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    With a seven storey atrium, a roof-top pool and a Marilyn Monroe bar, Shenbaga hotel promises a view to remember

    Shenbaga on M G Road, has impressive high ceilings and massive American bald eagles hanging at different levels. On one side is the restaurant and on the other, an Indian boutique with handicrafts and fabric. With an aim to make Pondicherry tourism-friendly, the new three-star hotel is the tallest building in the city according to A Rajasekaran, one of the two managing directors of the Shenbaga. “It is 36.9 metres tall and has a seven-storey high atrium with four eagles made from fiberglass  suspended at different heights. This atrium serves the purpose of openness—giving a perspective of grandeur,” begins A Baskaran, the other director.
    French inspiration1
    Joining city-based hotels Athithi and Zest, Shenbaga has its own roof-top pool. “The pool is our show stopper, with a panoramic view of the Bay of Bengal across the idyllic White Town. The view from the terrace is spectacular,” says Baskaran. And for those who want to conduct private meetings and conferences, their convention centre has two halls that can accommodate 500 and 250 people each. The 124 rooms that are range from the extravagant Emperor suite of 1,240 sq ft to the comfortable Majesty at 317 sq ft. The hotel is designed by architect J Ramanan, the brain behind hotels like Asiana, Annamalai and the famous theme park, Black Thunder (Coimbatore ). “Shenbaga’s architectural style is inspired by the French renaissance and is evident in the French windows, the arch of the roof, the motifs on the windows and balustrade. Also look out for an enormous painting, by Trichy-based P Manicka Vachagam, that depicts an evening in France in the 19th century,” says the architect.
    Meen and coffee
    At the restaurant, chef Bala Subramaniam from Bengaluru calls the shots. Shenbaga offers a combination of Continental, English and Mediterranean food, while their breakfast has South Indian dishes like dosa and idly as well as an omelette counter. We recommend their stuffed parathas, spicy and filling. Pondicherry specials on their menu include curry leaf prawns, fish fry, crespelle alla valdostana (creamy mushroom wrapped in a crepe cone). Rajasekaran recommends their bar, Marilyn that features paintings of the legendary Hollywood diva by a local artist, T Mohan. Offering signature cocktails like the Egypt Scorpion, which is white rum topped with orange juice, grenadine and brandy, and Margaritas, they also have a liquid buffet that includes unlimited alcohol with starters (priced at Rs 995). “We have plans to introduce flaming snake coffees and American coffees spiked with single malt whiskey,” says Baskaran.
    Rooms are priced from Rs 4,000 to Rs 16,000. Details: 0413-2233991, 9597085000
     Mrinalini Sundar

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