Running a hotel in India can quickly turn into a social endeavor — something that entrepreneurs in hospitality may not see coming.
In Pondicherry, a town with unique French architecture nestled on the east coast of the subcontinent, two stylishly dressed hotels Villa Shanti and La Villa are having an impact in the community by preserving heritage and local livelihoods.
Segiyane Sylvain Paquiry is a hotelier who returned to his native India after living in Paris for nearly a decade. Raised in Pondicherry, Paquiry wanted to start a business that would meld elements of both worlds. Working with partners, including two French architects Tina Trigala and Yves Lesprit, Paquiry opened Villa Shanti in 2012 and its newer cousin, La Villa, last year. The vibe in both properties is cosmopolitan, minimalistic, and yet, intrinsically Indian with touches of handicrafts, tile work, local textiles, and murals depicting slices of India.
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