Hotels in Kochi and its old charm
There’s a good variety of Hotels in Kochi and I have stayed at almost all the interesting ones around, however I was yet to decide my favourite until our last visit. Returning from Munnar we decided to spend two days in Kochi and were looking for a nice place to stay in the old town of Fort Kochi. After some online research we ended up booking these lovely new hotel called Ayana Fort Kochi. Its listing as a luxury boutique hotel in Fort Kochi is apt and stands true with its magnificent art deco interiors, beautiful patterned athangudi floors and high ceilings which reminds you of the colonial era. A classic staircase takes you up to the grand courthouse on the first floor with an ancient Deepmala (tower of lights) at its centre, this courthouse is the heart of the hotel. A 200 year old building which has served as a Portuguese Court, as the headquarters of a Colonial bank and as a warehouse for the tea and spice trade, today has been converted into one of the finest hotels in Kerala. The hotel has a very impressive collection of modern Indian art and what actually sets it apart is its classic art deco style of interiors & furniture which is very different from the regular heavy Portuguese style of furniture which is to be found all over Kerala and in most of the other Hotels in Fort Kochi. I’m afraid that, sitting in a huge chair looking around me, gin and tonic in hand, I felt a shudder of colonial guilt as I mentally slipped into the role of Sahib.
The spice city of Kochi is in-fact a group of islands on the Malabar Coast in Kerala. It was the spice trade that attracted the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British traders to Cochin which was well known as the spice capital of India during the 1500s. Before that for hundreds of years the Arabs, the Syrians and the Chinese merchants had sailed to the city, mainly for pepper and spices but also monkeys, tigers and elephants. All these trading communities have undoubtedly left there impression on Kochi and today’s Kochi is an amazing mix of various races and religions.
The Suite room we stayed in is indeed very luxurious with a private balcony overlooking the busy harbour. The king size bed is extremely comfortable and cosy and the bathroom is fitted with a huge bathtub with water at perfect temperature and pressure. Though we have been impressed at every bit since the time we entered the hotel but the one thing that was mind blowing and really unique was the swimming pool on the roof top and the amazing evening views from the roof top restaurant. We spent the entire evening soaking in the warmth of the setting sun and enjoying the wonderful views.
The warmth with which the staff welcomes and serves you is very satisfying and it makes Ayana Fort Kochi my absolute favourite place to stay in Fort Kochi.