Out of the many destinations, we chose to spend our second anniversary in Chennai. A staycation starts with choosing the right place to stay and we definitely have no regrets choosing Holiday Inn Express. Here is why I think you should consider staying in Holiday Inn Express. I will also talk about my visit to Mahabalipuram & Covelong.
Introducing Holiday Inn Express
Holiday Inn Express is a mid-priced hotel chain within the InterContinental Hotels Group family of brands. It is a chain of express hotels with large number of rooms and is located in many countries catering to business and solo travellers. In India there are 14 properties spread across tier 1 and tier 2 cities with a focus of offering limited services at a reasonable price.
The state of Tamil Nadu is a mix of lively cities, temple towns, hidden art & culture, beach resorts and hill stations that make for a great travel destination. Chennai, formerly known as Madras, is the capital and popularly called ‘Gateway to the South’. Sri Kapaleeswarar Temple, Fort St. George, Government Museum Complex, Marina & Elliot Beaches are some of the top places to visit within the city. Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram, Pondicherry are perfect for getaway trips from Chennai. Holiday Inn Express Chennai OMR Thoraipakkam, would be a great choice for travelers planning to spend a good time exploring the neighbourhood with a comfortable stay. It is conveniently located along the Old Mahabalipuram Road close to Tech parks and is about a 30-minute drive from Chennai International Airport.
Distance of a few Major Towns from Chennai
- Mahabalipuram – 54km,
- Kanchipuram -72km,
- Pondicherry – 150km.
- Tirupati -140km
After landing in Chennai, we were picked up and driven towards OMR road. In about 20 minutes we entered the hotel located right on the main road and I wasn’t sure what to expect next. The cheerful staff with unparalleled hospitality awaited our arrival. The chic lobby with modern setting caught my eye as soon as I walked in. They checked us in quickly without any delay even though we arrived hours earlier than the check-in time.
Little did I know that my room would be compact yet stylish. I loved the room décor & minimal design. Though it was small, it is smartly designed and has all the basic things I needed for a short stay. It was one of the most comfortable beds I had slept on recently. The Room has a separate bath and toilet, work desk with lamp, a small fridge, good lighting’s, cloth hangers, coffee maker, hair dryer and toiletries (if you ask for it). However these rooms don’t come with wardrobes. This brand new hotel with 147 rooms was sparkling clean and scores high on cleanliness. The rooms across all destinations in India is designed similarly.
The breakfast buffet is included in the stay. It has a combination of juices, south Indian breakfast, sausages, eggs, cornflakes & fruits. I liked the chutneys which is my all-time favourite accompaniment with every south Indian breakfast.
For lunch & dinner you can order from their al-carte menu which has very limited options. If you aren’t too particular about the food, then you can give it a try. Otherwise, the neighbourhood is filled with small eateries and plenty of restaurants like Dindigul Thalappakatti etc. Note that there is no bar in the property.
The best part about the hotel? DIY Laundry. They have a laundry room where you can wash your clothes and press it. Isn’t this very convenient, especially when you are like me who pack light & reuse clothes while travelling for many days.
The hotel is equipped with a conference room, lounge area, chauffeur driven cars and a gym for anyone who doesn’t want to miss out on their fitness regime.
And this happened!!! I had far forgotten that in one of my conversations with holiday Inn Express while booking, I had mentioned that my wedding anniversary dates would coincide during my stay there. So after a tiring day when Divin & I got back to our room, we were pleasantly surprised to see our room beautifully decorated with red balloons and our bed was made neatly with lovely towel decor.
That was not it, they went out of their way to surprise us again at midnight with a cake. Has this ever happened to you? A surprise from the hotel staff at midnight on any occasion.
I would highly recommend Holiday Inn Express Chennai OMR Thoraipakkam, if are a business traveller as it is close to Tech parks. For someone on a transit, its not far from the airport or for solo travelling in Chennai for leisure. If you decide to stay in Holiday Inn Express OMR Chennai and have a day or two, then do visit Mahabalipuram which is just an hour’s drive. If you are short on time or only have an evening then you may choose to go sightseeing within the city. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Virender who knows Chennai in & out. He will be happy to suggest places to visit, eat & go drinking.
The kind folks at Holiday Inn Express Chennai OMR Thoraipakkam arranged a car for us to go around & explore. I was first introduced to Mamallapuram by my friend Brett last year and that’s when I tried Surfing for the first time. This time again we headed towards Mahabalipuram which is only 40 kms from the hotel and I was excited to show Divin this temple & fishing town.
Also Read: Bungee Jumping & Rafting in Rishikesh
On our way back from Mahabalipuram, we stopped at Madras Crocodile bank. Not many know that I like watching beady eyes floating on the surface of water. I was delighted to see so many of them as I find crocodiles quite interesting. If you go there you can also see the famous Komodo Dragon.
Last stop was at Covelong beach point which is a popular destination in south India for surfing. This place has a beautiful vibe if you are visiting during the annual surfing competitions, yoga & music festivals. If you ever go , take a right to Covelong point before hitting the main Covelong beach , this way you will avoid the crowded main beach visited mainly by locals.
Apart from sightseeing we spent an evening hopping between eateries in Besant Nagar near Elliots’s beach.
Note: Chennai & the neighbouring towns can get really hot & humid. Check for the weather and prepare yourself before going there.
After spending 3 days, it was time to bid goodbye to Holiday Inn Express Chennai OMR Thoraipakkam and the wonderful staff here who ensured that everything was managed to perfection.
You can book your stay here Holiday Inn Express
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