With rampant modernization and advancement, hotels around the world compete with each other on the latest styles and innovations. However, there are some hotels that are dedicated to perpetuating the dying cultures and traditions of the land. Kerala
is rich with history, nature, and culture, and there are several hotels that keep alive its legacy. Here are the ten best heritage hotels from across the state that have retained the old world charm and continue to live the tales.
Chittoor Kottaram - CGH Earth
Spa Hotel, Garden Hotel, Eco Hotel, Chain Hotel
With a rich history of three centuries, this traditional mansion was built by the Raja of Cochin, who also constructed a family temple just 50 yards away from the dwelling. Devoid of extravagance, it is commendable for its plain and tasteful glory. The palace has been maintained to preserve its original essence and as a remembrance of the days of yore. The highlight of the hotel is that it accepts only singular guests, where the entire staff will be dedicated to your services exclusively.
Old Lighthouse Bristow Hotel
Boutique Hotel, Spa Hotel, Independent Hotel, Garden Hotel
Located in the chief tourist spot of Fort Kochi, Old Lighthouse Bristow Hotel provides scenic vistas of the sea. Their food is favored for its modern take on classic delicacies. The place is a recipient of the Travellers’ Choice Awards by Tripadvisor in 2016. The precinct of the hotel houses the old lighthouse mast that dates back to 1927.
Coconut Lagoon – CGH Earth
Chain Hotel, Love Hotel, Spa Hotel, Garden Hotel, Eco Hotel
Built with the aim of perpetuating traditional Kerala architecture, these homes on the Vembanad Lake in Kumarakom are a living legacy of the ancient ancestral homes, or tharavadu, that existed in Kerala and are now almost extinct. The abodes have been diligently rebuilt from the original locations around Kerala. The experience of staying at the estate is heightened by the presence of the sacred grove on the land.
Bolgatty Palace and Island Resort
Resort, Spa Hotel, Golf Hotel, Independent Hotel
Built by the Dutch traders in 1744, this mansion houses four stately quarters. Popular with honeymooners, it is known for its exclusivity and world-class conveniences, which includes a nine-hole golf course created in 1925. The royal home began as the abode of the commander of Dutch Malabar and was later rented out to the British in 1909. It served as the seat of the British Resident of Cochin during the British Raj.
Casino Hotel – CGH Earth
Resort, Spa Hotel, Chain Hotel, Garden Hotel
The forerunner of the CGH Earth group of hotels that specializes in heritage assets, Casino Hotel was erected in the late 1950s. It is an exemplar of the perfect amalgamation of the rich past and the distinguished present. The hotel is renowned for their hospitality, which reflects the intrinsic warmth of the people of God’s Own Country. They ensure that the patrons experience a slice of Kerala through its architecture, amenities, and cuisine.
Eighth Bastion – CGH Earth
Boutique Hotel, Garden Hotel, Eco Hotel
According to historical records, there were seven bastions in Fort Kochi that were built by the Portuguese and bolstered by the Dutch later. The Eighth Bastion is inspired by this colonial history and reflects it in its architecture and style. The charming boutique hotel is built in line with the style of the forts built by the Dutch East India Company. The hotel’s affinity to antiquity is underlined by the presence of the model of the Batavia, the relic of a legendary vessel that was washed off the coast of Australia.
Taj Malabar Resort & Spa, Cochin
Resort, Spa Hotel, Chain Hotel, Business Hotel
Characterized by the old world charm, this 5-star property offers its guests world-class luxuries. Embodying colonial charm, the hotel enjoys an envious location, being situated at the waterfront and facing the Arabian Sea. It thus provides an unshared experience replete with unbeaten luxuries. Wood-beamed ceilings and wood finishing lend a regal touch to the ambiance and stay.
Boutique Hotel, Eco Hotel, Resort
Steeped in history, Xandari Harbour at Fort Kochi is a walk into the past. Housed in a building that is nearly 300 years old, the hotel is rustic at its best, with unpainted walls and the original roof tiles still in existence, lending a quaint charm to the place. A superb natural water pool in the campus of the hotel is a hot favorite with the patrons. The hotel is located on the aromatic Spice Bazar road of Mattancherry.
The hotel faces the ocean, where dolphins can be sighted if you are lucky | © Charishma Thankappan
Spice Village – CGH Earth
Chain Hotel, Eco Hotel, Resort
Located in the cool climes of Thekkady, Spice Village keeps alive the traditions and rich cultural heritage of the Manan tribe that is indigenous to the region. The dwellings at Spice Village are created in the likeness of the classical village huts of the clan. Richly endowed with nature, the hotel strives to nurse the native essence by conducting spice tours and educating visitors about the various spices domestic to the region.
Brunton Boatyard - CGH Earth
Eco Hotel, Spa Hotel, Chain Hotel, Business Hotel, Boutique Hotel
Reminiscent of the colonial period, this pleasing hotel has preserved the remnants of the past. A five-star hotel in the midst of bustling Fort Kochi, the ambiance of the place is done up with the influences of the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the British. The artifacts, curios, hanging fans, and high ceilings are symbolic of the mixture of cultures that have left their mark on Fort Kochi.