Set in a 200-year-old building, Ayana boutique hotel in Kerala’s historic town of Kochi offers guests a sanctuary from the kaleidoscope of activity on Fort Kochi’s streets outside. Found on Bazaar Road, the oldest international trading market in India, the 16-room hotel has recently opened its doors to the public after an extensive restoration and renovation into a modern luxury property.

Having acted as a courthouse, banking office and tea and spice warehouse in its two century existence, the new art-deco design is complemented by one of the largest collections of contemporary Indian art, paying year-round homage to the city’s annual Kochi-Muziris Biennale Art Fair. With striking colours and checkerboard tiled floors serving as the foundation for each room, the finishes espouse a classic elegance with understated touches of high-tech comfort.

Fort Kochi’s Arab, Chinese and European merchant history can still be seen today, taken in with harbour views and passing steamships from the hotel’s rooftop, whether you find yourself there for the morning yoga class or a sunset by the pool.

During your stay, don’t miss dining at The Old Court, an all-day eatery overlooking the courtyard garden, where fresh local produce is a key focus that highlights the coastal location’s seafood and authentic spicing flavours. For lighter occasions, try the Tea House – occupying the original courtroom – where you can find a wide selection of speciality tea and coffee with freshly baked fare, perfect after a day of sights.