Stay: Hotel Metropole, Mysore


I have probably traveled to Mysore more than any other city in India, from Bangalore. And it still holds some beautiful surprises. Well, so do most places, I guess, but as this one was so pleasant, am sharing it :).

Hotel Metropole is a large, sprawling building just a few minutes walk from the railway station in Mysore. The very obvious colonial architecture indicates it was built in the days of the Raj. It housed European guests in the days of the kings. Today, even though it is located right in the center of the city, among busy streets, the interiors are surprisingly calm, quiet, and you can barely hear the hustle of the city.

It was converted into a hotel many years ago, but fell short of care, we heard. Until the Royal Orchid group took over. It is a now a beautifully kept, well serviced, relaxed heritage hotel.

My favourite colour, ochre, on the walls, lattice work at every turn, ceilings reaching 20 feet high. And what captivated me the most, the inviting corridors.

Hotel Metropole 1

Hotel Metropole 2

Hotel Metropole Lobby

room balcony

 

 

balcony arch

inner courtyard

 

painted

more lattice work

more corridor

corner

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The Boutique, Ginger Hotel, Mysore


I was in Mysore the last couple of days for a wedding and stayed overnight at the Ginger, Mysore. While the hotel itself isn’t something to write home about, a charming little crafts shop inside the Hotel is. Called The Boutique, it is truly a craft lover’s delight.

There is so much written about shopping for genuine handicrafts in Mysore, but if you can, check out this tiny store that will surprise you with the sheer number of beautiful hand made crafts that it can fit in, from all over India and overseas.

It’s run by G.V.Rao, who had a corporate job and very senior positions in MNCs before he decided to give that up and do something closer to his heart from the love of crafts. His trusty source of suppliers from years keep this store sticked with silk scarves from Kashmir, brass and copper pitchers from Persia, parchment holders from Tibet, brass lamps from Kerala and much much more.

I totally wanted to pick up half the store :), but here’s what I ended up getting.

tibetan crafts

A jar, an incense burner that can hang on the wall and a prayer receptacle. The jar and incense burner are from The Boutique. I had picked up the prayer receptacle from the Bylekuppe Tibetan monastery (near Coorg) last month.

prayer wheelA close up of the prayer wheel

frameA frame in silver+white metal and another incense holder

garuda maskA mask of Garuda in the same silver+white metal

So if you’re in Mysore, don’t forget to stop by this lovely store. Rao is a very patient, knowledgeable guy and he will help you choose what’s right for your home! I only wish I’d taken pics of the store itself :(. When I do get pics I’ll post them for sure! The prices are not exorbitant, and in fact after I’d finished paying for my stuff, he gave me a silver bracelet, for free! How sweet is that?!