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If you’re looking for the best hotels in Cochin, then I would highly recommend checking out the cosy Delight Homestay in Fort Kochi.
Not only is this wonderful property based in an old Portuguese colonial building, but it’s also right in the heart of the area. So, the main attractions are in arms reach!
I booked my trip with India Someday who introduced me to this gorgeous hotel and I couldn’t have been more at home here.
But, if you still need more convincing here are all the reasons why you should check into Delight Homestay on your trip.
Heads up: my stay at Delight Homestay was gifted on a press trip with India Someday. Click here for my complete review of their services for trip planning in India!
Where is Delight homestay in Fort Kochi?
Delight Homestay is in just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Vasco De Gama Square and the Santa Cruz Basilica. Both of these popular attractions are only 5 minutes walk away!
Most of Fort Koch is easy to walk around on foot and you can go island hopping from here too on the local passenger ferries.
But, if you wanted to go further afield, you just need to hop on a rickshaw or bus to take you over to Mattancherry which is a little further out.
Fort Kochi is the best area to base yourself in Kochi in my opinion as it has the most attractions and infrastructure around including yummy restaurants.
1. Delight Homestay is the oldest homestay in Fort Kochi
If you’re a bit of a history nerd like me, then you’ll love scouting out historic or boutique hotels in the area.
I just find that historic hotels have so much more character and you can see the years of stories just ooze out of the walls!
Delight Homestay is the oldest homestay in Fort Kochi and is located in a Portuguese settlement building! So, you’ll actually be living in the history here. Not just an observer.
The family is more than happy to show you the living room that has some antique furniture. But, some of the building has been renovated over time due to natural wear and tear.
It was a gorgeous place with romantic balconies and stairways. Perfect for any history lover!
2. The rooms are spacious and cool
Although the building is old, the rooms are fresh and clean with modern furnishings. So, don’t worry about that.
In fact, my room was incredibly spacious with twin beds and even a sofa and coffee table! There was plenty of space for a family, let alone little old me.
The beds were spotlessly clean with crisp white sheets and I loved the cool floors and air-conditioning in the hot temperatures.
In October, it had not long been monsoon season. So, it was that humid period until the winter season. It was super sticky during the day and I regularly needed air con and shower breaks!
It was a relief that the bathroom was also huge with running hot water, I was having 2/3 showers a day with the heat!
During this time, it’s also typical to find mosquitos. But, luckily there was an all-out and the cold breeze kept them at bay.
3. It’s a family homestay, so it’s nice and friendly
The reason why I choose homesteads over hotels in areas like this is that I get to meet a local family and it has a more personal feel. You also get to learn about local customs and meet new people.
It almost feels like a home away from home and at Delight Homestay the family was really lovely. We spoke about the history of the area, our past travels and it was nice to tell them about my day.
When you travel solo, it can be hard if you go all day without having a conversation. So, it’s comforting that you know you can have a chat or reflect with someone.
4. The breakfast and meals are homemade and tasty
I always look forward to breakfast while I’m away and even more when it’s homemade!
At Delight Homestay I had the choice of a traditional Malayali breakfast or continental. But, because I couldn’t choose I had a bit of both!
We had eggs, idli with sambar, butter on toast and fresh fruits too! It was incredibly filling and set me up for the long days of sightseeing ahead.
Of course, no morning is complete without coffee in my opinion and it was treated to a big steaming pot of it. It was bliss.
5. The grounds are like paradise with gorgeous gardens
The first thing I noticed as soon as I walked into the homestay was the lush green garden that grew all around.
The groundskeeper gave me a little tour and showed me their fruit tree, all the plants they were growing including a pepper plant and the flowers too!
I’ve always dreamed of having my own little herb garden, so I was fascinated to see more. It’s also lovely to know that a lot of the ingredients used here are organic too.
As it had just been monsoon, the plants were thriving and it was so colourful. It was like a little oasis in Fort Kochi!
6. It’s right in the heart of Fort Kochi!
The best part about this homestay is that it’s located right in the heart of Fort Kochi. So, it’s a great base to travel out to the main attractions in the area.
Fort Kochi has so many sights to offer tourists, including the iconic Chinese Fishing Nets, street art, churches, synagogues, temples, palaces, cultural performances, and beaches too.
I’ll list out some of my favourites I would recommend below;
Chinese Fishing Nets
A few hundred metres away from the homestay are the iconic Chinese Fishing Nets that are a staple part of any visit to Fort Kochi.
Thousands of tourists flock here each year just to get a glimpse of these historic nets that have been catching fish here for centuries.
No one really knows why or how they arrived here but a popular tale is that a famous Chinese explorer called Zhang left them behind over 500 years ago.
Today, they are more of a gimmick rather than a fishing business, but it is still worth visiting to get a few photos and join them to bring in the catch.
Just be careful as they are a little bit of a tourist trap and you will have to pay money to do this.
Santa Cruz Basilica
Seen as one of the finest examples of a Roman Catholic Church in the whole of India, this place of worship is a must-visit.
It was built in 1505 during the time that the Portuguese were here and still delivers mass every day to Christians in the local area.
You can pop inside at anytime apart when there is a service going on. But, if you do happen to pop by at the wrong time, you can always listen to the service. It’s delivered in English and it’s quite beautiful.
Or, pop along in the evening and see the whole church light up in blue lights!
See a Kathakali Dance performance
If you’re looking to experience some of the traditional cultures of Kerala, then make sure you pop along to a traditional Kathakali Dance Performance.
This ancient practice is a dance that is based on the Hindu epic the Ramayan. The dancers take over 6 years to be able to qualify to perform it as they have to learn so many moves.
Instead of talking, they communicate through body movement. Whether that be their eyebrows, eyes, cheek muscles, legs, hands, or head! They use their whole body and it must be so much to study.
The performance comes in two parts. You firstly watch the makeup being applied for an hour, then you watch the captivating performance.
There are many places to watch this in Fort Kochi but I loved the Kathakali Cultural Centre. Tickets are 350 INR. But, make sure you book ahead in peak season as the theatres pack out!
Tours you can take around Fort Kochi
While I was staying in Delight Homestay in Fort Kochi, I decided to go on a few tours while I was here.
I joined a spice trail walking tour with Gully Tours and it was a great introduction to the area. Bal, my tour guide took me around some of the classic sites and also some offbeat locations to find some of the amazing street art.
As well as just looking at sites we got to try drinks in the local café, the Pepper House, and visit a popular restaurant where we have tried some delicious cheap local eats with the locals.
I would highly recommend it. Click here to book, prices are 1400 rupees ahead and include breakfast/dinner.
Check out some more amazing tours of Fort Kochi;
Here are some day trips or tours you may like to take while you here;
Top tips before you visit Kochi and Kerala
- I flew to Kerala from Delhi via a 3-hour domestic Vistara flight for less than $50! Skyscanner is my go-to for checking cheap flight prices.
- In Kerala the locals speak Malayalam, they even have their own songs and films that have been recorded in the language. As one of the most literate states, they speak excellent Hindi and English
- Kerala is a politically appointed Communist state, so you’ll see lots of communist flags and artwork around the area.
- Getting around Kerala can be quite a minefield with public transport. But, there are buses and trains. I would personally recommend a hire car for your time here.
- You’ll need travel insurance, I always choose World Nomads for their flexible policies.
- I stayed connected with my Keepgo WiFi Hotspot, these kept my mobile roaming charges capped! But, getting a SIM card in Delhi is also a great option that provides you with 1GB per day for 30 days.
- In Kerala they use the rupee, I always found that State Bank of India (SBI) was the best as they take foreign cards as they don’t charge you extra for withdrawals.
- Kerala is a little more conservative than its neighbour Goa, but not as conservative as Delhi, so make sure that you dress appropriately. But, it’s not uncommon for tourists to wear strappy tops, dresses that show your legs and shorts either.
Looking for more inspiration for Kerala?
If you’re looking for further ideas on where to head while you’re in Kerala, make sure you check out my 7-day Itinerary which also includes the beautiful Munnar and Alleppey.
Or, check out my top tips for visiting Munnar in these articles;
Tea fields in Munnar here
A complete Lakkam Falls guide
Eravikulam National Park: Why it is a must-visit!
Top Station: is it worth the drive?