the course of many recce visits to Pondicherry in search of old
structures, Francis Wacziarg and Aman Nath came across the house on
17 Rue Romain Rolland. It had been occupied since 1952 by the
Department of Education. During the days of the French, the building
was called the ‘Instruction Publique’ – the board still sits above
the entrance door. The Department was about to vacate the building
as it had been declared unsafe.
The house was formally acquired in
October 1998 and when the restoration started, a few ceilings and
arches had to be rebuilt to their original style as they indeed were
about to collapse.
Rue Romain Rolland is in the heart
of Pondicherry and was earlier called Rue des Capucins after a
monastery that once existed off the street. (A church by the same
name was commissioned in 1707).
The mansion which
houses the Hotel de l’Orient dates back to the late 1760’s when
Pondicherry was rebuilt. In the course of restoration a hand-written
inscription “H. RUDIER 1809” was found in the room named ‘Masulipatam’,
thus indicating that the house was inhabited by a French family at
the time. French occupation continued for the next two centuries,
and the mansion was bought from the Sinnas family who had acquired
it in 1952.
The rooms – now all air-conditioned
– have been named after former French possessions: Masulipatam,
Surate, Calicut, Gingy, Balassore, Cassimbazar, all names of ‘loges’
and ‘factories’. The suites have been named after the better known
French areas: Mahe, Yanaon, Chandernagor, Karikal. In each room an
object symbolizes the region in which the French-occupied town was
The courtyard, in the centre of the
property, links the street with the dining room and serves as a
stage for cultural performances too.
- Hotel de
l’Orient has 14 Rooms and 2
Deluxe Suites. Should you want two or more adjacent rooms,
please make a request while booking.
- The reservations office shall
try its best, but all categories of rooms are not always found
*Auroville & Matri Mandir
*Ancient Historical Churches
Mahabalipuram : 100 kms
Chennai : 160 kms
Karikal : 130 kms
Cuddalore : 25 kms
Chdambaram : 60 kms