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“Nice but falls short on the expectation it creates in the beginning....”

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Old Lighthouse Bristow Hotel
Ranked #181 of 205 Hotels in Kochi (Cochin)
New Delhi
Level Contributor
226 reviews
123 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
“Nice but falls short on the expectation it creates in the beginning....”
Reviewed 9 September 2012

First the location and look of the hotel....

Located on the beach road in Fort Kochi (which in itself is beautiful) the hotel in bang on the beach and overlooks the sea. The Hotel has an old world charm and peaceful, so when you first steps in it takes you in with a pleasant surprise...

But when I left after two days i felt a missing note somewhere...an incomplete feel....and here's why....

First the rooms...The hotel has some 11 rooms (sea view deluxe, standard garden view, villas), the lounge and corridor nicely done. I did not see the other rooms except the sea view room, so my feedback is only for these rooms. What gets you first is the sheer size of the room. Its HUGE, so it gives you a feel of space and don't feel too cramped up. The fabric and upholstery used are very tastefully done. The furniture used also adds to the beauty to the room. Bathroom is spacious too and comes with all toiletries which are of good quality.
Then the balcony which makes it a sea view room adds value to the room
particularly the sitting area.

Okay now the improvement area - The roof has seepage, so at times dust of the plaster falls and at times even water. Also as the roof looks like damaged so it makes lot of noise when birds are on top of it.

With such a beautiful looking room, the damaged ceiling was a big spoiler.

House Keeping - First day the problem was only with sugar not being kept but second day even the tea bags and water was not replenished. I had to ask for it. Hand Towel with red stain. Those were the few things but otherwise the room and the bathroom were kept clean and
tidy.

Food - First the breakfast which has a fixed menu perfectly okay with me but no brown bread is little funny. Also even though there were very few guest on the first day but the main server forgot to give me the white bread toast. Second day it was perfect. You know what makes
a good service is when you take care of the guests and look into minute details even if somebody does not tell it to you. The breakfast area is open and loads of big mosquitoes so it would have felt great if these guys had put a mosquito repellent without even telling
them...i had to ask for it both the days.

First night I had dinner and the food was good, tasty and big portion but my suggestion is when the guest is asking you need to be absolutely sure that all information is clear and shared with the guest. Rice comes separately but when I asked does the prawn dish served with rice, I got a positive answer but realised otherwise when i got the bill. Its a small amount but what i wanted to share the importance of clear communication and trust.

Check-in process - It was quick but what disappointed me is you have such a lovely property but nobody took the initiative to show me around and what facilities are available. Tripadvisor had such an amazing picture of the pool, but nobody told me that its under maintenance (though i did not see anybody working on it during both the days). Rooms and the Bar/Lounge upstairs also I had to check myself.

But all this said it still manage to make a place in your heart when you remember the ever changing colour of the sky over the sea...a stunning view from the balcony.

Room Tip: Sea View Room
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank auribuddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vickram99, General Manager at Old Lighthouse Bristow Hotel, responded to this review, 21 September 2012
Dear Esteemed Guest,

Thank you for choosing to stay at "The Old Lighthouse Bristow Hotel". We appreciate your feedback and have looked into all the short comings. We are glad you liked the location and staff, we always try to provide the best possible services.
I do apologise for all the short comings and invite you to stay with us again and allow us to extend to you the best possible hospitality.

Look forward to seeing you again.

warm regards

Suraj Rajkumar
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Bengaluru, India
Level Contributor
44 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 August 2012

Located slightly away from the town centre, this hotel prefectly blends with the old colonial heritage of Fort Kochi. The first thing which will strike you are the large windows and beautiful building which apparently was an old lighthouse earlier (as the name suggests). Once you reach the reception you realise that the other side of the hotel faces the beach and offers a brilliant view of the sea!

The staff are very courteous and helpful. In fact we were booked in a garden facing room but there was some problem with the rooms and we were upgraded to the pool facing rooms!! There was a slight issue with a party happening by the pool and since we wanted some peace and quiet, we were slightly bugged. However the staff were quite apologetic and tried to make our stay as comfortable.

The rooms are nice and large with wooden post beds which look lovely. Nice big bathrooms with bath tubs add to the beauty and comfort. Our balcony had an amazing view of the sea and the huge ships entering the Kochi port. The only drawback was the huge crowds which thronged the beach, but if you are fine with that then the place is worth a visit.

There is a restaurant overlooking the sea which serves meals. They have a choice of Indian, English and other varieties of breakfast. Food standard is also good and variety is decent.

Overall it is a place worth visiting. The property is really nice, location is great and the staff is extremely helpful and friendly. If you want to experience the feel of Fort Kochi and also enjoy the beauty of the sea, this is the place to visit!

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank Promit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bury St Edmunds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 July 2012

I booked this after reading a review on Trip Advisor. The hotel has a great setting overlooking the sea and a beach much loved by the locals. It has a very tranquil, peaceful atmosphere and we found it to be extremely relaxing. The room was spotless and always cleaned and maintained to a very high standard. The staff are among the friendliest people we have encountered anywhere in the World and were always eager to please. We stayed here for all of our stay in India which appeared a bit odd as a lot of people seemed to be on the grand tour and were only there for a few days, but with a hotel this good why change? We ate in the hotel and I'm very fussy in that I don't like to be "bothered" once served and if I want something or have a complaint I'll make it apparent. The staff were excellent and once served asked if there was anything else I required and left me to it. If it looked like I needed another drink or was ready for the next course they appeared and disappeared quickly, sounds a bit odd but that's me. After a week of touring around the area we decided to spend a day relaxing at the hotel and the whole day was a mix of relaxing by the pool, people watching on the beach and reading. It was great. Being the closed season the menu wasn't as full as it usually is but this was explained to us and we were told that if there was any special dish we wanted to ask and they would arrange it, how good is that. I have to admit that we were made to feel like very special guests and not another two tourists passing through. It is great value for money, in a great location, with great sea views and exceptional staff and management.

I'll stay there again when I next visit Kerala.

Room Tip: All the rooms looked great, we had one of two rooms set apart from the hotel by the pool.
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Joe52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vickram99, Owner at Old Lighthouse Bristow Hotel, responded to this review, 27 July 2012
Dear esteemed guest,

Thank you for your review. We are extremely grateful to you for recognizing the hard work put in by our staff. We are also delighted that the hotel met your need for privacy and exclusivity. We do hope to serve you well in the future better with our planned upgrade to the Lighthouse that will make you feel even more special and a part of the historical Fort Kochi development.

Thanks & Best Regards,
Vikram Ghorpade
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
england
Level Contributor
25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 June 2012

My first visit to India in april 2011 we discovered this place although we were not staying here me and my friend paid to use the pool (they have a package where you can use the pool and have lunch) We enjoyed the location - with a sea view and nice pool with jacuzzi

Second time I returned and stayed here, room was nice again pool lovely but not very pleased that when I checked out in the morning they charged me to hang around the pool area and keep my bags. In fact I was encouraged to pay the package with lunch included. I found this bad considering I had been a guest there and they were not busy the hotel was nearly empty therefore me using their pool should not have been a problem. I felt disappointed by this and that they just tried to squeeze as much money from you as possible. I have returned to Cochin since and did not stay here because did not feel very welcome not compared to the other places I have stayed. This is a shame because the hotel itself is attractive, the best thing being the pool

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank EnglandLovely
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paris
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 May 2012

I stayed in the hotel for a few days after touring around southern India. I had usually stayed in good hotels but when I arrived at the Old Lighthouse Bristow I was amazed and delighted. A beautiful looking hotel by the sea with gentle sound of waves in the background.
Everything was great, the rooms were very comfortable, the food excellent and the personnel very friendly. The hotel was peaceful and yet it was less than 10 minutes walk from the center of Fort Cochin with all the noise and people you would expect.
If you go to Kochi you should stay in this hotel.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank lpooll
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vickram99, Owner at Old Lighthouse Bristow Hotel, responded to this review, 28 May 2012
Dear Ipooll,

Thank you so much and it is such a pleasure seeing your review. We at the Old Lighthouse Bristow Hotel have one of the most beautiful locations you can find by the sea. The monsoons are even more compelling with an alluring breeze. The Vinocean with its new selection of wines is truly tempting. We look forward to serving you, your family and friends who wish to travel and stay at our hotel which is truly a home away from home. It is also refreshing to see a review from someone who has been on tripadvisor for a while giving us a 5/5, thank you so much. For our competition I have this to say: "Fight a battle fairly, fight a battle on value. When people visit us they truly know who we are, we cannot mask behind ratings on the internet. Value is what we are, where we are and what we deliver". Thanks so much again.

Thanks & Best Regards,
Vikram Ghorpade
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 April 2012

Be sure to check in advance that the pool is in working order. We booked tis place primarily because of the pool but arrived to find it filled with green water and 'under maintenance'. We stayed four nights and every day we were told by reception that the pool 'might be ready by tomorrow', but we saw no sign of anyone seriously attempting to fix it. The rooms were really nice - comfortable bed, nice bathrooom, clean - and it is in an ok location away from the main part of town but within easy walking distance. Given that the beach in front of the hotel is difficult to access and not really swimmable (we were advised by locals to not go in the water) you really need the pool. Beware and check in advance !

Room Tip: It is small enough for all rooms to be good.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Simon B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vickram99, Owner at Old Lighthouse Bristow Hotel, responded to this review, 3 May 2012
Dear Simon,

My sincere apologies for the pool not being available. I was told we were attempting to fix the pool, but the the chemicals needed atleast 24 to 48 hours to set. I see that you have rated us very highly on other counts and I would love to have you back. I can assure you that the pool is now fully functional and people are really enjoying the salubrious weather and the pool. We really hope to see you back as we now have our bar fully functional and would be a delight to take care of you.

Thanks & Best Regards,
Vikram Ghorpade
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Littleover, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 April 2012

My partner and I spent three nights at this hotel as part of a three week holiday and enjoyed every minute of our time there. The hotel is lovely in an understated way, the room was simple, but completely charming and the wet rooms included really good showers and toiletries. We found the staff to be welcoming and helpful and the service was 'relaxed' by which I mean slow, by UK standards but perfect for our gentle Indian wind down.
During our stay the hotel was being used as a movie location so we also got to watch a world class director in action which was fascinating ... if not entirely peaceful.
If you're thinking about booking, go ahead, the hotel is a lovely 15 minute beach side walk away from town, it has a nice neighborhood feel and very, very comfy beds.

Room Tip: The garden views are just as pretty as the beach.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Tricia F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vickram99, Owner at Old Lighthouse Bristow Hotel, responded to this review, 3 May 2012
Dear Tricia,

Thank you so much for staying at the Old Lighthouse. It is guests like you that really make us strive to do even better. I am really glad you enjoyed the movie scenes of the Director Mani Ratnam who has produced some world class movies. It really was a honour to have him choose our hotel and appreciate the service, the surroundings,weather and the sea.We could not turn him down though we normally do not allow any movie shoots on location, so my apologies for any inconvenience. We have a fully functional bar so it would be a real pleasure to host you or your family and friends in case they do decide to make a trip down to Kerala. The weather is really awesome right now as the rains have brought in a beautiful sea breeze that has made the temperatures go down by atleast 5 degrees!!!!

Thanks & Best Regards,
Vikram Ghorpade
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Old Lighthouse Bristow Hotel

Property: Old Lighthouse Bristow Hotel
Address: Beach Road, | next to INS Dronacharya, Kochi (Cochin) 682001, India
Region: India > Kerala > Kochi (Cochin)
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#19 On the Beach Hotel in Kochi (Cochin)
#36 Luxury Hotel in Kochi (Cochin)
#50 Spa Hotel in Kochi (Cochin)
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Old Lighthouse Bristow Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Chic luxury heritage boutique hotel in Fort Kochi. This is the latest treasure that has been created with great outdoor dining by the sea, one of the only spas that offers both western and traditional treatments in the area, and an infinity pool with great views of the sea and the English style garden. The indoor lounge is fantastic for a relaxing evening. The lighthouse bears witness to many a ship passing by and the ships that sail by seem to walk into the property. The hotel was the residence of the founder of Cochin port Sir Robert Bristow and has been receiving great reviews from all its guests. The hotel is a true sanctuary to relax and rediscover yourself. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Old Lighthouse Bristow Hotel Kochi (Cochin), Kerala, India

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