After my unforgettable stay at the Kumarakom Lake Resort, I checked into the Forte Kochi Hotel in Kochi. I chose this hotel for a few reasons. It is owned by The Paul Resorts & Hotel chain and therefore is the sister hotel of the Kumarakom Lake Resort. I also wanted a hotel nearer to the airport and finally, many of my friends have been raving about this place.
The Forte Kochi hotel is located at Fort Kochi about one-hour drive from the Cochin International airport. It is about two minutes’ walk to the seafront where all the touristy areas including the picturesque fishing nets are accessible.
The hotel will not be missed as it is painted bright yellow and has the traditional Portuguese Azulejo tiles work and beautifully coiffured Bougainville plants outside. The hotel, once the residence of a well-known Jew family has a mixed of Dutch, Portuguese and British type of architecture and interior design. The hotel has 27 colonial styled rooms with modern amenities.
At the entrance the staff welcomed me warmly with a welcome drink and after exchanging pleasantries I was escorted to my room at the first level. On the way I noticed an outdoor pool set in the central courtyard of the hotel.
The poolside area with its comfortable sun loungers and umbrellas beckoned me, but since it was such a hot day, I decided to seek refuge in my room known as the Imperial suite.
I just fell in love with the colour of the room, the cozy window seat, the beautiful tinted windows that opened to the famous Princess Street and of course the large four poster bed decorated with red rose petals!
Though romantic and all, I thought it was a waste to destroy the beautiful flowers just like that.
Besides, most guests do not like the idea of cleaning up the bed before plonking down after a tiring day of travelling. The floor was tiled with colourful Athankudi tiles imported from Chettinad in Tamil Nadu. All these and the warm colours of the room took me to the time of glorious living.
Chef Gejo Joseph, the Executive Chef at Jetty, the only multi-cuisine restaurant at Forte Kochi Hotel whipped up a true Keralite fare during my stay. Being a big fan of Keralite cuisine, I enjoyed myself thoroughly. An à la carte breakfast was served daily at the property with some of the dishes served buffet style.
Among other dishes, one delicacy that is truly memorable is the Steamed Banana with Grated Coconut. The banana is a popular fruit as many dishes with the fruit are cooked all over Kerala. The taste of this delicacy really depends on the sweetness of the banana and the freshness of the coconut. The large Nendra banana is steamed with the skin. Steaming bananas with the skin balances the sweetness. Since the banana is large, thick and firm it was sliced into 2 cm thick pieces and accompanied by small container of melted ghee! The Chef advised me to pour the ghee over the hot steamed banana slices to enhance the taste and provide healthy nutrients.
The other dish that stands in my mind is the Duck Roast aka Tharavu Roast. The duck pieces cooked in a rich gravy of aromatic spices and lots of pepper was tender and juicy. I had it with the Malabar Parotta. Having eaten many roti pratas with a simple curry in Singapore, I was skeptical when the chef suggested that I eat the duck roast with a parotta. The parotta was not only flaky but fluffy, crisp and yet soft with a tinge of sweetness. The flaky thin layers had trapped the masala of the duck roast and was just so perfect to envelop the delicious meat and all.
The Meen Pollichathu, done with Karimeen aka pearl spot fish was a winner! The fish covered with selected ground spices and then wrapped in banana leaves and grilled with a dash of pure coconut oil was so divine as the flavor of masala, coconut oil and seasoning had penetrated well into the fish.
The Jetty restaurant holds its name well as all their seafood dishes are great. The Masala Grilled prawns, the squids, the crabs and oh the desserts are all so awesome that you need to stay about a week to enjoy all the items in the menu.
Just like it’s sister hotel, the Kumarakom Lake Resort, Hotel Forte Kochi has a tea shop that operates every evening serving local snacks and Indian chai.
From the time I arrived at the hotel till I left I found the staff very attentive and professional and always ready to serve with a smile. The restaurant staff seemed to know their menu very well too. Forte Kochi is one hotel in Cochin I would recommend as an affordable luxury hotel based on price, location, size, room facilities, the food and the staff. What more do you want when on a holiday in Cochin.
I thank Forte Kochi Hotel for sponsoring my stay.
Hotel Forte Kochi,
1/373, Princess Street, Fort Kochi,
Phone: +91 484 270 4800