There’s elegance and lake-view rooms (singles Rs1200, doubles Rs1450) at Carlton Hotel on Lake Rd (tel 561, tlx 04412-210 CARL IN, fax 04542-570). The room rate includes meals and during the low season of mid-January to March and July to mid-October discounts of 25% or more are given. This ‘warmhearted luxury hotel you and your family deserve’, has good food and good facilities which include a health club with jacuzzi, sauna and massage, billiards and tennis. But it’s often full.
Mid-range (US$30-35/Rs250-1000 per room night)
Mid-range properties include Hotel Kodai International (tel 649, tix 04412-205) with rooms from Rs500 and cottages from Rs750. Sterling Resorts, 44 Gymkhana Road (tel 760, tlx 0441-2209) has cottages from Rs750-1100.
Budget (under US$10/Rs250 per room night)
Among the budget hotels is the Hotel Jai in Lloyds Rd (tel 344) which has the rather alarming advertisement: ‘Be our cosy guest tonight—wake up Gay in the morning’. If that sounds too much of a risk try Hotel Clifton in Bear Shola Rd, and Hotel Anjay (tel 489) near the bus-stand. All three have clean, comfy rooms from Rs150 to Rs350. The Holiday Home, Golf Links Road (tel 257) has rooms from Rs200. Hotel Tamil Nadu, Fernhill Rd (tel 481) has double rooms at Rs250. Budget lodges up on Coaker’s Walk are generally squalid, though the Yagappa Lodge has a few adequate rooms at Rs60 single, Rs80 double. Backpackers still favour the excellent Greenlands Youth Hostel right at the top of Coaker’s Walk. Beautiful situation, lovely gardens, pleasant rooms from Rs80.
There is a good range of Indian food at either the Carlton Hotel or the Hotel Tamil Nadu for about Rs100 and Rs75 respectively. The Hotel Jai does reputable non-vegetarian cuisine. The Boat-Club restaurant is okay for snacks. Just below the market square are three good places: Lala Ka Dhaba, a proper Indian restaurant offering delicious Punjabi food in tasteful setting; J.J.’s Fast Food, a busy pizza-burger joint run by jolly Vincent; and Tibetan Brothers with delicious vegetable momos (deep-fried dumplings), fair Chinese food, and homely service. After dark, there is the Manna Bakery and Restaurant run by Israeli Bhoonji and his English wife, at Keith Lodge near the Clifton Hotel. Famous for its banana cake and custard, wholewheat bread and pies.
TTDC tourist office is near the bus-stand, open 10 am-5 pm daily. The post office is between the market square and the lake. State Bank of India (tel 468) is just above the bus-stand.