Malabar House, Fort Kochi, Kerala
The Old Harbour Hotel is steeped in 300 years of history and is located right in the heart of Fort Kochi with views overlooking the famous Chinese fishing nets and the Arabian Ocean.
Having been a landmark of the town for decades, claiming to be the first hotel in the city, it has been lovely converted back into a boutique hotel with the original façades and many architectural elements still intact. The hotel therefore boasts a wonderful insight into the colonial history of the area. Once a major trading port, and cultural melting pot, today old Fort Cochin is a lovely little sleepy town, making the Old Harbour Hotel an ideal base, from which to explore the city on foot.
Equipped with 13 spacious rooms, large garden and inviting swimming pool, it appeals to the traveller looking for comfort with an interest of a bygone era in a historic location. There is a wonderful array of traditional and contemporary art, fabrics and antiques creating a warm and stylish abode. Each of the rooms have high ceilings with views into the courtyard or out to sea. There are several garden cottages which have open showers and large verandahs.
Despite its size the hotel also boasts an authentic Ayurveda spa, for a truly rejuvenating treatment at the end of your long day sightseeing. There is also complimentary daily yoga available.
Alongside its fantastic accommodation the 1788 restaurant, housed by the Old Harbour Hotel was featured as one of the best restaurants in Kerala. For here food has always been a vital part of the hotel. From the home-baked breads to the organically grown vegetables and fresh catch of the day the chef works to create interesting, fresh dishes suited to every palette.
As the capital city of Kerala Kochi is a vibrant city well worth a few days exploring its history and culture. It is very often the entry point to the state and offers excellent flight connectivity with the rest of the country. It is well worth a visit from December to March when the Kochi Biennale is on. This is an international exhibition of contemporary art held throughout the city. The exhibit is set in a wide array of fascinating spaces throughout the city coming to life in all its technicolour.
Bengaluru, Mysore, Coorg, Neeleshwar, Hyderabad