Hip Hotels ~ Tower House, Fort Cochin, India…

“We don’t let history become a bygone” is the mantra of the Neemrana group of hotels. That strong sense of history is resplendent in the beautiful Tower House at Fort Cochin. Padma and I stayed in this gorgeous hotel in … Continue reading

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge ~ The world through my eyes…

Last November I visited Fort Cochin in Kerala. During my stay I was lucky enough to watch a Tamil movie being made. It was delightful to sit for half an hour and watch this scene progressing. Nobody minded me taking photos or getting close to the action. Ah…the joys of watching the world through my eyes

Lakshmi’s Indian Hotel picks ~ The Old Courtyard, Fort Cochin…

“Wherever I lay my hat that’s my home “…Marvin Gaye

I love the words to this song. Obviously when you travel you don’t want your hotel to be just like home otherwise you would never travel at all. However, when I travel, the hotels I stay in are my “home” for those few days. I don’t need the perfection of five-star hotels but I do look for certain things to make my stay perfect.

  • Cleanliness is top of the list. I don’t mind a little faded and jaded as long as it is clean.
  • Safe and secure.
  • Character is very important. I love staying at places with little details that catch the eye.
  • Location is the key to getting the most out of your stay.
  • Great staff are the icing on the cake that complete your stay.

If you are visiting Fort Cochin in Kerala, India The Old Courtyard ticks all these boxes. The character filled heritage building is located right in the heart of Fort Cochin in Princess Street (just around the corner from the Kashi Art Cafe). It’s rooms are light and airy and filled with quaint old antiques and crisp white bed-linen. My room overlooked the lovely lush courtyard and I could lie on my bed and watch squirrels chasing each other on the roof tops.

The tasty breakfast was included and the menu changed each day. The staff here were so friendly and chatty and were eager to help us with anything we needed.

After a few days at the perfect Old Courtyard Hotel I really was wishing it was my home…

Phew…my hotel’s fabulous!

Tower House Hotel ~ Fort Cochin...

Tower House Hotel ~ Fort Cochin…

I don’t know about you but one of the greatest feelings of satisfaction for me on my travels is finding the perfect hotel. Lots of people are happy with “wherever I lay my hat that’s my home” but not me. I always feel that a great place to stay sets the tone for your holiday. I spend a lot of time before I leave home thoroughly researching on the internet and in guidebooks places to stay at my destination. I must be doing something right as I’m getting better at it! Fort Cochin is a perfect example. There are so many places to stay and the three I chose there were divine.

Tower House ~ Fort Cochin...

Tower House ~ Fort Cochin…

Everyone searches for something different when looking for a place to stay. So what do I look for? Here are my top prerequisites:

1. Something in the right price range.

2. Location, location, location. Sometimes I like to be in the thick of things right in the heart of town and other times somewhere quiet and peaceful.

3. Clean with en-suite bathroom.

4. I love quaint and charming. Even a little jaded and faded can be fantastic with me as long as it’s clean.

5. When travelling with my family they like a pool (optional), wi-fi and a TV. However when I travel with my mum,Padma, we just like wi-fi.

6. I want a hotel/guesthouse that when I arrive I can lie on the bed and let out a huge “Phew this is soooooo fabulous!”

Fort House ~ Fort Cochin...

Fort House ~ Fort Cochin…

So where to stay in Fort Cochin, Kerala? Well these are my top three…

The Tower House ~ Tower Road, Fort Cochin.

It prides itself as a “non-hotel” meaning it is more like an experience than just another chain hotel. It is jammed full of antiques and collectables. It has a divine pool, superb rooms and a lovely breakfast. It is minimally staffed and very quiet which we loved (however staff were always very attentive when we needed anything). It is located a stones throw from the Chinese fishing nets and the centre of Fort Cochin. You feel very safe walking around even at night which is important for female travellers. We loved it here…

The Old Courtyard Hotel ~ Fort Cochin...

The Old Courtyard Hotel ~ Fort Cochin…

The Old Courtyard ~ Princess Street, Fort Cochin.

We adored this old hotel located right in the heart of Fort Cochin. The rooms were so beautiful and filled with antiques. The sheets were crispy white (amazing for India). The breakfast was tasty and the staff were so friendly and chatty. It ticks all the boxes and is a great choice for Fort Cochin.

The Old Courtyard ~ Fort Cochin...

The Old Courtyard ~ Fort Cochin…

Delight Home Stay ~ Parade Ground, Ridsdale Road, Fort Cochin

The Delight Home Stay is a true delight. It is located a very short walk from the centre of Fort Cochin and is very close to many of the great shops I recommended in my last post on Fort Cochin. The owners David and Flowery are a mine of information and can organise your whole trip around Kerala if you desire. We did a short trip to Periyar National Park and the Kerala backwaters through them and we were delighted with the trip.

The Delight Home Stay ~ Fort Cochin...

The Delight Home Stay ~ Fort Cochin…

The rooms are charming and the garden green and lush. You won’t want to leave…I guarantee it.

Fort Cochin is a wonderful place to visit and should be on all itineraries when visiting Kerala. I hope you enjoy my recommendations as much as I did…

You too can be a princess but leave your modesty at home…

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Everything looked fresh and beautiful at our hotel this morning after the pouring rain last night. We had a tasty breakfast of Marsala omelette and then Padma and I headed for the local ferry wharf.

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On the way there we stopped to look at some local stalls. Padma bought some wooden stamps from a sweet young girl. She pressed the stamps with strong ink onto Padma’s palm. Padma now has a lovely reminder of Fort Cochin that will be with her for some time…

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I bought a beautiful carved buffalo horn comb along the way. The carver showed us the article about himself in the Cochin Times.

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We caught the ferry to Ernakulum (2.5 rupees each). It was a very scenic trip passing fishing boats and navy vessels.

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At Ernakulum we walked a short distance up Shanmugham road to Bimbi’s restaurant for a refreshing fresh, sweet lime soda. On the return journey to Fort Cochin we got a great view of the old fort area.

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This afternoon I had the three hour Rajakumari (Princess) Ritual at the Cochin Ayurvedic Centre. The ritual consists of feet cleaning, full body massage by two therapists and followed by sirodhara (a stream of warm herbal oil poured over the forehead). It was heavenly and I left floating on a cloud. However this treatment is not for the modestly inclined. The two ladies wash all the oil from your hair and body afterwards…this is done in a happy, girly/sister type mood and I felt very relaxed and not at all self conscious…
The ladies at this spa are really delightful and I highly recommend you visit when you are next in Fort Cochin.

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Tonight we had a tasty dinner at the Fort Heritage Hotel (1/283 Napier Street).