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Unfortunately, Chennai airport doesn't have a transit hotel. There are a number of hotels near the airport that cater to transit passengers, but many of them are avoidable. This Chennai airport hotel guide will help you decide where best to stay depending on your budget. The hotels are listed in order of price category.
Luxury: Trident Hotel Chennai
The Trident is the closest luxury hotel to Chennai airport. It's located less than 10 minutes north on National Highway 45 (Grand Southern Trunk Road), which runs past the airport. The hotel is serenely set on five acres of tropical gardens. It has 167 rooms, three restaurants, and outdoor swimming pool, and a spa and wellness center. Airport transfers are complimentary. A double room will cost around 7,500 rupees per night upwards, plus tax.
Luxury: Radisson Blu Hotel GRT Chennai
Another popular luxury hotel near Chennai airport, the Radisson Blu Hotel GRT Chennai is on the same road as the Trident but a little bit further out. The hotel is like an oasis amid the unappealing surroundings. Staff are friendly and service is above average. Complimentary airport transfers are a welcome bonus. The hotel also has a great spa and health club for those who really feel like pampering themselves between flights. There are 101 guest rooms, including seven suites, and three restaurants. Expect to pay around 5,500 rupees per night upwards for a double room, plus tax.
Mid Range: Hotel Southern Comfort
Hotel Southern Comfort is a newly constructed, modern hotel that is conveniently very close to the airport on Grand Southern Trunk Road (closer than the Trident). Free airport transfers are provided, and wireless Internet is also complimentary. Other facilities include a gym and a restaurant that serves great Chettinad cuisine. Most importantly, the 70 rooms are contemporary and clean, and staff are helpful. Interconnecting rooms are available for families too. Rates start from around 4,000 rupees per night.
Budget: Hotel NK Grand Park
Hotel NK Grand Park is possibly your best bet on a budget. It opened in 2016 and is located in the busy commercial neighborhood of Pallavaram, less than 10 minutes south of Chennai airport, albeit off the main road. The hotel has 42 guest rooms, a multi-cuisine restaurant that's open 24 hours (food is adapted with less spice to cater for western tastes), and a complimentary airport shuttle. At about 2,500 rupees per night, it's good value for money although don't expect anything outstanding.
If you'd prefer a quieter location that's also within 10 minutes of Chennai airport, Zingle Stay ticks the box. This cozy hotel is situated down a lane in Nanganallur, a residential neighborhood opposite the airport. It has caring staff, a common lounge room, and 22 air-conditioned rooms including singles. Some of the rooms are quite small though and there's no elevator. Complimentary breakfast is provided but you'll need to get lunch and dinner from local restaurants. A minimally priced airport shuttle service is available, and wireless Internet is free. Expect to pay around 2,000 rupees per night upwards.
Cheap: Just Guest House
Just Guest House is one of those places that looks much more appealing inside than out. It offers good hospitality and clean, cheerful rooms. The property is situated less than 10 minutes from the airport, in the same neighborhood as Zingle Stay. Street noise can be a problem though. There's no restaurant on the premises but you'll find some nearby and breakfast is provided. Wireless Internet is complimentary too. Expect to pay around 1,600 rupees upwards per night for a room.
Cheap: Royal Green Accommodation
This pocket-friendly guesthouse is situated behind the airport, about 15 minutes away. If you're looking for a cheap stay, it's possibly the best in its category. The 10 rooms are all neat, clean and safe. The staff are very polite and helpful as well, including providing assistance with ticket bookings and travel arrangements. Food can be ordered in from local restaurants from menus conveniently located in the lobby. Rates start from about 1,200 rupees per night, plus tax, with breakfast included. Airport shuttle and wireless Internet are free.