Padmavilasom Palace West Fort, Thiruvananthapuram - the heritage royal abode is now a star hotel




Padmavilasom Palace  located in the prime area of the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram on  Enchakkal road, is a  150 year old  heritage site,   Built in native and European style of architecture, it  is close to the famous  Sree Padmanabha Swamy  temple -  just 1.7 km.  The palace with s single upper  floor has royal suites, common furnished hall and well- suited bedrooms and a fine corridor.  Now it is  star hotel  for the upper income people. 

Since the beginning of  last decade the state government has given facelift to many mansions and palaces close to the main temple here. This palace has a fine regal entrance with high compound walls all around it.  Privately owned   by  a  family having connection with  Vadasseri Ammaveedu family,  it is a Naalukattu palace with four independent quarters. The surrounding big trees in the garden throw shadow on the building and  keep it cool even during mid day.  It happened to be the former royal abode  of the Travancore family members  and the fine  architecture  highlights the regal elegance of the past era.  

The impressive features of this building are  tall ceiling, white walls, shining wooden flooring, cool lighting and  impressive   chandeliers, A large number of  rich brown old-style doors and windows, antique furniture and curios  not only highlight the Kerala tradition, but also   enhance the majesty of this old palace.   In the absence of AC, cross ventilation and fine quality wooden roofs  the veranda  plus  greenery around it keep  the interiors cool. Kitchen near the Naalukattu is ideally located. 

The owners made a realistic approach to renovate and decorate the palace   with a view to  bringing  back the  regal ambience  to showcase how the palace and its interiors looked like during  the heyday of Travancore rulers. Mere decoration or  beautification of interiors  does not give the right result.   You have recreate an atmosphere matching the regal look of the bygone era. ''We have tried to break away from the claustrophobic atmosphere of a traditional diner with air-conditioning and closed doors and windows,” says Deepu  director and Archana, a relative of the owner. Except two royal suites, there is no central air-conditioning in this palace.

When it comes to renovation and repairs, the refurbishment  of this old building is kept to the  minimum to retain the heritage look and  to keep the old charm  without disturbing the  original look of a royal household.  As it was necessary  portions  of  certain walls were recast with limestone and given a fresh   coat  of white paint.  The building has large wood work and the wooden carvings  are restored to their  original grandeur.

bed room.Padmavilasom

lounge. Padmavilasom

In the last decade or so, some heritage buildings and graceful mansions in the capital have been given a facelift and turned into restaurants for fine dining and homestays. The latest is Archana’s Padmavilasom Palace at Enchakkal road is a nice place to relax.

Padmavilasom palace.

Padmavilasom palace.

According to Sharat Sundar Rajeev, conservation architect and history enthusiast,  ''the Ammaveedu marks a slight departure from other similar buildings of the era''.  Padmavilasom Palace stands independently away from the entrance unlike other structures that are close to the  entrance gate or compound. The spacious balcony on the first floor offers a clear view of the front part and the street.