Staff Reporter

KOCHI: The Bolghatty Palace Hotel in Kochi — one among the premium heritage properties of the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation—is readying for a facelift.

Four of the 28 rooms in the hotel will soon be carved out as a separate unit and called Bolghatty Palace. The rest of the rooms, the two honeymoon cottages and the four ordinary cottages will be called Bolghatty Island Resort.

The occupants of the four rooms in the heritage building will enjoy many exclusive rights, including separate check-in and check-out facility.

Each of the rooms that would be priced around Rs.15,000 will have a balcony. A restaurant has been planned just for these guests.

They will also have exclusive access to a portion of the hugely-popular lawns of the hotel on the western side, apart from facilities like health club, table-tennis and billiards.

“The aim is to ensure that people who want solitude enjoy the exclusivity provided by us,” said a senior KTDC official. The hotel was renovated eight years ago at a cost of Rs.9 crore.

The Corporation has also embarked on a drive to market the six cottages that overlook the backwaters. The cottages, each priced Rs.3,400 had an average room occupancy of 60 per cent last year. Our aim is to take it higher, said Jaibee Kollarmalil, manager.

Till the commissioning of the Goshree bridges, the hotel was accessible only by boat. A two-lane road is being built on the hotel’s western side to ensure good connectivity with the bridges. Work on a convention centre and open-air restaurant near the road would begin once the agency’s marina (the first one in the country) is ready on the eastern side of the hotel.

Tenders have been finalised for the marina house and the marina work will soon begin.

The Chairman of the Corporation Cherian Philip said the marina’s first phase would be completed in a year and this would become a big value-addition to the hotel.

Hotel Lake Palace at Thekkady is another heritage property that is being renovated.

We have given special emphasis to improve the amenities, cleanliness and quality of service at our hotels and resorts. Employees have already been put through training programmes during the past year, he said.

“We have also embarked on a drive to convert eight Yatri Nivas hotels into KTDC’s Tamarind Easy Hotels, by adding facilities like air-conditioning and geysers. This will take the number of such hotels that have been planned in the State to 15.”

The KTDC will also develop the bird sanctuary at Kumarakom and work is on to build a premium resort at Ponmudi.

Twenty five rooms will be added to Tea County at Munnar and an auditorium to Samudra Hotel at Kovalam. The heritage block of the Mascot Hotel in Thiruvananthapuram will be renovated and a restaurant added to the hotel. Of the Rs.15 crore that the Corporation had demanded for these projects, the Government has sanctioned Rs.9 crore.

Toilets and other amenities for guests are being added to the Corporation’s Aaram chain of hotels. “We plan to make good use of the tourist off season to add more amenities to guests,” Mr Philip said.