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Le Colonial


Le Colonial is probably Asia’s oldest hotel in Fort Cochin – dating back to 1506, and the most history and art-filled of all the heritage hotels in Cochin. Just adjacent to St. Francis Church, it is reputed to have housed Vasco da Gama and the Saint. Art treasures from the colonial past now revive an authentic scent of the bygone era at this hotel in Fort Cochin while the inner patio and garden pool make it distinct from the other luxury hotels in Cochin. This 16th century colonial home is now run as one of the heritage hotels in Cochin by Neemrana. One stay here will get you started on the discovery of the most unique luxury hotels in Cochin, and the Neemrana brand in India.

History and Philosophy

The building, which houses Le Colonial, was constructed in 1506 at the same time as the St Francis Church – its eminent and historic neighbour. It was the Portuguese Governors’ private residence as opposed to his main office which seems to have been in a building refurbished in the 1950’s style (where Cinnamon is now situated) on a street perpendicular to the Church Road where “Le Colonial” is.

In 1500, the Raja of Cochin had given the land of Fort Cochin to the Portuguese to install a trading post. The great interest of Fort Cochin was its spice market and its important Jewish trading community which had settled there since 500 BC when Nabucodonosor had conquered Jerusalem. The second exodus of Jews came in 1492 when the Reyes Catolicos expelled them – first from Spain and then from Portugal. It is at this early time that the synagogue of Jew Town was built. The House saw respectively Albuquerque, as also Vasco da Gama, who is said to have died here and was buried within the St Francis Church compound, in 1524 AD, where one can still see his tombstone. His body was later transferred to Lisbon only fourteen years later.

Picture Gallery