“Stylish art-centric heritage hotel with superb service in the heart of Kerala’s colonial jewel, Cochin”
Stylish and arty touches have been carefully added to each room, whilst hardwood floors and whirling Casablanca fans (coupled with air-conditioning), feel in sync with the building’s colonial credentials. Fabrics are light, tactile and all natural cotton; soft lighting ups the romance factor. Edgar sourced all sculptures and vases locally - there are even a turn-of-the-century working telephones.
Sprawling Suites with four-poster beds are particularly luxurious; the Princess Suite has a private balcony (and is the only room with a bathtub) and we loved the Bastion Suite’s romantic swing chair for two. Each Garden Cottage has its own entrance onto the lawn; they also offer extra privacy and beguiling open-to-the-sky bathrooms. That said, all bathrooms have real drencher showers (must be some of the best in India) and delicious Ayurvedic products.
Just round the corner from the hotel, there’s a small 18th-century house named Dreamz. Decoration is similar to that of the hotel rooms; it feels as if it comes straight from a Graham Greene novel. When you unlock your front door you can kid yourself, and passers-by, that you actually live in Cochin’s enchanting old town centre - although you still get the convenience of breakfast at the hotel.
Named after the year records first mentioned this building, the elegant 1788 restaurant spills out through triple arches onto an open terrace. Come evening, classical sitar and tabla players serenade diners amid the candlelight and hanging lanterns of the tropical garden.
The menu offers Indian and international dishes, with an emphasis on the freshest of foods; all fruit and veg is organic. The sea is so close, fish is a must. On our 2016 visit, we found the Keralan fish curry to die for, along with a gorgeous fresh masala-grilled squid starter. For dessert we tried the Princess Chocolate pudding: all dissolve-in-the-mouth molten chocolate. 1788 also has an alcohol license, so we recommend relaxing with a cooling pre-dinner mint and cucumber cocktail or a bottle of wine from varied list.
At breakfast, served alfresco for most of the year, Western and Keralan choices include fresh local fruit, juice, eggs any way you like them, home-baked bread and spiced tea.
All ages are welcome, but in truth it's best suited to older children (there are no baby cots or high chairs).
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Dreamz and The Suites can hold an extra bed on request; Dreamz can sleep 3 and has a ground-floor lounge.
Babysitting is available by arrangement.