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Kochi is a wonderful mix of cultures, a melting pot of medieval Portugal, the Netherlands and the last days of the British Raj with a fishing industry that has much in common with old China. The best places to stay in Kochi incorporate these different styles while practicing the laid-backed Keralan way of life.
The old parts of town, Fort Cochin and Mattancherry are serene and historic, linked to the other islands via ferries and bridges. 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 and 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.
What not to miss
- Watch fisherman manipulating the enormous Chinese fishing nets (particularly atmospheric at sunset)
- Visit the Mattancherry Palace that beautifully blends Portuguese and Keralan architecture
- Catch a Kathakali dance well known for its colourful and fascinating costume
- Indulge in an Ayuvedic treatment
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.
For boutique style
Fort House Hotel is a lovely, boutique-y, family-run property in a great spot within the historic fort. These 16 rooms are full of character but also represent great value for money.
Housing just three bedrooms, Trinity is a haven of modern tranquility.
On a budget
- The Old Courtyard is a well priced option located in the vibrant old harbour town.
- Situated on the backwaters amidst swaying palms the Kondai Lip Backwater Heritage Resort is ideal for some time out.
- The name says it all - Privacy at Sanctuary Bay, is a lakeside property designed for whiling away lazy days.
- Charming and serene, Eighth Bastion, is an18th century property in the old Dutch quarter boasting light rooms decorated with delicate antiques.
- One of Kochi's finest The Old Harbour Hotel has been lovingly restored and offers up both fabulous harbour views alongside some old world style.
- Le Colonial, like all Neemrana properties, is rich in history and strong on heritage.
- The fabulously placed, harbour side, Brunton Boatyard, is both elegant and luxurious.
- The 18th century former Dutch residence, Malabar House, has a reputation in town for all the right reasons.
- Stunning modern design and enormous terraces overlooking the harbour make Xandari Harbour a standout choice.
For an apartment or villa
- If you've decided that a self catering property would be more suitable for your holiday, then we recommend you visit our online booking partner Booking.com where they have a wide selection for all tastes and budgets.
- Fly to the well connected Cochin International Airport or if travelling overland take a train to Ernakulam Town Station or Ernakulam Junction Station.
- Best time to visit - is from September to early February when the weather is moderate with warm days and cooler nights. The monsoon season sees heavy rains between May and early September.
- If you plan to hire a car, we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars for the best prices.
Still not sure?
Best Hotels in Kochi
Fort House Hotel 16 rooms from $48Fort Kochi
A lovely family-run boutique property in a great location in the historical town of Fort Kochi. Quiet, full of character and excellent valueOther Activities - Front desk will order a variety of tours, including elephant ridesBirdwatching - Good birding near the hotel.Sights nearby - Well located for major sights.Traditional
Kondai Lip Backwater Heritage Resort 11 rooms from $64Kochi (Kerala)
A no-nonsense, easy-going pit stop in a quiet, isolated backwater location, not far from Fort Kochi. Good for a night or two - for groups and families. Boats to borrow and birds to watch. Also home to a small butterfly garden.Cooking classes - Learn the art of Keralan cuisine or embark on a food tour - both fun and tasty activities!Fishing - The hotel can arrange day or even overnight trips aboard a traditional houseboat.Back to Nature - Located directly on the Keralan backwaters all rooms enjoy river views.Sights nearby - Fort Cochin is a day trip away and certainly worth a visit.
Privacy at Sanctuary Bay from $143Kochi (Alleppey)
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.Birdwatching - Day trips to the nearby bird sanctuary, home to many exotic birds, is great for nature enthusiasts.Back to Nature - Ensconced by Kerala's verdant landscapes this property is a world away from city life.Sights nearby - The historic town of Cochin is well worth a visit.Secluded setting - For escaping.Recommended by - I Escape
Xandari Harbour 16 rooms from $117Kochi (Kerala)
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.Fishing - A visit to the Chinese fishing nets is truly interesting and a mandatory Keralan photo opp.Sights nearby - When visiting Kochi you must see Vasco Da Gama Church and Paradesi Synagogue.Views - Great views from hotelSeaside - Ideal for a seaside holiday.
Brunton Boatyard 26 rooms from $234Kochi (Kerala)
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.Great walks - The hotel arranges group walking tours which a certainly worth taking part in.Local markets - Hoarders and antique lovers will love the markets of 'Jewtown'.Sights nearby - Santa Cruz Basilica is a scenic ten minute walk away.Sailing - Can be booked nearby.Recommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, Fodors
The Malabar House 17 rooms from $241Kochi (Kerala)
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.Local markets - You will be sure to find treasures in the antique markets of Jewtown.Full of characterDesigner - Uniquely designed interiors.Cooking classes - Check for timings.Recommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape
Eighth Bastion 18 rooms from $106Kochi (Kerala)
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.Cooking classes - 'Flavour' cooking class is popular for learning those famous South Indian dishes.Local markets - Antique lovers should pay a visit to the markets of 'Jew Town'.Sights nearby - The resplendent Paradesi Synagogue is just 2km away.Great walks - The 200m to the iconic Chinese fishing nets.
Le Colonial 7 rooms from $182Kochi (Kerala)
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.Cooking classes - Take home the traditional Keralan 'Flavours' from this popular cooking school.Sailing - A day or overnight trip along Kerala's famous backwaters is a must.Sights nearby - Just 25m from the Chinese fishing nets and St. Francis Church.Local markets - Good for local colour.
Old Harbour Hotel 13 rooms from $119Kochi (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.Sights nearby - The guileded Paradesi Synagogue is an interesting insight into India's melting pot of religions.Cooking classes - Keralan cuisine is one of the most popular in the country. Learn the art with Nimmy Paul.Sailing - A visit to Kochi is not complete without a trip along Kerala's lush backwaters.Remote - Off the beaten track.Recommended by - I Escape
Trinity 3 rooms from $146Kochi (Cochin)
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.Fishing - The Chinese fishing nets are nearby. Try your hand at this traditional style of fishing or just opt for an iconic photo.Sights nearby - Historic Mattancherry Palace was a most generous present given to the then Raja and still impressive today.Spa - At sister hotel, Malabar House. Just a two minute walk away.Designer - Uniquely designed interiors.Recommended by - I Escape
The Oberoi Vrinda 8 rooms from $688Kochi (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.Fishing - Visit the iconic Chinese fishing nets for a mandatory Keralan photo opportunity.Sights nearby - The historic Mattancherry Palace houses an excellent Indian art collection.Cooking classes - Either embark on a food tour or take part in a cooking class.Restrictions on children - Chlidren above the age of 12 are welcome.
The Old Courtyard 8 rooms from $31Kochi (Fort Cochin)
A delightfully calm, timeless oasis well located in this bustling and vibrant old harbour town. For travellers who favour good value, historical architecture with a story and a whiff of the colonial.Full of characterSights nearby - Visit the nearby Santacruz Basilica Kochi.