For history and heritage lovers, one of the best places to stay in UNESCO Heritage city Ahmedabad is The House of MG. Located in the heart of the city The House of MG bears classic testimony to the culture and heritage of typical Gujrati hospitality and tradition.
My love for heritage stays began from my stay in Itachuna Rajbari in West Bengal and since then it an absolute pleasure staying in heritage hotels. It makes me feel so close to the bygone eras and also get a peek into the luxurious lives of those who owned them. Doesn’t it feel good to experience the taste of royalty for a day or two?
So I had visited Ahmedabad for a Blogger and Photographers FAM trip with the Ministry of India Tourism, India Tourism Mumbai, Gujarat Tourism and Incredible India. On arriving in Ahmedabad we had our first stay at The House of MG, Ahmedabad.
When I heard the word MG I thought it belongs to Mahatma Gandhi, since it’s in Gujarat and for obvious reasons. But I did a little research about the place before I had visited which I always do. I read that it does have some connection with Mahatma Gandhi. In fact, The House of MG was the first place Gandhi stayed after he returned from South Africa.
How to Reach The House of MG in Ahmedabad
It took exactly 20 minutes to reach the heritage hotel from the airport. The hotel is located just at the heart of the old city of Ahmedabad Opposite Sidi Saiyad Jali, Lal Darwaza. This Mosque is one of the most prominent landmarks of Ahmedabad.
A Brief History of the heritage hotel
The House of MG, Ahmedabad was built in the year 1924 as a home for Sheth Mangaldas Girdhardas who was one of the most prominent businessmen and philanthropists during that period in Ahmedabad. Spread over a huge area of 25000 square feet this building was restored in the late 1990s retaining its old-world charm and turning it into a luxurious property with all modern facilities.
The house belonged to two brothers Sheth Mangaldas Girdhardas and Chimanlal Girdhardas who were successful businessmen dealing in the textile industry. They made quite a big fortune and built this dream home. After the house was completed both the brothers started living there along with their families.
I was told that nothing much has been changed since the mansion was converted into a heritage hotel. Maybe for this reason you can have a sense of their life while you stay in the House of MG. All the rooms where the family members used to live are now turned into hotel rooms. The interior is also kept as it was just adding some contemporary designs and modern amenities to suit the taste of the present-day travellers.
Before the House of MG was converted into a hotel it had a long history of serving various purposes. First, it was a family home, then as a post and telegraph office, a dispensary, departmental stores and whatnot. The list is in fact quite exhausting. It was Abhay Mangaldas the great-grandson of Mangaldas Girdhardas who spent almost two decades putting all the pieces together and giving a new life and meaning to this heritage property.
After the family assets were divided he bought some from the other family members and by 1999 he started Agashiye. You can see old wooden furniture, handicrafts, old photo frames, vases, mosaic and tiles flooring belonging to the yesteryears. Not just the hotel premises but the rooms are similarly decorated with artefacts and furniture giving a vintage feel.
There are Grand Suites and Deluxe rooms with almost similar features. The Grand suites are quite spacious with a swing, worktables, a wardrobe, bathroom essentials and other modern facilities. The Grand suites are slightly bigger than the Deluxe rooms making it the only difference.
There are beautiful swings at various places on the hotel premises so if you don’t have one in your room you can enjoy it outside on the first floor and also on the ground floor. Every corner of the hotel is well arranged where you can spend some peaceful time reading a book or spending time with a loved one.
The main attraction was the indoor Lotus swimming pool. The beautifully painted lotus leaves and flowers in Pichai art form on the ceiling casts a smell and also makes the place one of the most Instagrammable location of all.
The Roof Top restaurant Agashiya
The award-winning rooftop or terrace restaurant is famous for its Gujarati Thalis. We were offered to select from two options one that’s the Kansa Thali and the other Silver thali. It has almost all the items of Gujrati cuisine. I was almost full midway and somehow managed to taste the wide variety of desserts. Everything was delicious and refreshing.
The GreenHouse Cafe in the courtyard offers South Indian, Gujarati and Rajasthani items along with a wide variety of refreshing drinks, coffee and others dishes. We had a really great time sitting in the cafe after the dinner was over and almost all the bloggers had arrived who were invited by Gujarat Tourism.
About My Room In House of MG
My room was quite the other room quite vintage and had an old-worldly charm. The bed had four posts and mosquito nets were hung which reminded me of my grandfather’s house where we had such huge wooden beds with posts.
There was no swing but I was lucky to have a swing just outside my room. The curtains and other fabrics used were all handcrafted. There was also a study table and a large bathroom. I wish I had a full day to spend just lying idly in the hotel room.
The House of MG also had an in-house Boutique to buy Gujarati Artifacts and handicrafts items, clothing and accessories. You can take a look around and buy a few gift items.
Along with that The House of MG also organises a guided Heritage Walk in the morning and in the evening. You can contact reception for all details. The Ahmedabad Heritage Walk is something you cannot miss.
Also, the very popular Manek Chowk which is famous for street food in Ahmedabad and remains open all throughout the night is just at a distance of 1km from The House of MG. We visited the place after dinner just for a stroll and saw how huge was it. It was quite late at night and was swarming with people.
Celebrating Janmashtami at The House of MG
We arrived in Ahmedabad on the auspicious occasion of Janmashtami. And after we came back from our stroll to Manek chowk it was almost midnight and we celebrated Janmashtami along with the hotel staff. That was one of the best feelings to celebrate Janmashtami in Gujarat. It was quite a memorable stay at the House of MG and the journey forward in Gujarat.