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
- 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
Pretty much everything you could ask for here: excellent food, a harbour cruise at sunset, a pleasant pool, a genuinely wonderful traditional dancer and a uniformly charming and helpful crew in Rahul, Amitra, Uday, Basil and everyone in between. A boat or car will easily take you into Fort Cochin for an afternoon of shopping and seeing the sights before returning to look at it across the water from the Taj terrace. They aim to please and they do.
Food in the pepper restaurant was excellent but you have to try the fish in Rice boat. The staff and cleanliness of the hotel was fab. The pool area probably needs updating and the rooms however it did not in anyway detract from a brilliant stay. The complimentary high tea, backwater cruise every evening and daily hotel ferry to fort kochi really helped to elevate our stay from great to excellent
We cane to Kochi specially for their art Bienale. It was my Anerican friend's first visit to India. Kochi is a delightful place but we were not spared the sweltering heat, dust, traffic. Taj Malabar provided a welcome respite at the end of a long day from sensory onslaught and a fresh start to a brand new day with its lovely buffet breakfast. Our water bottles were filled with ice cold water by the attentive wait staff.
The catch-of-the-day at the Rice Bowl seafood restaurant was one of the best seafood I've ever tasted. We had the giant tiger prawns and snapper over two consecutive dinners.
We were so pleasantly surprised by the complimentary tea ( that is just so English! ) and sunset cruise in the late afternoon. Over more than an hour at a leisurely pace, we saw the iconic Chinese fishing nets, fishermen at work, rustic villages, and even dolphins frolicking playfully at close range.
I will chose to stay at the Taj anytime I return to India.
The Taj Malabar is a fine hotel, not at the level of the Oberoi but still very acceptable. Service was good, fine restaurants on site, great location with water on three sides. Totally lovely to have coffee on the sitting/eating area right on the water. Rooms a bit smallish but still very OK. Bed very good and shower worked well. A bit tight on electrical outlets so recommend that you bring a charging hub if you are a “wired” couple with three to five electronic devices. All in all, a very good stay for two nights.
We did not stay here but we came here for a family dinner and then to their breakfast buffet one morning. The food isn’t cheap but it is excellent! For dinner, their traditional Kerala dishes was perfection and the appam and mutton stew and dosas for breakfast was also delicious!
The hotel grounds is beautiful and it’s nice to explore after your meal.