Fragrant Nature: Kochi Hotel-Inspired By The Colonial Ideas Of Grandeur And Luxury | IDA: Interior Design Associates
The concept for the Fragrant Nature Kochi hotel was inspired by the Colonial ideas of grandeur & luxury coupled with the quaintness of the Fort Kochi neighborhood. The original building was a 200-year-old godown belonging to the British East India Company, the original compound walls of which have been restored and retained as a part of the design. The rest of the interior design simply flows with the same theme from there onwards. The antique yellow arched double doors lead the guests to a grand (seemingly) open-air courtyard. Polished chessboard-style marble floors, Chintz-style furniture, an ornate marble water fountain, and a massive realist painting of colonial raj in India immediately transport us to a gone-by era.
From the Lobby one moves into the All-Day Dining Restaurant which is situated on the right-hand side. While keeping the same concept as the lobby alive in the restaurant, we played with fun and exciting hues of reds & oranges which are known to promote social interaction, encourage conversation and stimulate appetite—all of which make for the perfect family settings or for celebrations and get-togethers. In the final stages of the hotel’s soft opening, we too got to sample some of the best Appams and Avial in the world made by the chefs in the restaurant!
Just outside the All-Day Dining restaurant, there was a small patch of the area just before the compound wall. It was a seemingly useless space as there were old dilapidated buildings beyond the compound wall and nothing to look out into. One day, whilst browsing through some photographs of unknown quaint café streets (probably somewhere in Europe), we had a brilliant idea – why not convert that small space into a tiny street-side European-style café! And so, it was, the old dilapidated compound walls arose to double story heights with faux windows and shop facades (even flowerbeds hanging out from the windows).
The street even got its very own old-fashioned red telephone booth and was complete for action with the gray cobbled street stones seen in many small European towns. What started out as just a mere idea for covering up a small outdoor space became very popular very quickly and now there is a chain of the same restaurant called “East India Café” in Cochin which is also designed by yours truly.
The hotel also has a speciality steak house restaurant which has more masculine colors & materials. There is also hip and off beat Mid-century modern style Bar which looks more like a cozy and inviting drawing room, a 100-seater Ballroom, a traditional Ayurvedic Kerala style Spa, a cozy library with plush lounge chairs and a lot of books to dig into (some even donated by us) and a gym.
The entire concept for the Guestrooms actually began from very humble beginnings – a simple but beautiful antique tile! It is the very same tile that makes the backdrop for the headboard in the guestrooms. Everything else follows the colors and style that work with the tile, i.e. hues of blues, beige & brown. Subtle moldings in the ceiling and wall paneling add to the old-world charm in a contemporary setting.
The final topping on the cake is the rooftop terrace restaurant & pool. With sweeping views of the Arabian sea below and the blue skies above, it is a perfect haven for honeymooners and families alike. We wanted to allocate private spaces for individual groups without creating actual visual barriers. We managed to achieve this by creating a landscape of soft curtained pergolas along the length of the space. With A combination of soft and hard landscape and dream-like indirect lighting, the terrace restaurant is the perfect place to spend time with loved ones.
The entire design journey for this project was a fascinating one. We discovered so many little treasure troves along the way and made true friendships for life!
Designed by: IDA: Interior Design Associates
Project Type: 5 star Boutique Hotel
Project Name: Fragrant Nature Kochi
Location: Fort Kochi, Kerala
Year built: 2016
Size: sq feet: 71,000sqft
Principal Designers: Somya Sharma, Shanawas Moidu, Ajay Angolkar, Divya Sharma Vernenker
Website Link : www.idadubai.com