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.
- 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