You definitley get the feeling that you are in an historic house as soon as you walk inside Le Colonial. The stories about the place abound, along with old photographs and documents on the walls, and though it's all been updated to modern standards, the place has "good bones" as our architect friends would say, and they kept as much of the original wood, detailing and fixtures as possible.
We stayed in the Viceroy room on the second floor - which is huge and has a large verandah - and our kids stayed in Tipi Sultan on the ground floor (very nice, but not on part with ours).
The manager - Smita - is a lovely woman, and there are 2 young guys (I don't know their names unfortunately) who are the front staff you interact with the most. All of them are incredibly friendly and professional and will do anything to help you out. We had so much laundry that we needed to get it to an actual laundramat. They called a guy to come pick it up from us and had it back in 24 hours - very clean and well pressed. We wanted to go see a kathakali show and they bought tickets for us so we could just show up without having to worry about it in advance. They arranged for a driver to pick us up at the airport who we liked so much we had him take us to Allepey and back.
Our reservation included breakfast and one "major" meal (lunch or dinner). The dinner was excellent. You basically let them know if you wanted Indian or Western - we went with Indian both nights - and they brought out numerous dishes, begining with a delicious soup (first night broccoli, second, pumpkin) and continuing with a lot of options served family style. Calamari, prawns, chicken, eggplant, dal, rice, papadam....So good. Breakfast was also very good. A plate a fruit for each person, eggs any way, toast, muffins, fresh-squeezed juice and homemade muffins. One day we sort of forgot about eating lunch until it was late afternoon - around 3:00. The staff told us we could try a cafe for some simple food but that most of the restaurants would be closed. Our kids had homework to do and we debated what to do and they quickly said "or we could just bring you some sandwiches and some fried pakora?" Perfect. They whipped that up for us and refused to charge us for them saying "those are just snacks."
Oh - and the location is hard to beat. Right next door to St. Francis and no more than a block from the Chinese fishing nets. TA has the wrong location on the map. Plug in St Francis if you want to see where it actually is.
We loved our time at Le Colonial and would certainly return or recommend it to our friends.
- 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