THE Bay of Bengal is the first thing you spot as soon as you set foot on Chennai’s newest beach getaway. You’re never too far away from the ocean at the Sheraton Grand, located along the ECR (East Coast Road) - the coastal highway that connects Chennai and Pondicherry. A shimmering water body is the show stopper within the hotel’s rectangular main block. All guest rooms come with balconies but not every room overlooks the ocean. You might spot crocodiles from a safe distance, if you’re in one of the rooms next door to the Madras Crocodile Bank. That’s bound to keep the kids busy — one way or the other. Like many resorts along this stretch, family activities are a central theme.
There’s a large kids centre that also has its own screening room (popcorn included) and heaps of outdoor and indoor activities that include archery.
All that pales in front of the beach deck, with its spectacular sunrises. The resort can organise a romantic breakfast at sunrise by the ocean. The pool deck offers equally rewarding ocean views. Our favourite dining space is Pelican Deck, where grills and local catch of the day dominate.
If you’d rather lounge indoors, you can sip a martini at the Pintail Lounge, dig into South Indian specialties at Reef, the all-day diner or slow things down at Shine — their decadent spa.