After reading the rave reviews of this hotel I was expecting more. I stayed for seven nights over New Year. The Hotel is situated on Lake Kumbalam, which is about 30/40 minutes from Fort Cochin. The hotel is located in a peaceful area with lovely lake views but is isolated with nowhere to go within walking distance.
The hotel is quite badly designed with some fundamental mistakes in its construction. Walking around the resort is like an obstacle course of walkways, pillars, stairs and drops into 4 foot deep water channels. The hotel describes the Deluxe rooms as being located within the hotel gardens, whilst this is true, what it fails to say is that Deluxe rooms only have views of either the back wall of the cottages or the roof tops of adjacent buildings. So for any view a cottage is a must. These are built on concrete stilts curving around the headland and all have wonderful full lake views. They are well furnished, have good bathrooms and are spotlessly clean. The furnished balconies complete with fan are a great peaceful place to sit and watch the lake. One annoyance is the lighting system which is operated by a complicated central control panel. At first, this is a novelty but it soon becomes apparent that it is completely impractical, especially at night when you can’t see the control panel to operate the lights. During our stay we discovered that random lights would come on in the bathroom and bedroom during the night, which would wake us up, and of course, with the control panel it was difficult to work out how to turn them off again.
We found most of the staff to be delightful and particularly so in the restaurant. However, the front desk were a bit robotic, lacked warmth and appeared obstructive, promising to ring back with answers to queries but never doing so. To get to reception you had to pass the two gift shops who would pounce and give you the hard sell, which was a bit wearing. Whilst we enjoyed our stay we found the hotel to be lacking for people on vacation, it appears to be much more geared towards business travellers attending conferences and also does a brisk business in weddings. Little things were below that expected of a resort hotel, like not putting cushions out on the sunloungers, the pool bar (Strokes) was closed and there were no staff around the pool area to take food and drink orders. The sole restaurant (Fennel) was bland and dull with hard uncomfortable seating and very brightly lit, not at all conducive to a leisurely evening meal, which is all there is to do in the evenings, although the food was mostly okay. The other restaurant (Hot Coals) is well and truly closed and I’m not sure if it ever opened. It is a real shame as the hotel is in a great setting but does not utilise this in any of the public areas. The pool, however, is beautiful.
Getting out and about was difficult, the hotel would not call local taxis as it operates its own cars on a minimum 4 hour hire policy for 850 rupees, which you had to give an hours notice for. So all in all I wouldn’t return, but it is okay for a short stay of a night or two.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Feel the silence of the shores Ramada Resort is a poem. Written on the banks of a tranquil lake. You find the island of silence just 17 km from Kochi, Kerala's metropolis, and 2 km from a busy national highway. The Kumbalam backwaters is part of the famed Vembanad Lake. As the gates open, a sudden change in landscape, a riot of greenery, and silence, greet you. A harmonious mix of exhibitive desert trees and the natural flora of Kerala instil in you the same feeling you experience while watching your child take its first steps: excitement! Pass through the front office that exudes the Keralan hospitality, laced with the professionalism of Ramada, and walk into one of those 24 pool-facing villas. The long walk itself is a refreshing change, compared with boxing oneself into the usual elevator. The greenery soothes the nerves of even a weary traveller. You have started experiencing the space. And silence. Oh! Its space everywhere. Spread across 7 acres of land, Ramada Resort has only 42 living spaces. You would perhaps enjoy the largest per capita space on a resort in Kerala! Before stepping into your room, you find the ground floor is just floor, and not a room! Your kids may want to stay back and play. Let them, and you allow yourself into your cottage. In the super luxury of the room, you will come across the best amenities. Open the glass door and step into the balcony. The meandering pool stretches itself to 110 metres in front of you. Its waters almost touch the lake, which touches the eastern horizon for sure. The enormous expanse of the backwater, lined with coconut trees, will make you feel the thrill of floating freely on a ship's deck, a la Jack and Rose. It's a play of water, mixed with serenity. You feel engulfed by infinity. Almost. In the morning, the sun rising from across the waters will greet you on the balcony. You may feel like doing a sun-salutation, the most beneficial yoga posture. The fisherman in his canoe rowing against the myriad hues of morning sun will be a picture postcard scene that reminds you of the painting competition in your school days. In the evening, the reflections of the setting sun on the serene waters would take you to the empire of silence. The water, layers and layers of it, may tempt you to try some water therapy. Walk into the spa, Kerala's largest. It offers more than 25 varieties of herbal and western massages. Treat yourself to foot reflexology and leave the seat with every organ in your body relaxed. Or try Thai massage. Or Balinese. Treat your senses to the aroma of freshly fried seafood. With your stomach directing you towards the restaurant, the turn in the corridor next to it opens up suddenly into an empty expanse of greenery. The deja vu feeling of having one's own extra space suddenly overpowers the unassuming traveller. It takes some time to adjust to this heavenly feeling and finally when lunch is served, you realise even time has no boundaries in this part of the world and stands still. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ramada Resort,Cochin Hotel Kochi (Cochin)
- Ramada Hotel Kochi