The Southern Star hotel is a 4-star hotel in Mysore that had two important things going for it: it is only a 10-minute walk from the train station (which felt important when arriving after 9 pm in a strange city) and it’s very close to the DC Office where we had to pick up our Gold Cards first thing on our first morning. It also had good reviews on tripadvisor with many mentions of both cleanliness and good food – two essentials, as far as we’re concerned.
Our fifth floor room was quite nice, definitely clean, and had a delightfully powerful shower. It also had a comfortable mattress that actually allowed us to sleep in one morning! If you know us, you know what a big deal that is. Of particular note were Kumar and Pooya, the concierges who were there with a smile and a genuine desire to help every single time we popped up in front of their desk. It was a great comfort to feel like we had people to turn to for any questions we might have while exploring this new city. (It was a little disturbing to realize this was true both early in the morning and late at night. At some point we’ll write about the work days people face in this economy.)
Also of note: the breakfast.
Hotel breakfasts included in the price of the room can sometimes be iffy. We would not have been surprised to find dry cereal and boring pastries and fruit as the only offering, in which case we might have sought breakfast elsewhere. As it was, we looked forward to breakfast each of our four mornings there. It was great. Yes, there was dry cereal and boring pastries next to toast and fruit, but there was also a varied array of delicious Indian breakfast foods every day. We had a different sweet pudding each day, different kinds of idli (steamed rice dumplings made plain or with lentils or veggies), different kinds of paratha (wheat flat breads stuffed with onions or cauliflower or potato), dosas (fermented rice and dal flatbreads with tasty things cooked in or on top), sambar (a sort of spicy tomato broth with veggies to put on your idli or other things), vada (delicious little savory lentil donuts), coconut chutney, different preparations of potatoes, and masala omelettes. We could have requested our own masala dosa or visited the made-to-order omelette station, but were so happy with what was in front of us each day that we just didn’t bother. This was all accompanied by sweetened milky tea or coffee – the only thing Tom could have done without, as a fan on unsweetened black coffee.
We hope this is a sign that Indian hotel breakfasts are different from American hotel breakfasts. If other hotels don’t match up, we’ll be back to the Southern Star!