If you are the type of tourist who wants to be in amongst the ‘action’ and to have places like the Chinese Nets (vastly overrated and very dirty IMO) within a stroll then go and stay in Fort Kochi itself amidst the noise and the constant bustle. If you want to stay somewhere within easy reach of all these places, but peaceful and relaxed then this is the place for you.
The house is spacious and located out of the way of everything, indeed it took me a day or two to get my sense of how to link to things like Uber and the local TukTuks. It is in an ‘up and coming’ area of quiet residential properties and has a lovely backwater outlook. You have three seated areas, one of which has a ceiling fan so you can sit out either in sunshine or seek the shade as you choose. Windows are all meshed so can be left open for maximum breeze but all the flying nasties are kept out. The kitchen is well equipped and large if you choose to cook or just prepare salads etc. Both bedrooms are air conditioned, and all rooms have ceiling fans. We were very comfortable in our three week stay here.
Infanta is very helpful, will sort TukTuks (who sometimes don’t quite know where they are going but don’t like to worry you until you get there) provides a local mobile to hire Ubers and is on the end of What’s App for any problems. We did not have our own transport, and at our age the provided bikes were not an option. Getting about is ridiculously cheap - a 30 minute Uber ride to Lulu Mall (the modern wonder of Kochi with a great Hypermarket) costs less than RS 300. We tended to eat out during the day and either bring stuff back to eat in the evening, or use Mazban (menu provided in house) who will deliver, who quickly becomes the simplest solution and his prices are incredibly cheap, and over three weeks we never had a bad meal from him. Infanta organised a superb backwaters day for us, so good we repeated it - worth doing this through her as everything is sorted and you just have to be ready for the taxi at the specified time. The guys she uses are charming and are based at a small creek not where the main houseboats are so you get a much better relaxed experience.
The property is sandwiched between two temples. This has its downside if you want to lie in and have no early wake up calls. In fact a Brahminy Kite roosts in one of the back palm trees and tends to be awake from around 5 a.m. with the temples starting their music from 5:30. You either have the capacity to turn over and go back to sleep or you get up. I got into the habit of early to bed, early to rise which was no hardship. The bonus for me was sitting listening to the music drifting across the backwater and watching the sunrise and the glorious colours in the sky.
I am a nature lover, and whilst the range of nature is less than out in the rural areas, there is still much to see. The Brahminy Kites circling on the thermals, the Cormorants and Egrets flying up and down the backwater, the lizards and Palm squirrels. You also will get Babblers attacking their reflections in the mirrored windows, Mynas and Drongos, and spectacularly displaying two different types of Kingfishers taking dragonflies on the pond in the garden.
If your idea of a stay in India is to have space, and to work to your own schedule then this is a truly wonderful location. If you want a break from the ‘today it must be’ type whistle stop tour then this is like a little oasis of calm.
We are so pleased we chose to stay here for 3 weeks out of our month in India.
The house is in a wonderful location, in a quiet, peaceful, lush area, away from the bustle of the city, and yet just a short ride by taxi/Uber to Fort Kochi, its shops, sites, restaurants etc. The garden is on the backwaters literally, with shaded areas all around the house, dining tables, hammocks etc. The house contains everything you need for self-catering and the rooms are large and airy. There are even a couple of bicycles, which are very handy to go around, buy food or take-away from the local shots and restaurants.
Infanta is a very nice host, very helpful, always ready to give advice and recommendations if needed.
We only wish we could have stayed longer! We stayed for a week as a family of 2 adults and 2 children. We strongly recommend this place and this host.
We have enjoyed our stay here very much. The setting is so beautiful with sounds of the temple drifting across the water and a variety of bird life to view. The house is comfortable with all you will need for self-catering, a lovely riverside terrace and very friendly neighbours.The neighbourhood is has several shops, within walking or cycling distance. Infanta, the owner, is most helpful and will arrange for John Philip to drive you wherever you may want to go, at a very reasonable price. I would gladly recommend this home.
We stayed at the Idyllic Riverside Retreat for 5 weeks; 3 weeks as a party of 2 and the last 2 weeks as a group of 4. We were welcomed most warmly on arrival by the owner, Mrs Infanta Menon (who has many years in the hotel and hospitality industry), and shown around the property and the facilities; the house was clean, well furnished and very comfortable. The property, set in large grounds adjacent to a river, is in a semi-rural location away from the hustle and bustle of Kochi but is close enough to easily reach the city by taxi. For more local exploration, the owner provided 2 mountain bikes which we used on a daily basis for shopping and local sight seeing.
We used the property as a base to make short (2 or 3 day) visits to other parts of Kerala and other Southern Indian states; for our purposes it was ideal, providing a relaxing and quiet environment in between the various trips. Mrs Menon was pivotal in helping us plan these trips, recommending accommodations, organizing transport and such like and was so, so helpful in every way, thus making our holiday all the more enjoyable.
I would definitely come here again and thoroughly recommend the property for longer term visits to Kerala.