After our lengthy plane journey, almost any room would have pleased us. But this was not just any room. Our drowsy mode is snapped out of us from the excitement of our luxurious suite, every detail an ode to elegance.
In the early 1500’s Fort Kochi found itself in the hands of the Portuguese, remaining so for 160 years before being taken over by the Dutch for 112 years, followed by the British until Indian independence in 1947. This medley of influence has created what is now a much-loved town of endless charm and inspiration.
We wake early to catch the early morning light touching the harbour, eager to spot the city’s big drawcard of 14th century fishing nets installed by the Chinese. After breakfast we take a stroll, admiring ancient trees with no regard for footpaths and a population with great affection for bicycles.
Pepper House, an art space cum library cum cafe cum design shop, is the perfect synopsis of modern day Fort Kochi; calm, charismatic and creative. But it’s not just in spaces like Pepper House that there is evidence you’re in the only Indian city that boasts its own Biennale (Kochi-Muziris Biennale of contemporary art); the influence of art can be found in even the quaintest of alleyways, with street art and indie bookstores a regular spotting.
Back in Ayana we’re welcomed back into our sophisticated nest, and drawn to the rooftop pool to witness another of Fort Kochi’s icons – sunset. Crows fly overhead and a nearby mosque sings it’s evening Adhan, ensuring all of our senses partake in the experience of a regular Tuesday night at Ayana.
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