We stayed here for a single night at the start of a week-long Kerala trip, arriving just at the time the sunset cruise was due to depart, and therefore assuming that we'd missed our only chance for a Kochi sunset. Without rushing the welcoming drink, the reception staff took our passports and luggage, invited us to wait at the jetty (which had further complimentary drinks and snacks on offer) so we could join the slightly delayed cruise, and sort out check-in on return. The cruise itself was a great way to catch a glimpse of the beauty of the Fort area, including the Chinese finishing nets. On return to the hotel, we were informed that we'd been upgraded to a Deluxe Allure suite. Not sure whether this was due to a shortage of the room type we'd booked (Sunset View), or whether it's just savvy PR to offer this upgrade to one-nighters when a suite would otherwise be unoccupied to generate positive recommendations - either way, it was a great surprise!
The suite room was stunning in terms of cleanliness, decor and space, with a great balcony facing the water - was a great introduction to Kerala to sit in silence just after sunset, listening to the lapping water and calls to prayer while watching the boat lights as they sailed by... Had time for a quick swim in the waterside infinity pool before heading to dinner at one of the resort restaurants (Peppers, I think?). The buffet dinner on offer is quite good value with a good range of Indian and western options for all courses. Breakfast buffet was similarly good.
Accommodations: Can only review the suite, which was probably the nicest hotel room I've stayed in.. Bed comfortable, huge flat-screen tv in bedroom and lounge, powerful shower, good range of complimentary toiletries. Room was spotless, which I'd assume applies to all rooms. Housekeeping staff seem to be very professionally trained, and were very friendly when we passed them in the hallways, etc.
Location: Fairly isolated at the northern end of Willingdon Island, but pretty sure a ferry terminal for the short trip to Fort is located nearby (we didn't stay long enough to check this out). Possibly not an ideal location if you're interested in a longer stay in Kochi, since options on Fort might be more convenient for sightseeing and eating options. The 3 (or 4?) on-site restaurants at least give you some choice, albeit at the higher end of the price range, and I'd imagine the chef/kitchen is common, so the choice is somewhat cosmetic. If you're interest is relaxing somewhere quiet with great views, however, the location is a definite plus.
Grounds and Facilities: Spotlessly clean lawns, gardens and paths and outdoor pool. We didn't have a chance to use the on-site spa or bar, but restaurants are clean, well-staffed and serve a good variety of food. Also has an on-site souvenir/bookshop.
Staff: From check-in to check-out, we encountered nothing but well-trained, smiling staff trying to ensure we enjoyed our stay.
Summary: Would highly recommend this hotel to anyone interested in some relaxation at the start or end of a Kerala trip - no need to set foot outside the resort (other than onto the complimentary sunset cruise!).
- Also Known As:
- Vivanta By Taj - Malabar Hotel Kochi (Cochin)
- Vivanta By Taj - Malabar Hotel
- Taj Malabar Cochin Kochi
- Taj Malabar Cochin Hotel Kochi
- Taj Malabar
- Vivanta By Taj - Malabar Kochi (Cochin), India - Kerala
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated on Willingdon Island with a magnificent view of Cochin harbour, Vivanta by Taj - Malabar is a fine balance between yesterday and tomorrow. Our lobby is a unique mix of chic and classic. The heritage wing, built in 1935, reflect the inherent beauty of Cochin. And the tower wing houses newly renovated guestroom suites, each a delicate mix of the classic with the contemporary. ... more less
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