Puducherry, South India, India

Immerse yourself in the faded atmosphere of 18th-century Pondicherry at this charming French colonial-era mansion in the former European Quarter. Behind the building’s terracotta-and-white façade lies a wonderful plant-filled courtyard lined by vault-arched rooms where you can imagine Dupleix plotting the downfall of his East India Company rivals over dusty bottles of claret. The bedrooms vary greatly in size, from a crow’s-nest garret approached via steep ladder steps to spacious, high-ceilinged suite with its own private terrace.

But they’re all handsomely furnished, with varnished four-posters, lithographs on white- and ochre-washed walls, carved dowry chests, panelled wardrobes and odd pieces of Hindu devotional sculpture. And the cooling breezes of the Bay of Bengal are only a couple of blocks away.

Our opinion

An interesting hotel in the atmospheric French Quarter; each of the rooms at the Hotel de L’Orient are furnished with interesting pieces of colonial furniture and fittings.

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