|Street scene near Hotel Arches|
In Fort Kochi we began each day with breakfast on the serene rooftop terrace of our favourite hotel in Kerala, the Hotel Arches. The morning sky was always soft, breezes gentle, as the heat of the day had not yet set upon Fort Cochin. Through the treetops swooped tropical birds. In the distance we saw glimpses of the sea. This peaceful setting was perfect for an anxious traveller like me, new to India.
On each of our 5 mornings on the rooftop terrace we were greeted by Das, a friendly dignified man, who brought us dark Keralan coffee, fresh juice and local fruits, eggs and toast, or a delicious masala dosa and coconut chutney. We dined within view of St. Francis Church, built in 1503, the oldest European church in India, and the original burial place of Vasco da Gama.
All of the staff at the Hotel Arches were considerate and sincerely kind. They arranged reliable transportation for us (Josie) from the airport and on to the tea plantations of Munnar. They quickly moved us to a lower floor, without request, upon seeing that I had injured my ankle - and they brought ice for the swelling- even at 3am.
The Hotel Arches itself was lovely in all ways. Rooms were large, perfectly clean, with air conditioning, TVs, and private baths. Free internet access was available in the hallway and there was an interesting collection of books for guests in the lobby.
There are fancier hotels in Fort Cochin, but I doubt that we will ever encounter the genuine sweetness of the staff we met at the Hotel Arches. The wonderful breakfasts, and the exceptional people at the Hotel Arches were a memorable part of our trip to Kerala. Thank-you Hotel Arches.
|Balcony view and St. Francis Church|