Located in the heart of Ahmedabad, The House of MG is a boutique heritage hotel built in 1924 as a home for Sheth Mangaldas Girdhardas, one of the city’s foremost businessmen and philanthropists. The stately mansion was tastefully restored in the late 1990s. Spread over 25,000 square feet, it’s a maze of passages and stairways. A sense of history hangs in the air. There is antique wooden furniture, beautiful tiled flooring, and old photographs (including one of Mahatma Gandhi) on the walls. The House of MG blocks out its biggest problem—the location. The traffic, the crowds, and the chaos cease to matter once you enter its landscaped garden. After a late breakfast at the courtyard café, sip coffee in their charming little veranda with red stone flooring, and a pile of magazines for company. Back in your room, laze on the swing, with a book from the in-room library.
The House of MG organises heritage walks for those who want to explore the city. The breakfast walk (1.5 km/2 hours; 7.30 a.m.; ₹350 per person, ₹845 including breakfast) lets visitors take in old-city highlights such as Mangaldas ni Haveli, Jumma Masjid, Bhadra Fort, Sidi Sayyed Jali, and Teen Darwaja Market. The breakfast walk is conducted from December to March. The night walk (0.8 km/1 hour; ₹250 per person) is more relaxed—it begins at Mangaldas ni Haveli, a 200-year-old wooden mansion that’s now been restored, and ends at the vibrant Manek Chowk food market. The night walk is available year-round.
The House of MG offers a taste of Gujarati heritage, both in its well furnished rooms and through neighbourhood walks. Photo courtesy The House of MG
The hotel has 18 rooms. Prices vary by month and hotel occupancy. The Mangaldas suite (doubles from ₹10,200-₹14,300) used to be Sheth Mangaldas’s bedroom, while the airy Kanchangauri suite, which has the same rates, is an apartment complete with a kitchenette and dining table. The Grand suites (doubles ₹8,200-₹12,300) are luxurious, with work tables, swings, dressing areas, and huge bathrooms. The only difference between the Grand Deluxe (doubles ₹6,200-₹10,300) and Deluxe (doubles ₹4,200-₹8,300) room is that the latter is smaller; otherwise all amenities, such as the entertainment facilities and in-room bar, are similar. The decor is heavy on wood, stained glass and old-style furniture. Care has been taken to recreate the 1920s for contemporary travellers. The modern touch is evident in the Wi-Fi connectivity, flat-screen TVs with DVD players, and work tables with iPod docks. There’s no room service, so guests have to head to one of the two restaurants for a bite. Agashiye, the terrace eatery, offers a Gujarati thali and is the go-to place for dinner. After a complete meal—including sarbat (cold drink), chutney, shaak (vegetable), farsan (snack), roti, rice, khichdi, dal, kadhi, and sweets—all you will want to do is sleep. The next morning, a swim at the gorgeous indoor Lotus Pool will get you in the mood for a hearty breakfast at Green House, the courtyard café. Shoppers can browse the in-house gift shop, and pick up handmade beauty products from the hotel’s own line, Bodyshine.
Appeared in the November 2013 issue as “In an Antique Land”.
The House of MG is located in the heart of Ahmedabad’s city centre. The airport is 8 km away while the railway station is 2 km away. Ample parking is available, along with valet service (Opposite Sidi Saiyad Jali, Lal Darwaja; 079-2550 6946; www.houseofmg.com).
Teja Lele Desai
is an army brat who trained as an architect but worked as a journalist for over 15 years. She has written for Indian and foreign publications, including South China Morning Post and The Miami Herald.
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