Kochi, formerly Cochin, is considered the Queen of the Arabian Sea as it was one of the first European settlements in India, due its ideal positioning for trading. Kochi has always been at the heart of the Indian spice trade.The Portuguese first colonised Kochi in the 16th century, before the city was conquered by the Dutch in the 17th century and the British in the 19th century. The city’s architecture has been shaped by its colonial rulers, yet today it remains a vibrant and busy commercial center with a multicultural atmosphere and a cosmopolitan heart. As well as showcasing Kerala’s traditional dance and martial art forms throughout the year, Cochin plays host to several annual celebrations, including the Cochin Carnival every December, and the colorful contemporary art festival, Kochi-Muziris Biennale.
The magical appeal of the Brunton Boatyard lies in its unparalleled dominance of the waterfront at Fort Kochi. See Hotel
Hotel Style: Boutique
Legendary tales claim there were 7 bastions in Fort Kochi built by the Portuguese and strengthened by the Dutch. See Hotel
Hotel Style: Boutique
The Malabar House is a slice of heaven with its old temple carvings, turquoise and white walls, 'Eden' like courtyard, vanilla creepers and a petal-sprinkled plunge pool. See Hotel
Hotel Style: Boutique
At the heart of ancient Fort Cochin, the Old Harbour Hotel exudes history and culture. See Hotel
Hotel Style: Boutique
The Tea Bungalow is a charming mansion style boutique hotel with an elegant design and high level of comfort that fits in perfectly with the heritage of Fort Cochin. See Hotel
Things to do
Ayurveda massage at Brunton, a 45 min Guest specific
Shirodhara Ayurveda Massage at Brunton Boatyard in Cochin, 45 min
Visit to Dhobi Khana at Cochin
This once pulsating activity at Fort Kochi..the ‘dhobi khana’ (est. 1975)..is now just a trickle of a nearly extinct industry, presenting a shadow of its former self. Nestled in a corner of Veli maidan in Fort Kochi, a group of washer-folk yet continue to practice this traditional way of washing clothes in concrete water tubs lined in rows..pressing them..then home-delivering. This washing community was formed during the British rule, where washer-men were brought in from various Tamil Nadu villages to do their laundry. These folk were nomadic..with no definite place to work/stay. The same work was passed down generations..thus the ‘Dhobi Khana/Ghat’ came about. Visit also a ‘Halwa Centre’, where sweet items like Kerala’s famous banana chips and jackfruit, yam, tapioca chips are made.
Kodanad Elephant Camp at Cochin
Kodanad Elephant Camp on the south side of the Periyar River, is a countryside village in Cochin. It is known for elephant rescue, as a care centre, and a mini zoo; as well as the largest elephant training centre in south India. Experience a morning hands-on bathing and massage of an adult and baby elephant by the riverside..under the supervision of its ‘mahouts’. Venture on an elephant safari in the main park area. Watch the feeding of elephants… up to about 80% of an elephant’s day is spent on feeding! Be amazed by how elephants feed themselves amid their natural environs. Enjoy watching baby elephants washing and splashing..it is a delight to see them during their early training years of life just beginning for them.
City Highlights of Cochin
Kochi, formerly Cochin, is a vibrant, engaging city to explore, from the absorbing views of Fort Kochi harbor with its huge Chinese fishing nets to ancient mosques, Portuguese architecture and the crumbling remnants of the British Raj. Explore Matancherry where you can observe murals and antiquities at the Dutch Palace and Cemetery, and the 400 year old Pardesi Synagogue in the Jewish quarter. Visit the grave of Vasco da Gama in St. Francis Church. Discover the Hill Palace and Tripunithura and browse the spice and antique markets. Enjoy a traditional Kathakali dance performance or the captivating display of Kalaripayattu, a 3,000 year old martial art form.
(Only if staying at Brunton Boatyard) Punted by two boatmen equipped with long bamboo poles, the boat glides silently out across the water as flocks of teals and other migratory and other resident birds return to their lakeside roots in such thick formations they cloud the evening sky.
3h-Ms. Leela’s Cooking Class
The avid gourmand can spend some time at the personal kitchen of an accomplished gastronome who enjoys sharing her culinary expertise by transforming local ingredients into delectable, flavorful treats. See a delightful example of a Keralan home with traditional furniture and interesting antiques. Under the capable guidance of Ms. Leela..a seasoned cookery instructor..learn the basics of traditional Syrian-Christian Keralan cuisine. Observe how she prepares local, highly flavored but not-too-fiery delicacies; see the use of local traditional cooking equipment like ‘mun chatti’ – a clay cooking pot; as well as learn the correct way to serve these dishes. You may try your hand at preparation and after the session is over, sit down together to enjoy the meal.
2h-Sunset Cruise at Cochin
Experience a cruise on the famous serene backwaters around the Queen of the Arabian Sea. Perennial rivers and streams feed these backwaters that open out into the sea, thereby allowing for a picturesque setting of islands, narrow canals and tropical coconut palms. Cruise the maze of canals on Vembanad lake, sailing around Cochin Harbor in your private boat. Delight in spectacular views of the Marine Drive, the famous Chinese fishing nets, and Bolgatty Island. Admire the sunset from the boat where the Kochi Lagoon opens out into the Arabian Sea.
2h-Classical Dance Class at Kerala Kathakali Centre
Kochi’s ‘Kerala Kathakali Centre’ founded in 1990, focusses on popularizing and encouraging Kerala’s classical arts, and discovering new talents..along with rigorous discipline and dedication. Enjoy a session in classical dance..especially suited for dance enthusiasts interested in Indian dances and who perhaps wish to take a refresher course in Kathakali or Mohiniyattam (famous South Indian dance forms). Learn the complex rhythm and artistic skills of popular classical dance forms at a privately organized 2hr class here at the Kerala Kathakali Centre. The most popular is the Kathakali..dance, music and make-up..be a part of the action, drama, unique costumes; enjoy a combination of musical instruments and voice, and talents.
1-2h Classical dance Class at Greenix
Enjoy a training class in Kathakali, Mohiniyattam or Bharathanatyam at Greenix Village..a cultural art centre promoting Kerala’s varied art forms. Kerala’s dances represent its vibrant and energetic culture, with Kathakali perhaps the most famous and popular..having a unique blend of dance, drama, music, literature and painting. Detailed make up, grand costumes and intricate gestures characterize this art form.