The Old Courtyard Hotel

Fort Cochin, Cochin & the Backwaters, India
Book from GBP Book from £53 per night

The Old Courtyard Hotel

Fort Cochin, Cochin & the Backwaters, India

A great-value intimate and historic hotel close to bustling Fort Kochi’s north waterfront

A great-value intimate and historic hotel close to bustling Fort Kochi’s north waterfront

This atmospheric heritage hotel has a cooling courtyard pool as its hub, with chairs dotted around to take respite in the shade. It is both elegant and old (over 200 years to be precise), having been built by the Portuguese when Cochin was their window to the spice trade, and features on many guided tours as a result.

Follow the grand wooden staircase to the guest rooms – all 9 vary in size and price but are charmingly decorated with air-conditioning and solar power. There are shutters and mosquito nets, polished antiques and surprisingly good showers. The location is terrific: step outside and you have spice shops, Chinese fishing nets, a Dutch palace and India’s oldest church on your doorstep. There are all manner of eateries, cafes, bars and shops offering takeaway snacks just a stroll away. Ayurvedic treatments are only a short walk away and there's a pool in the enclosed courtyard to cool off in. The ideal base for history buffs and those looking for historic style, peace and Keralan culture amidst the bustle of Fort Kochi.


  • A charming 200-year-old building full of original decorative details, antiques and artwork
  • Within ambling distance of Fort Kochi’s deservedly-famous Chinese fishing nets and other attractions
  • Great value rates
  • Staff were wonderful, caring and kind during our last visit
  • Atmosphere is provided by sparrows fluttering and cheeping through the eaves


  • No breakfast, room service, restaurant or alcohol licence, but there are plenty of eateries within walking distance
  • Not for lovers of contemporary minimalism: the wooden floors creak, the steep stairs sway (gently) as you climb, this is a heritage property
  • Towards the end of the season the nets, curtains, towels and walls start to look tired, but this is reflected in the prices
  • Rooms are simple, so it's definitely worth booking a higher room category if you can

Best time to go

November to March is the peak time for visitors: the weather is dry rather than humid and not too hot. The much quieter monsoon season (December to February) is a good time for taking an Ayurvedic treatment course nearby, as you’re supposed to rest up between appointments anyway. October and April could offer the best of both worlds, if you’re lucky.

Our top tips

Be sure to catch the sun setting through the shapes of the famous Chinese fishing nets on the nearby northern shores - it’s a magical sight.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
  • Heritage Hotel
  • 9 rooms
  • Restaurants nearby
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car not necessary
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
  • Courtyard


All 9 guest rooms overlook the central courtyard and pool, most of them reached by an ancient teak staircase complete with eaten-away holes (though we’re assured it’s checked regularly and is completely safe!). They range in size, with the largest being the Suite complete with sitting room, a wealth of antiques and a tiny balcony off its bathroom.

Our Standard Room was rather small but clean and comfortable with a good powerful shower. All rooms share varnished wooden floors and ceilings, mosquito-netted beds, antiques, ensuite bathrooms and air-conditioning. Ensuite bathrooms have refillable shampoo and conditioner bottles to cut down on plastic waste. Rooms are not in immaculate condition (think simple and historic rather than luxurious) but the reasonable rates reflect this.

Whichever room you book, say hello to the resident ghost. But don’t worry. The overall ambience is positive and relaxed - a relief after the frenetic pace of Fort Cochin.

Features include:

  • Fan
  • Mosquito net
  • Safe box
  • WiFi


The Old Courtyard Hotel does not have a restaurant. You can request an Indian breakfast to be brought in and served to you at extra cost, but most guests prefer to eat outside the hotel. We particularly liked Kashi Art Cafe for fantastic juices, poached eggs and avocado. French Toast offered fabulous pastries and a lovely courtyard, while across the road from the hotel, Trouvaille has great coffee and a good breakfast menu. For other meals, you can bring in tasty treats from the many eateries nearby and consume them in the lounge-dining room area. All rooms have coffee and tea making facilities.

Fort Cochin is your kitchen, there are a plethora of dining choices and excellent eateries in the doorstep. Nearby dining alternatives include the boutique Brunton Boatyard Hotel. Around the corner are a string of delightful simple outdoor eateries featuring fresh Keralan food at incredible value (look for the tall tree decorated with crab shells). The many waterfront stalls which cook your chosen catch-of-the-day as you watch are also highly-recommended.

Features include:

  • Restaurants nearby


  • Spend a day and night chugging through the wide Kerala backwaters on a traditional houseboat, with smaller snakeboats taking you down village channels
  • Catch martial arts displays and music concerts at the nearby cultural centre
  • Tour Mattancherry Palace, a 16th-century Dutch building whose interior quad now houses a Hindu temple
  • See India’s oldest European church, the 16th-century St Francis, which is only a few minutes' walk away
  • Browse through atmospheric shops selling spices and crafts, and explore the weekly antique market
  • Take a cab to the not very PC-sounding Jewtown (3km away) for mirrors and hand-woven bedspreads and impressive antiques – from small ornaments to room filling pieces (all shipped back home for you)
  • Relax with an Ayurvedic massage or treatment at one of the local centres, or submerge yourself in the pool after a day's explorations
  • Hop on a cruise boat or ferry to islands such as Bolghatty, which has an 18th-century palace and a pre-bookable golf course
  • Visit the huge and houseboat-dotted Vembanad lake (an hour’s drive away)

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Golf
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Tennis
  • Tennis coaching
  • Traditional cultures
  • Well being


All ages are welcome, note that we think it isn't the best option for young children due to the potentially hazardous stairs and the quiet atmosphere – though there is a central pool.

Best for:

Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

The Suites and Deluxe Rooms have space for a baby cot or an extra bed (additional charges apply).

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available


Babysitters and childminders are available, request in advance.

Baby equipment:

One baby cot to borrow, request in advance

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Families Should Know:

The courtyard pool is unfenced and has steps.


  • Airport: 1hr 20m
  • Hospital: 40 mins
  • Shops: 1 minute
Kid Friendly:


The Old Courtyard Hotel is right in the centre of Fort Cochin (Kochi) in southern India.

By Air
Cochin (Kochi) International (42km) is the closest airport. Kerala's other international airport, Trivandrum Thiruvananthapuram, is 200km south of Cochin, though it is easily accessible by rail or car.

From the Airport
The hotel can book a taxi for you - make sure you ask for one with air-conditioning. Or you can catch a taxi at the airport rank - just be sure to agree a price before you get in.

By Train
If you're in India already, you can catch a train to Ernakulam Station (14km away) or Fort Cochin from most destinations. From there it's easy to catch a taxi to The Old Courtyard Hotel.

Getting Around
Many of Cochin's sights are within walking distance and rickshaws are a cheap and convenient way of getting around. The hotel can help when booking taxis.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through

More on getting to Kerala and getting around


  • Cochin International 42.0 km COK
  • Trivandrum Thiruvananthapuram International 200.0 km TRV


  • Beach 0.1 km
  • Shops 0.1 km
  • Restaurant 0.1 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 2 independent reviews from i-escape guests


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