Well, me & my wife suffer from the disease called 'Wanderlust' ! And, we succumbed to it once again, but then came back recharged after a generous combined dose of serenity & splendour !
We chose to go to Kerala & timed the visit with the south-west monsoon striking the Malabar coast.
We checked-in at around 11.30 am at Taj Malabar,Kochi, after a short flight from Bangalore. The 1 hour drive from the airport was pleasant. There are quite a few hotels in Kochi but most of them are clustered around MG Road, Ernakulam. Taj Malabar, in sharp contrast, is situated on the man-made Willingdon Island, which is about 8 kms from the city. The best part of Taj Malabar is that it is located right on the river & the Arabian Sea.
We were received by the staff in the traditional way, in the reception lounge, overlooking the sea over a patch of expansive green. The lobby is cosy & inviting, with plush sofas and wall hangings. The lounge has a well-stocked bar & is the perfect place to meet your guests or may be just relax and unwind. What struck us most was the placid silence inside the hotel despite all regular activities in full-swing. The check-in was remarkably swift & two stewards took us to our room on the 6th floor. That is,room no-609. Arguably, the best room in the entire Tower Wing. This room has port-facing & sea-facing views, which also offers amazing glimpse of the famous Matancherry river. For the next 3 days, these windows were to be our constant hangout ! The windows give you a spectacular feel of the maritime life in the backwaters & coastal Kerala. Every now & then, you could see boats and ships of all shapes and sizes cruising up and down the river at all possible speeds and urgency. You can also spot eagles & kingfishers swooping onto the river to catch fish. Sitting by the window,I could feel the 'earthy pulse' of coastal Kerala.
Interestingly, the Monsoon hit the Indian subcontinent precisely on the day ( 29 May ), we had reached Kochi. The same day evening, we were to witness the first heavy downpour which lashed Kochi from the faraway horizon ! It was a grand & unique sight !
The hotel has a Heritage Wing also, but then the place to stay is the Tower Wing, especially, the rooms which are sea-facing. The room that we stayed was spankingly clean,airy, well-lit & spacious. The bonus was the commanding view it gave.
The corridors were quiet and well-designed. The design and the layout of the hotel is quite simple and convenient. Everything is within your reach & there is an air of candour about the entire place.
The staff are very friendly and well-mannered. All of them seemed to go all out in treating everyone as esteemed guests.
The food, particularly, in the sea-food restaurant, The Boat, was outstanding. The location of the restaurant deserves a 10 on 10 ! While you relish your mugful of a chilled Budweiser, Lobster Thermidor & Prawn Cocktail, you could virtually, feel the sea waves caressing your stress-weary feet. Well, the restaurant is right on the sea !
The food was delectable and unblemished ! The open-air sea-side restaurant is a mind-blowing place to be in ,especially, in the evenings, where, you are revitalized by an embalming sea breeze, while you look in askance, at the passing Kettuvalayams & huge ships, entering in and out of the picturesque Kochi harbour !!
All in all, Taj Malabar, was a stunner & real value for money. You can be rest assured that it is not going to disappoint you.
The greatness of Taj Malabar lies in it's splendid location, awesome views, magnificent river-side joint, great food, immaculate service & an astounding Infinity Pool, which looks as though, it has merged with the sea .
It is one of the best places in coastal India to rejuvenate your languishing stress-fatigue nerves and soul ! Just go & find it out yourself ! Seeing is believing, after all !
- 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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- Also Known As:
- Vivanta By Taj - Malabar Hotel Kochi (Cochin)
- Taj Malabar Cochin Kochi
- Taj Malabar Cochin Hotel Kochi
- Vivanta By Taj - Malabar Kochi (Cochin), India - Kerala