A little known lime plastered hotel overlooking the Chinese nets in the Arabian Sea has pipped several known resorts and hotels to bag the best family hotel and the property with the best service in India, according to a rating done by TripAdvisor, the world's largest online travel community. Old Harbour Hotel, in the Fort Cochin area of Kochi is a 13 room property restored from a building that has both Portuguese and Dutch influences. With a known history of 220 years, the building housed one of the oldest hotels in the Old Cochin area .It later become the property of the famous tea broking company Carrit Moran & Co, until brought and restored by Edgar Pinto, the current owner in 2000.
"This is a gorgeous hotel in a splendidly renovated old colonial villa, with enormous uncluttered rooms, simply but appropriately decorated," writes Michael from UK. JessSek from Detroit says, "It took our breath away when we first arrived. Stunning. Beautifully restored, it gives the illusion that you are staying in the old 'colonial' past. The restoration blends the authenticity of the past, like the large wooden doors with large brass keys."
Keeping company is another bed and breakfast hotel from Fort Cochin, Sajhome, which has bagged the top place in the best bargain hotels in India. Two hotels from Fort Kochi and six hotels from Kerala feature in the list of top 25 hotels in the country, as rated by the travellers in the site www.tripadvisor.in. Coming top in the category of the overall top ten hotels in India is a small boutique from Goa known as Casa Condolim. Several bed and breakfast home stay feature in the list, which also includes the luxurious Coconut Lagoon, Kumarakom and Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur.
"This is the first edition of the India specific travellers' choice list. We have compiled this from millions of reviews uploaded by travellers," Sharath Dhall, managing director of Trip Advisor India said. "There are 12,000 Indian hotels featured in our site, all of them complied by the discerning travel community", he said. TripAdvisor-branded sites alone make up the most popular and largest travel community in the world, with more than 25 million monthly visitors and 15 million members. More than 30 million reviews, photos and opinions from real travelers are featured in the group site, he added.