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 Kerala’s Malabar Coast, The Ayana isn’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 attractions—including the Portuguese-built St. Francis Church (where Vasco da Gama was originally buried) and Mattancherry Palace—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 Boatyard’s History Restaurant, where the menu compiles dishes from the various historical communities—Syrian, Dutch, Portuguese, British, et al.—that have called Fort Kochi home. The hotel can also arrange excursions into Kerala’s scenic backwaters aboard a traditional kettuvallam houseboat.
91-484/301-1711; Ayana Fort Kochi; doubles from US$160
This article originally appeared in the October/November 2017 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“The Luxe List 2017: Ayana Fort Kochi”).