Review: Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, Kochi Airport


My flight from Mumbai to Cochin was uneventful, and on a very very old Air India plane, still painted in Indian Airlines livery. I did not want to write a separate review for both legs so I will cover it later on my return leg.

Once I arrived at Cochin Airport, I spotted a shuttle car from the hotel to bring us over to the hotel. The hotel is less than a kilometre away from the airport, and complimentary shuttle service is provided. The decision to stay at the Courtyard by Marriott, closer to the airport and outside of town by about 45 kilometres was guided by the rest & recuperation agenda of the trip, and also in part to be able to get through with some stays in order to complete our Marriott Rewards Free Nights promotion. Once at the hotel, we were unleashed into a vast lobby and reception area.

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We walked over to the reception, and presented our identification for check-in at the Marriott Rewards check-in area. Here, we were offered a welcome drink while our check-in was processed. Surprisingly, no credit cards asked for guarantee, and we were on our way shortly. We were escorted to our room and welcomed into an executive room, while our reservation was for a base category room.

Being a new hotel, opened in December 2012, everything was still new, and had been kept well. The room was spacious with what is the current fad of a washroom with a see through wall to be able to watch television in the room. Complimentary water bottles were placed in the room and refreshed every day. The room was a pool view room, while the other option was to have a runway view room. While Cochin is not the busiest hotel around, it was a better option to pick up the pool view we thought.

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The Executive Room

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The Pool View

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Bathroom with a view

Once we settled in the room, we headed down for breakfast at the MoMo Cafe. We had booked a breakfast inclusive rate, so we were ushered to a table right away. There was a poolside seating area, which was not being used.

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Over the three days that we were there, we realised that the Breakfast Buffet here was a very nice mix of South Indian delicacies, some attempts at North Indian food, which eventually tasted with a South Indian flavour, and lots of live stations which offer you everything from Dosas to Pancakes to Waffles. Bacon was available on request, and if you asked them to make it crispy, they did a great job of it.

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We tried out some of the local Malayalam stuff, some south Indian breakfast such as Idlis and then some pancakes for good measure.

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While the hotel was not full on the day we arrived and the restaurant was empty for the most time, the staff was attentive in patches. The water glasses would never be full, and one would have to wave for a long time to be able to get the attention of someone. The chefs were pretty good at what they did however, and the food was without fault. The F&B manager, Bharath Kumar, was mostly found on the floor and chatted up with the guests and moved around serving them. I always like it when managers roll up their sleeves and actually contribute to work rather than just, well, managing.

We were stuffed, and off to sleep after such a meal and a night out at the airport. So back in the room, we crashed for a while. The hotel had some sort of a Burger Promotion (they could have branded it better), and for my love of a good burger, I found myself back after the nap at the coffee shop, trying to get a good late lunch. I have to confess, my burger turned out well and came with a small helping of fries.

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I came about to the coffee shop over the next few days a lot of times, and each time, I found good food but not great attention to being served by the wait staff. Their seniors however, engaged and served well.

On the first night, we asked for a turn down service, however the room was not refreshed while we were away. We informed the reception the next morning, and they were very apologetic about it and got it fixed right away. This discussion and apology continued over the next three days we were there.

While we did not use the gym, we did manage to use the pool for a bit. What was missing was an alcohol serving permit for this hotel, something the hotel hopes to receive shortly. Poolside beer or pinacoladas were not served hence.

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Privacy was a big issue, which is something the hotel should work on. Being on the highest floor, it was okay for us, but looking out of the window, we could peep into other rooms, not by choice but by chance.

Lounge access which is offered to executive class rooms and the suites as per the website, is basically served at the coffee shop because there is no operational lounge in the hotel at the moment.

The upside of staying here was that this hotel was disconnected (could be a downside for other people), and priced very very reasonably. We got a breakfast inclusive rate of INR 4319 plus taxes for double occupancy. However, the downside was that there are not too many dining options around. You could eat at a couple of the other airport hotels nearby or at a food court at the airport itself, otherwise your only option is the hotel coffee shop itself. The dining was good though like you’ve noticed above, and on the price aspect very reasonable. We signed up for a dinner buffet one evening, and it was reasonable at about INR 1100 plus taxes. I met the GM briefly over breakfast one morning who came by to say hello, and he told us about future plans at the hotel.

Overall, a nice stay with some hiccups, but I could surely look at this hotel again if I wanted a business category hotel in the city.

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Comments

  1. Have been to Cochin only once before and felt that most of the luxury hotels were reasonably priced. The Le Meridien for example is currently offering a breakfast inclusive rate of about INR 5500 all-in.
    Great review as usual!

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