The Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) is planning on value additions to revive the charm of the historical Bolgatty Palace and Island Resort.

A convention centre with ample parking space is getting ready for inauguration in another three months, KTDC chairman Vijayan Thomas has said.

The centre will have a seating capacity of 1,000 and an adjacent dining area that can seat 450 people. The structure that overlooks the backwaters will be enclosed by toughened glass panels to offer people a fabulous view from within.

The property is being cleaned up ahead of the monsoon. “De-weeding and upkeep of lawns suffered delay because weddings and events kept us busy. A new contractor has taken over work to clean the premises. Renovation of heritage rooms is on the anvil and will be completed this financial year,” said Alex P. Joshua, general manager of the hotel.

The trademark Honeymoon Cottages and adjacent twin cottages here that abut the backwaters are crying for upkeep. Inadequate maintenance has taken a toll on the exteriors and interiors of the buildings.

Poor patronage

Subsequently, their patronage has also been declining. “The cottages were a rage among newly-wed couples in the early 1980s,” KTDC sources said.

The tourism agency is yet to drawn up plans to renovate the cottages and to market them. Though the hotel – whose heritage block built by the Dutch dates back to 1744 — was renovated in 2001, the cottages were overlooked.

But Mr. Joshua said they would be renovated once the heritage rooms were restored. “We hope to rope in good architects for the project,” he said.

Poor marketing has left the hotel, cottages and the adjacent Marina block with an average room occupancy rate of 55 per cent, which is much below that of its counterparts in the city. This is despite the unique location of the Bolgatty Palace — a quiet getaway from the bustle of the city, and yet a mere five-minute drive from High Court Junction. The lunch buffet at the heritage hotel is confined to weekends unlike most other star hotels in Kochi.

Mr. Thomas said paucity of funds was preventing the KTDC from launching a sustained marketing campaign.

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