Located in the French side of town and down a street lined with beautiful colonial architecture, Villa Shanti is one of Pondicherry’s loveliest hotels. It’s not luxurious but what it does offer is sophisticated and stylish rooms, a fantastic restaurant as well as value for money. The building dates back to the 19th century but has now been expanded and renovated sympathetically. The main feature is the main courtyard; this is flooded with light and it’s here you find the bar and restaurant that is illuminated with lanterns and full of life in the evenings. Leading off the courtyard are the rooms; there are only 15 in total across the three floors. These range in price but expect polished concrete floors, Athagudi tiles, contemporary wooden furniture and modern sleek bathrooms. The Deluxe Rooms more than suffice but for families try the Terrace Suite that sleeps four. The only downside is that it doesn’t have a pool, but despite this we feel Villa Shanti is one of the best options in town.