It doesn’t take much convincing for one to want to travel to Fort Kochi - no matter where you are. Whether it’s the sprightly coloured alleys tucked behind luring corners, hidden art cafes to meander through, or the biennale itself - this destination has piqued our interest, sans doute. If ever one found oneself in a moment of contemplation about making said journey, Ayana Fort Kochi is sure to tip the scales in this little city’s favour. Built within what was once an old courthouse during Portuguese rule, this art deco hotel is a confluence of comfort, heritage and design.
Ayana, which translates from Sanskrit into ‘Resting Place’ is a 200 year old courthouse transformed into a 16 room abode, with three in house restaurants. The deluxe rooms blend the Indian elegance of classic cement tile flooring with an Art Deco flair. The room’s décor delicately blends checkered patterns, art deco furnishings to convey a sense of classic elegance. They also have luxury suites available that are spacious with designated entertainment lounge and large bathrooms with fitted bathtubs. If you wish to take your holiday up a notch, Ayana also offers the option of staying on a traditional houseboat for a night or two as you wind down the backwaters. All the rooms are fitted with tvs, bluetooth speakers, minibars and wifi.
While the decor is most definitely a mainstay, there is a lot more to Ayana than what meets the eye. Depending on your area of interest, a personalised tour of Fort Kochi can be organised. There is something for everyone here. You can even start your day with a rooftop yoga practice, a swim overlooking the ocean and in-room spa treatments. We’re particularly interested in their culinary experience, in which a chef will guide you through the entire process, or just part of it, from selecting the freshest catch at the markets down the streets, to making the most of the fresh ingredients at your disposal in preparing your favourite dishes in the kitchen. If you are a true food connoisseur, an entire culinary tour can be arranged for you to sample the best of the local food around Fort Cochi.
If you suffer from a rumbling stomach, you needn’t look too far. The Old Court, redesigned to look like a colonial food house, serves us traditional coastal fare, perfect for luncheon. To feel the gust of the sea, we recommend Le Souk, the open air terrace restaurant serving mediterranean kebabs and grills. In a hurry? Jump right into The Tea Lounge and grab something to take with you on the go.
A room for two is INR 10,000 upwards. For more information, visit their website here.