GRAND HYATT KOCHI
BohoBaalika Travel Tales
Travel is an escape from the mundane, it has a different meaning to different people. Most of us millennial feel the need to escape everyday life and its pressures. While some do it passionately, some do it to relax and some travel for social status. I believe this generation is mainly about solo travels but nothing takes away the joy of travelling in bunch with family and friends. My growing up years meant vacations with family but off late after the period of certain self realizations, I realized travel meant to me no itinerary, it meant freedom and I did not want myself to be doing things that normally tourists do. It now meant liberation and being independent!
To be able to do whatever I want, whenever I want, with nobody to have to please except myself. Since then I prefer moving either solo or with a few like-minded friends, where being adventurous and being fuss free is the mandate criteria to be my travel companion. For me travelling is an exploration, a therapy and not just a matter of luxury and break. I have an exceptional knack for exotic locations and cultures. It reflects in my style and clearly is seen in my quirky personality.
After so much of fashion and fusion happening on my blog, I wanted to keep a space out for my second most loved obsession – Travel. Since then I’ve been itching to start to try my hand at travel blogging. I wanted to share my travel postcards and travelogues with a larger audience. Just in between these little thoughts and planning, a message unexpectedly popped expressing they were looking for someone zesty and colorful like me to represent their new property.
like they say ,“What you seek is seeking you”.
It just went real.
I felt colossally blessed being approached by a Lucullan 5 Star International property and that’s how Grand Hyatt Kochi happened.
I couldn’t believe my first travelogue was going to be this huge coaction. We exchanged notes and the action began. I wanted someone closest to share this experience with me. Grand Hyatt Kochi spoiled me rotten. They further agreed to customize this collaboration as a best friends vacay for us. So it wasn’t just me, I now had my best friend Nupur to accompany me for this escapade.
Double yay !
There are million reasons to cherish this trip but what will keep my heart brimming with gratitude and will be the love and cockering I received from the Grand Hyatt Kochi staff they all made my stay really memorable . They respected my preferences and took care of every little detail and comfort that I seek while designing my private travels. The trip was solely designed keeping my personality in mind. From kayaking to Boat jetty rides. I was even taken to the local weavers and museums to explore the local art scenes and looms. It just could not get better.
The trip typically wasn’t just a stay at the hotel which is pretty much a destination in its self but had a well prepared itinerary keeping in mind the idea of me exploring the various culture, art, and history of Cochin.
I expressed, travel means to me experiencing different cultures and to see how people live in different areas of the world. To meet new people, to make friends, and to talk to people from all walks of life. It means to me trying out new regional foods of all tastes and flavors. I had a time of my life exploring the city. Cochin offers you serene beaches, centuries old heritage buildings and some very warm friendly locals. The city welcomes everyone with open arms and is expanding and developing at a rapid pace
The property isn’t even an hour from Cochin International Airport. We arrived in less than an hour. While I was still reminiscing the gorgeous landing I had viewing the backwaters, I spotted a gentleman that held a placard that said my name. The welcome was all dreamy. No less filmy. Little things mean a whole lot to me. Especially personalized gestures.
Vinod, The chauffeur assigned for me from the property was quite entertaining and courteous at the same time.
I started for the hotel and this man amazed me with his chivalry, mannerisms and adept knowledge about his city. He seemed passionately in love with his roots, and kept raving about his god’s own country. We spoke non stop all through the way. The drive itself is been some therapy. I had butterflies of excitement tripping inside me.
We zoomed in no time and a bunch of some really warm people from the management welcomed me with tilak and sweets; I was touched and moved by the hospitality. After refreshments I was sent to my room and Voila !!! the view had me. The room had chic interiors and a view to die for.
Shana Ninan, Mercy Joseph and Neil Thomas.
They are the three people I earned on this trip. They were however from the management but at no stage I felt as if I am meeting them for the first time. they went an extra mile to take care of my each need and comfort. This trip possibly happened because of Shana. It couldn’t ever happen without her. so I want to thank her big through this mention. Mercy is the one who welcomed me first with her warm smile and been there for me till I checked out. I am so glad I met her. Neil took us around the city and accompanied us for the fun boat jetty ride. His presence just felt as if we had an extra friend travelling with us. There is something about Cochin and its people. They are effortlessly cool.
Dinner later the same evening was at Thai Soul. My best friend Nupur joined me by then. It an exotic Asian cuisine dine place by the pool side. The aroma of fresh Thai herbs and flavors come alive in the live kitchen, creating a multi sensorial experience for the guests. There was a special menu that was prepared especially for us. The food was perfect in the portion size, flavors, taste and the service was outstanding. Chef Suppatra Chatted with us and briefed us about what we had on our plates. The chef adds fresh galangal, shallots, lemon grass, garlic and dried chilies for aroma and taste. The sight itself was quite appetizing.
Cochin ranks as the 4th most cleanest city in India in recent Swacch Bharat rankings, I was fortunate to explore some great places like Hill Palace, Fort Kochi, Mattancherry Palace which depict the history of Dutch and Portuguese settlers here before independence. me and Nupur explored the local cafes and book stores too.
The boat jetty ride was so relaxing and fun. We were overjoyed to see the ancient Chinese fishing nets. You can’t visit Fort kochi and not go for a boat ride! This is after all a port and boats aren’t just a tourist attraction, but a normal means of transport for the locals. Chinese nets are best seen at sunset. The boat ride also gives you a glimpse into Fort Kochi’s erstwhile colonial past. The stately mansions and old industries which line the coast are a sharp contrast to the bustling port on the other side.
Besides, there are also a large variety of water birds which can be spotted, if you are a birdwatcher at heart! Whatever your interest is, a boat ride is the perfect way to end a day at Fort Kochi!
Each day Breakfast started at Malabar Cafe. The restaurant serves quintessential authentic Malabari Cuisine. I was served a special menu every morning with a lot of love and excellent hospitality. The decor and ambiance is clean and impeccable, facing the backwaters. The morning sun fills the cafe with golden light as you relish your yummy breakfast. I often came to the same cafe for my evening coffee. The sunset view while you sip on your coffee reading a book is every man’s dream of a perfect relaxing break. I honestly couldnt ask for more. The food quality is amazing. I would take a while to get over the taste of coconut cream infused fish curry with freshly made appams. I’ve never really tasted something so good.
The breakfast buffet spread was massive too with a lot of tough choices to make as there were live counters, English breakfast and a lot more one cant imagine to have all at one place. From the traditional southern delicacies to pancakes and waffles. It had everything.
Another highlight of the trip was attending KTM – Kerala Travel Mart. I was honored to be a part of this prestigious conclave. It had delegates and expats from all other the world. represented by higher ministry and a lot of business tycoons. Its one of largest conclave of tourism stakeholders in the state. The promotion of Malabar tourism was the focal theme of the event. The event offered a spectrum of opportunities to key players in the sector to forge business links and spur the growth of entire tourism industry. It was one enriching experience. again a big thanks to Grand Hyatt Kochi for making me a part of it.
I also want to talk about my unforgettable dining experience at Colony Club House & Grill. It has a spectacular Panoramic view as being on the top floor of the property. The windy weather facing the backwaters add a special soothing element to your dinner date.
The restaurant promotes sustainable seafood practices and it’s culinary philosophy is fueled by the world’s oldest cooking methods of cooking over open fires, smoking grills and burning embers. We were assisted especially by Chef Prakash who customized special dinner for us. I still cannot get over the grill platter. its one of the best I had in my life. My dinner ended with a delicious dates cheesecake which melted in my mouth. I was so high on it that I stayed silent after finishing my food to appreciate the culinary perfection I discovered.
Colony Clubhouse and Grill echoes their timeless elegance through carefully crafted details in decor. Chef Prakash and his team always look for ways to create great dining feel for each guest by their amazing culinary talent.
The last major experience I had was at the Santala Spa by the property.
After spending three kick-ass, mindblowing days of non stop fun and extravaganza, the need for spa was irrefutable. Santata features seven treatment rooms, an indoor swimming pool, relaxation lounges and a hydrotherapy area. It was all spread in vast area and the interiors were tranquil and magnetizing. They provide a variety of centuries old, time-tested Ayurvedic therapies to offer customized rejuvenation treatments beneficial for your mind, body & soul.
I had a 90 minutes of hot stone therapy followed by a rejuvenating deep oil infused full body massage. A long steam bath post that made me float in pleasure.
I dont remember when did I last sleep so long and like a kid, after the session. it made me feel energized and kept me perked up for more than a week.
Will be missing this sunset the most sipping my filter coffee every evening by the Malabar Cafe of all the splendid list of experiences I had. Witnessing the mesmerizing sunset in the evening was my favorite thing to do at Grand Hyatt Kochi all these days. Listening to the tides while the sun coalesce into nothingness. It was calming beyond words could describe. Just could say every time I looked at this picture. It call me back. achingly beautiful Kochi !
Thank you aeons!!!
Grand Hyatt Kochi for having me.