Old Harbour Hotel (OHH) did not disappoint from the moment we arrived. The word 'hotel' is not representative as it feels more like a lavish mansion of a wealthy friend! The staff are warm, welcoming and the place is a sanctuary from the outside world. The concept is unlike anything I have seen before as they try their best to retain the feeling of being in a 'home' without an obvious check-in desk/ concierge/ bell-boy. Yet they somehow managed to address the practicalities without much ado, for eg. after quick baggage assistance at the door and a brief introduction, we were seamlessly transported into our room with our bags reaching shortly before us and were assisted with checking-in inside our room! Someone else then handed us fresh-coconut water as we returned the check-in paperwork and yet another person took us through the features of our room. The exterior of the building is Dutch colonial with uniquely Keralan interiors and artefacts. It took us back to a time when perhaps colonial influences started to be assimilated into Indian cuture rather than be external to it.We stayed in room 'Rampart' which had its own outdoor seating area at the edge of the grounds with a lotus-pond a few yards from the huge French windows. The house and grounds-keeping staff were always busy and it showed. The grounds with ancient trees and pool are gorgeous.
We availed of cab services from the hotel without hassle (look out for the brilliantly restored Ambassador!). The food was delicious in the 'dining room' and the only flaw was the waiter getting our orders wrong on two occassions (we were there for six meals).
Wi-fi is free but drops out and I think the thick walls of the room affect signal reception. This was a good reason for us to pickup a good book and sit out and enjoy the garden at our doorstep.
'Kashi' cafe-art gallery, two streets down, is also owned by OHH is a good place to 'hang out' and they make the best coffee in moka pots. In summary it was a most enjoyable 'ol' school' experience. Now where's my monocle..
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- At the heart of ancient Fort Cochin, Kerala, a place that exudes history and culture, is the 'Old Harbour Hotel.' A 300 year-old building that has for long been a heritage monument of this town, now reopened as a boutique hotel. Built in the Dutch style of architecture with hints of Portuguese influences, it was the first hotel of old Cochin. Later it remained a residential home to employees of English Tea broking firms until it was left unused for a period of time. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Old Harbour Kochi
- Hotel Old Harbour
- Old Harbour Hotel Kochi (Cochin), Kerala, India