If there is one place in India that you should splurge a little on your accommodation, it’s Fort Kochi. There are a plethora of beautiful heritage buildings that have been renovated into impressive hotels and guesthouses, offering a high standard of service at an affordable rate. Staying in a Kochi heritage building is an experience in itself and you will be living the history of this colourful port town.
We were extremely grateful to be invited to stay at the exquisite Ayana Fort Kochi, situated in a beautiful two-hundred year-old building, formerly used as the court house. On arrival we received the warmest welcome and were immediately struck by the stylish monochrome décor, complimented by the high ceilings which created a calm, airy ambience – the perfect retreat.
Our sleeper train from Bangalore had arrived early that morning so before we checked in to our room, we were treated to a very yummy breakfast. Fresh from the onsite bakery emerged the fluffiest of muffins which we all devoured. The boys then shared a full English breakfast with scrambled egg, hash browns, baked beans, tomato, bacon and chicken sausage. They also provide a local breakfast and us parents both thoroughly enjoyed the Masala Dosa.
The large rooms, again with high ceilings, are decorated to an extremely high standard. We stayed in a ‘suite with balcony’ and it was a treat having a separate lounge area (including TV and velvety sofa) for the parents to enjoy whilst the boys slept. The bed has to be the most comfortable we have slept in all of India! They added an extra single bed to the room for us, there was still plenty of space. A/C and a fridge is standard, and the bathroom includes a big deep bathtub, perfect for a long soak after a day’s site-seeing.
The swimming pool
The thing that the boys absolutely loved about Ayana was the roof top swimming pool (you can see from my photo below that I am referring to ALL Lynn boys!), which also affords wonderful views across to the main town centre and behind to the heritage rooftops of Fort Kochi. It’s too deep for little ones to stand in, so parents have to be in the pool as well. But it’s just the right temperature; not too cold.
Ayana Fort Kochi is almost directly opposite the Fort Kochi Ferry Terminal (about 10 metres walk to the right). It’s then just a 5 minute auto ride to the Chinese Fishing nets and a 15 minute auto ride to Mattancherry. Just a few doors down is the Greenix Village where you can watch a Kathakali performance. There are also a couple of good spas very nearby – Fragrant Nature Kochi and Sukayus – to enjoy some adult downtime if you get a chance. Just make sure you book at least 1 day in advance.
Our top tip
If you visit during the low season (April to September) you can get a luxury standard room for Rs5000 (almost a third of the high season price!).
We wholeheartedly recommend Ayana Fort Kochi to other young families travelling to Kochi. The staff were exceptional with the boys and would go out of their way to make our stay as comfortable as possible. Make sure you try those muffins at breakfast!
For more information on Kochi, check out our post – Kochi with kids: top 5 things to do
**Even though Ayana Fort Kochi hosted our stay, these are all our own words and opinons.
To read more about travelling India with young kids, head to our India page.
Where would we be without our trusted Lonely Planet? There’s a detailed chapter on Kochi, providing background on the sites and a detailed map.