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 PalaceThiruvananthapuram.thehindu.com|
|lounge. Padmavilasom PalaceThiruvananthapuram.thehindu.com|
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. hikersbay.com/asia|
|Padmavilasom palace. manoramaonline.com|
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.