Tea Bungalow in Fort Kochi carries forward its history in a spanking new get-up
Long before Tea Bungalow in Fort Kochi became a boutique resort it used to go by the moniker Brooke Bond Bungalow. Those who developed the property have incorporated elements to keep the history of the building and the theme intact.
Way before it became the Brooke Bond Bungalow in 1956, it used to belong to a company called United Carpets. Built in 1912, the bungalow was the workshop and office of the company, which used to export spices and coir. Since heritage seems to be the magic word these days, the new owners have tried to work on that and come up with a ‘heritage' holiday experience.
Therefore there are 10 suites, each named after ports in the Indian Ocean that ships in the spice and tea trade would have to sail through. The rooms are Cochin, Zanzibar, Galle, Mombasa, Mallorca, Mauritius, Muscat, Cambay, Goa and Calicut. The rooms are spread out in the two floors and an outhouse. The suites in the ‘outhouse' are popular given the privacy these afford. The bathrooms deserve special mention, they have been treated as entities and not just appendages to the rooms. Some of these open out to a small patch of green. Privacy guaranteed, we are told.
The belief that ‘God is in the detail' seems to be the guiding principle while designing and deciding upon the décor of the rooms. They have a dominant painting that depicts a scene or there maybe a curio and another set of paintings all offering a glimpse of the country that the port is located in. The rooms open out to the multi-cuisine restaurant Café Du Mahe – you can indulge on Indian, Kerala or Continental cuisine, which gives you the feel of being at home.
The high-ceilinged rooms, as in Raj era bungalows, are huge and spacious.
The rooms have been planned in such a manner that the art works do not swallow the ambience. The feel of the suites/rooms is old world, sans pretentiousness of being too boutique and too-luxe.
On the first floor of the bungalow is the Travancore Lounge, another spacious area which houses a library and television, just the place to relax with a cup of coffee after a hectic day of vacationing. Nothing really prepares you for the swimming pool at the Bungalow, but there it is in all its aquamarine brilliance. Swim or savour some scrumptious barbeque readied by the poolside.
For more details log on to www.teabungalow.in
SHILPA NAIR ANAND