Vivanta by Taj - Malabar
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TravelPod Member ReviewsVivanta by Taj - Malabar Kochi
Fabulous location overlooking the Lake. Rooms were very clean and food excellent. Afternoon tea was served in the gardens and afterwards a 1 hour sunset cruise around the harbour. Chinese fishing nets and the comings and goings of the working harbour were observed.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Vivanta by Taj - Malabar Kochi
The Perfect Hotel
This is probably the best value for money hotel that I have ever stayed in and I have stayed in many five star hotels around the world. It is in a terrific location overlooking the sea/lake and Fort Cochin. The level of service and comfort is absolutely spot on without being overfussy. Fantastic swimming pool (see photo)and first class food at realistic prices.
The location may not suit everyone as you need to catch a ferry (or local rowing boat) or take a taxi to get over to Fort Cochin (it takes 10 minutes). We found this not be a problem at all and it was good to return to this wonderful hotel after a hectic days sightseeing and shopping! We stayed for four nights and could easily have stayed longer.
We paid about £75.00 per night having paid almost double this to stay at the inferior Kumarakum Lake Resort.
Can't recommend it highly enough.
Taj Quality, Taj Class, Taj Relaxation
Very nice hotel with lovely views from the pool area, many rooms (not ours) and some restaurants. We had a huge room in the older wing which we loved because of all the old wood and antique accents. The bed was very comfortable, clean and the service was wonderful. We loved the location as it was a little removed from the noise, dirt, and craziness of downtown Kochin. If you want the city, you can take the powerboat over and get picked up as well or take a rickshaw (less amusing). Their sunset cruises were enjoyable, the pool is clean and nice and the massage in their sauna area one of the best I had in India. The food was average compared to the rest of India and other hotels we stayed or dined at including Oberoi (mumbai), Taj Palace (mumbai) and Grand Hyatt (mumbai) and Imperial (New Delhi). Overall I found it to be a very nice experience.
I stayed at the Taj malabar for one night in late November. It is a great hotel. Being on Willingdon Island and right on the water gives it a nice serenity. The heritage wing of the hotel where we stayed has a lovely atmosphere. Our rooms were very clean and comfortable with nice furniture and a comfortable bed. Although Fort Cochin is a 15 minute drive away, it is easy and cheap to get a car to take you anywhere in Cochin, or you could be there in 5 minuts if you go by water. Highly recommended and better value than the other luxury hotels in Cochin such as Brunton's Boatyard which was grossly expensive and not as good as the Taj.
Excellent hotel, wished I had spent longer.
Everyone in this hotel smiles. It is a pleasure to be in it. The room we had - a sunset view - was very good, with great view, even from the bathroom. We could look at the fishing nets without leaving the chaise lounge by the window. The hotel has three restuarants, of which Pepper serves wonderful local food. The bar is relaxing, although a large back projection TV with constant cricket may annoy some. The location by the water is away from the town, which means you may take a ferry to the mainland (5 mins walk) or a taxi to get to other places. The solitude gives the hotel a cleanliess by being away from the towns and the swing overlooking the water is tranquility itself. Another hotel we look forward to going back to.
Really bad location for everything--usual Taj standards
The Taj Malabar is not near anything in Cochin--inevitably, you'll have to take a car to get anywhere--and traffic is pretty heavy. So, if you sightsee and shop, and want to stop in your hotel to change, you picked the wrong place.
Worth a stay.
My wife and I stayed for 5 nights at the beginning of November 2005.
The hotel is fantastically situated on the end of Willingdon Island so you can spend the day sunbathing by the pool watching all the craft coming in and out of the river system. The pool has a great view out to sea and is probably the best in Cochin. The rest of the hotel reminded me of a hotel run to Thai standards, clean, good facilities and helpful staff.
We ate at the Rice Boat restaurant principally, the food was good but the menu was limited. The Thai restaurant food was good but not exceptional and the Peppers restaurant was good too. The best curries come from the room service menu and they are really good, get the staff to order you one from there and have it delivered to the terrace overlooking the river, fantastic.
The rooms are good, comfortable beds, great showers and have an oriental feel to them, no problems for us at all.
The staff are very polite and try to help, if you need something out of the ordinary then speak to the duty manager.
The hotel does like to charge for extras though, a Gin and Tonic is exhorbitant as is the wine and we were sold a starter which was a special that cost £20 which was 4 times the average price of other starters, no warning was given. We ate at the Casino hotel restaurant and the same drinks are half price. Taxis to the airport are 1400 rupees from the Taj compared to 500 rupees if you go outside the main gates to the taxi rank. Sounds like a complaint but remember this is India and not London or New York, I got a mild feeling that I was being ripped off.
Overall the plus points are great: Location, quality of hotel and the food is terrific. When I go back I will stay there as the other hotels couldn't match the location.
Go to the MG road to buy silks, fantastic quality for the prices. We also ate at the Casino hotel not far from the Taj, well worth a visit and much better value for some great fresh seafood.
Best hotel in Cochin
We visited Cochin in October and were unsure of where to stay - we knew of this hotel, the Brunton Boatyard and the Malabar House Hotels.
We decided on the Taj Malabar mainly because it had a lovely pool (in the photos!). When were in Cochin, we checked out the other 2 hotels - Malabar House was quaint, but not luxurious & their pool was more like a large bath in the reception area!
The Brunton Boatyard wasn't bad, but there was no pool and the general feel was that the place was a bit tired (could do with a paint job!).
Apparently the Queen stayed in the Taj Malabar in 1997 - it's worth upgrading to a room with a balcony or at least a corner room on a high floor (7 floors altogether). We stayed in 602 which was a corner room overlooking the sea & pool.
The Rice Boat restaurant is a must - excellent fresh fish & wonderful service. The restaurant is acutally a boat & views are of the sea - whilst having dinner, gaze at the fishermen on their way out to sea.
The infinity pool is wonderful and the Auyervedic treatments are the cheapest anywhere else in India (that we know of!).
There's a complimentary 1 hour sunset cruise which is worth doing as the sunsets in this area are spectacular - if you are lucky, you might see some dolphins.
Things to do in Cochin include: synagogue (not open Fri/Sat), Chinese fishing nets, St Francis Church. Beware of pushy sales people on Jewtown Road & avoid at all costs the Kathakali dance performance (particularly watching the 'artists' apply their make up - scary, boring & lots of mosquitos!).
Spent 2 weeks travelling round India in Taj Hotels and this was one of my favorites. Cannot fault anything really. Rooms are modern and spotless, It has excellent views, is well placed for jumping across to the Old town. The food was amazing, the infinity pool made for an excellent place to chill. Only bad expereince was being oversold a 1.5kg lobster for my wife and I which we just could not eat. We then did a backwater trip organised by the hotel. 1 and a half hours by speedboat to the Taj property at Kumakoran, and then transferred to the Rice boat for a 6 hour cruise to Allepey. We were glad we did not do the overnight on the boat as people we met said that it was just too hot in April and also the company the Taj uses does not provide the best boats for the overnight i.e. no AC just a crappy old fan
We stayed for 5 nights in a suite with a spectacular view of the waterways and Old Cochin. We watched traffic from tiny fishing canoes to large container ships ply the waterways. Access to Old Cochin by boat was easy, with the boatman picking us up pretty much wherever we wished for the return jouney. The room's elegant decor, mostly woods, was clean and appropriate for the climate. Service was good. There was a range of food: Western, Thai and India. The Kerelan food was a bit Westernized but the fresh seafood was terrific. (Note Kerelan food uses lots of coconut so beware if coconut is not your thing.) The free sunset cruise was worth doing. I understand that the dance program was good but missed it. Having developed a cold on the way to India, I particularly found the Taj Malabar a relaxing place to recover. Nice poolside, good room service.
Great experience and excellent service
It is great pleasure for me to utilize the oppertunity to write about my stay in Taj Malabar. It was great time I had spend in there and the service out there is above all the international standerds.
TripAdvisor Reviews Vivanta by Taj - Malabar Kochi
Travel Blogs from Kochi
An early start from Ooty for a 10 hour journey to Cochin. Down a very windy road through tea plantations and teak forests providing a scenic view of the Nilgiri mountains. After 2-3 hours we reached the low lands and the vegetation changed to rice fields and coconut/banana plantations.
Our lunch stop was at an authentic Kerala vegetarian …
I went to see the Kathakali show. We first watched the performers apply makeup. It was kind of cool. They went through what their hand movements signified and their eye movements. They could really roll those eyes. I thought it was interesting, but it was hard to follow.up I also went antique hunting. I felt a little guilty after the guide …
We sailed back through the backwaters of Kerala to debark for Cochin. Along the way, I saw men bathing in the river, women washing pits and pans, children doing homework, and women with wet hair. I never saw them bathing or washing their hair though. No sure how that works. If I had it to do over again, I would just do a day cruise. Stating …
... the backwaters. The plan being to get a tuk tuk to the bus station and make our way from there. As our tuk tuk guy arrived to take us to the bus stop, he offered to take us all the way, on the scenic route (which we found the bus would not have done) and with a disco tuk tuk! Needless to say we went for this option (1000 rupees...bargain!), he was a nice guy and we had a load of fun dancing away in the back and taking in the scenery as it began to turn into more backwater settings.
... shops and warehouses, clothing shops, a ginger warehouse, a natural medicine warehouse, a few churches and had a good look around the beautiful old houses and mansions of Fort Kochin.
There is a big contemporary art festival, Biennale, going on for a few months so we visited some of the sites and admired the creativeness of Indian artists.
Kerala really is so different to the rest of India - it's like another country and definitely my favourite spot here.