- 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.
Willingdon Island was
dredged out of the sea bed by the British in Lord Willingdon's time and
it's the reason why Cochin has such a fine 'natural' harbour. The
British, of course, were only the latest in a long line of civilizations
that have been drawn to the magnet of Cochin's charms. Spice was the
wealth of the age of sail, and the Portuguese, the Dutch, the Chinese
and the Jews were all drawn here, the gateway to Kerala's mountains and
forests, where gold grew out of the earth. Even today, Cochin remains a
fine starting point for a Kerala sojourn.
The shores of
Willingdon Island hum with activity and all the hurly-burly of a large
But the centre, where we're located, is a peaceful spot of vast grassy
spaces and sleepy side-roads. Here, you have the best of both worlds,
because you're still a mere 15 minutes away from the city centre.
f 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.
Facilities & Features
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.
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
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
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
is our pride and joy, perpetually popular, though it is open only in the
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.
The Casino Hotel has, as we've said, a fully equipped ayurvedic centre,
where you can get a variety of stress busting, rejuvenation and beauty
treatments. In fact, even a couple of massages will have a telling
effect. You will, of course, find Ayurveda spaces in practically every
CGH destination, so if you're starting your holiday at Casino, it can
also be a great overture to your wellness experience.
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