Days Hotel Chennai OMR

The Old Mahabalipuram Road or State Highway 49-A was at one time a dusty strip of road that linked Madras to Mahabalipuram and beyond. I remember going for drives on the road and all that was to be seen on either side of the 'highway' was scrub land, paddy fields and ponds - no buildings, no petrol bunks, no stores, not even a streetlight! If your car broke down anywhere, you just prayed that a good Samaritan would show up and help you. Today's OMR bears no resemblance to its previous avatar. It's now a six-lane highway where IT majors, department stores, residential communities and restaurants are located and traffic jams are the norm.

We were on our way to Days Hotel Chennai OMR at Padur. We blinked and sure enough, missed the entrance to the hotel. Two u-turns later, we were driving up into the portico.

Lobby lounge

The lobby lounge is small but elegant. A beautiful crystal chandelier that hangs from the mezzanine ceiling adds to the charm. The upholstery, wall and floor tiles are in shades of brown and lend warmth to the cosy space. Beside it is the pastry counter. We go up to the mezzanine floor and are welcomed by the vice president of the hotel, Mr. Prakash Chandran who shows us around the property.

Ride -the bar

Our first stop is the bar, Ride, which is not yet operational. It's a very man space with leather upholstery and on the walls are miniature buses, bikes, train cars, bicycles and a float ring, which explains the name. From the ceiling hang 2 model planes. The bar counter takes pride of place and to the side is a more secluded area and it leads to the smoking room.

Svanna by night

Svanna is the roof top alfresco restaurant furnished with cane chairs, glass topped tables and bar stools. There are covered walkways on all 4 sides but the centre is open to the elements. It's too dark to see in the night but we're told that in daylight, one can see right across the ECR and the all the way to the Bay of Bengal. When it becomes operational, it's going to be serving a variety of grills. The health spa and salon, Viviana, is located just beyond the restaurant.

The hotel has 57 guest rooms on 3 floors. They include 3 luxurious suites, one on each floor, 21 deluxe rooms, 32 standard rooms and 1 for the differently-abled, all large and well appointed. Decorative objets d'art are placed along the corridors like this one made of mother of pearl.

Suite space
The restaurant - open from 7 am - midnight

Decorative nutcrackers!

Back to the mezzanine floor and there's the Nutcracker, the cutest restaurant that I've seen in a while. The entrance is guarded by 2 particularly fierce looking fellows. Inside the restaurant, in niches on top of the buffet counters are smaller characters. The restaurant is bright and cheery, done in red and white and tables are set with napkins with candlestick folds. I can almost hear Tchaikovsky's music and imagine the figures coming to life!

Buffet counters

Executive Chef Sathiyaseelan tells us that the food is multi cuisine and that includes Japanese. We have orange mojitos to sip on while the parade of food starts. And what a parade!

Minty orange mojito

Bruschetta; Chettinadu urulai croquettes; crunchy panko crumbed squid rings

Maa Thai lamb; yummy karaivepplai yera (curry leaf crusted prawns); trio idlis

A taste of Japan - deliciously crisp veg tempura; assorted sushi

Paneer; chicken gravy; dal Makhani; vegetable curry with soft Indian breads. The veg gravy was delectable.

Subtly spiced lamb biryani; a do-not- miss fish curry with kokum. These 2 paired so well!

There's plenty of choice for the vegetarians too. It was a delicious meal, the company even better. We finally had to beg the chef to stop plying us with more food but then, he pulled out his trump card - dessert! And who can turn down this picture...?

Apple pie; strawberry ice cream in a tuile cup; an unusual tulsi rasagolla; mud cake; red velvet cake 

While Days Hotel welcomes business and leisure travellers, they also hope to provide local residents a place to relax and rejuvenate. Folks who live around the Navalur toll gate and beyond on that stretch of the OMR are going to love the location and amenities that this hotel provides.

Nutcracker has both a la carte and buffet service. The buffet is priced at 777/++.

Days Hotel Chennai OMR
245/1 Old Mahabalipuram Road, Padur
Chennai 603103.
044 3000 1444.

In case you're wondering what nutcrackers are, check out



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