of South Indian, Singaporean and Malaysian cuisines to Grande Bay Resort along with her strong work ethics, dedication to people-as-family, and her Canadian brand of service.

Screen Shot 2016-07-05 at 2.01.19 PM 

Tropical Nights

We arrived at Grande Bay Resort in the quiet of an evening – hotel guests had already retired – the desk attendant greeted us with warm welcome. After unloading our luggage Sethu gave us a quick tour of the lobby, bar, and the rooftop and Chindi went off to arrange a late dinner for us.

We sat on the verandah overlooking a blue pool glistening behind palm trees, warm sea breezes swayed the fronds making them dance a tropical waltz while the slight coolness of the night fluttered like butterfly kisses on our skins.

Scandinavian Elegance

IMG_4648

The hotel is built for comfort with the most comfortable bed imaginable, couches and chairs you cannot wait to sink into, clinical-clean rooms and baths and tiny backyard seating areas. Upstairs there’s a separate room for the kids – or to work, catch up with the news, or just to spend long hours reading in peace. I loved the balcony overlooking the pool, gardens and pathways leading to the main building of the hotel.

IMG_4641

Everywhere was neat and clean with white on white everything, accents included.

Even the trees kept up the design, scattered with star-like white flowers stark against emerald-green grass. The tree’s fragrant blossoms infused the air with exotica.

IMG_4057

Healthy Start

A light breakfast was exactly what was needed after the heavy meal the evening before.

Screen Shot 2016-07-05 at 1.08.16 PM

The team made it impossible to not have a good time with their genuine smiles, and happy-to-help attitude.

Fantastic South Indian coffee and fresh fruits straight from the land made our breakfasts better than Tiffany’s.

California Pool-side Lounging

IMG_4650

Irresistible best describes the experience. I loved the shower stand under the fragrant tree where warm water gushed out like monsoon rains from big shower heads.

IMG_8429

Everywhere I looked appeared like a jewel-strewn landscape– pearly white umbrellas and loungers, emerald trees and grass, and sapphire skies and pool.

Nothing will ever replace the memory of floating in the middle of blue infinity, while palm trees slid by above, under sapphire skies, and sea breezes wafted across my face exposed to the warm embrace of the sun.

Screen Shot 2016-07-05 at 1.27.37 PM

The pool attendant was always in attendance with fresh towels, happy smiles and watchful eyes for his guests’ safety.

Note there is a new pool being built as this one had some tiny issues of floating tile pieces, although it did not in any way deter me from one of the best lazy-day ever.

The rooftop was a sight for winter-weary eyes, filled with abundant flowers, and sceneries stretching out far and wide to the Indian Ocean, and inland to the hotel farm where lady-gardeners tended the land.

Screen Shot 2016-07-05 at 2.57.47 PM

Lunch From The Land And Waters

Fresh prawns caught that day, fish from the bay, and greens and vegetables from the surrounding gardens and farms.

IMG_8457

Working on the verandah afterwards was a pleasure as hours slid by while I was encamped in sheer tranquility. If only we could have these workspaces in real life we could get so much more done.

IMG_4643

Still to come…

Over the next few days we discovered the village, explored the historical sites, swam in the Bay of Bengal, toured the rustic countryside and farms and ate at one of the absolute best restaurant I have ever had the pleasure of visiting.

And last but not least, an interview with Sethu Sethuraman, and a tour of one of his many charities that is saving little lives every single day.

 Leaders In The Tourism Industry

These are the places that impress us as travellers and inspire us to seek out small to mid-size properties that are family owned and operated. Business owners like Sethu and Chindi employ people from poorer areas of the country, train and prepare them for a successful future, treat everyone with respect and encouragement, and expect the best from them as they themselves give only the best.

Note: There is a lack of “vibe” and an almost unfinished feel to the bar, but do have your drinks on the gorgeous verandah where it is very enjoyable.

Note: if you have allergies please be careful when travelling anywhere in the world, always be very clear about your allergies, explain the seriousness of it and how it works (as this is new to many people who has never encountered allergies or understand them). Always pack some snacks and your medicine. Most chefs and managers, once you explain your allergies, will do everything in their power to ensure you are taken care of as Sethu Sethuraman and his team did after I had a small episode.

 

Until tomorrow, be safe, eat for a happy tummy and be kind to yourself and others.

Samantha McLeod.