KOKOindia is on tour in Kerala – one of India’s most stunning monsoon destinations. Up-to-the-minute-travel expertise is an essential part of my job, and so my ten year old son and I have set out on another reconnaissance mission. We arrived in early June well prepared with waterproofs, cosy socks, a stash of good books and a list of exciting new places to explore.
Kerala is often understandably described as ‘God’s Own Country.’ It has breathtaking highlands, unspoilt beaches, glittering backwaters, delicious food, fabulous spa resorts and outstandingly friendly people. What’s not to love?
Our first stop was one of my all time favourite cities, Fort Kochi – also known as Fort Kochin or Fort Cochin. Since the 1500’s, a fascinating blend of Portuguese, Chinese, British, Dutch, Syrian and Jewish trading posts and communities have all met here on the tropical Malabar Coast. It is this curious mix of cultures, that make Fort Kochi a uniquely special place for a holiday, along with fantastic restaurants, cafes and shopping experiences.
South India had an early monsoon this year, and so it rained biblically throughout our stay in Fort Kochi. But it didn’t matter as the downpours were the perfect excuse for a relaxing family holiday. We loved simply snuggling up together and enjoying all the luxury of KOKOindia’s favourite boutique hotels.
Our first stop was the Old Harbour – a warmly hosted heritage hotel, elegantly styled with antique furniture and colourful art. Just steps away from the bustling waterfront and vibrant Princess Street, the Old Harbour is the perfect monsoon hotel. It was easy to make a dash between rain showers to any of the lovely little cafes and galleries around us. Our Garden Room was so cosy however, with its ochre coloured walls and huge soft bed, it was often hard to leave. The hotel’s excellent restaurant is also one of KOKOindia’s top recommendations for dining in Fort Kochi. A spicy Keralan King Prawn curry is the perfect comfort food for any rainy day.
Our second boutique hotel in Fort Kochi was the new Ginger House Museum Hotel, located in the heart of historic Mattancherry. It is a fine addition to the original 200 hundred year old ginger warehouse which is home to the amazing Ginger Museum and Restaurant. This has always been an unmissable place to shop and dine in the old city. It is an awe-inspiring treasure trove of antiquities, complimented by a harbour-facing restaurant serving delicious, ginger-inspired dishes.
The new Ginger House is a beautifully styled concept-hotel for travellers (like me) who love to combine opulence with comfort. Each of the nine, individually themed rooms showcases classical Indian architecture and artisanal craftsmanship. The Rococo art, quirky antiques and stylish bespoke furniture are all complimented by the hotel’s modern amenities and warm hospitality.
Our spacious luxury suite was on the new upper level, along with a Gallery Museum, a Tea Lounge and an infinity pool with stunning lake views. The four poster rosewood bed in our room was ridiculously comfortable – but so were the lovely old rocking chairs on our veranda, where my son and I sat peacefully for hours watching harbour life go by.
*KOKO top tip for families: never underestimate the value of a great hotel bathroom to keep kids entertained. It could be as simple as a Jacuzzi or bath they can splash about in for hours. However, our gorgeous bathroom at The Ginger had a state of the art Japanese toilet. The temperature control and comically self lifting lid kept my boy amused for hours!
By Joanna Lester-George
You can read the full article at Joannalestergeorge.com – and visit https://kokoindialuxurytravels.com/experience-india/kerala for Kerala holiday inspiration.