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Hotels in Chennai

Welcome to Chennai

The high-octane city of Chennai, India, formerly called Madras, is more than 350 years old. Heavily populated and offering a mix of historic enclaves combined with new age cinema, music and art venues, the city is a colourful place to visit. Skyscanner's online search engine can help you navigate this busy metropolis. Find the best hotel rates, the cheapest airfare and perhaps even that car rental. It is one part of the world worth seeing, so why not?

Things to Do in Chennai

Indian food is spicy, colourful and filling. Not only are there countless restaurants throughout the city, but a number of cooking tours are available. Some, like Sundari's, visit a private market and hold a cooking demonstration that includes an in-home meal that you help prepare. Back home, impress your friends with your Chicken Tikka Masala and Chapati bread.

Visit some of Chennai's temples to get a feel for local culture. The Kapaleeswarar Temple dates back to the 1600s, but sits on a site dedicated in the 11th century. The intricately detailed entrance gate stands 37 metres tall, it's hard to miss. This is the site of the Arubathu Moovar Festival in March and the Thaipusam Festival in either January or February. Another Buddhist temple, Karaneeswarar, is dedicated to the God Shiva and the Goddess Sakthi. The oldest temple in the city, dating back to the 8th century, is Parthasarathy, where you'll find shrines to various gods, landscaped grounds and a picturesque pond.

Shop til you drop in one of Chennai's malls, including Express Avenue, the largest shopping centre in India. Several bookshops are available in the city, most of them small "mom and pop" shops. The Chennai Book Fair is held each January and it gets really crowded. Try and hit the fair on a weekday.

Getting To and Around Chennai

The Chennai International Airport (MMA), only 20 kilometres from the city centre, welcomes flights from around the world to its two terminals. Options for getting into town include using the Suburban Rail Service, the City Bus Service, a prepaid taxi or a rental car. The taxi ride into town runs about $5.00 CAD. That rental car may be a challenge because traffic can be quite chaotic at times. In India, cars are driven on the left, just like in England. Manual transmission is the norm, if you need an automatic, request it well in advance. Cars also aren't always clearly marked as to whether they use diesel or gas, so ask at pick-up. Local currency is the Indian Rupee.

Hotels in Chennai

  • You'll find hotels at various price points in Chennai. Some of the more moderate properties, located in the heart of town, may surprise you. The Bell Hotel is in a three-story art-deco style building that dates back to the 1930s. The 49 rooms are colourfully furnished, have Satellite TV and Wi-Fi. The Bell Restaurant is just downstairs.
  • For a bit of a splurge, try the Taj Club House, a five-star resort that welcomes business and casual travellers. The distinctive blue bands on the façade light up the night sky, making it hard to miss. Choose from Superior Rooms to Deluxe Suites, all with the latest in technological amenities, including high speed Wi-Fi. Work out in the fitness center, enjoy some sun at the oversized pool or relax at the spa. Indulge in an exotic meal at Beyond Indus or a quiet cup of tea or coffee at the relaxed Brew lounge.
  • You'll find no shortage of name brand hotels in the city. The Radisson GRT Hotel, the Hyatt Regency and Le Royal Meridian are all in the splurge category. The Accord Metropolitan Hotel, considered one of the most deluxe in the city, is near the American Embassy. Step into the lobby filled with Italian marble and accented with intricate gold leaf designs and you definitely experience that "WOW" factor.