A visit to Kerala is always something to look forward to and the launch of the Novotel Kochi Infopark is the perfect reason to go back to God’s Own Country again. Located in the IT belt of Kochi, this is the first international hotel in Kakkanad IT hub and is away from the humdrum of the city. This property is a partnership between AccorHotels and the MuthootPappachan Group and is a 40-minute drive from the Kochi International Airport.
When I arrived here I was given a traditional welcome by the hotel, keeping in mind the local traditions and Novotel’s philosophy of ‘home away from home’. The welcome drink was interesting too – called Kulki Sherbat this is a pineapple drink flavoured with ginger, lime and green chilli with basil seeds and is just what I needed to refresh myself. The 128 key hotel has eight suites and a room designed specifically for the specially-abled with signature in-room amenities and WiFi. The décor itself is a perfect mélange of local and international art elements of the city. The reception is large and airy and the colour comes from the wall décor as well as the bright hued cushions on the sofas. My room on the fourth level is a Superior Room and at 330 square feet is spacious and feels just right – not too large or small. Apart from a comfortable king size bed, a 49 inch smart television, there is a work table, a sofa and a small side table where I see some local desserts and chocolates waiting for me. The room is well furnished with a cupboard, minibar and a spacious bathroom with a separate shower cubicle. The views from the room are great with undulating greens that are a sight for sore eyes. The other categories of rooms here include Premier Rooms and Suites. The suites come with a separate living space and larger bathrooms with a bath tub.
Since I was quite hungry after my flight, I head to The Square the all-day dining restaurant that offers a wide selection of quintessential Malabari delicacies with a mix of local and international cuisines. The large 106 cover restaurant is bright and airy and has a nice ambience courtesy the natural light that comes in through the large French windows here. The restaurant has a buffet on for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as an extensive a la carte menu. There are live action stations where you can actually see how your food is being made, including a pizzeria that makes fresh pizza and bread too. Executive Chef G.V. Ramesh says, “as this area has several restaurants that serve Kerala food, I decided to keep the food choices as a mix of international and local fare. Of course being in Kerala, there is local food too but we have ensured that the food has a good selection of Western dishes too.”
Being from Hyderabad, the Chef also has the Hyderabadi biryani as part of his a-la-carte menu. Opposite to the restaurant is The Bar that serves a range of single malts, cocktails, mocktails and spirits. However to enjoy Kochi evenings, head to The Sun Deck Bar on the sixth level where you can tuck into lip-smacking Indian culinary creations and live grills and enjoy a dinner under the clouds by the pool side. Incidentally, this 35 cover space is cozy and intimate and can also be hired for private pool parties and dos. Do have at least one dinner here when you are here and it will be an experience like no other. The grills served are quite amazing and are sure to have you feeling well fed! The Sunday brunch is extensive and with a live band playing is a wonderful way to spend your holiday.
Facilities & More
The hotel has a swimming pool on the 6th level as well as the 24/7 gym Balance so health freaks will be happy. In fact the gym offers nice views of the city too so there in an extra motivation to exercise. There are three banqueting spaces that can accommodate about 200 people and a board room that can host 14 people. This hotel is also great for families and offers a 50 percent discount on the second room for two children below 16 years. There is a special kids menu and a kid’s corner too so children will not be bored here. Also this is an ISO 14001 certified hotel so you know they care about the environment too. Speaking at the launch, Sachin Maheshwary General Manager, Novotel Kochi, said, “as a growing IT hub and a travel destination, Kochi is an ideal location business and leisure travellers whether they are here to explore the city for a weekend getaway or family retreat or for business.” And you know exactly why when you are here.
While you are here Kochi make the time to explore the city’s eclectic culture that is a motley mix of Portuguese, Dutch, Arab, Chinese and Japanese influences. And the best way to do this is to head to Fort Kochi that is steeped in Portuguese and Dutch history. This quaint locale has a mix of sights including the famed Chinese Nets. These nets are supposed to have been introduced by the Chinese Traders way back in the 14th century. This area is also home to the St. Francis Church where Vasco-da-Gama was originally buried and Vasco House his residence. Stand at the waterfront and see the fishermen throw the nets and bring their catch to the shore. The sunsets against the nets are magnificent too so it is a good idea to make it here towards the evening. When in Kochi do not forget to stock up on your fill of spices especially pepper and cardamom as well as the famed banana chips. In the summer months, the jackfruit chips are a must too. So pack up and head to Kochi – wonderful memories beckon.
Address: A3, Infopark Rd, Kakkanad, Kerala 682030. Phone: +91 484 6766666 Email: hb283-RE@accor.com
This story appeared in the June 2018 issue of Spice Route Magazine here: Novotel