Located in the heart of heart of the Chettinad community in Kanadukathan village, this 15-room lovingly restored Art Deco mansion offers an elegant and understated retreat in a fascinating region. The mansion, which was given as a wedding gift almost 90 years ago, has been sympathetically resorted and feels understated and elegant; think original Athankudi tiled floors, ancestral photographs, original Burmese teak ceilings and Italian marble. Run by CGH earth, Visalam offers exceptional service considering its location in one of Tamil Nadu’s most untouched rural areas. Breakfasts are enjoyed under bright bougainvillea, lunch by the pool and traditional dinners are served on a large open terrace. Despite its age, Visalam offers modern comforts such as air-conditioning as well as a wonderful glassy swimming pool. The 15 heritage rooms are all slightly unique; they are simple but tastefully furnished with huge shuttered windows and garden views. We feel this is a fantastic option in a charming village that can easily be explored on foot.