Leader in Hospitality
Being final day in Madurai (Day #4), and hogging in all sorts of foodgasmic places hosted by Madurai's very own "Foodies Day Out" group, we checked into Pandiyans Hotel which is the oldest and biggest star property in Madurai.
The Fortune Pandiyan Hotel, member ITC's hotel group, India's premier chain of luxury hotels, is Madurai's first luxury hotel that is set amidst 3 acres of landscaped gardens. The hotel offers guests the highest standards in cuisine and personalized service. Fortune Pandiyan Hotel has hosted several heads of state, prime ministers, presidents and other prominent guests since 1968. As a guest, experience the traditional warmth and hospitality of South India blended with the efficiency of a contemporary hotel
Fortune Pandiyan hotel is the ideal place to stay for business and leisure travelers visiting Madurai. Fortune Pandiyan Hotel offers Standard Rooms and recently renovated fully refurbished, Deluxe Rooms, Fortune Club Rooms, Exclusive Fortune Club Rooms, and Fortune Suites.
After a day full of hogging, when we returned back, their General Manager Mr. Rajan invited us to try their summer cocktails and mocktails menu on offering to their customers mainly to the beat the heat. The drinks menu immediately caught my attention as they have cautiously brought natural ingredients like chia seeds, nungu (palm fruit), aloe vera and many more into cocktails which are quite unusual to see but cleverly integrated to cool off your palate. With limited menu choices, they make your selection easy. We tried many of their offerings and I should say I still don't get it why they add vanilla ice cream in drinks which was first of its kind for us and later for next rounds, we asked them to serve without the ice cream. The later variants with drinks as is turned out to be perfect summer drinks and the natural ingredients made it all the more enjoyable and summer friendly. Loved their idea of this and as we set in, we discussed the various eco-friendly and community-driven measures and initiatives are done by Fortune Pandiayns explained by Mr. Rajan, GM and it just only proved to testify they want to be an integral part of this local community and not be a stand-alone star property which is very much relevant and effective for a city like Madurai that still embraces its traditional values in spite of rapid modernization.
After a good night sleep at their super luxury and all amenities packed rooms, we could see why they call themselves as star property, the comfortness of the bed and pillows everything comes into place to ensure you have a good time. The room amenities are completely packed that you wouldn't want anything on request. That's the level of hospitality they provide on a daily basis. Relaxing in their suite, we then headed down to have lunch with their GM again and on surprise, we also got to meet the property Director as well. His presence brought in a different aura in the dining room and his conversation with us about the landscape of Hospitality in Madurai and his Chicago days. It was very humbling to see that a busy person like him could make time to dine with us and extend his welcoming hospitality and humbleness to treat us with such warm love. A truly humbling experience. When it comes to lunch, we got all their signature dishes like Mutton Sukka, Chicken Sukka, Prawns Sukka everything was spot on and delicious. Also in the offering was vanjaram fry which could have been better and fish I guess was not so fresh. Tandoori Malai Tangdi was also really good with soft chicken tangdis and the richness from the malai was clearly evident in each bite.
The highlight of the lunch was their in-house signature mutton biryani which on visual appeal might be OK but on tasting, I could say it was the most subtly made super rich biryani. The rice was cooked to perfection and the meat chunks were also soft and just melt in the mouth. The desserts in the finale made the overall lunch a good holistic experience. Overall, with minimal expectations on the food, we were completely satisfied with the food offerings in their in-house restaurant and their warm service and hospitality.
Bidding Adieu from Mr. Rajan and his team who have ensured our 24 hrs stay here was a memorable one and this marks the end of our Madurai Food tour as we embark a road trip to my home town, Coimbatore. Fortune Pandiyans, You have definitely proved your reviews and stand as one of the most comfortable stay star properties I have seen and humbled by the hospitality. No doubt this place is sought after when it comes to business travels and corporate gatherings. Thanks for hosting us and was a pleasure to stay in such heritage-filled property.
On Day #2, we were invited for lunch to their in-house YAAZH, a traditional multi-cuisine restaurant by the management. With warm greetings, we started the lunch with colorful veg and fruit salad and refreshing cucumber aqua fresco to beat the heat. The mocktail, in particular, was subtle and definitely my kind of summer drink. Good job on it. Starters started to flow in and the management was quick to service them in order and also explain the dishes. Pls bear in mind being in foodie world in Hyderabad, my mind was rating the dishes as normal but then the reality stuck as its Madurai, A traditional city that's trying to embrace modernization in its own way and such hotel brands do play a part in this. From the starters, I personally loved the Kalan Varuval Sukka (though the decoration was just overwhelming) the flavors to give an authentic pepper feel for the sukka style of cooking was evident and mushrooms were also cooked properly. The panko fried prawns and Karuvepillai Eral (Curry leaves Prawns) both impressed me with its simple and rustic flavors. Not over the board but apt for the local palate. Both chicken dishes, unfortunately, didn't impress me mainly due to the dryness of the meat. Gunpowder chicken was lacking the spice punch and too dry chicken while the volcano chicken lollipop was average and nothing interesting going on.
Overall with little room for improvements both in their restaurant and service staff, everything was arranged and executed very well from both hospitality as well as restaurant staff as well. JC Residency does have indeed proved to its credits that it is indeed in the boutique brands in Madurai and does stand by its rating and reviews. The majestic woodwork and the rustic room style still lingers in my memory. So if you are in the city and want to be in the center for everything and have the most relaxed stay, wait not and just head to JC Residency !!!! Thanks for a wonderful stay :)