Family Hotel Review: Raintree Lodge, Cochin, Kerala, India
A simple but stylish address in the heart of Fort Cochin that has little in the way of facilities but offers extremely wallet-friendly rates and excellent service.
Best For: Bargain hunters and grown up backpackers; big kids and teens (but all ages welcome)
Reviewed by: Victoria Westmacott
Why You’ll Love It
This family-friendly budget option is owned by Edgar Pinto, the man responsible for transforming the Old Harbour Hotel into Cochin’s hippest address. The Raintree Lodge was Pinto’s first foray into the Cochin hotel scene and he’s successfully converted this 18th century Dutch home into a cheerful and wallet-friendly hotel.
The house is located on a quiet street near St Francis’ Church, not far from the old Parade Ground. There are just five rooms here and there’s no restaurant, swimming pool or any other facility to speak of. But the hotel is warm, welcoming and ridiculously good value for money.
The design echoes that of the Old Harbour Hotel with carefully positioned contemporary works of art, the odd antique or curio and a handful of colourful Indian masks hanging on walls. Rooms are simply furnished, bright and sunny, and there’s a roof terrace with picturesque views over the town.
Why The Kids Will Love It
Raintree Lodge really is a place to sleep rather than a place to hang out. It’s in a great location close to many of the main sights and some of the town’s best eating spots too, which is handy as the hotel does not have a restaurant of its own.
Owing to the lack of facilities the hotel is probably better suited to families travelling with older children and teens but it does welcome children of all ages. It’s a lovely, laid-back place with very good staff.
For teens the mini roof terrace, with two deckchairs and an array of potted plants, is a great place to escape to – whether it’s to catch up on some reading, snap some photos or simply have some time away from the parents!
There are five rooms, two twins and three doubles. The rooms are simply but tastefully furnished with terracotta tiled floors, wooden furniture and cheery curtains in yellows and oranges. Some of the rooms such as Room 3 enjoy mini balconies and others, such as Room 2, boast a compact patio garden. Carefully placed antiques, curios and paintings add to the ‘designer budget’ feel of the place. The rooms all have sparkling clean and spacious ensuite bathrooms. On the ground floor, Room 1 is a double and Room 2 (located at the rear of the house) is a twin. On the first floor, Rooms 3 and 4 are doubles. Room 5 is a twin and also has a balcony. Best rooms for families: Only the two twin bedrooms (rooms 5 and 2) can accommodate an extra bed and there are no inter-connecting rooms but you can request adjoining rooms. Families who require more than one additional bed will require two bedrooms. All the bedrooms can accommodate a baby cot. Raintree Lodge does not have any cots available and babysitting is not offered.
Raintree Lodge does not have a restaurant but there are plenty of dining options nearby.
Activities for Parents Wander across the road to St. Francis Church, the oldest European church in India dating back to 1503. Stroll the delightful streets of old Fort Cochin and enjoy the eclectic architecture and old colonial charm. Visit the Chinese Fishing Nets and bargain for the catch of the day. Hop into an auto-rickshaw and head to Mattancherry’s Jew Town district, once the centre of the spice trade and now the place for antique shopping. Make sure to visit the Jewish Cemetery and Paradesi Synagogue; the synagogue dates back to 1568 making it the oldest in the Commonwealth. Eat, eat and eat some more! Coconut-fuelled Keralan curries are absolutely delicious. Activities for Kids Stroll along to the Chinese Fishing Nets and watch the fishermen manoeuvre these enormous cantilevered contraptions; you might even be able to join in. Explore the crumbling but charming streets of Fort Cochin stopping by Teapot for cake en route. Step all aboard for an evening sunset cruise along the waters looking out for dolphins along the way. Visit the local Kathakali centre and watch the artists apply their colourful and detailed make-up before enjoying a performance of this highly stylised art form. Traditional martial arts demonstrations are also performed here.
A/C, small lounge area, doctor on call, nearest hospital 19 km away, 1 extra bed allowed in the twin bedrooms, laundry, pets allowed with prior notice, WiFi.
At the time of writing rates were as follows: Rooms: INR 2,250 (approx. US $35) Rates may vary. Please contact the hotel directly for a quote based on your family’s requirements.
When to go:
Tropical South India is hot year-round but the best time to visit is between October and March when it’s relatively dry and cool(er). During these months temperatures average around 30C. December and January are peak season and this is often reflected in hotel rates. From March the temperatures and humidity increases in the build up to the monsoon, which arrives in June.
Location & Travel:
Raintree Lodge is located in Fort Cochin, Kerala, India.
Cochin International Airport is at Nedumbassery, 40km from the hotel. The drive from the airport to Fort Cochin can take 1 to 1.5 hours owing to the traffic, although this can drop to under an hour if you arrive at night. Air India, Jet Airways, Spice Jet, IndiGo and Go Air all fly to Cochin.
There are two train stations in Ernakulam, Ernakulam Town and Ernakulam Junction. Daily trains run to Trivandrum via either Alleppey or Kottayam and there are also services to Thrissur, Calicut and Kannur.
Contact The Hotel
For more information or to make a booking enquiry, visit the hotel’s own website by following the link below:
Reviewer’s Top Tips!
1) There aren’t many budget options that are such good value, book well in advance if travelling over a busy period.
2) Remember to look out our Family Guide to Cochin and I Spy Cochin for kids.
3) Make sure to pack Arundhati Roy’s beautiful Booker Prize-winning book The God of Small Things set on the backwaters of Kerala.
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