| Casino Hotel Cochin India
CGH Earth Casino Building, Willingdon Island, Cochin, Kerala, India - 682 003
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HOTEL DESCRIPTION: The Casino hotel is the groups oldest property, dating to 1957, when it catered to a clientele of rough sailors coming off the ships in the harbour. As you'll see, the establishment has come a long way since then.If anything, Casino Hotel is rather nondescript from the frontage. But as in many courtyard style dwellings in India (or Europe for that matter), its charms become evident once you enter. The classic Kerala combination of tiled roof, wooden beams and rough plaster creates a haven of warmth and light around the grassy central space, which is divided up neatly between the Fort Cochin seafood restaurant and the pool.
HOTEL FACILITIES: The Casino serves well as an introduction to the charms of Kerala, but perhaps its business that brings you here? We believe that at the Casino, you'll find all that you need to get things done. The business districts of Ernakulam are a short taxi ride away, and you can start your business day armed with every facility.You can connect to the net right from your room and fax, copier and computer facilities are available too.
The fitness club will kickstart your morning, with the latest in stairmasters, walkers and the like. In fact, if you're staying a while, you can even get yourself a health, diet and fitness routine customized by our resident instructors.
The Cascade pool can be the perfect restorative. Swimsuits are available in the gift shop - which is worth a visit, even if you aren't so keen on a dip. You'll find exquisite examples of traditional Keralan crafts, exotic fabrics, garments, books, handbags and all sorts of fascinating bric-a-brac.
Another great way to relax is an ayurvedic massage. Ayurveda is the ancient Indian system of medicine, and the Casino has its own resident experts and fully-equipped facilities
If the cocktail hour beckons you, the Vasco da Gama lounge is the hotel's ever-popular watering hole. You can linger over exotic cocktails (Cochin Thunder, Pink Ladies and some superb concoctions based on the local tipples) or in a new twist, sample some health drinks based on ayurvedic ideas.
If you're in a mood to confer, the Durbar Hall is the place. It accommodates upto 350 people in gracious style. For smaller gatherings you can opt for the Harbour Lounge Banqueting Suite, which seats 25.
The restaurants at the Casino hotel have become institutions for Cochin's food lovers. If you feel a need to temper the exotic with the familiar, The 'Tharavadu' (below) is the place to begin. It's open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and the range of Indian and Continental cuisine is vast.
The Poolside Garden Cafe serves up some interesting health drinks, great while you're lolling about post-swim. Lots of snacks and grills are available too.
The speciality seafood restaurant, Fort Cochin (right), is our pride and joy, perpetually popular, though it is open only in the evenings. Good Housekeeping called Fort Cochin "one of the most renowned seafood restaurants in India". Eating here is like diving off a springboard into the flavours and textures of food throughout Kerala. Rather than a daily menu, a trolley contains the catch of the day, straight off Cochin's fishing nets. You can expect king prawns, lobster, Indian salmon, snapper, pomfret, squid, mullet, seer fish and more. Once you've selected your fish, you get to decide how it's cooked - whether stir-fried in the spices of the East, steamed, baked, or poached, and served with Kerala's famous string hoppers, rice or naan.
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