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Springhaven: a home away from home in Chennai

Springhaven Chennai

On my recent trip to Chennai, I may have discovered one of the best accommodation deals in the city. I had originally booked through AirBnB, the website that allows property owners to rent out rooms or entire homes as holiday accommodation.

Springhaven's promotional shot; the trees have grown quite a bit since this was taken!

Springhaven’s promotional shot; the trees have grown quite a bit since this was taken!

Springhaven has two properties; one in the southern Chennai district of Adyar, and another in the central district of Balaji Nagar (where I stayed).

The hosts are brothers Siddharth and Srikanth and their family, who do their very best to make guests feel right at home. I arrived late but was greeted by Srikanth and his wife, who offered me food, drinks and a wifi password – just what I needed after a long flight!

The Balaji Nagar building is a three-storey construction, with guest accommodation on the first and second floors. My first-floor room opened directly on to a communal dining and lounge area, but of course locked from the inside, so it was effectively like a private hotel room.

Springhaven's communal lounge

Springhaven’s communal lounge

The room was spacious but basic when compared with luxury hotel rooms, but that’s not a fair comparison, because it was more like a well-appointed bedroom in a typical upper-middle class Chennai home. There was air-conditioning, satellite television and two very comfy single beds. I also had an attached ensuite – no sharing here!

This is almost exactly what my room was like - I think this might have been the one next door.

This is almost exactly what my room was like – I think this might have been the one next door. (Photo: Springhaven)

However I will perhaps best remember the stay for the kind hospitality shown by the hosts. A full breakfast is included each morning, perfectly prepared by the resident cooks, and the choice of breakfast was fairly varied; ‘Western-style’ (omelette with toast and jam) or ‘Indian-style’ (a range of delights including, but not limited to, dosa, idlys and freshly brewed local coffee.

Dosa for breakfast at Springhaven

Dosa for breakfast at Springhaven

Excellent vegetarian meals were also available at other times of the day – I enjoyed dhal, okra, rice and chapati one night – and there was always tea, coffee or lassi available. Filtered, safe-to-drink water is provided at no cost, and was one of the small touches that made Springhaven a home away from home.

Dinner at Springhaven

Dinner at Springhaven

Siddharth and Srikanth and their family are a wealth of knowledge about Chennai and the local region, and are very very obliging. They’re chatty, friendly, easy to get along with, and both interesting and interested. It’s like staying with friends – and I’m already planning my return trip.

This was my first experience booking through AirBnB, and I was a bit worried that I would be stuck in a guesthouse where I was virtually a prisoner of my overprotective host. To this end, and most importantly, Siddharth and Srikanth are not overbearing, making Springhaven a place where you can really relax and feel at home. Which, says Srikanth, is exactly the concept they are aiming for.

Spring haven's common chillout area. Much of the artwork around the house was painted by Siddharth and Srikanth's mum!

Spring haven’s common chillout area. Much of the artwork around the house was painted by Siddharth and Srikanth’s mum!

Details

Springhaven Balaji Nagar

No. 23 Balaji Nagar 2nd Street

Royapettah, Chennai

Prices vary depending on booking method; through AirBnB in early 2015 I paid approximately US$40/night including breakfast and unlimited wifi access.

+91 99620 89414

Meet Tim Blight


Writer, traveller, amateur photographer, teacher. Based in Melbourne and Lahore.

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While every effort has been made to verify the above information, it is given in good faith, and to the authors’ best knowledge was correct at the time of writing. Neither UrbanDuniya nor the writers can accept any liability for injury, loss or damage arising with respect to any of the above information.

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Leave a Comment

  • Catherine May 5, 2015, 6:48 am

    This place sounds great! The people and their hospitality always make the different when you’re travelling and it sounds like these guys had it spot on!

    Reply
    • Tim Blight May 7, 2015, 2:19 am

      It was awesome, and such a relief – I was worried that the BnB experience would be too overbearing, but the balance was just right 🙂

      Reply
  • Jess @UsedYorkCity May 6, 2015, 12:13 am

    Wow it sounds like they did a great job showing you hospitality with all that food and the WiFi password! Travel win!:-)

    Reply
    • Tim Blight May 7, 2015, 2:19 am

      They certainly did – it’s great when people know what you want!! Thanks for reading 🙂

      Reply
  • Agness May 6, 2015, 5:26 pm

    Wow, Tim! This place looks so peaceful and amazing for blogging! I could lock myself in this room and blog and blog and blog :). I guess you do the same thing 🙂

    Reply
    • Tim Blight May 7, 2015, 2:20 am

      It was great Agness – I hope you can stay there one time – Chennai is lovely, and Springhaven is just awesome 🙂

      Reply