India, Tamil Nadu
Info : Svatma
In the heart of Thanjavur city lies Svatma. An old family residence, restored in keeping with the local Tamil style, it offers an authentic and stylish base from which to explore the surrounding region. It's perfect for couples or families looking for an authentic and characterful accommodation without missing out on any modern comforts.
As one of India's ancient cities, Thanjavur (previously known as Tanjavur) offers various temple experiences and colonial architecture. It's also widely regarded as a centre for culture and the arts. Svatma has woven this into the experience of your stay. For example, the hotel can organise dances by professional Bharatanatyam dancers with accompanying lectures explaining its origins. On request, Svatma also arranges chamber concerts, bringing in musicians performing in carnatic tradition. Another particular highlight is its vegetarian restuarant, Aharam. Serving tapas-style Tamil dishes, it's the perfect way of sampling the best local food and sharing the experience with your travelling companions.
With only 38 rooms, the hotel offers a personal service without being too overwhelming. Being a heritage house, each room is completely different – some with verandas others with lounge areas. Each is tastefully decorated with antiques and contemporary accessories.
Svatma is the ideal place for those wanting cultural immersion in comfort. It is less suitable for those wanting total familiarity, or those who don’t want to forego meat-based dishes.
Superior - This is what we would describe as our standard category. These will be decent 3/4* hotels providing a really good level of service. We would generally expect them to be providing a little something extra, in terms of character, guest experience or facilities too.
The one-on-one guide arranged with Experience Travel Group enabled me to get so much more from my trip to India. As well as the almost compulsory visits to the Taj Mahal and Red Fort, I was shown a variety of busy towns and mall villages, traditional crafts and skills, religious buildings and practices, architecture and wildlife, finishing with a very relaxing stay in Tikli Bottom.