Vivanta by Taj – Malabar, Cochin
What We Love
- Grand hotel with stunning harbor views
- The outdoor infinity pool
- A choice of four restaurants
- The Pada Mardana Indian foot massage at Jiva Spa
What To Know
- The property is split into two wings: the Heritage Wing (dating from 1935) and the newer Tower Wing
- Free WiFi for up to two devices
- The Jiva Spa offers treatments using traditional Indian techniques
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
At the tip of Willingdon Island, this five-star hotel is surrounded by manicured lawns dotted with swaying palms and offers impressive views of Cochin Harbor. Built in 1935, the hotel has retained many of its original Art Deco features, including an intricate carved wood ceiling in the lobby and bay windows overlooking the tropical gardens. The guestrooms are in keeping with the period, with polished wooden floors and colonial-style ceiling fans, and the spacious marble bathrooms come with walk-in rain showers and ayurvedic Forest Essentials products. For added style and comfort book a Deluxe Allure Suite, which features a four-poster bed, a separate living room and a private balcony overlooking the harbor. There’s a choice of four restaurants: the Rice Boat for Kerala-style seafood, The Pavilion for Southeast Asian cuisine, Dolphin’s Point for alfresco barbecue, and the Pepper for casual round-the-clock continental fare. Relax with piano music and a drink in the wood-paneled Mattancherry Bar, or refresh with a deep-cleansing jamarosa root facial at the Jiva Spa.
In the Area
Don’t miss your chance to see tigers in their natural habitat at the Periyar Tiger Reserve, a vast area of outstanding natural beauty that fans out around the Pamba River basin. For a fascinating lesson in Indian history, head for Mattancherry Palace, built by the Portuguese in 1555. Look for the astonishing carved ceilings and the perfectly preserved murals. Closer to home, ask the concierge about a traditional backwater cruise to glide along palm-fringed canals and coconut groves, stopping at villages to learn the secrets of Keralan cuisine.
How to Get There
My wife and I spent a short time at the hotel. It was an extremely enjoyable stay - the location, in particular, is amazing. The vast expanse of the backwaters, the ships and trawlers and the setting is amazing. Add to this the food and warm hospitality made it a great stay.
We are a family of 3 that stayed at the Taj Malabar Resort and Spa, Kochi. This was our 2nd visit there. When we stayed there years back, we were absolutely delighted by their hospitality, service, food etc. Keeping that in mind, we booked our stay there for 2 nights from 11-13 May but we were disappointed. Here are the positives and the negatives.
- we were given a room in the heritage wing, which overlooked a parking hence we requested to be moves to another room. They obliged and moved us to a room in the tower wing with a spectacular view and I'm thankful to them! The bathroom in that room (especially the shower area is a bit run down).
- good room service
- a delightful evening cruise
- quick check-in and check-out
- a shout out to Daniel at the Pepper restaurant for his impeccable hospitality
- we were on a MAP plan ; while the breakfast spread was good, the dinner spread was equally not in keeping with Taj standards. Very limited options and one that is not acceptable from a brand like 'Taj'. On day 2, were told that they don't have a buffet for dinner and we could order from the a-la-carte menu excluding certain seafood dishes. We again had to go through the hassle of what could be ordered and what couldn't
- on Day 1, we went for dinner at the Pepper restaurant and were not allowed to sit in the main restaurant stating that tables were reserved and were offered a table near a door from which people kept coming in and going out. There was a steward Abraham who was only concerned about serving certain guests. We had to actually wait to draw his attention towards us for water. He had no smile on his face and when asked about a table in the main restaurant area, he just ignored the question and started attending to some other guests from whom he was hopeful of a big tip! He behavior was very arrogant hence I had to call it out here.
- the high tea is more of a gimmick now. They just serve you some small vadas and chivda wrapped in a fancy brown paper. They used to have a good spread few years ago.
All in all an experience which fell short in more ways than one!
I recently stayed at the Taj Malabar on my drive back to Mumbai. I must say the hotel is not only beautiful but located on a small island with heritage property all around. Even though with the car its take about 20-30mins to go to Fort Cochin but one could take the boat from the hotel and be there in 10mins and it's not very expensive. I specifically liked the fact that it's away from all the hustle and bustle and from the balcony, you can only see the Cochin port and Fort Cochin.
The staff at the hotel are extremely nice and will go out of our way to make you feel comfortable. The manager upgraded me to a very nice room which is always a plus. Also, I had to fly out for some urgent work from Cochin and the hotel was kind enough to let me park my car for a few days and I came back and picked up my car after flying back.
The SPA is really great and a must visit if you are staying at the hotel.
All in all my experience was great and will highly recommend this hotel for a nice relaxing gate away whether you are from Cochin or from any other city.
We stayed for a couple of nights before embarking on a road trip of some of the Kerala highlights. Although we arrived quite late we were able to eat in a nice restaurant with a full choice from the menu.
Breakfast is very good with a choice of Indian specialties as well as a good buffet and egg station.
On our second evening we dined in the ‘Rice Boat’ Restaurant which was very good but a little on the expensive side, however the staff and service was very good just as it was in the other restaurant and the bar area too.
We were in a very nice dual aspect tower room with a harbour view and very nice it was too. I would have preferred to stay in a heritage room in the original building but sadly our tour operator said that there we none available.
In summary I’d say that this is a nice hotel to stay in whilst in Cochin but it is at least a 30 minute drive from Fort Kochi and some of the historical buildings etc.
Had a fantastic experience. The Ambience, hospitality and Food was outsanding. Location of the property was awesome, something everyone should experience. As usual, impressed with their overall service level.