A boutique travelers' hostel in the heart of Fort Kochi
"The best way to live history is to stay at its heart"!! This is exactly what I had in mind when I was visiting Fort Kochi. Arranging for a place to stay is obviously one of the most vital aspect of one's travel arrangement and since I was visiting this coastal city of Kerala, which is smeared with history, I naturally wanted a place, which will let me eat, sleep and breathe history. While I don't really consider myself to be a hardcore backpacker in the true sense, yet there are a few things I prefer to do like the backpackers, for example the stay arrangements. Being a solo traveler, I have always preferred to stay in travelers hostels as that gives me enough and more opportunities to meet new people and like minded fellow travelers, who sometimes end up becoming good friends.
So, travelers' hostels have always worked fine for me whenever I have traveled out of India but during my travels within the country the thought of staying in a travelers' hostel has never appealed to me. Well... the prime reason for the same was the concern regarding safety and also the availability of a few decent ones. While I was doing my share of research, I happened to realise that the travel and tourism scenario is changing fast and the concept of solo travel and travelers' hostels is catching up fast in India too. My friend suggested me this cute little pad in the heart of Fort Kochi and I think my travel account to God's Own Country will remain incomplete if I don't make a mention of this beautiful little hostel in Fort Kochi.
So, Happy Camper, it was for me. My home in Kochi (Cochin) for 3 nights. Well appointed, neatly done bunk beds had clean sheets and comfortable mattresses with a small corner by each bedside with couple of sockets to charge your gadgets and a reading light with a space to keep your books or laptop right when you are about to doze off to sleep. The big and spacious lockers to put your belongings and lock them away, while you are out, is just next to the bed. They hand you over the keys as soon as you check in.
The shower enclosures and rest rooms were clean and tidy with shampoos and soaps adequately stocked up. Fresh towels provided with and seamless drainage keeps you going with a warm shower after a tiring day of sightseeing and walking around the streets of Fort Kochi. The free wi-fi works strong in the reception area. The world famous art festival, Biennalle, which is synonymous to the city, has it's mark left on the walls of this beautiful little place. Right from the gate to the entrance to the reception desk to the garden area, everywhere you get to see the artwork of the guests. The wall paintings with its vibrant colours make the place warm, welcoming and friendlier.
They have a restaurant in the garden area, where they serve warm breakfast, which isn't too elaborate but hey, what more do you need for breakfast apart from bread, eggs of your choice and piping hot tea/coffee? The staff is always ready to help be it with the sightseeing, or road directions, or helping you with procuring tickets for the Kathakali and Kalaripayattu performance or booking houseboat tours. You ask it and they are more than happy to help. I had to catch an early morning flight. So, they even booked me a cab for those wee hours and made the cabbie guy help me with a wake up call!!! How cool can that get... Being a female solo traveller, I found the place extremely safe and friendly.
All the major attractions of Fort Kochi is just walking distance from here and for places, which can't be walked up to, you get auto rickshaws (tuktuk) right from outside the gate of Happy Camper. I met lot of fellow travelers here, did hang around with few and made some friends for life. The exchanges that you have with the fellow travelers, their perspective towards life and travel, their experiences and stories, leave you richer and wiser. I strongly recommend this friendly, quaint little place where I camped for 3 nights and came back happy.
No wonder they call this pocket friendly and easy to locate place "HAPPY CAMPER". It can be booked through all major booking sites like www.booking.com, www.hostelworld.com or www.tripadvisor.com. You can also visit their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/happycamperkochi/ or look them up on Instagram http://www.instagram.com/happycamperholidays