Taj Malabar Hotel

, Kochi, India
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Taj Malabar Hotel

, Kochi
5 star

Rooms: 96

Malabar Road, Willingdon Island North End - Kochi - 682 009 - India Hotel Website | | 0484 - 2666811
366 Traveller

Reviews - Taj Malabar Hotel

Heaven on earth!
Submitted by: lynxy in 29/02/08
  • Age Group: 51 - 60
  • From: United Kingdom
  • Traveller type: Mature Couple
Superb staff, excellent dignified service, couldn't do enough for us. Food wonderful, room fantastic with fabulous views of the harbour and amazing sunsets. The infinity pool was incredibly beautiful, just as if you were swimming in the Arabian sea, and the staff serving drinks and food from the pool bar were superb too. The cultural entertainment every evening was superb, held in the beautiful gardens overlooking the bay. Also sunset cruises from the hotel jetty were bliss. All in all we can't say enough about what a great hotel and experience this was.

Historical Traveller Reviews of Taj Malabar Hotel

Not the Taj Opulence we had come to expect

from Max25
Experiencing the opulence and sensory delight of both Jaipur's Taj Rambagh Palace and Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace, we arrived in Cochin with high expectations for the Taj Malabar, supported by the many favourable reviews on TripAdvisor.

We can't say we were overly impressed. We realised later that the clue was probably in the fine-print; the Malabar is a Taj 'Leisure' hotel while the aforementioned two seem to be categorised more as 'Luxury' Taj properties.

While it's a perfectly nice 'tropical resort hotel', it lacks presence, opulence, scale or luxury. The promotional pictures are a little mis-leading too - far from dominating the tip of Willingdon Island, the hotel is actually squeezed into a fairly narrow space, and you feel it. The pool is a nice size but is squeezed into a corner leaving insufficient lounging space for the number of guests who seem to want to make use of the pool. The inviting image of a spacious infinity pool and surrounds which helped sell the hotel to us originally is a piece of clever photography that is not representative of reality.

We stayed in the new Tower section, which is nicely done - the design intent seems to be create the impression of being on a ship - the porthole-like window design, height above ground and proximity of the water with its passing harbour traffic creating a very close approximation to being on a cruise liner. The picture window through from the bathroom allows you to maximise appreciation of the views, including the schools of dolphins/porpoises that frequent the harbour area.

Aside from a bungled and frustrating check-in, the service was attentive and helpful, and the restaurants we sampled were fine - the outdoor evening buffet pretty good. But we couldn't help feeling we were at a nice 3 or 4 Star Barbados All-Inclusive rather than a fabulous Taj hotel.

This feeling was probably reinforced by the conscientious but ultimately lacklustre 'events' on offer - a complimentary but needlessly dull sunset cruise with no music, drinks or commentary was a missed opportunity, and an embarassingly mis-judged 'art' exhibition on the front lawn missed the mark by a wide margin.

Our other frustration was the relative isolation of the hotel from Fort Cochin and the hotel's inadequacy in helping us to painlessly navigate the myriad ferry, jetty and timing options. Cochin harbour is on a bigger scale than we expected, and getting around it from the Taj isn't as simple or easy as it should be - something easily rectified.

Given there's little to nothing worthwhile to do on Willingdon Island, any activities beyond pool-side lounging will likely involve a trip to Fort Cochin. And given the pool-side at the Taj Malabar is cramped and getting to Fort Cochin is complicated, we feel this hotel is compromised in a way other Taj's aren't.

Both these issues are neatly side-stepped by the Brunton Boatyard on Fort Cochin, where we ate dinner one night, and which, had it not been fully booked, would have been the better place to stay in Cochin.

Super Location and Service

from Gaspari
We enjoyed our two night stay at this hotel - thought the location right in the middle of such an interesting harbour with views all around was great.

Charming staff, good service throughout, and attractive gardens and public rooms. Slight musty smell in the old wing. Gardens do get busy with big local functions at this time of year, but we found this interesting too, and they didn't seem to finish too late.

Room at the top of the tower was fine, although slightly showing age. Whilst clean, bed linen and towels had a rather over laundered feel. Issue we felt with external noise, and noise from other rooms (the rooms are not double glazed and we did look out over a working port). Would not like to have been lower down in the tower as think the external noise would have been more noticeable.

Excellent food in the Thai restaurant, breakfast OK.

Nice but small shady pool with good views.

Overall a good experience, notable for the character, location, the food,and the charming service

Usual excellant Taj standard

from Happy5
We stay at many Taj hotels and this one definately is a prime example of the excellant Taj standrd you expect.

The hotel has a great atmosphere, the service is impeccable and the food is very good. We tried the seafood restaurant which was great.

The spa is very good and there is a beautiful pool. The hotel arranges many activities including entertainment in the evening and also a sunset cruise.

The rooms have real character - very large with beautiful antique furniture.

If you are looking for luxury and pampering I would definitely recommend that you stay at this hotel if you are in Cochin. It may be a bit further from some of the sights etc but actually it is really nice to come back to this hotel and relax after a day of shopping/sighseeing.

Loved the Taj Malabar

from bfernandes
Loved the Taj Malabar once we arrived. It's far from the airport but we enjoyed it. Loved the restaurants and bar. Great pool and water views from the room. Service in the restaurants were not great but just get over it and enjoy the rest. We were there for NY eve and the mandatory $125 per person dinner was not worth it. The food was just OK and so was the entertainment and the ONE firework that went off.

harbour View room

from vikky
We has a wonderful stay early December at Taj Malabar Cochin for 2 nights. Below are the hihlights of the property which comply us to repeat our stay in the future as well :

1. We opted for a superior sea view room with teo adjacant windows facing the arabian sea. W\A wonderful vew of ships the entire day.

2. The hotel as a wonerful SPA offering complimentary Jacuzi, Steam & swimming secluded from the main hotel which was wonderful.

3. The hotel also organises the transfer from Tak Malabar Cochin to Kumarakom trough sea on a speed boat which is quite adventurous and a wonderful ride.

Over all a wonderful package !!!

Would visit Cochin again just to stay at Taj Malabar

from yaatri
We were on our honeymoon in Kerala, and Cochin was last on our itenary. We had stayed at Club Mahindra in Munnar, Taj Retreat at Thakkady and at Kumarakom Lake Resort in Kumarakom and I can easily say that Taj Malabar is the best hotel we stayed in.
We had booked a sea view room months in advance at the hotel, but on arrival we were told that since the sea view rooms were being renovated, the hotel was putting us up in the Junior Suite. The manager personnaly showed us to the suite and it was absolutely luxorious. And the service at Taj Malabar is top notch.
For 3 days we were absolutely pampered at the TAJ Malabar in a manner only the Taj can manage.

Worth a visit

from Discoo
We stayed in the Taj Malaber in late October. The location is a real surprise as its probaly the last place you would expect to find a hotel. The Taj is an ideal base to see Cochin and travel the backwaters. The house boat excursion is a really relaxing way to see Kerala and its lifestyle. The hotel offers boat trips and cars are available to tour the city. Alternatively it was nice to sit by the pool and watch the different boats and people go by.

The real benefit to this hotel is the Rice Boat restaurant whis is situated at water level. The fresh seafood and service in this restaurant reallly made the stay.

Kerala is a must if you travel to India and the Taj Malabar is a good spot to stay in for a couple of nights.

The only downside was the mistake on the bill as we were leaving (failed to order a return car to the airport ) However this type of thing happened in nearly every hotel we stayed in during our trip.

A Lovely Hotel In Cochin

from A TripAdvisor Member
We stayed two nights at this lovely hotel in September 2006 and can highly recommend it. The staff are very welcoming and friendly, and the decor of public areas and the rooms is first class. We had a room in the Tower wing, recommended because of the fine view across the harbour. The bathroom has a glass wall so you don't miss the view, however you can put the blinds down if you wish! The choice of restaurants is very good and with an excellent Thai restaurant and The Rice Boat which is a first class seafood restaurant and Pepper which has a very good selection at breakfast time and all day dining. The infinity swimming pool in the garden is very nice, and also a spa is attatched, though I didn't have time to make use of it. The hotel is situated on Willingdon Island and you may wonder where you are going as you drive by the grain warehouses, but once there I am sure you will enjoy your stay as much as we did. Old Cochin is a short drive away where the main tourist sites are, and a trip out on one of the boats around the harbour is well worth it at sunset.

Good choice despite location

from nred
The Taj Malabar is inconveniently located to the main sites in Cochin, but despite this, it is a good choice if you are looking for a relaxing holiday and 5 star accomodation. Our room was in the Heritage wing and was spacious and comfortable. The restaurants in the Malabar are good, not great--the Thai restaurant is only average, especially compared to Hip Asia in Taj Connemara in Chennai--but the main restaurant is quite good as is the Rice Boat, which serves mostly seafood. Spa Tamara has good treatments more reasonably priced than some of the other Taj resorts.

Very average

from omarito02
Was very dissapointed with our stay. The room had worn furniture and smelled very musty. The food was just O.K.

Top Local Tips for Kochi

transfer from airport to hotel Take a pre paid cab.........it costs only Rs. 600/- whereas the hotel car costs Rs. 1650/-.

Kathkali You will no doubt be offered a visit to the above Indian dance demo in the vicinity. We found it very boring, dirty and oppressively hot. Then there was a perfonce in the hotel which was lower key bot more informative.

Tuc Tuc Hire a Tuc Tuc for 1/2 a day; should be around 500 Rp and you will save time stay cool and find all the right places.


Other names for Taj Malabar Hotel

  • taj malabar cochin kochi
  • taj malabar cochin hotel kochi
  • taj malabar
  • Address: Malabar Road, Willingdon Island North End - Kochi - 682 009 - India
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