A Room Of Your Own Or An Entire House, We Heart These Budget Homestays In Pondy

    If you’re hitting up Pondicherry, you’re probably going to be confused by where to stay. Swish resort, cosy homestay or funky hotel? We’re here to tell you that at this seaside town, we’d pick homestays over and over again. There’s nothing quite like living like a local, especially in a place where two cultures meet and can only be properly reflected at a home. And no worries if your budget is low, we’ve got your back with these places that nail the experience without you going broke.

    Patricia Guest House

    On a quiet lane in Pondy’s French Quarter, this bright yellow homestay called Patricia Guest House brims with quaint artefacts and green corners, and is incredibly close to the beach, paper factory, Aurobindo Ashram, an ice cream parlour, scooter rental guys and cool cafes. The house is a family heirloom that was bought by Patricia’s {who runs the show here with her son, Olivier} great grandfather, a merchant, on a trip to India. The place has been so lovingly restored that each of its four rooms and three suites have a distinct character. There’s a bit of French and a bit of Tamil culture that fuse seamlessly. The cottage on the first floor has a private terrace made with coconut leaves and wood {and a music stand and a table to have coffee} while another suite even has a traditional wooden swing in the middle of the room.

    The internet is a bit choppy here and we heard a couple of guests complain about not having cable TV. So, if you’re not ready to compromise on those accounts, reconsider.

    Price: INR 3,500 plus tax for a twin-sharing room.

    Villa Meena

    Located in the quiet French Quarters, this simple bed & breakfast houses a number of air-conditioned rooms. Enjoy a continental breakfast in the morning, and if you decide to stay in, get access to their free WiFi which you’ll need, to upload the gazillion pictures you’ll want to put up on Instagram. You can either unwind indoors with a good book or practice yoga in their open terrace.  They provide rooms with attached bathrooms and wardrobes.

    Borrow their cycles {for free!} and ride by the lovely beaches or picturesque colourful buildings reminiscent of quaint streets in Europe. Check out the Indian Kaffe Xpress for pancakes or Café Des Arts for baguettes and waffles. Visit Sri Aurobindo Ashram where they’ll take visitors in and around the ashram or even schedule a visit to the self-sustained community of Auroville.

    Price: INR 2,200 onwards {at the time of this publication}

    The House Of Blue Mangoes

    This quaint cottage in Pondicherry takes inspiration from David Davidar’s book by the same name. The House of Blue Mangoes with its yellow walls and French style beds is a restored house with a perfect blend of European and South Indian architecture. As you pass each room, you will be transported back in time with its antique furniture, vintage accents and old portraits on the wall. The house opens into a lovely Tamil-style courtyard and there’s a sit-out by the entrance — perfect to catch up on some reading.

    They have three air-conditioned bedrooms {with antique beds} and a kitchen with a microwave, refrigerator, coffee-maker and toaster too where you can make your own coffee and meals. If you’re staying for at least five days, they can get a cook arranged to make homely traditional food but just make sure to let them know in advance. Oh, and there’s free Wi-Fi too.

    Price: INR 1,997 per night {at the time of this publication}

    Belle Famille

    There are two reasons why Belle Famille might make for a good homestay in Pondy. Firstly, they are located a short distance from Serenity Beach and Auroville and secondly, the guesthouse’s terraces have an ocean view.  The house offers four bedrooms, two bathrooms and can accommodate upto 7 people. Keeping in mind Pondy weather, all bedrooms have air conditioning and there’s also complimentary WiFi. The rooms are simple, clean and comfortable. Plus, you can lounge around in one of their common areas too. But the terraces {it is semi alfresco} are worth checking out because of their nice views and a space where you can eat breakfast, read a book or take a snooze. There is a kitchen which you can make the most of and common dining room too. The folks at the homestay can help you out in renting bicycles or scooters or hiring an auto to see the sights and sounds of Pondy.

    Price: INR 3,406 for the entire house

    One Bedroom Apartment Near White Town

    We chose this one bedroom apartment {it doesn’t have a name} not because it is a traditional homestay, but because how well designed this space is. Located on the third floor of a single story building, this apartment is done up entirely in white with some blue and wooden accents to give that slightly Med feels. The living room  comes with comfy leather chairs, cupboards and a darling little bookcase full of books and other knick knacks. There is a cute sitout next to a window where you can take 5 and muse about life. The kitchen looks straight out of an interiors magazine and comes with pretty coordinated jars for essentials like tea, sugar, and salt and also oil holders. You can cook basic meals in there as well. The bedroom is adorable with pristine white linen and comes attached with a long balcony and overlooks a small patch of a garden. The single bathroom comes with a western loo with towels, handmade soap, and more.

    The place is walking distance form White Town and is supposedly in a very quiet neighbourhood.

    Price: INR 3,535 for the entire apartment per night.

    Find out more here.

    The Wildflowers Of Walden

    This apartment style building offers a couple of private rooms for guests. The Wildflowers Of Walden comes with three rooms with names such as Dogwood, Catkins and Dandelion based on Henry David Thoreau’s Wildflowers — a collection of writings on nature. The rooms are so cozy and well designed with elegant linen and matching curtains and bedside lamps and books that you will never feel like stepping out honestly. There is a foliage-like theme throughout the space with plenty off framed photos, illustrations and even the paisley and leaf patterns in rugs and bed linen. Plus, all rooms are air conditioned to escape that harsh Pondicherry weather when you are not sightseeing. The owners have purposely left out things like a television, a music system and other gadgets to keep the experience a bit simple. There is a kitchen for you to use and access to common spaces like the living rooms, dining area and corridors.

    Price: INR 2,400 upwards {at the time of publication}