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“Right at home at Le Colonial”

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Neemrana's Le Colonial
Ranked #48 of 211 Hotels in Kochi (Cochin)
Reviewed December 12, 2012

I had meant to book at the other Neemrana property in Cochin - the Tower House - but am glad that we stumbled on Le Colonial. Smita, the manager, is an eminently gracious hostess who manages to be warm, engaging and unobtrusive at the same time, while Vipin and the other members of the staff made every effort to make our three-night stay relaxing and pleasant. Staying at Le Colonial felt like being a pampered houseguest in an impeccably appointed and atmospheric colonial-period villa.

The property only has a handful of rooms, which lends a very intimate feel to the experience. Conversely, there is not the full spread of amenities that you might find in a larger establishment - although I felt that Le Colonial compensated resourcefully for this. While there isn't a full-time restaurant as such, daily breakfast and one (delicious) dinner was included in the tariff, and you can call an hour ahead if you would like to eat in for other meals - presumably giving the staff enough time to run to the market and buy the ingredients for the meal! Le Colonial also has an arrangement with the excellent spa at the Fort House hotel, including return transportation. The staff also were able to get us event tickets, including for the superb show at the Kerala Kathakali Centre, and Smita gave a number of helpful tips for exploring Fort Cochin.

The location is great (a very short walk to the Chinese fishing nets and the shops and cafes of Fort Cochin), and while the rates are by no means a bargain, they are decent value in a city with pricey accommodation. If I had to nitpick - almost just for the sake of finding something to nitpick about - one day one of the towels was left hanging a bit sloppily in the bathroom rather than folded neatly over the rack. But that was really it. Not all Neemrana properties live up to the chains motto of "non-hotel hotels", but Le Colonial definitely does.

Room Tip: Mahé de La Bourdonnais was a nice and bright upper-storey room with a large tub (some rooms have onl...
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank DCGreenwood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NeemranaHotels, Guest Relations Manager at Neemrana's Le Colonial, responded to this reviewResponded December 21, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your valuable review about the Le Colonial heritage hotel in Kochi.

We are pleased to learn that you thoroughly enjoyed your stay in the Mahé de La Bourdonnais suite.

Your compliments about the warm hospitality have been conveyed to the Manager and her team.

The 27 Neemrana 'non- hotel' Hotels across India are instrumental in and custodians of much of India's restored and revitalised architectural heritage. Seven hundred years of history, await humbly for you to extract all the joys of travelling and living out the essence of India in all its nobility and simplicity.

We thank you for your continued patronage to the Neemrana Hotels.

Warm Regards,
Team Neemrana
friendofneemrana@neemranahotels.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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83 - 89 of 122 reviews

Reviewed November 17, 2012

Due to some issues with bookings, our tour company had replaced the original hotel chosen with Le Colonial. I think that we were lucky that they made the change for us.

The building is an old colonial residence, being the original residence of the Portuguese governor, and then of the Dutch governor. It is situated adjacent to the St Francis Church, where Vasco da Gama was buried for a while, and who was also reputed to have stayed at the residence.

The residence is walled from the street, and it is obscured by hawker stalls and a generally untidy front verge, which was rather disconcerting as we approached in the darkness. However once we entered the building, it turned out to be a beautiful old home, in every sense of the word, timbered throughout, and with all walls covered in historic prints and paintings.

Our room, the Jan van Spall Suite was large, with two queen beds and a huge bathroom. It also had a balcony, but with the high level of humidity and mosquitos, we didn't venture outside. Room rates are on a half-board basis, and the hotel also offers free wi-fi.

We were the only guests (in only 8 rooms) for the two nights that we stayed, and were treated as family friends by the delightful manager, Smita, and her able staff. Both evenings of dining there, we enjoyed her conversations during dinner.

It is well placed in Fort Cochin, with the Chinese Fishing Nets about 300mtrs away, the St Francis Church adjacent and the Dutch (Raja) Palace about 500mtrs. Streets were safe for walking, and there were many shops, restaurants and cultural facilities close to hand.

Highly recommended for a relaxing and personable stay.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank 23,425
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NeemranaHotels, Guest Relations Manager at Neemrana's Le Colonial, responded to this reviewResponded November 21, 2012

Dear Guest,

We are delighted to receive your warm and appreciative review about the Le Colonial heritage hotel in Kochi.

It is heartening to learn that you thoroughly enjoyed your stay in the Jan van Spall Suite.

Your compliments about the warm hospitality have been conveyed to the Manager and her team.

We are delighted to learn that you were able to discover and explore the nearby areas.

Thank you for your patronage to Le Colonial and the Neemrana brand in India. Our team looks forward to welcoming you back soon !

Warm Regards,
Team Neemrana
friendofneemrana@neemranahotels.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 19, 2012

An unforgetable experience. A well decorated 500 years old house, smooth and good taste host made by the brilliant manager (Smita), sharp service, and the best Indian food we had after one month travelling the country. Many places claim to be your home away from home. But at Le Colonial this was the first time that it actually happened to us. The staff went the extra mile to make our stay perfect. And it was. We will defitenely be back.

Room Tip: The rooms upstairs are the nicest. The best is the Viceroy.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank CamilaJonas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NeemranaHotels, Guest Relations Manager at Neemrana's Le Colonial, responded to this reviewResponded October 23, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your kind review about the Le Colonial heritage hotel in Kochi.

We are pleased to learn that you thoroughly enjoyed your stay in the Viceroy room.

Your compliments about the food and the warm hospitality have been conveyed to the team.

We thank you for your patronage to Le Colonial and the Neemrana brand in India. Our team looks forward to welcoming you back soon !

Warm Regards,
Team Neemrana
friendofneemrana@neemranahotels.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 25, 2012

After reading the reviews on this hotel we had great expectations and we weren't disappointed. The hotel is a old plantation house, decorated beautifully with antiques. All very spacious. It is also very well located in old Kochi which makes it handy to walk around to most sites. The breakfast, lunch and dinners we took at the hotel were certainly comparable if not better than most good restaurants we tried in Kochi. Thanks to Smita, for suggestions, help and great hospitality and also to the staff- Vipin and Sumesh who were very attentive and unobtrusive. All made our stay in Le Colonial memorable for us. I recommend this hotel highly, worth discovering.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Danielji
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NeemranaHotels, Guest Relations Manager at Neemrana's Le Colonial, responded to this reviewResponded May 28, 2012

Dear Guest,

On behalf of the entire Neemrana Hotels team, we thank you for your valuable review about the Le Colonial heritage hotel in Kochi, Kerala.

We are delighted to learn that you thoroughly enjoyed your stay at the property, including the location, the food and the ambience of the property ! Your compliments regarding the service have been conveyed to the team.

We hope that as you discover more of real India with Neemrana, you’ll find more to tell us about. We thank you for your continued patronage and look forward to welcoming you at our 26 properties across India !

Warm regards,
Team Neemrana
friendofneemrana@neemranahotels.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 8, 2012

Le Colonial is built in the heritage style and well decorated with antique furniture. Rooms and bathrooms are spacious and clean and there is a good choice of room type. The swimming pool was also clean and a nice place to relax. Very picturesque to sit around and have breakfast/tea as well. If you take the room that overlooks it, there is a staircase that leads straight to it. The staff is friendly and helpful. The room rate works well for a couple/triple. Unfortunately they did not offer a special rate for singles which I'm hoping they will introduce. The property is very well located. Just a road off the coast where you find the Chinese fishing nets, and beside the cathedral and churches in the area.

On the down side, no alcohol is served at the hotel (a similar problem with all hotels in that area). The restaurant closes by 9.30pm which is a pain if you want something to eat or drink later. The charge of Rs.1000 for an outsider to use the pool is pretty steep. The staff are minimum so there is a multitasking receptionist/porter/waiter (who was a very nice guy all the same!).

We were a group of friends and found this place ideal for us. Non-interfering, not over crowded and great ambiance. I agree with another reviewer, that this place should be rated much higher. I saw some other hotels in the area as well and this had one of the best feel with the added advantage of the pool.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank NaliniBangalore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NeemranaHotels, Guest Relations Manager at Neemrana's Le Colonial, responded to this reviewResponded May 16, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your kind words about the Le Colonial heritage hotel in Kochi.

We are delighted to hear that you thoroughly enjoyed the ambience of the hotel, including the swimming pool. We have noted your suggestion about the single rate and shall convey the same to the management.

It is guests like you that continue to reinforce our belief in our philosophy of putting new life into a ruined and unused building.

We hope that as you discover more of real India with Neemrana, you’ll find more to tell us about. We thank you for your continued patronage and look forward to welcoming you at our 26 properties across India !

Warm regards,
Team Neemrana
friendofneemrana@neemranahotels.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2012

We got to Kochi after a long drive and the Manager was there to greet us. However she left the the following day, leaving a full hotel: does it makes sense?
This small hotel has a dutch colonial feel and is well decorated and equipped. Bathrooms are good. More attention was put on decoration rather than practicality.
One night there were water problems because of a storm. The stuff tried to fix it as quick as they could. The pool was empty because of maintenance works. We were told we could swim at another hotel nearby.
The location is excellent, near the water. We saw Queen Mary enter the harbor and a scene of an Indian movie being filmed on the beach.
This being India, there should have more vegetarian dishes at dinner; we also found the food to be bland. The staff could not handle the laundry on Good Friday, but the nearby Indian laundry remained open.
Wifi is free but not always reliable
Kochi is great to discover. If you book a tuk-tuk tour, set the price beforehand and be aware that it is going to include stops at various businesses where the driver gets a commission. I recommend negotiating a fare without 'extra' stops, but not all driver are going to accept it.

Room Tip: Avoid the smelly and humid ground floor room called Vasco da Gama.
  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank onlyGeorgeVwilldo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NeemranaHotels, Guest Relations Manager at Neemrana's Le Colonial, responded to this reviewResponded May 16, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your feedback about the Le Colonial heritage hotel in Kochi.

We are delighted to learn that you appreciated the ambience and location of the property.

We are disappointed to learn that the food at Le Colonial did not match up to your expectations. Your feedback has been shared with the Chef and his team and we are confident that you will notice an improvement on your next visit.

The pool is being re-done at the moment. Please accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused.

We hope that as you discover more of real India with Neemrana, you’ll find more to tell us about. We thank you for your patronage and look forward to welcoming you at our 26 properties across India !

Warm regards,
Team Neemrana
friendofneemrana@neemranahotels.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 2, 2012

Just got back from 3 weeks in South India and Le Colonial was the sweetest surprise. It's a block or so from the center of the action, which is good. Brunton's Boatyard and a few others put you right in the chaotic center. It's worth it to stay a block further away, believe me.

As for the hotel, it's a perfect colonial boutique hotel. Old, polished furniture and trim. A very attentive but not overpowering staff. The photos don't do it justice. It's much prettier in person, the kind of place Sean Connery would stay for a little 007 undercover work.
.
In alcohol-phobic South India, we made a habit of buying our own cocktail makings at a "beer shop", asking for mineral-water ice from the staff, then sitting out under a fan on the front veranda as the world went by outside the front pillars. Then a great dinner, our best in Cochin, at the pool-side dining area.

The only downside was the pool. I think the filter was on the fritz during our stay. It didn't look very inviting.

The only reason I'm going on so much with the praise is that someone gave Le Colonial a bad review, placing it down on the list, I never would have tried it, except that our Indian travel agent knew our taste and insisted that this was it place. It certainly was.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank hyandjeff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NeemranaHotels, Guest Relations Manager at Neemrana's Le Colonial, responded to this reviewResponded April 20, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your feedback about Le Colonial. We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay at the property. Your feedback is motivating for the entire Neemrana family, for it is guests like you who continue to reinforce our belief in our philosophy of putting new life into an unused and ruined building.

We are extremely sorry for the inconvenience caused due to the filter of the pool. The pool is being re-done at the moment to ensure that such incidents do not recur in the future. Please do accept our sincere apologies.

We thank you for your patronage and look forward to welcoming you at the 26 Neemrana non-hotel Hotels across India!

Warm regards,
Team Neemrana
friendofneemrana@neemranahotels.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Neemrana's Le Colonial

Address: 1 - 315 Church Road | Vasco de Gama Square, Kochi (Cochin) 682001, India
Location: India > Kerala > Kochi (Cochin)
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Romantic Hotel in Kochi (Cochin)
Price Range: $196 - $320 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Neemrana's Le Colonial 3.5*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Le Colonial, by the Chinese fishing nets of Fort Cochin, is probably Asia's oldest colonial house, dating back to 1506. Located in the very heart of Fort Cochin, right next to Saint Francis Church, this legendary house is said to have housed the Saint as also Vasco de Gama. After 150 years as the Portuguese Governor's residence, it was one of the very few houses not to have been destroyed when the Dutch took Fort Cochin. It then housed the Dutch Governors for a century and a half, until Jan van Spall sold it to the British in 1795. In turn, they passed it on to the J. Thomas, the renowned tea trader. These five captive centuries of history have been lovingly restored and the hotel is a true living museum. Treasures of art from the colonial past have revived that era, turning Le Colonial into a "Club" and meeting point for the discerning travelers. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Neemrana's Le Colonial Kochi (Cochin), India - Kerala

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