Inheriting a rich legacy
Historically, this was home to an illustrious Jew family of Kochi. Would you believe many parts of the house were made in Europe and shipped to re-assemble in the city? Thus stood the imposing, rust red mansion in Fort Cochin, high and tall on the waterfront. Talk about rich AND rich history! It finds a mention in INTACH’s list of Heritage Sites and has hosted ambassadors, viceroys, and presidents.
In a Mini Israel
The manor is in a close-knit, small Jew establishment around the ancient Pardesi synagogue – (this is the oldest active synagogue in the Commonwealth, more than 450 years old). When you walk in the streets that line the Arabian Sea, what instantly catches your attention are the walls flushed with an intermingling of hues-blue, red and yellow. There is an old museum and a local shop called Sarah’s Handicrafts – the only living embodiments of the community’s rich but forgotten past in Kochi.
Stepping in the Manor
Today, walking into Kochi by the Sea is like strolling to a bygone era. The history of the house has been kept intact so carefully that it’s hard to tell whether anything has changed – even touched – in the past two centuries. It is famous for a hanging bridge that dates back to 1920s, with iron railings suspended in the air. They say it was built for the family to avoid the street and glide to their office in the next building! Now we all could use a hanging bridge leading to our office.
This bridge looks down at a busy ‘Rose Street’ – where you will spot the Vasco Da Gama church and lots of quaint and cute cafes.
You can also chill in the plunge pool and the spa. Also, the rooms are sound-proofed to lock in the aura, but you’re still in the heart of the city. You can witness the early morning hustle bustle as fishermen cast their fishing nets and hop on to ferries to head to work. A very Kochi thing to do, isn’t it? A hop and you will reach the beach.
Food and Drinks
Dish to wine and dine with a good variety of drinks and authentic food. The specialty is local Jewish & Keralite cuisine, but there are also other options. There are no extravagant buffets, just fresh, delicious food cooked with love. You know that’s much better! Oh, and if you enjoy seafood, the restaurant is a must visit. Its finger-lickin’ good- and healthy and clean at the same time. And look forward to the traditional jew pudding.
Rustic and enormous- suites for the nobles!
The suites are large, reminiscent of the imperial era with their Dutch-esque interiors. The Unhotel has six of these- each with their private balcony, adjacent lounges and a spacious dressing area. It’s like walking into the wardrobe of a rich Memsahib from back in the day! A testament to the faded grandeur of the place – but so comfortable and well equipped at the same time.
The ambience, the aura, the history- it is a place for those who like getting lost in the musings of an era lost in time. A glimpse into the fusion of many worlds- Europe, India and the Middle East.
Couples, Families or Friends – who enjoy culture and revel in heritage. The immersive traveller who travels to open the window to a world new and foreign and not just escape the city blues. Also, for people who are fascinated by India’s rich cosmopolitan history.
Those who don’t care so much about the feel of a place. Those looking for elaborate menus, dazzling hotel lobbies with no stories to tell and want to be entertained by fancy jacuzzis, gyms, and TV screens.
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