The colours beige and white, a mural here, stone floor, glass and wood stairways – add up to create a sense of space and light in this heritage building to which a wing has been discreetly added to offer 15 rooms and suites, dining, bar/ lounge and a terrace. Run by a young team, Villa Shanti is unique to Pondicherry with a global yet simplistic appeal.
Villa Shanti is a restored French house over a 100 years old to which an extension has been added to make space for rooms, dining and terrace. The concept is very minimal and the design evocative of French villas with open balconies and verandas looking out to a central square that is open to the skies.
Two French architects from Paris worked on the design and execution relying on local artisans and using locally sourced materials for the walls and floors. Furniture, interiors and the quaint objects d’art have been bought from endless explorations in the local markets of Chennai, Pondicherry and Chetinad. The central courtyard square is two stories high. On the ground floor, close to the entrance is an open bar and lounge, set around arched columns on one side, a dining on the other and guest rooms that begin on the far side. The fourth side is a high wall embellished with a thriving vertical garden that makes the central courtyard a green, sunny breakfast area in the mornings and an atmospheric candle lit, airy space for dining at night. The Bar and Lounge has low seating, its only decoration besides the shelves of gleaming glass ware is a central wall art which fans of Amar Chitra Katha will recognize as King Bharat and Shakuntala, straight from the comic book in a stylized setting.