Losing the Hustle and Bustle in Kerala, India
The heady smells of frying food, incense, fuel fumes, jasmine, frangipani, dust, spices and burning rubbish jumble in the humid air as you speed through the streets of Cochin. But the Malabar House's location away from the hustle and bustle lends this original east-meets-west boutique hotel a relaxed feel—no matter how hot or hectic it may be elsewhere in Kerala. Comprised of two 18th-century colonial-style villas built around a courtyard (where you'll find the acclaimed Mediterranean-accented restaurant, the Malabar Junction), the hotel is full of eye-catching artworks and exotic fabrics—perfect for a stop-over when touring southern India. Open for ten years, the hotel has earned almost cult status in luxury travel.