Hotel Highlights

  • Cutting-edge Indian design and bold, bright interiors
  • The private feel of a contemporary apartment
  • Ideal location for exploring Fort Cochin

Overview

Fort Chochin hotel Malabar Escapes: Trinity might be housed in a 150-year-old building – the former headquarters of the Dutch East India Company, as it turns out – but the interiors would do well in any fashion capital. Art-deco accents and quirky artwork on the walls give this serene sanctuary a South Beach-in-South India vibe.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Malabar Escapes: Trinity with us:

A complimentary bottle of wine

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Facilities

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Malabar Escapes: Trinity  – Kerala – India

Need To Know

Rooms

Three.

Check–out

Midday, but flexible, subject to availability.

Rates

Double rooms from $126.65 (€92), excluding tax at 19.92 per cent.

More details

Rates include Continental or South Indian breakfast.

Also

You can borrow mountain bikes for exploring Fort Cochin and its surroundings, and the hotel has a six-seat speedboat that can zip you around the lake.

At the hotel

Ayurvedic spa treatments from Malabar House. In rooms: Air-con, TVs, DVD players, home-made toiletries.

Our favourite rooms

The pricier Red Suite elicits the biggest gasps thanks to its extra mezzanine bed and sprawling yard-cum-shower. Its walls are lined with lithographs by ‘India’s Picasso’ MF Husain. Each room has a wall painted in the bold primary colour of the room’s name, as well as an open-air bathroom (complete with wooden Japanese sandals to make the hard stones of the floor easier on the sole). The Yellow Room has a platform bed and hardwood floors – Red and Blue are tiled in terracotta.

Poolside

There’s a plunge pool big enough for a cooling splash about, and guests can use the pool at Malabar House too.

Packing tips

Something to keep the mosquitoes at bay; whether that’s insect repellent or chain mail is up to you.

Also

Smoking allowed throughout.

Children

Under-5s stay free, and extra beds are available for older children (€30 a night). Babysitting can be arranged, with notice.

Eco‐friendly

Trinity makes use of hydroelectric power, recycles where possible, and cleans with organic detergents.

Food & Drink

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Malabar Escapes: Trinity  – Kerala – India

Hotel Restaurant

There’s nothing but breakfast offered on-site, but Malabar House, Trinity’s mother ship, is around the corner for delicious Indian-influenced Mediterranean cuisine.

Hotel Bar

Again, Malabar House is your best port of call, 200 metres away.

Last orders

Around 10.30pm at Malabar House.

Room service

Drinks are available from 7am until 11pm; breakfast can be served in rooms.

Smith Insider

Dress code

In India, it’s usual pretty casual all the way, but here’s the place to zhuzh up and show off your chic.

Top table

Get a table by the live musicians or the little pool.

Local Guide

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Malabar Escapes: Trinity  – Kerala – India
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Local restaurants

For the low-down on eating, drinking, exploration and entertainment around the Malabar House, check out our detailed destination guide to Kerala.

+ Enlarge
Cochin’s cricketing Parade Ground

Malabar Escapes: Trinity

1/658 Residale Street, Parade Ground, Fort Cochin, Kerala, 682001

Planes

Cochin International Airport is an hour-and-a-half (45km) away by car.

Trains

The nearest train station is Ernakulam Junction (South), which is 45 minutes (12km) from the hotel.

Automobiles

The hotel is in the middle of Fort Cochin, where there’s a full supply of rickshaws, as well as guided tours that come with drivers, so your own car isn’t strictly necessary.

Other

If you’re travelling from within India, there are frequent and comfortable bus connections from southern state capitals to Ernakulam.

Reviews

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Malabar Escapes: Trinity  – Kerala – India

Anonymous review

by David Annand , Model editor

‘It’s raining frangipani,’ said Mrs Smith as a gentle breeze loosened the bright pink petals from the branches above and sent them helicoptering down around us as we sat eating dinner in the courtyard of Malabar House. As the falling flowers filled the warm air with their sweet smell and the local musicians sang their soothing songs, I sipped on my Chenin Blanc and found mysel...

Read more

Malabar Escapes: Trinity

Anonymous review by David Annand, Model editor

‘It’s raining frangipani,’ said Mrs Smith as a gentle breeze loosened the bright pink petals from the branches above and sent them helicoptering down around us as we sat eating dinner in the courtyard of Malabar House. As the falling flowers filled the warm air with their sweet smell and the local musicians sang their soothing songs, I sipped on my Chenin Blanc and found myself drifting into a state of Zen-like calm.

Such reveries are typical of Kerala – a part of the world that has not unreasonably branded itself as God’s Own Country. Also typical of Kerala is synapse-frazzling taxi journeys (if it is God’s Own Country, the divine one is evidently contemptuous of the Highway Code), and those of nervous dispositions would be well advised to opt for one the state’s charismatic trains, which offer sublime views and generous discounts to both amateur artists and those on their way to job interviews.

When we arrived that morning we weren’t yet wise to the railways, and so it was only when I assured her that we’d stopped that Mrs Smith agreed to open her eyes. When she did, she opened them to discover a charming square and Trinity, the spacious annex of suites just a short walk around the square from its larger sister establishment, Malabar House.

The boutique hotels in the Malabar group are all aptly named: Privacy is a lovely secluded spot, and Serenity is as tranquil a place as I’ve ever visited. At the time of writing Trinity maintains this handsome record, boasting as it does just three suites: yellow, blue and red. A name change may well be in order soon, however, as work is afoot to expand the site and Trinity’s own pool – currently shut – will reopen once this work is done.

We were lucky enough to be in the red suite, a lovely room with a giant bed complete with mezzanine level for those Smiths crazy enough to take their children away with them. On the walls were hung paintings by the kind of artist David Shrigley might have been had he born in, say, Bangalore not Macclesfield. Beyond the welcoming cool of the air-conditioned bedroom, our outside space included a small terrace with elegant local furniture and an amazing al fresco bathroom complete with a shower that emptied into a magnificent bronze pot.

After we’d freshened up, we took a stroll through Fort Cochin with its engaging mishmash of Portuguese, English and Dutch influences – including Asia’s oldest church – stopping for a simple vegetarian lunch at the Fort House before ambling past the Chinese nets which rear up out of the water like Louise Bourgeois installations.

Upon our return, the school bell had sounded and the rust-coloured square was packed with boys playing cricket and football. Slightly intimidated by the pace at which the local boys were bowling, I decided football was a better option and was eagerly welcomed to join a game. Despite pretty much doubling the average age of my side and being the only one wearing shoes, I was hopelessly outclassed. And 15 minutes of shadow-chasing later – sweat-drenched and dust-coated – I was ready for the Ayurvedic treatments we had booked that morning.

Malabar House’s treatment room is a traditional space – all dark wood and dim lighting – the perfect place to recover after running around in the noonday sun. Ten minutes later, I was lying down on a raised bed covered in oil while two masseurs worked at my tired limbs. As the men worked, they talked quietly in Malay. Obviously I had no idea what they were saying. It might have been something like: ‘What a privilege it is to be kneading the knots from such an Adonis, he really is a paradigm, somehow, of the form.’

Sadly, though, I think it is far likelier it was along the lines of: ‘What an interesting body. He manages to be both fat and thin at the same time. And his skin is milkily translucent, a bit like an uncooked squid.’

After the massage I was treated to an invigorating head rub, which set me up perfectly for dinner in the courtyard under the frangipani trees. We started with a plate of seer fish fingers with a creamy, spicy mango sauce that I could quite honestly eat every night for the rest of my life without getting bored. For the mains my fish curry was good and Mrs Smith’s two cricket ball-sized hunks of perfectly cooked tuna were truly great.

As we rounded off the meal with coffees and sharply sweet ginger ice cream, a family of Kathakali dancers took to the stage. Ordinarily, I’m sceptical at best when it comes to this kind of hotel entertainment but this was a world away from Freddie Starr at Butlins. Dancing to a drum and a single stringed instrument, the beautifully dressed performers played out simple narratives to a rapt audience. Mrs Smith – a former member of the Royal Ballet – is not easily impressed by such things, but she couldn’t stop marvelling at the grace and control of the girls on stage.

The next morning, we took breakfast in the shared space at Trinity. We lingered over our fresh fruit, omelettes and coffee served in silver pots (that I had to physically stop Mrs Smith from stealing) to stretch out our stay a little further. If the group is to maintain its precise nomenclature, Trinity may soon be called something else. For now, though, it represents a perfectly triangulation of colour, luxury and romance; and what more, really, can you ask?

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