Saturday, July 19, 2014
The other one
Set back a little from the road, this is not really an eye-catching property. Forty years ago, when it opened for business, it would probably have been, if only because it was one of the few multi-storeyed buildings on this stretch. It opened in 1975; it seems to have stayed in the '70s even today. The staff are long-timers, and the hotel clock hasn't bothered to keep pace with the hectic life of today. It is therefore something of an anachronism on this stretch.
But Hotel Maris has a lot of things going for it. The rooms are still in the '70s sizes, which means the guests have a lot of space going for them. The service is reasonable, even if it is not fast. The food is - well, you may not have too many choices in the hotel itself, but with its location, you can step out, across or round the corner for a wide range of choices. That's the big plus for this hotel - its location. It is convenient for folks wanting to go to the American Consulate for their visa interviews, or for those coming in for the music season, and maybe even for those who come in to Chennai looking to get their daughters into Stella Maris, just about half-a-kilometre away.
But the Maris-es are different. The hotel's website acknowledges its neighbour, but disclaims any inspiration for its name. The college is named for the 'Star of the Seas'; the hotel, on the other hand, has a different reason for the name. It was set up, and continues to be owned by the Maris Group, which has its headquarters in Trichy. And that group was named after its founder, Mariapillai!