Hotel Manorama (of the 1970s)


Sridhar Jayaram

Hotel Manorama was the undisputed king of the Vijayawada during late 60s and 70s, until Hotel Khandari International made its entry in 80s. Everything associated with Manorama was class and elegant. It was a niche hotel those days preferred by the rich and powerful.It was/is (even now) beautiful both in looks and behaviour. What l really liked was its name in red letters in italics, travelling upwards, appearing prominently on its facade.

Rewinding the tape

Hotel Manorama, the two-star hotel is in the business for well above two decades and is a household name among Vijayawadaites. This majestic nine-storied hotel near the busy bus terminal was financed by Andhra Pradesh Financial Corporation and Syndicate Bank with an initial capital of Rs. 25 lakhs in 1968.
Manorama has the widest car parking area. As many as 18 cars can roll in and about 40 two-wheelers can be parked.
The airport is just 22 km, the railway station only two km and the bus terminal is literally at a stone’ throw. Stated modestly with 30 rooms, it has grown up to 69 rooms now,It has a 12 a/c double rooms, 30 non a/c rooms, five a/c single rooms, 10 non a/c single rooms, plus deluxe and ordinary suites – two apiece.All the rooms are well furnished with wall-to-wall carpeting sober shades on the walls and channel music with closed-circuit televisions. There is a foreign exchange counter, bankcard facility and cars for hire to go around the city and nearby historical places.
In the Manorama shopping arcade, a variety of magazines, book, cosmetics and gift articles are available. A pan and cigarette at the entrance of the bar was meant for smoking Joes.
The regular clientele of the hotel is business executives who come for conferences and business meetings, film personalities who visit the city as it is the nerve centre of the Telugu film industry.

Anupama Restaurant
Anupam restaurant is the place for a quick bite, with its new look and delicious food, it is far emerging as the favourite restaurant among the locals.
A plate of idlis costs Rs 2.50 and a pot of coffee R 2.50. It serves continental, Chinese, Mughalai and Indian delicacies,
Andhra thali cost Rs. 10 and a North Indian thali with chapatti and puri costs Rs. 13.
Anupam special has something extra for the customer. A couple of extra curries, fried rice, and vegetable cocktail make the meal more than special,
The restaurant also has thirst quenchers, delicious shakes and a variety of sandwiches and ice creams.

Madhuvan is the place for the ‘spirited’ lot. The underground bar and restaurant with dim lights and soft music puts one into the ‘mood’
A premium brand of whiskey or brandy costs Rs. 22 per peg and a chilled beer were around Rs. 24. Madhuvan also has its own munching specialities chicken dishes, seas foods and veg delicacies.

(Inputs by hotel Managing Director late Pernenkil Chandrasekhar, a good friend of mine).