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“Stylish hotel in a perfect location”
Review of Malabar House

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Malabar House
Ranked #32 of 208 Hotels in Kochi (Cochin)
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
25 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Stylish hotel in a perfect location”
Reviewed 29 March 2008

We (two adults and two children aged 12 & 14) have just spent two nights in Fort Kochi at The Malabar House.

The childrens' room (5) on the ground floor was reasonably sized but without a private terrace or balcony. Our suite (11) upstairs was larger, had a separate small sitting area with a desk and a large outside shaded balcony (with a table, chairs and a lounger) overlooking the inner courtyard.

The hotel is very styled and the restaurant is popular with non-residents which means that it can get crowded. Someone else commented on this and it is true that there is not a lot of space either in the restaurant or in the "grounds". But to be fair that is probably true of most of the properties in Fort Kochi except perhaps the Brunton Boatyard which we visited for dinner on our second night. To compare the two: Brunton is bigger, has more space, has a larger pool, is on the waterfront and is slightly more formal /serious/quiet and would perhaps appeal to an older clientele. The Malabar House seemed hipper and cooler with a younger artier crowd and perhaps because of the smaller space it appeared more lively. At lunchtime there was a definite buzz to the place. We were very happy with our choice.

The location is absolutely perfect being just opposite the old parade ground where the local children play cricket, close to St. Francis Church and only a few minutes walk from the Chinese fishing nets. This is certaiunly a great base from which to explore Fort Kochi.

  • Liked — Stylish hotel, great location near the sights
  • Disliked — Dinner menu in restaurant did not really appeal to us
  • Stayed March 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Johnrog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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619 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (113)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 March 2008

It was the first time I'd been back to India in 10 years and this time I wasn't staying in £3 guest houses... We arrived at the Malabar on a hot and sticky afternoon covered in dust from the journey to a cool pillared entrance with friendly reception staff and overhead fans. Our room was on the ground floor and a little dark but a good size with a bath (something I didnt see last time for the entire 4 month trip), complementary toiletries, attractive furniture and above all it was cool. After a rest and a shower I sat on the verahnda overlooking local cricket pitch where schoolboys played cricket in the afternoon sunshine - this was perfect! Dinner was possibly the best we had on our entire trip in a beautiful courtyard with romantic tables for two, candlelight and Kerelan musicians playing late into the evening. We stayed a couple of nights end then returned a week later - this time we were upgraded to a suite with TWO balconies - one witha maharajan style swinging bed and the other overlooking the courtyard where we retired after dinner with drinks and spied on the other diners. A top start to our holiday. Yes I felt guilty at paying the equivelant of a local Kerelan's months wages for 2 nights plus dinner but as a special treat you couldnt do any better than stay at the Malabar.

  • Liked — the courtyard setting for dinner/drinks
  • Disliked — the price
  • Stayed December 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CattinJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
143 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
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.

  • Liked — relaxed and beautiful
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed March 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kriselda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
paris
Level 6 Contributor
191 reviews
77 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 252 helpful votes
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.

  • Liked — Nice antiques
  • Disliked — Not spick and span, appalling service, no space and average food
  • Stayed March 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank bacon75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Knutsford, England
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
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.

  • Liked — Authentic feel
  • Stayed February 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Bismarck8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
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
Helpful?
2 Thank AndyMell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney
Level 5 Contributor
77 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
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...

  • Liked — clean, safe, authentic Kerala ambience, and friendly
  • Disliked — Cost of laundry. I did my own!
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank globetrotter94
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Malabar House

Property: Malabar House
Address: 1/269 Cochin Residency Parade Road, Kochi (Cochin) 682001, India
Region: India > Kerala > Kochi (Cochin)
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#11 Business Hotel in Kochi (Cochin)
#14 Romantic Hotel in Kochi (Cochin)
#16 Luxury Hotel in Kochi (Cochin)
#16 Spa Hotel in Kochi (Cochin)
#26 Family Hotel in Kochi (Cochin)
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Malabar House 4*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Malabar House is a charming boutique hotel overlooking the parade ground in the heart of Fort Cochin. The 17 highly individual rooms and suites seamlessly combine tradition and contemporary design. The Malabar House is a member of Relais & Chateaux. Malabar escapes offers the finest circuit of boutique and villa hotels in Kerala. Placed in colonial Fort Cochin, the backwaters and the plantation hills, each escape gives you a distinct experience & flavour. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Malabar House Hotel Kochi (Cochin)
Malabar House Kochi (Cochin), Kerala, India

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