Thanks to a delayed flight into Kochi, one day I reached Kottayam close to midnight and strayed into Icon Classic, to spend a restful night there.
The location is near perfect. It is at the heart of the business district of Kottayam, in front of the Thirunakkara ground and some 500 m off the transport bus stand. The entrance is peaceful all 24 hours, unlike the hotels dotting the road to the transport bus stand – reason I did not dare try them.
Icon is kept remarkably clean, helped by a lot of mosaic surfaces. The rooms are spacious - around 165 square feet plus the washroom. Following recent renovation, Icon has 13 rooms, two of them suites. Windows offer no interesting views but, thanks to the room size, are far enough from the bed for the blinds not to make you claustrophobic. All fittings are new and sprightly. Rooms are done up tastefully in a combination of off white walls and all-wood furniture plus wall-mounted flat TVs.
You can call the breakfast Kerala continental: omelette (not the fluffy type but the thin and large crispy variety) and four slices of toast arrive together but not all of them come hot, with butter and jam – sauce is given on demand. The small glass of fresh juice is likely to be pineapple, a major locally cultivated fruit.
Informed guests can exploit the location. Walk across to the main market wholesale market for some quality buys: first quality roasted cashew nut at rupees 650 and below, without even bargaining. Avoid the better looking formal shops that charge a little more. Fresh fruits, too come at a very fair price -- here, avoid the showy roadside displays, go for the unpretentious shops behind. Kottayam's local speciality is pineapple. Pick one ripe, juicy one and get it chopped at the hotel. You will enjoy it.
Within a short walking distance from Icon are to iconic eating places: India Coffee House and Best Bakery. Neither is what it once was but both are moderately priced and worth a try. Let not the archaic interiors deter you, have coffee at the India Coffee House run by the Indian Coffee Board. Best Bakery has a popular collection of Kerala Christian sweets and savouries besides food served in its dimly lit interior rooms.
Do not leave Kottayam without a visit to Kumarakom, famous for the houseboats, also do not miss Karimeen fry, but beware of the unyielding bones of this premier fish.
I expect more from Icon as the ground floor restaurant and a coffee shop will become functional, to go with three bars that operate from the same building.
Talk to the hotel directly, you can get rooms cheaper than quoted on the websites.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel Icon Classic is a business hotel situated bang at the heart of Kottayam city. We let you experience a whole new level of hospitality with our well-furnished rooms, delectable cuisine and prompt service. Our hotel could be the perfect stopover for those heading out to Kumarakom. We also take over the hassle of arranging customised tour packages for guests and ensure that they get to see & experience all that matters, while having a pleasant stay with us. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Icon Classic Kottayam, Kerala, India