Special Places to Stay in Kochi
'$' Signs against Hotels indicate its Category
The Old Courtyard ($)
Built over 200 years ago in the Portuguese style, the Old Courtyard has been lovingly restored to its original glory.
Fort Heritage ($)
Fort Heritage is located in a 17th century building now converted into a delightful small hotel.
The Fort House ($)
The Fort House is one of the older establishments on the water front of Fort Cochin. This atmospheric property has undergone extensive renovation recently and now offers over twenty rooms.
The Tower House ($)
The Tower House is an elegant boutique hotel housed in a historic Dutch building right in the heart of Fort Cochin. Rooms have views over the park and the Chinese fishing nets along the coast.
Waltons Home Stay ($)
This relaxing and serene home stay is run by Mr. Walton and his family. Their centuries old Dutch building is centrally located on Princes Street in the centre of Fort Cochin.
Old Harbour Hotel ($$)
This is one of the true gems of Fort Cochin. Located only a street away from the waterfront and the famous Chinese Fishing nets, the Old Harbour Hotel enjoys a superb location.
Koder House ($$)
A handsome red coloured building, the Koder House belonged to a venerable Jewish family for two centuries.
Abad Grande Residencia ($$)
This wonderful building was built by Samuel Koder, of the adjoining Koder House, another excellent heritage hostelry with which is shares a wall and a hanging bridge!
Old Lighthouse Bristow Hotel ($$)
The Old Lighthouse Bristow Hotel is a small exclusive boutique heritage hotel, situated right at the entrance of Cochin harbour.
Tea Bungalow ($$)
The Tea Bungalow is a restored colonial villa, close to Fort Cochin's spice district. It is a great mix of contempory style and colour with elements of Fort Cochin's heritage.
Le Colonial ($$$)
Tucked away, facing the waterfront and near the Church, is Le Colonial, very easy to miss behind the thick canopy of an imposing rain tree.
The Malabar House ($$$)
Over three centuries the Malabar House Residency in Fort Cochin served as a residence for wealthy traders and influential bankers.
The Brunton Boatyard ($$$)
An excellent hotel situated at the historic site of a 19th century boat yard.
Things to see and do in Kochi
Exploring Fort Cochin is best done by a leisurely walk. The spirit of the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British lingers on in the narrow streets and the architecture of the houses and monuments. Several quaint shops, cafes and boutique hotels line the streets, and make for interesting points to stop and take in the flavor of the area.
St Francis Church
The Church, dedicated to St. Francis, was the first European Church to be built in India. Built in 1503 by Portuguese Franciscan friars, it was restored in 1779 by the Protestant Dutch, converted to an Anglican Church by the British in 1795 and it at present governed by the Church of South India! Vasco da Gama was buried here in 1524 before his remains were moved to Lisbon, Portugal. The tombstone still remains.
Chinese Fishing Nets/Vasco da Gama Square
Up on the shore facing Vypeen Island stand the famed Chinese fishing nets, introduced by the earliest recorded visitors, traders from the court of Kublai Khan in the years between 1350 and 1450 A.D. Watching these cantilevered wonders is like watching a mechanical performance, with choreographed grace of lowering of the nets throughout the day from the Vasco De Gama square. Afterwards, you can snack on some freshly caught fish cooked to your taste at one of the many stalls at the waterfront.
Constructed in 1568, this is the oldest synagogue in the Commonwealth. Destroyed in a shelling during the Portuguese raid in 1662, it was rebuilt two years later by the Dutch. The Jewish community, which dominated the area, is sadly reduced to a mere handful of people - the others left for Israel.
The beautifully maintained Synagogue has an upstairs gallery for women, Chinese willow-pattern floor tiles, 19th-century Belgium chandeliers and beautiful interlocking benches.
Nearby is the so-called Dutch Palace, set in a walled garden backing on to mango trees, built by the Portuguese in 1557. It was then diplomatically given to the Cochin Raja and repaired by the Dutch. On display here are beautiful murals depicting scenes from the epics - Ramayana and Mahabharata, as well as some of the Puranic Hindu legends. The palace also houses Dutch maps of old Kochi, royal palanquins, coronation robes of former Maharajas of Kochi as well as period furniture. The three dimensional portraits of the Maharajas are noteworthy.
In the evening, you can enjoy a performance of Kathakali - the traditional dance form of Kerala. It is distinct in style, where the actors depict characters from the Puranas and the Mahabharata - playing superhuman beings, demons and ordinary men and women. The dancers, all males, adorn themselves in huge skirts and headdress, wearing what must surely be the most intricate make-up known to any dance style anywhere in the world.