Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram), around an hour south of Chennai in Tamil Nadu, is a popular destination for a beach break. There are resorts for all budgets, from luxurious to basic. Most can be found to the north of town, where the beach is better. Here's the pick of them!
Read More: Mahabalipuram Beach Travel Guide.
Newly opened in late 2015 and located on East Coast Road, approximately 13 kilometers (8 miles) before Mahabalipuram, this stylish property is the InterContinental Hotels Group's first luxury resort in India. It has quickly impressed guests as well as Outlook Traveller magazine, which named it the Best New Hotel in India in 2016. There are 105 rooms and suites, including some with stunning ocean views and some with disability access. Facilities include three restaurants serving European, Asian and Indian cuisine, a lounge bar, private beach, swimming pool and Ayurvedic spa, and business center. Expect to pay around 8,500 rupees per night upwards, plus tax.
The luxurious five star Radisson Blu Temple Bay Resort is the most popular resort in Mahabalipuram. The resort is set on expansive 46 acre grounds and has its own private beach, as well as an award-winning luxury spa, and two swimming pools -- one of which is the longest in Asia. It's possible to walk along the beach from the hotel to the Shore Temple. The hotel was recently revamped and is an extremely attractive property, with a contemporary feel. It has 144 guest rooms. The sea view villas, located only 15 feet away from the shore, are delightfully private. Rates start from around 6,500 rupees plus tax in the low season and 8,000 rupees plus tax during the rest of the year. Buffet breakfast is included.
Situated on five acres of secluded beachfront land a little to the north of the Radisson GRT Temple Bay Resort in Mahabalipuram (15 minutes walk into town), the Grande Bay Resort and Spa is a modern, new boutique property with 41 super spacious rooms. The spa offers a range of therapeutic treatments including massages, baths, and body wraps and polishes. There's also a restaurant that serves great global cuisine, and a stylish cocktail bar with deck overlooking the ocean and swimming pool. Rates start from around 5,500 rupees plus tax in the low season and 8,000 rupees during the rest of the year. Breakfast is included.
The Ideal Beach Resort is located on the northern outskirts of Mahabalipuram, and is an excellent hotel for families and large groups. It offers good quality mid-range accommodations, with private beach and swimming pool. The hotel is around 40 years old but has been progressively developed and refurbished over the years. Generous-sized rooms are clean, and staff are welcoming and attentive. The hotel's restaurant specializes in seafood, with dishes cooked upon request. There are 68 rooms. Rates start from 5,500 rupees plus tax. Breakfast is included.
Chariot Beach Resort is located on the beach behind the famous Five Rathas monument. Features include a multi-cuisine restaurant, Olympic-sized pool, and spa offering a wide range of Ayurvedic therapies and packages. It also has an activity village spread over 30 acres, making it a popular place for corporate team building events. The resort gets vastly varied reviews, with complaints mainly about poor service and food. There are 70 tastefully decorated, and well-maintained, rooms and cottages. Rates start from around 6,500 rupees during the low season and 7,500 rupees during the rest of the year. Breakfast is included.
If you want to stay at a budget-friendly beach resort, the Mamalla Beach Resort is a decent option. The property is situated on the northern outskirts of Mahabalipuram but a bit closer to town than the Ideal Beach Resort. It has easy access to a clean, sandy beach and candlelight dinners are served on tables arranged there. The seafood is particularly tasty. Unfortunately, the 50 rooms are looking worn and in need of renovation though. Rates start from around 3,000 rupees per night, plus tax. The resort gets crowded on weekends. Discounts are available during the week.