Ten-Second Takeaway

A heritage hotel with a 200-year old history, The Old Courtyard is sure to add a great deal of charm to your holiday in Kochi. And it is just a short walk away from the city’s best sights. 

The Old Haunt

As you amble along the streets of the historic Fort Kochi area, you’ll come across a grand, whitewashed bungalow that is now The Old Courtyard. Built over 200 years ago, the expansive property first belonged to an affluent Jewish family before it was converted into a gorgeous hotel by a local couple.

The hotel’s USP is hands-down the building it is housed at. As you weave your way past the cobbled courtyard, doorways with graceful arches, stained glass windows, and wooden stairways, you will notice the beauty of the property. The rooms {they vary in size and price}, like the rest of the hotel, come stacked with vintage furniture, feature large colonial four poster beds and wooden rafters. A Standard room will set you back by just INR 2,000 and includes A/C, twin-beds, attached toilet and bath, and complimentary breakfast.

If you are in for a lazy holiday, we recommend that you while away time in the courtyard {that doubles up as a cafe}. Parked on a stone bench under the mango tree, that’s at the centre of the space, you can catch up on your reading or order up local or Continental delicacies from the kitchen {these guys do a mean Mango cheesecake}. Evenings, at the courtyard, are made more special with Indian classical music performances.

Chasing History

The Old Courtyard scores on the location criteria as well. It is a short walk from the top sights that Kochi has to offer. At the beach, you can see the Chinese fishing nets gracefully fluttering in the wind. You should also visit the aging St. Francis Church, after all, it is the first European church to be built in India {way back in 1503} and is also the first burial spot of Vasco Da Gama {his remains were later moved to Lisbon}.

The Mattancherry Palace, that was built by the Portuguese for the Raja of Cochin, has been standing since 1555. Today, it functions as a gallery where you gawk at detailed, mythological murals, awe-inspiring examples of Hindu temple art, and grand portraits of the erstwhile Rajas. Kochi is also home to the oldest and still active synagogue in India {and throughout the Commonwealth Nations}. Close to the Mattancherry Palace, the centuries-old Paradesi Synagogue is decked up with Belgian chandeliers and its floors made with 18th century, handpainted tiles from China, that make it worth a visit. Mind blown?

Had enough of historical sightseeing? Then, just walk down to the iconic Kashi Art gallery and cafe for a cuppa, and while you stroll down, don’t forget to notice the colourful street art easily found in this area, beautiful doorways and quaint houses {the architecture here is a confluence of various styles and reflects Dutch and Portuguese heritage}.

Where: Princess Street, Fort Cochin, Kochi

Price: INR 2,000 upwards

Contact: 0484 2216302

Check out their website here.

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