Packed with 200 years of history as well as some fantastic contemporary art, this hotel is a dream come true for anyone with a yen for the creative.
History winds its way through the bylanes of Kochi. And nowhere is its influence more resplendent than in Mattanchery, once the city’s prosperous Jewish quarter, and filled with centuries of homegrown as well as global culture and religion.
For a traveller who likes to live and breathe the atmosphere of a place rather than simply dip into it casually on a day tour, the The Postcard Mandalay Hall seems like the perfect base from which to start a Kochi exploration, with its proximity to Mattancherry and Fort Kochi’s many landmarks, markets, spice vendors, boutiques, art galleries, and cafes.
The 200-year-old heritage structure has been rejuvenated by architect Tony Joseph and his family in a way that celebrates its timeless spirit. The boutique property, which has art curated by artist Bose Krishnamachari running through its arteries, offers a storied setting that spans public areas such as a gorgeous library, a heritage jewellery store, a restaurant, pretty courtyard, and five rooms, which they like to call galleries.
Each of the galleries are inspired by the space as well as the work of a particular artist whose work you can cohabit with during your stay. In Gallery 1, with its windows overlooking the historic Synagogue Lane, you’ll have artist Sushanta Maharana exploring the idea of heaven co-existing alongside the realities of earth. Its large windows and discreet furnishings make it the perfect setting for a creative person to find inspiration.
Gallery 2 bridges the past and present, with a modernist aesthetic and artist Anju Acharya’s artworks which explore the concept of birth.
Gallery 3 features artist Dibin Thilakan’s multi-media series titled ‘Ode to Home’, which bring home the point that the twin beds and a bathtub make this a comfortable home away from home.
Gallery 4 offers the privacy of your own courtyard and extra space where artist Jigesh Kumar gives you the feel of an archeological museum.
Go up a floor and Gallery 5 is a modern and luxe double room with a picture window. The strong lines of artist Guiseppe Stampone’s artworks, drawn with blue and black BIC pens on the walls, will let your imagination soar.
And while the bedrooms will certainly give you food for thought, their kitchen too will wow you with its culinary offerings. The experimental fare at their fine dining restaurant is all about contemporary Kerala cuisine, adding finesse to local and traditional flavours with global techniques and ideas. We loved its name — അ, or Aah — said to be a nod to the first letter and sound in Malayalam, but which, we think is also the sound of satisfaction after a meal at the restaurant, and also at the overall experience of a stay at this historic hotel.