We stayed in Bolgatty Palace and Island Resort in Cochin during our Kerala travel. I had booked online on KTDC’s website because they give a discount for online booking. Bolgatty is an exclusive heritage hotel located on the Island with the same name. This is a mansion originally built by Dutch traders in 1744 and as per records, it is the oldest existing outside Netherlands. In past, it was once the Governor’s palace for the commander of Dutch Malabar and also served as the home for the British Governors. In 1909 Dutch leased this palace to British and after the independence of India, it was taken over by the government. Kerala tourism dept took over this property & converted it into a heritage hotel.
The Bolgatty island is connected with Ernakulam town by road. There are two ways to reach the palace. .i.e. by road from Ernakulam via Goshree bridge and another is by ferry boat from High Court Jetty. We were in old Cochin and our driver loaded the car on a roll on/roll off the vessel to cross the backwaters. From the jetty at Bolgatty, Palace was 5 minutes drive.
The Palace has a swimming pool, ayurvedic center, and 9-hole golf course. Every day a Kathakali performance was organized at the hotel, it is on paid basis and requires advance booking.
Bolgatty Palace is the only hotel on this island, though there is another property named Marina House in the premises run by KTDC. Marina House is an extension of main Palace but its tariff is lesser.
We reached Palace after lunch. The reception area was clean and smelling floral. We were checked in quickly by front desk staff. They were efficient and helpful, all of them were dressed in crisp Indian sarees. Palace has long open corridors to reach the rooms. These corridors were covered in front of the rooms and looking royal with lighting at night. There were large gardens around the main residence block.
Our room was on ground floor. It was a big room with wall to wall carpeting. We have a balcony towards the garden area of the room. We enjoyed our filter coffee in the balcony. The air condition and other electrical items in our room worked well. The bathroom was made of Italian marble. It clean and well maintained but there was only shower for bathing (No bath tub). There were all essential toiletries in the bathroom.
After settling in the room, I have decided to explore the open areas around Palace. There were lush green gardens all around and one end of the garden facing backwaters. There were benches near backwater and I sat on a bench for some time watching boats. These boats were for the joy ride, coming from Ernakulam jetty and going to Fort Cochin. The hotel has a small private jetty and here speed boats are available on hourly basis.
There was no restaurant near the palace on the island, so we decided to eat in hotel’s restaurant. The restaurant has sitting arrangement in open area as well as inside the dining hall. For breakfast and dinner, they have fixed buffet. There were a variety of dishes (Veg and Non-veg) and the food tasted good. In case if someone doesn’t want to have buffet then hotel can serve few dishes from the buffet on ala carte basis. We ordered evening coffee and snacks for room service. They served promptly and everything we ordered tasted good.
The Palace is very good to relax or play golf. There was an Ayurveda center for traditional massage and treatment, they offer 1 to 7 days packages for different ayurvedic treatments. The lawn and banquet hall was available for parties and during my stay, I saw a wedding event happening but we had disturbance due to this.
The staff was helpful and eager to serve, we enjoyed our stay.