Brunton Boatyard
Brunton Boatyard

A heritage shipyard-turned-hotel in Fort Kochi, Kerala

In historic Fort Kochi right beside the seashore on a relatively quiet harbour front is CGH Earth’s beautiful heritage hotel, Brunton Boatyard, where history whispers in every room. 

This building was the boatyard of George Brunton and Sons, shipbuilders based in Kochi, in the 19th century. The CGH Earth Group converted it into a hotel through a restoration process that stayed true to the period the building was constructed in, by ensuring high wooden ceiling, terracotta floors, lime plastered walls and old teak wood furniture.  

There are also many small-seeming but distinctive touches that ensure guests feel they are truly in a historic hotel. One such is the presence of old- fashioned 'punkhas' in the lounge. The interiors highlight the colonial influences that have shaped Fort Kochi, with elements of English, Portuguese and Dutch architectural and decor elements finding a place in the hotel.

The hotel offers 26 rooms and suites and 22 rooms, and their ensuite bathrooms, overlook the sea. So guests can watch ships and boats float past as they lounge in bed or relax in the bathtub! The remaining four rooms offer views of the pier and Fort Kochi town.

One of the highlights of a stay here is the dining experience. The hotel offers a dinner-only open-air seafood restaurant, Terrace Grill, where guests can enjoy the freshest catch of the day prepared the way they like it. The Armoury Restobar, so named for the guns and weapons displayed on its walls, is open all day and offers a mix of cuisines from across the world. But the pièce de résistance is the History Fine Dining restaurant, which offers dishes from 32 cuisines that respresent all the communities who have made Fort Kochi their home. So the menu has dishes representing communities as varied as the Arab, Syrian Christian, Jewish, Dutch, British, Persian, Tamil, Gujarati, Konkan and the native Namboothiri and Nair communities. There are numerous must-try dishes here. But two of the most recommended are the Railway Mutton Curry, an invention of Fort Kochi’s Anglo-Indian community, and the Chuttuli Meen, a fish dish of the local Jewish community made with pearl onion marination.

The wonders of Fort Kochi are right around the corner from this hotel so guests can spend many hours and days exploring this historic towns many colourful bylanes. A must-try experience at the hotel is the sunset cruise around the Cochin harbour. The lucky ones might even spot dolphins!

Price: From Rs 32,300

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<h3>Slow Travel</h3>

Slow Travel

The Brunton Boatyard is housed in a restored 19th century shipyard. Materials and construction practices of the period were used during the restoration and so the building is made of brick, lime (lime plastered walls ), wood and terracotta. The hotel uses solar energy for heating water. The hotel follows intensive rain water harvesting and uses this harvested and treated water not just for gardening and washing but also for cooking and drinking. The hotel serves water only in glass bottles and the water is treated harvested rain. The hotel’s chefs have sourced traditional recipes from the communities who live or have lived in Fort Kochi and have recreated these dishes ensuring the preservation of culinary history.