Casino Hotel, Willingdon Island, Kerala

Location:
Willingdon Island, Kerala

The Casino Hotel is located on Willingdon Island, just 6 km from the city centre, but away from the noise and maddening crowd.

The island gets its name from Lord Willingdon who was the 41st Governor-General of India under the crown at the time in 1936. Much of the island as it is seen today was reclaimed from the lake of Kochi and remains the largest artificial man-made island in India. Today this island forms a significant part of the port of Kochi and is also the southern naval command headquarters of the Indian Navy.

A distinctive culture of hospitality

The Casino 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.

Every story has a beginning, middle and an end. For us, the Casino Hotel has been all three. It’s where the group started out. And in the half-century since, it’s also been the place where we cut our teeth and evolved our ideas. It’s an end too, because here is where we think, live and breathe, where we perfect many of the practices you’ll see at work in our other destinations.

The Island that rose from the sea

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 port city. 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.

Simplicity meets tradition

If 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.

Workday Pleasures

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.

The fitness club will kick start 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 resident instructors. 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 facilities.

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 or in a new twist, sample some health drinks based on ayurvedic ideas.

If you’re in a mood to confer, our newly renovated Durbar Hall with its regal décor, grand chandeliers and ornate carpet flooring, has the look and feel of a Royal Durbar Hall. It’s a place fit for a kind to host event in.

Party in style by the Poolside.

A night under the stars on our manicured lawns is the perfect setting for any event.

Gourmet services for outdoor catering.

The most discussed topic at any event is the food, and we have the best of Indian, Asian, Continental, Regional and Mughlai cuisines, for you to choose from. These menus have been curated by our seasoned chefs at Tharavadu (credited with Kerala’s first buffet) and Fort Cochin (one of India’s finest seafood restaurants).

They can be customized to suit your guest list, and our 5-Star gourmet catering services are available to your anywhere in Kerala.

Kerala on a Platter

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’ 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 specialty seafood restaurant, Fort Cochin, is our pride and joy, perpetually popular, though it is open only in the evenings. 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 Healing Caress

The Casino Hotel has, as we’ve said, has 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.

Images and content credit
CGH Earth Experiences

Amenities and Services:

Casino hotel offers a variety of rooms to suit different budgets and tastes. There are standard rooms and spaciously appointed suites with a separate non-smoking wing on the ground floor. Service has the distinct CGH Earth touch and is driven by environmentally sensitive practices as much as by efficiency – the hallmark of all CGH properties today. Our range of rooms make for a range of living experiences and include Standard, Superior, Superior Garden View and Executive Suites.
  • Check-in at 2 pm & Check-out at 11 am

  • Dental Kit

  • Shaving Kit

  • Comb

  • Bathrobe

  • Hairdryer

  • Footwear

  • Tea / Coffee Maker

  • Packaged Drinking Water

  • Sewing Kit

  • Iron Board on request

  • Safe Deposit Locker

  • Hot & Cold Water

  • Satellite Digital Cable TV

  • WiFi (Complimentary)

  • Laundry Facilities

  • Mini Bar (Chargeable)

  • Shoe Shine | Shoe Horn

  • Direct Dial Facility (STD/ISD)

  • Driver on call

  • 24 hr Room Service

  • Doctor on Call

  • Travel Desk

  • Business Center

  • Secretarial Service

  • Florist

  • Valet Parking

  • Air Conditioned Rooms

  • Left Luggage Facility

SUPERIOR ROOMS

Spacious and comfortable rooms, with wooden flooring and co-ordinated décor. Well equipped to cater to all the needs of the weary traveler. Every room features Twin/Large beds, LCD television with cable connection, 24 hr room service, laundry service, STD / ISD and direct dial telephone facilities, WiFi connectivity and well-appointed bathrooms with running hot and cold water.

EXECUTIVE ROOMS

A well-designed workspace, with wooden roofing, full-length window, carpeted flooring and different views to mild traffic road and swimming pool make these rooms the perfect place for the business or leisure traveler. Each Executive Room offers standard amenities like individual controlled air conditioning, satellite and cable TV, mini-bar, telephone, tea and coffee making facilities, fruit basket and two bottles of complimentary mineral water daily.

EXECUTIVE SUITE

The Executive Suite comes with an adjoining living area and dining area for greater comfort and in-house entertainment. The living area includes an extra TV and DVD player and a sofa, while the dining area comprises a four-person table and chairs, an espresso coffee machine and a cupboard stocked with cutlery and glassware.

SUPERIOR POOL VIEW ROOM

This room features views of the pool and is located on the first floor. Complimentary wireless internet access keeps you connected, and the 32-inch LCD TV offers premium TV channels. A minibar and a refrigerator are provided. The private bathroom has a shower/tub combination, as well as toiletries and or a bidet. Air conditioning, a safe and daily housekeeping are among the conveniences offered. Each Superior Garden View room offers standard services and amenities like individual controlled air conditioning, satellite and cable TV, mini-bar, telephone, tea and coffee making facilities and two bottles of complimentary mineral water daily.

Book/Inquire

Please use the following form to get in touch with us for enquiries or bookings of the hotel.