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All reviewsboutique hotelrelais chateauxfort cochinindian winecentral courtyardparade groundsmall pooltraditional musiclocal musiciansroof gardenlovely boutiquethe ground floorthalireception deskfirst floortwo night stayfour poster
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Reviewed 10 March 2008

What a lovely entrance - the blue pool and pink frangipani tree are right behind reception. Myself and 4 female friends shared 2 fantastic rooms. Room 18 was a real treat: two levels and a huge balcony overlooking the garden. Staff were friendly, although don't expect a lot of English to be spoken. Beers and snacks in the tapas bar were great, as was dinner in the courtyard (great vegetarian curry and grilled lobster & scampi). Indian breakfast with juice and newspapers was very peaceful. We had massages and they were quite nice.

It was a beautiful, peaceful, friendly place to spend a couple of days.

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled with friends
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Thank Kriselda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 March 2008

I'm just back from a 14-day trip in south India. I spent two nights at the Malabar House in Kochi and i'd like to say that i'm very surprised when i read the good reviews this hotel got because our experience there was terrible. How can such a place belong( and boasts to belong as you will see at the entrance) to the Relais Châteaux (Being French, i know what their standards USUALLY are and this place, under no circumstances comes up to them)
To start with, we had the worst welcome ever: we had to carry our luggage ourselves because there was nobody waiting in front of the residency,no smile but a woman barking at us to get our passports as soon as possible. Then we were taken to our deluxe room,( quite nicely decorated, just like the place as a whole actually, but very dark and not spick and span)In the evening we were looking forward to tasting the food of the restaurant (very good reviews in all the guides…) What we got was very disappointing average food and an appalling service.We tried again for lunch the following day and had our worst Thali ever!
Breakfast was supposed to be served from 7 to 11 and when i went to have breakfast at 7:05 on the first morning the waiter looked at me as if i were some kind of alien and told me that i could only have coffee and toasts because breakfast was not ready. I had to wait till 7:45 to get fruit and eggs. Don't expect a buffet for breakfast by the way, you'll only get coffee, toasts ,BAD croissants or brioches, fruit, and eggs if you ask for them, and to crown it all, you'll have your breakfast on a stained tablecloth.What people must understand before choosing this hotel is that the are likely to feel cramped all most of the time because the courtyard around which some of the rooms are organized is quite small and contains the restaurant, a VERY small swimming pool and a so called terrace.
We paid around 500 dollars for two nights , for this price you expect a minimum of service and cleanliness.

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank bacon75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2008

Great ambience. Food is excellent. I recommend the Kerali massage at the hotel which is good value and the best massage I have ever had.

As we were staying for three nights the hotel arranged a driver and we went in to Cochin to visit the textile / silk stores along MG Road eg Seemati, Parthas. The hotel then recommended a local tailor who is great value and made a couple of silk suits for me (I brought something for him to copy) which were a real success.

Overall we really enjoyed our stay.

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank Bismarck8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 February 2008

My stay at the Malabar house was absolutely lovely. I was upgraded to a suite, which included a living room on the lower level and a bedroom on the upper level. The furniture was all fine, if a bit basic for a hotel of this cost. (I think they were going for the "upscale bungalow" feel.) The bed itself was comfortable, though it was a mattress positioned on a hard wood platform, so quite firm. Everything in the bathroom worked flawlessly, but there was no door between the bathroom and bedroom.

The suite also had a huge patio with very comfortable furniture. The way the property was laid out gave the room and balcony plenty of privacy. Also, as Ft. Kochi is very quiet, noise is not much of a concern.

The staff was always ready for any request that I had. But, unlike other Indian hotels, they weren't overly intrusive.

The restaurant was divine, if you like seafood. They had both local and western preparations of Keralan specialties. But, the western dishes were spiced in a very distinctively Indian way, which made them all the more memorable. The breakfast was also quite good, with a focus on fresh local fruits and vegetables. (The pineapple juice was amazing, especially compared to what passes for pineapple juice in the rest of India.)

The hotel was in a very central area..It's right next to the St. Francis church, and a short walk from the Chinese fishing nets as well as the main street tourist bazaar area. It's about a 10 minute auto ride from the hotel to Mattancherry Palace or the Jewish neighborhood.

All-in, I highly recommend the Malabar House as a relaxing place to stay in one of the most relaxing parts of India.

Stayed: January 2008
2  Thank AndyMell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 January 2008

If you are looking for an authentic Kerala experience, please consider Malabar House. It is situated in a central but quiet location opposite the Parade Ground, where children play cricket and football all day. Along the nearby Napier Street are excellent local souvenir stalls, and major Fort attractions are within a few minutes walk.

I had a look at other rooms, which varied in size and features, but my room, near the pool (small, but oh so welcome) and courtyard garden area was superb. I had a little covered terrace with a table and chairs, and the room featured tiled floors (cool), air conditioning (quiet and effective) and the best reading lights I had ever encountered. I loved the complentary bookmark. The bathroom had both shower and bath, lashings of hot, soft water and the usual shampoos etc. Towels and bedlinen were gleaming white, and a plate of selected fruit with linen serviette and knife, was delivered every evening. Bottled water is supplied, but all food preparation is with filtered water. I ate with confidence, including cut fruit and iced drinks, and my only health problem after a week, was that I gained weight from eating too much!

I was travelling my myself, but had no difficulty making friends with other guests, and I found the staff to be most attentive and kind. This is a seriously upmarket establishment, and in the evening, the courtyard restaurant is packed with visitors from all over the world, smartly dressed and enjoying the seafood meals and classical music and/or dance performances. The garden is sprayed every evening for mosquitoes, and the atmosphere is magic. Indeed, many guests were staying at Brunton Boatyard or other similar hotels, but came to the Malabar because of its reputation. By the way, I am vegetarian, and had many tasty choices such as Italian pastas, freshly inhouse baked bread and homemade fruit sorbets. The lunch vegetarian talis are authentic, delicious and not too spiced. Tip: ask for Kerala breakfasts. They are a real treat.

How do I know what is authentic? I used to live in Kerala ....

By the way, during the day, have a snack and coffee or smoothie etc in the Divine Bar upstairs, or if you like, something stronger. The bar is also air conditioned and a free laptop is available for guest's use.

And, whilst you are here, try the Ayurvedic massage, with 2 people working on you at a time. I stayed a week and spoilt myself daily.

The hotel can provide safe and sane taxi drivers, with a/c and seatbelts on request for long trips(believe me, this is important if you have ever experienced local drivers), arrange tours and generally answer my many questions about local matters. Many auto rickshaw drivers wait outside, ready to drop you at local places of interest, for less than a dollar.

Yes, the hotel is expensive, as are other similar hotels in Fort Cochin. But, if you wish to experience the town in comfort with little worry about health or safety, I would warmly suggest Malabar House. Stay a while. Fort Kochi is a most interesting place.

I didn't feel like leaving...

  • Stayed: January 2008, travelled solo
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1  Thank globetrotter94
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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