The old parts of town, Fort Cochin and Mattancherry are serene and historic, linked to the other islands via ferries and bridges, and home to some of the best places to stay in Kochi, and some of India’s best heritage accommodation. The modern part of town, Ernakulam, is on the mainland, and is also the local transport hub.
Each of these areas is worth exploring, but some of Kochi’s highlights are the Pardesi Synagogue, Mattancherry Palace, the Maritime Museum, the Indo-Portuguese Museum and St. Francis Church, India’s oldest European built church, constructed by the Portuguese in 1503.
Kochi is a wonderful mix of cultures, a melting pot of medieval Portugal and the Netherlands and the last days of the British Raj, with a fishing industry with much in common with old China. And all located on the beautiful, colourful Malabar Coast. As you can imagine there is a huge range of accommodation on offer and the best places to stay in Kochi offer something for every possible taste and budget.
A lovely family-run boutique property in a great location in the historical town of Fort Kochi. Quiet, full of character and excellent value
A collection of 11 ornately carved Keralan cottages this property provides an authentic stay right on the banks of the backwaters. Rooms are simple yet stylishly decorated with large beds and bathrooms, private terraces and river views. South Indian cuisine is served and massages are available.
In a quiet corner of Dutch Cochin lies this 18th century property. Decor is chic and spacious on the inside yet true to its roots with period artwork, antique pieces and an overriding nautical theme. Rooms enjoy private balconies and cavernous baths. East Indies serves up tasty South Asian cuisine.
A contemporary property with unobstructed views of Cochin's famous harbour. Rooms are light and spacious all featuring separate lounge areas, some with private balconies and huge egg shaped baths. Restaurant 51 serves a fusion menu of Malabar and Mediterranean. The infinity pool has enviable views.
Kochi (Fort Cochin)
In the sleepy colonial town of Fort Cochin lies this meticulously restored hotel. Cool verandas lead on to airy rooms where linen curtains billow. Rooms are furnished with dark wood four poster beds and Indian artworks. There is a restaurant serving that famous Keralan cuisine and a relaxing pool.
Another near perfect, eco friendly offering from Malabar Escapes. Hung tiled cottages with terracotta flooring and colourful silks are divine as is the tailor made cuisine. There is an inviting pool overlooking the Vembanad Lake and plenty of activities on site. The ultimate Indian boutique chic.
A truly boutique, three bed offering. Do not be fooled by the colonial exteriors - inside it is a haven of modern tranquility. Rooms are spacious with clean lines and chic interiors, peppered with antique pieces. There is a small plunge pool and guests can use nearby Malabar House's facilities.
As with all Neemrana hotels Le Colonial is rich in history and strong on heritage. Packed with antiques and walls covered in original art, rooms are spacious with ornate four posters, bright silks and hand woven rugs. There is a small garden with inviting pool plus it is metres from Kochi's sights.
All 26 rooms enjoy unobstructed harbour views and are decorated with capacious four posters, antique rattan furnishings and white bathroom suites with dark wood shutters. Excellent dining options include The History restaurant, The Terrace and The Armoury Bar as well as high tea at Quadrangle.
This 18th century former Dutch residence has a reputation in town for all the right reasons. Boasting colonial architecture and works of art, rooms are decorated in comforting palettes of yellows and turquoise. The restaurant is famed for its fusion cuisine and the spa for its excellent treatments.
Kochi (Willingdon Island)
An unusual offering from the Oberoi chain in the form of a luxurious houseboat. The same five star service one would expect and rooms are smartly decorated and feature views across the lake. There is an Indian and Continental restaurant, bar and sun terrace. Experience Kerala's backwaters in style.