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Hotels We Like

Le Dupleix

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There's something magical about historical hotels – the sense that many people have passed through the same walls as you and even slept in the same beds. In the French quarter (Ville Blanche) of the Indian city of Pondicherry, you'll find Le Dupleix, a converted 18th-century mayoral mansion, a hotel steeped in the region's history.

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Enter the elegant white building through an ancient wooden gate, and inside you'll find a hotel that blends history with sleek modern renovation.

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It took four years to renovate the premises, which the architects did using 18th-century methods such as a traditional lime plaster called Chettinad Egg Plaster (covering the walls in thin layers of egg white, powdered sea shells and yogurt).

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The name Dupleix comes from Joseph Francois Dupleix, one-time governor general of French India, and the woodwork that's found around the hotel comes from his former home which once stood on old Nehru Street.

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Renovation has included much modernization as well – with glass and metal walkways, bathtubs and fittings, internet access and mini-bars.

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With only 14 suites, each individually decorated, this is an intimate and characterful venue, located only minutes from the Indian Ocean. The best of old and new. RM

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Images: Le Dupleix

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