Ayana’s sexy rooftop pool offers magnificent views of the harbor from which spices have been transported for at least 2,000 years.
This 200-year-old courthouse building has been transformed into a boutique hotel with chessboard floors and 16 big high-ceilinged rooms furnished in a restrained Art Deco style. Located in the historic center of Keralaâ€™s Malabar Coast, The Ayana isnâ€™t right on the waterfront, but its sexy rooftop pool offers magnificent views of the harbor from which spices have been transported for at least 2,000 years. Other local attractionsâ€”including the Portuguese-built St. Francis Church (where Vasco da Gama was originally buried) and Mattancherry Palaceâ€”are within easy reach. There are three in-house dining options offering everything from a full English breakfast to kebabs, but guests will also want to work in a meal at the nearby Brunton Boatyardâ€™s History Restaurant, where the menu compiles dishes from the various historical communitiesâ€”Syrian, Dutch, Portuguese, British, et al.â€”that have called Fort Kochi home. The hotel can also arrange excursions into Keralaâ€™s scenic backwaters aboard a traditional kettuvallam houseboat.
91-484/301-1711; Ayana Fort Kochi; â€¨doubles from US$160
This article originally appeared in theÂ October/November 2017Â print issue of DestinAsian magazine (â€śThe Luxe List 2017: Ayana Fort Kochiâ€ť).