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Le Meridien Kochi
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Reviews (1,256)
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Reviewed May 5, 2007

I arrrived at Le Meridien Cochin late at night, after a taxing journey, to a good welcome but a rather unexpected 'you'll need to take a boat to your room' ... as I had been upgraded to a suite.

Duly took a short boat ride across the waters to the hotel extension,
a newer building than the main body and shown to my suite. Bedroom and bathroom OK but the sitting room was like a bedsit, terrible furniture, no lamps just bright ceiling spot lights (and also in the bedroom), tiny desk with no power supply near it in the room ... all very odd but the bed at least was comfortable. A colleague was in the
hotel proper and said at least my rooms were more moden and cleaner.

I stepped on to the balcony but there was nothing to see, so stepped back in (thankfully quickly, more later)...

I was attending a conference and had pretty full days and no real R&R
time, the conference centre is very well located, has good facilities
but is very shabby around the edged. Frayed carpets, broken fixtures,
even the gardens (usually a strong point of Indian hotels) were poorly kept.

In the afternoon I return to my room to do some work and looking out on to the balcony I saw to my horror a huge, pulsating bees nest hanging from the awning over the balcony...must have been inches above my head when stepping out last night...and I have allergies to insect bites...I stood there in horror. Things get worse... eventually shaken out of stupour I call house keeping and tell them I have an 'insect problem'. Ten minutes later someone appears with a broom and dust pan, no doubt thinking I had a cockroach or similar, no need for that, I tell him, look at this instead. Pointing to the nest he also reacts with shock...I ask to be moved, no joy, the hotel
is full, but they will send pest control. Pest control it turns out is a little man with a canister of diesel fuel and a spray, and he gets out onto the balcony with no protection to spray the nest... this of course sets off a swarm, bees, diesel fumes, dead bees, everywhere (I'm hiding in the bedroom at this point)...eventually they kill the nest, catch the bees in my room, and leave for a while. Everything now smells like a gas station, the stench of diesel is awful but the staff don't think it's a problem. An hour later someone else appears to vacuum up the remaining dead bees and then sprays the most awful room scent around making the diesel into something even more awful...I have to say the staff were charming throughout, but the whole experience was dire. I go to bed with sheets smelling of fuel...thankfully it did evaporate and the next day was much better.

Generally the hotel, like all Meridiens I have stayed in, in India, is shabby, old scuffed furniture and carpets, but charming and helpful staff. My firm had taken up a large part of it for a conference, and I saw few real tourists, the place was also popular with flight crew. If I had a choice, I wouldn't go back.

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
3  Thank slinky09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2007

i have to admit i was a little nervous of staying here after reading reviews written by others.we have stayed in many 5 star hotels throughout the world so i know that places like india do not have quite the the same standards as say the far east etc 5 star in india is never quite as good.its not so much the service just things always look a little jaded round the edges in need of a lick of paint. the good things about this hotel were the staff i found them to be exceptional always willing ,smiling and eager to please despite the terribly long hours they worked.i found the food to be excellent i had the same seafood dish twice and the coffee shop menu exstensive i didnt rate the buffet. the gardens by the pool were quite relaxing i loved the little menagerie of birds geese , cockeriels etc trotting round the grounds.food could be ordered by the pool and also cocktails you had to wait a while as it all came from the restaurant and bar but it was enjoyable and quite cheap but india always is. i had to cancel my first night due to a delayed flight and although the policy is cancel 2 days prior to arrival i wasnt charged i was upgraded to a suite as a starwood gold member and got into my room at 8am in the morning with no extra charge,also transfers if you stay on the royal club floor are free to and from the airport.we only had 2 feather pillows in our room the rest were foam i asked for more but had to wait until someone had vacated their room to get them as the hote had no others.they did infact get them to me in dribs an drabs over the next few days without me reminding them.a word of warning about the royal club floor its not up to scratch one small plate of little snacks and few bottles of indian spirits available during the supposed 2 hours happy hour we complained to the manager and then had a steady stream of various people up to apologise to us word must have got round we were awkward because even thepillow man came to aplogise for our feather pillows . the upshot was they had a chilled bottle of wine waiting each day for us and we were bought some indian snacks, i do hope they improve this lounge because you pay extra for this and i noticed the drinks were taken away 10 mins early each night its as though the staff have been told you have to give away as liitle free drink as possible, you also have to sign for everything you have from the lounge eventhough its complimentary india seems to do everything in such a long winded way.you may have gathered we are quite picky this isnt my idea of a 5 star hotel but hotels in india never are unless maybe you stay at an oberio or shangrila and i have even heard complaints about oberoi hotel and you pay upwards of 600us dollars for them ,the meridien was more like 200us all in all if i ever found myself in these parts again i would choose here i dont think malabar and brunton boat are even up to meridien standards, my overall feeling about this hotel was good just dont expect dubai standards but i think they do try hard in this hotel. one last thing go to the elephant orphanage 50kms away you can help wash the elephants in the river ,they have 2 babies and some bigger ones get there early they take their bath at 8am it was an experience i will never forget .

  • Stayed: February 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
2  Thank susieb-7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2007

I would agree with the comments of most of the other reviewers - this is a large modern conference hotel ,well out of town. If you want to be able to walk out of your hotel and wander the old streets of Cochin this is then don't stay here.
But the room we were allocated , a Club room , was large and well furnished with a great view of the pool and backwaters.
The food in the main restaurant was of a very good standard and we had two first class dinners in the Sea food restaurant.
Pool area is well worn and the bar/snack service poor.
As with other reviews , as guests over the New Year , we had a mandatory $55 New Years Eve Gala Dinner and were not allowed to have the R2500 outdoor buffet and cabaret - Indians only!
We were also not allowed to go outside to watch the cabaret or fireworks but in fact had a better view from the bedroom balcony - first class seats.
Also check your final account - we found 3 errors on ours which were all credited when challenged.
Many tour operators use this Hotel as it nearer the Airport than those downtown (because of backtracking over the many bridges linking the islands) and is a good stepping off place for moving South and East for the tours of the Backwaters and the Western Ghats.
If we had our choice again we would opt foreither the Malabar House or Brunton Boatyard.
One last thought - downtown Cochin island and the Old Town are a must.

  • Stayed: December 2006
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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2  Thank Silverswimmer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2007

We stayed for four nights in a room on the fifth floor, overlooking the backwaters and swimming pool from our balcony.
So much for the nice bits.
The hotel has no charm, but is simply a big concrete building for business travellers. The staff, especially the travel desk, are very unhelpful. Overall the service was very slow and not attentive to the guests needs. Make sure to check the final bill thoroughly, as mine showed many incorrect charges.
We had to send food, ordered through room service, back twice on the same night due to incorrect order being sent.
Do not order the club sandwhich at the pool.


Recommendations:
Look at the various Family Inns or smaller boutique hotels in Fort Cochin, which will give you a more authentic feel to your stay.
Don't use the hotel's taxis, as the prices are immensely inflated, but instead walk out of the main gate and catch a rickshaw, which with some good haggling skills can be rented for the day as your personal ride.

Backwater tours: shop around and do not rely solely on the hotel's travel desk. We paid Rs 435.00 for a seven hour trip, which was relaxing, but I strongly advise to bring reading material. Shop around for best deals.

Massage: Ayurvedic treatments are an experience. Ours in Fort Cochin definitely was an unpleasant despite the many good recommendations by many travel guides. But considering the price of Rs 350.00 for a 50 min full body massage, puts the treatment into perspective. But be warned if you are expecting a clean and relaxing environment. Instead you will be faced with chaotic staff running around, giggling and the uncomfortable feeling of being constantly observed.

Stayed: January 2007
3  Thank Ld500
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2007

This hotel has no concept of 5 star service. We arrived at the hotel in the early hours in the morning with no welcome from staff at all. Check in goes OK but important information such as royal club access (which we had paid for) was not provided to us. Rooms very small and backwater views from where we were were appalling (and we were supposed to be in "Royal Club" rooms). Room service very slow - at least 45 t0 60 minutes wait at the minumum - we tried at different times of the day and the wait time was the same at each time. If you stay at the hotel on NY Eve, you "must" attend their dinner celebrations - at INR2500 per head - it was a the same buffet with 2 party hats per table.....and NO drinks included. Complaints to manager(Jijoy) went no where - in fact he puts you on hold when you are speaking to him so he is not actually listening to you at all and when he does see you over the course of your stay, he does not even bother to attempt to speak to you (in fact, when asked questions by staff who are enquring on your behalf, he would rather speak to them via the phone instead of walking over from the next desk to deal with the staff and/or guest!!) Swimming pool was a joke and there was nothing for chidren to do there....I would never ever go back to this hotel nor would I ever recommend it to anyone....find somewhere else to stay...even a 3 star hotel will give you much better service at a much cheaper cost. Oh yes, and the fireworks on NY Eve, what a major letdown, most did not even go off...and the few that did were mediocre.

Stayed: December 2006
2  Thank SueJ_CBR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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