Hotels in Chennai, India - your base to discover the city.
Chennai HotelsGet a taste of Southern India in Chennai, a city with plenty of spice. Watch as rickshaws weave between the traffic, and kids cheer while playing makeshift games of cricket down alleyways - for a glimpse into the soul of this intoxicating country. Chennaites are famous for welcoming their visitors with open arms, and seeing the faces of the city's cooks light up, when they notice your reaction to their delicious food, is a heart-warming experience. The food isn't the only thing that's hot here, and the fact that the weather rarely deviates from boiling means the presence of one of the world's longest urban beaches is all the more appreciated. Things to seeStart your visit at Kapaleeshwar Temple, to begin unravelling this colorful, beguiling city. You'll see the tall temple - rising above the low market stalls around it - from a distance, but you need to get up close to admire its true beauty. Painfully detailed figures cover every inch of the building – which is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva - and these sculptures lend the temple a living, breathing quality. Kapaleeshwar Temple is just 1 of many magnificent religious buildings in the city, and the Cathedral of San Thome serves as a striking reminder of the city's colonial past. Don't be a Doubting Thomas - go and see the whitewash, neo-gothic style church – which sits above the tomb of Thomas the Apostle - for yourself. The charismatic chaos of the city contrasts dramatically with the peaceful vistas on offer at Marina Beach. Frothing waves ripple against a thick band of golden sand here, which stretches for as far as the eye can see. Watch as vendors sell flatfish behind the beach, whipped fresh from the waves and rough undercurrents of the sea. Hotels in ChennaiPart of Chennai's charm is its sensory overload of loud laughter, rushing people, and cooking spices. If you ever need any peace and quiet, however, your Chennai hotel will have you covered. Retreat into the shade of leafy gardens - to read books to the sound of gurgling water features - or head inside to swim underwater, in your 5 star hotel's lake-like swimming pool. Chennai is a huge city, and there are hotels for literally every need - whether you're a backpacker looking for a basic bed for the night, or you simply want a great value mid-range option, with WiFi and American television piped into your room. Where to stayStay in the Alwarpet neighborhood, where you'll dig into food with your fingers, and feel the sweat forming on your forehead as you eat delicious, but taste bud terrorizing, sambar sauces and shrimp masalas. The smell of roasting coffee beans wafts out of cafés in the central T. Nagar district, where Tamil Coffees are carefully prepared for thirsty locals. Enjoy the caffeine hit while browsing the busy market on Ranganathan Street, where you can barter for scoops of fluorescent spices, and feel the soft silk of elegant, jewel-colored saris. How to get to ChennaiWith the large Chennai International Airport nearby, the city is a great place to start or end a trip across India. The airport is 15 kilometers from the heart of the city, and is connected via busses and trains. The busy Chennai Central Railway Station provides travel across the country – to places including, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Kolkata - and the almost 150-year-old redbrick building is something of a landmark in itself. Driving in Chennai can be a little hectic and frustrating, due to the congestion, so sticking to rickshaws or the metro is often a good idea.