We landed in Kerala in pouring rain and realized that we had forgotten to pack the umbrella ☔️. It was a Sunday morning and most shops in Kochi had their shutters down; but our taxi driver was helpful and we managed to buy an umbrella the way to the hotel.
I had initially tried yanking the curtains apart, they refused to budge and then I was informed of the switch that enabled the hands-free separation of the drapes by a motorised system. Presto! the curtains opened in slow motion, revealing not a window, but a wall of glass with a fantastic view of the Marine Drive, Kochi.
The vantage point was our room on the sixth floor at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Bolgatty, Kochi. And this was a Marine Drive facing room; right opposite and across the passageway are the rooms offering the endless view of the Vembanad lake and the sight gets even better as you choose higher floors. After living land-locked for months together, it’s a very visible thrill that runs through the whole body on seeing the endless water body and surrounding green. The happy smile is difficult to suppress and you hear yourself saying “Wow, it’s really nice!”
We were in the first week of July, the Monsoon season is in full swing across the country; it’s raining cats and dogs in Kerala and this five star hotel in Kochi is booked to more than half its capacity. Monson tourism !? Hmm…the more likely explanation is Destination wedding !!
“Welcome! Agarwal & Goyal family” announced a very pretty floral hoarding at the hotel lobby. A wedding is on cards! Later in the day, we could see ladies and gents dressed in a variety of Indian attires, all in shades of yellow – kurtas, lehengas and saris; a dress code for the Haldi ceremony preceding the actual wedding. A destination wedding in Kerala at a luxurious waterfront five star resort set amidst the picturesque landscaped banks of the Vembanad lake sounds fabulous. At night there is usually a display of fireworks on the lake! Rain translates to cool weather, summer months are sweltering hot in the state.
We were outside the hotel during the day and so the most time in hotel was spent at the Malabar Cafe for the buffet breakfast and the Grand Lounge and Grand Club in the evenings. In addition, they have a Thai restaurant called Thai Soul; a rooftop restaurant; too many choices and not enough time!
The elaborate breakfast buffet spread at the Malabar Cafe warrants leisure and good appetite. But considering our small bellies, we were forced to be extremely choosy. The softer than pillow Kerala Appams and creamy chicken stew is a must try; going with the Kerala theme, one morning there was Pidi (rice dumplings) and Chicken curry and if you are not a stickler to traditions, you can even order a Kerala parotta and meat curry for breakfast😛.
It was a rainy morning, we could watch the thick downpour outside and enjoy the music inside; the view from the restaurant is fabulous, the rhythmic waves on the Vembanad lake, the landscaped garden; once the rain stopped, birds flying to and fro in various formations.
We had a room with Club access; the food at the Grand Club was as pretty, inviting and delicious. In the evenings it’s a cosy place to unwind; spend time alone enjoying the buffet spread and scenic views or in good company, happy conversations and lip-smacking treats. Bliss!
We had a short, but wonderful stay. As we were checking out, another wedding party was seen checking in ! Next up, is a day of all time favourites in Kochi !