The House of MG is both an Ahmedabad landmark and an iconic heritage boutique hotel that is more than worth upgrading to flashpacker status for a few nights. This full review of the House of MG Hotel in Ahmedabad will convince you their is no better place to stay in the city.
The House of MG is not just an iconic Ahmedabad landmark, it is a boutique hotel that has a deep history intertwined with the UNESCO heritage city of Ahmedabad, and is easily one of the best boutique hotel experiences I have had in a long time!
A sprawling complex with restaurants, a textile gallery and even a shop, the hotel is rooted deeply in the heritage of the city and gives travellers a home away from home and a unique cultural experience that enhances their whole visit.
I can’t talk about the house of MG without talking about the heritage on full display because that is so important to the building and is one of the main reasons for staying here.
Built in 1924 as a home for Mangaldas Girdhardas, a textile magnate, the house of MG has been beautifully and carefully restored to showcase early 20th Century colonial architecture, and it really has been done superbly! So much so that it kind of feels like you have stepped back in time to a different era when you are wandering the grounds.
But the house of MG is not just a heritage hotel, it is an unapologetic celebration of local Ahmedabad and Gujurat culture too.
The in house textile gallery houses dozens of intricate textiles that showcase the heritage and cultural importance of different craft and weaving techniques to the ancient tribes of Gujurat and how essential textiles have been to the industrial development of Ahmedabad, as well as more local pieces of clothing and jewellery belonging to members of the Girdhardas family, cementing the collection deep into the family legacy.
This is far, far more simple display of textiles, this collection in my opinion deserves to have full heritage museum status for what it is managing to achieve in keeping local history and culture alive and relevant, and this theme carries on through the heritage shop that sells premium quality local tribal crafts and heirlooms.
As well as celebrating and displaying Gujurati cultural heritage, the House of MG also has deep roots in the local community, supporting a number of local artisans that would otherwise be out of work by selling their genuine hand crafted pieces and keeping a lot of crafting techniques alive, as well as supporting local NGOs working with local womens groups and organisations.
That shawl or scarf or piece of art you buy here is more than just an awesome gift or souvenir, you are also helping local women to become economically independent and stand on their own two feet after natural disasters or domestic abuse, and you are helping women create a livelihood for themselves through local crafts.
This is the very definition of how the tourism industry can have such a positive impact on the local community and how your tourism dollar can be used to give back to the place that will become your temporary home.
The house of MG is right in the centre of the old city of Ahmedabad, almost right in front of the bridge to the new side of the city over the river. It is within easy distance of the airport by uber or shuttle and has a couple of basic restaurants, cafes and a couple of attractions within easy walking distance, not to mention the fact it is right opposite the must see Sidi Saiyyed mosque, but to be honest if you are here for any length of time you will probably find yourself heading to the new part of the city over the bridge to find somewhere to eat and for things to do more often than not, and then getting a tour or ubers to specific tourist sites. This isn’t a major problem at all though as it is really easy and very cheap to grab an auto rickshaw or an uber to take you anywhere you like, and the House of MG is central enough to be able to do so easily.
Gujurati hospitality is on full display from the moment you step into the cool air conditioned lobby. The welcome drink and the superfluous things are always nice little touches, but what is really nice, what I really liked, is the way I was greeted and welcomed. Every single time. Staff were friendly, they smiled, they remembered my name. That is what makes a good accommodation great, and what sets boutique hotels like this, where the few guests are treated as family, apart from the corporate international chains.
The house of MG may be a boutique heritage hotel but it genuinely puts most larger chain hotels to shame with the amount it has to offer guests within it’s walls.
There is of course the textile gallery and shop for anyone who wishes to learn more about the history and industry of Ahmedabad, but for hungry travellers there are two separate renowned restaurants too.
Now normally I would generally suggest avoiding in house restaurants as they are usually expensive, and are often not a patch on street food that can be found outside, but if you are in Amhedabad then you have to spoil yourself with at least one meal in each of these restaurants for the ambiance and experience as much as the food.
The Green House is just a stunning location with a garden setting and an amazingly relaxing water feature, and the breakfasts here are absolutely perfect.
The rooftop Agashiye restaurant is a must do experience in Ahmedabad too and has won awards for its cuisine. Try the Gujurati Thali, trust me!
Now full disclosure here, these restaurants are expensive, even by normal hotel standards and the Gujurati Thali at Agashiye will blow most backpackers daily budgets out of the water, but it is well worth having as a one off must try treat and it is definitely worth budgeting accordingly for it. Having a true Gujurati culinary experience is worth every penny. You really won’t find a Gujurati Thali as good as this in the whole state, and you can spend the rest of your trip grabbing cheap street food to balance that budget again!
After all that food I of course had to take advantage of the gym and pool while I was here!
Now the gym is just okay, nothing special but it does have just enough equipment to give you a basic workout. To be honest it could do with more free weights to be useful but you can get a little bit of exercise here.
The pool on the other hand is spectacular! It isn’t huge but is big enough for a decent morning swim, and the decor is just pure luxury! There is also an attached spa which I didn’t try personally but looked really nice.
Seriously, this is next level luxury at boutique prices. Even the little touches, such as having comfortable swings in the courtyards between rooms add to the level of easy opulence and just invite you to take a step back in time and relax.
Do yourself a favour here and book yourself enough time to just waste a morning or two sitting and enjoy the grounds. Turn off your phone, ignore the wifi and just sit on the veranda or at one of the restaurants and read a book, a real book, one with actual paper pages. It is a digital detox your soul will thank you for.
Now for the most important part, the room itself, and I only have one word for it. Home.
The rooms here are amazing, superbly comfortable and with some serious space to play around in!
Each room is slightly different from what I could tell, but all were huge, like a tiny apartment in its own right, with reclaimed furniture and furnishings designed to make it look like an actual home rather than a bog standard hotel room, and that is exactly how it felt.
The value of the rooms here are unbelievable, for a third of the price of a basic brand chain bed and breakfast back home, I got a lot more space and comfort in what is a unique and bespoke, homely experience.
I genuinely loved staying here so much I almost didn’t want to go out and explore Amhedabad!
Each room is surrounded by courtyards and verandas, festooned with greenery making the whole complex an oasis from the city itself. If you are very lucky you may even spot one of the resident cats!
The House of MG has all the luxury and amenities of a larger hotel with the warmth and hospitality of a family homestay. Despite the dash of luxury level opulence and comfort it still retains a reasonable mid range price level that can fit most reasonable backpacker and flashpacker budgets. Whether you opt for a well deserved splurge or budget specifically for it, the experience of staying at the house of MG is one of those times where your accommodation becomes a part of your whole trip experience and is well worth the upgrade to flashpacker status for a few nights.
The House of MG is located opposite the Sidi Saiyad Jali, Lal Darwaja, Ahmedabad-380001, Gujarat, India.
Ready to book? The House of MG’s website can be found here.
This is a paid article written in partnership with The House of MG with products or services supplied by them. Full editorial integrity is maintained at all times. The views and opinions expressed are entirely the authors own based on personal experiences when travelling and are honest and factual without any bias.