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“exotic” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Vivanta by Taj Bekal

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Vivanta by Taj Bekal
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Kappil Beach, Bekal 671319, India   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Bekal
chennai
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“exotic”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

we went by car from chennai to bangalore and the next day from bangalore to taj bekal kerala.
it was a new resort and simply exotic. on the sea side and next to a flowing canal.
taj rooms were very well done up and the view outside was breathtaking.
we enjoyed every moment of our stay.

Room Tip: canal view rooms
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VivantaB, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj Bekal, responded to this review, November 5, 2012
Thank you for your review. It is a pleasure to learn that you enjoyed your stay with us. Best wishes.Samir
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410 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (224)
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English first
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

This must be one of the most beautiful locations for any hotel in the world located as it is in Kerala,India, also known as Gods own country. The property sits on 30 odd acres on a sliver of land that is sandwiched between the virgin empty beach and some of the most picturesque and unspoilt backwaters you will ever see. The serenity and beauty of the surroundings has to be seen to be believed.

The hotel itself is brand new and has been designed and landscaped by Australian architects who have made full use of the prevailing views. There is a new restaurant right next to the beach as well.

The rooms are generously sized and the bathrooms are huge and very well designed. The lighting system and airconditioner controls though very high tech and touch controlled were fiddly and not the best to use.

The staff were courteous and friendly and certainly upto Taj standards but the guy at the front desk Satish should learn to smile more and be nicer.

The food at the restaurant and the general ambience at the bar were superb.

The professionally run Jiva Spa at 25000 sq ft is one of the largest spas in India.The ayurvedic massage sauna and steam are a must do.

There's also some basic angling and kayaking on the backwaters for kids and amateurs.

Overall this place is great for a relaxing few days even if you aren't too keen on a trip to the superbly located Bekal fort nearby.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VivantaB, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj Bekal, responded to this review, November 6, 2012
Thank you for posting your review.It is a pleasure to know you enjoyed your stay with us. Your feedback about our Front Desk Associate has been shared with him please. Best wishes. Samir
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mumbai
Top Contributor
117 reviews 117 reviews
57 hotel reviews
Reviews in 59 cities Reviews in 59 cities
111 helpful votes 111 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2012

We arrived by car from Udipi on 4th September 2012 to rest as well as explore a new destination for next 3 days. We had booked the superior rooms with plunge pool as they were the only ones available. The façade of hotel is very imposing with ancient artifacts. The Lobby – the not too lavish but not too small either , appropriate for a 60 rooms hotel. This hotel being recently opened had the freshness oozing everywhere .The courteous front office staff checked us in a fizzy and we were escorted to our villas facing backwaters. The villas and rooms are of Kettuvallam house boats designs and reflect Karnataka art on the walls .The room was luxurious by any standards, with all the modern amenities and rest room complimenting the room size. Outside , the individual courtyard spaces, the private plunge pools , the outdoor shower and bath tub were added amenities . None the less, we took a dip in plunge pool whenever we were tired to take a trip to the swimming pool. Or a swinging day bed outside to relax and enjoy the monsoon rain. Sundeck chairs were also there to rest after a dip in the plunge pool.
Size of the property is quite big and enclosed by backwater and sea on two sides and the layout of the resort is just superb and appealing. Walk from the room to the beach was relaxing and soothing.
Breakfast spread was ample and nourishing. While food served during lunch and dinner was good and had native south Indian touch. A bit more effort is needed by their cooking staff to make their servings excellent befitting a Taj Group Hotel for guests from all over the world. The housekeeping staff did their job beautifully with a smile.
The landscaping of the grounds is excellent. The ambience of restaurants and bar was very inviting and just too good to resist.
Our stay mainly consisted of Sleep, Breakfast, Spa , Swimming , Lunch , Rest , Walk around the hotel property, Dinner and Sleep. Other activities in which we participated were archery, croquet , cycling and angling provided by the hotel. The Resort should add few more bicycles keeping in view the number of guests.
We explored Bekal Fort during our stay which is an imposing structure by itself and not to miss during your stay. 3 days passed in no time and it was time to move on to our next destination with good memories. Vivanta by Taj stamp is etched in our memory.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Bombay
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2012

I am the kind who is happy to splurge on a good property but cuts corners on travel expenses. So we took a train from Mumbai to Kasaragod (about 19 hours of travel time - a movie, a night's nap and lots of leisure time to chat with your partner) from where Bekal is only 15 kms away. We took a rickshaw from Kasaragod to Taj Vivanta, Bekal (about Rs 250) - what a way to enter a 5 star property!!

We were warmly welcomed - Cold towels, lemon juice, check-in formalities were completed in the room. We were staying for 3 nights so they upgraded us to the Superior Charm Room with Sit-out.

The room is great. We loved the Sit-out. It has a swinging bed about 100 feet away from the flowing backwaters. Very private and surrounded by green cover. Bed is comfortable. They have a DVD player. We loved the bathroom. Very spacious and modern.

The property has a river running through it. It also has a private beach. So when you stand on the beach you have the river on one side and the sea on the other.

If you have children, please take them to this resort. It is very child friendly. They have a creche and a children's activity room. They also have a good library.

Food is good though the buffet does not have a large variety. Also at peak times service levels can drop as staff response time goes up considerably. Otherwise the staff is very courteous. Food prices are reasonable.

The spa is a little expensive but they have a couple of treatments in the 1500 range. Try it just for the experience. Jazuzzi is more like an outdoor plunge pool.

We loved the place. Will visit again.

While going back we took a Rickshaw from the hotel to Kasaragod (0773638141 - Badshah. We also used him for the Bekal Fort Tour). We then took a bus from Kasaragod to Mangalore (1.5 hours. Rs 40 per person and an opportunity to share some stories with the locals).

Tips

Enroll for the Taj Inner Circle Membership so that you can add your points for this stay onto it. Once you spend more than 25000 you get 20 percent off on the spa on your next visit plus other benefits.

Use local transport in Bekal. Taj vehicles are obviously way expensive.

Stop in Mangalore for a while and see the Pilikula Zoo. Nice.

Buy 5 shares of Indian Hotels (Investment of about Rs 350) in all your family members' names. You will receive 30 percent discount coupons for spends upto Rs 2,000.

Cheers!!

Room Tip: If you decide to go for a Plunge Pool room, check if the pool has complete privacy. Some plunge po...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangalore
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2012

Our family of 4 (2 adults and 2 girls) stayed at the resort in October. We drove from Bangalore (9 hours by the Bangalore-Hassan-Sakaleshpur-Puttur-Cherkala route and returned 8 hours by the Bekal-Udma-Cherkala-Sulia-Madikeri-Mysore-Bangalore route, the latter is much better). The property is very well laid out along the beach and back waters. There are lots of activities for children - bicycling (they should increase the number of bicycles because most times, the limited bikes were being used by other guests), kayaking, archery, indoor games when it rained. The beach is lovely - clean and uncrowded - in fact, most days, we were the only people on the beach. We didn't use the Spa, but just went in to visit, and it is awesome. Huge facility with lots of treatment and massage rooms. The restaurant serves mainly Keralite food and also other Indian and Continental cuisine. The resort people informed me that they are opening a sea-food restaurant within the next week. The sea-food building looked ready and we did see some activity going on, so probably it will open shortly.

One of the highlights of our stay was a visit to the nearby Bekal Fort, which surprised us by being very well maintained and offered some stunning views of the sea and the setting sun.

On the negative side, we did come across some niggles which we would not expect from a Taj property - the bathroom door would not lock but they fixed it the next day, the day bed sit-out light did not work the 1st day but they fixed it the next day. On the service side, it was very very good most of the time, but we did face some annoyances - on the last day of our stay, we had to call the housekeeping 4 times before they changed towels, the lunch room was crowded and they took an awful long time to serve our breads, by which time we had finished our lunch.

But overall, it was a memorable stay and we enjoyed it with the beautiful setting, superbly maintained facilites and friendly service. We would definitely like to go back there again.

Room Tip: We had a Courtyard Room with a plunge pool. The Premium room with a plunge pool and view of the back...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hyderabad, India
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2012

It is really a heaven on earth. The property is less than a year old and Taj unquestionably has done an excellent job in architecture, landscaping and keeping nature untouched. The river flows 100ft from our room and merges with the sea, so you get best of both the world of backwaters of Kerala and beach, although backwaters are not comparable to Komarkom and Alleppey (backwater breadth would be 60ft compared to thousands in Kumarkom). The rooms give a feeling of villa style living, the room is aesthetically decorated, bathroom is very spacious with separate shower and bathtub, the sit out is huge with almost a queen size bed swing and a table to have sip of coffee in morning/evening overlooking the river. The hospitality as usual of Taj staff is courteous and unparallel in the industry. The resort (rightly called than a hotel) is friendly for kids and activity loving parents with features like creche, infinity swimming pool, Kayaking, Archery, Cycling and a Xbox in kids area. The best feature is the Jiva Spa, it is sprawling and largest in Asia. The Jaquzzi and Sauna are free, rest are chargeable. There is only one multi-cusine restaurant, Latitude, but amazingly delicious Indian food and large spread to accommodate different tastes of palate, one doesn't misses the concept of multiple restaurants even with our 5 days of stay. Although, I learned they are opening a seafood restaurant at the beach in a month's time. They have a nice well stuffed bar, Ivory. For Sightseeing, Bekal Fort (7 kms from resort) and Ananthapura lake temple (30kms) are worth the visit.

Room Tip: River facing rooms are better than sea facing nes, although sea facing ones are more expensive. You...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mumbai
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2012

i just loved the way this hotel is made and specially so as i had got a very good deal due to the rainy season.

the pool is very good and so is the spa. I had one of the most relaxing spa treatments here.

the food is the only thing that lets it down though. it is quite average and they have only one place to eat so that gets monotonous. Also as there are not many places nearby they should seriously open some speciality restaurants to create different experiences for the guest.

the plunge pool and the hot tub in the open outside the room are also very relaxing and enjoyable.

Highly recommended for a family holiday as you can spend quality time as not much of sight seeing is there.

Room Tip: do take a room with a plunge pool as the rate difference is not much
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Vivanta by Taj Bekal

Address: Kappil Beach, Bekal 671319, India
Location: India > Kerala > Bekal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Bekal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Vivanta by Taj Bekal 5*
Number of rooms: 71
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