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“Really great design, lovely hotel” 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 #1 of 4 Hotels in Bekal
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Bangalore
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“Really great design, lovely hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2014

We stayed here for 3 nights over Mon, Tue and Wed. We were a family of four that included two kids of 7 and 2. I had expected that being the fag end of the summer vacations, staying weekdays and just before monsoon was to start, the hotel would have been running less full. I was really surprised to find that it was almost full; lots of the travelers being from Bangalore going by the car license plates. But I met a couple and they had come all the way from Udaipur, Rajasthan. Even when we checked out, hotel was running full!

I think what this hotel has going for it is that it has been amazingly well designed and kudos to the architects and team that came up with it. It's a large property spread over 18+ acres and just 60-70 odd keys I think.

We stayed in the deluxe delight villa which is a self-contained hut in itself. It comes with a room comprising of a nice big bed, tv, closet, etc. The room opens out to a deck that has a lovely ceiling-hung day bed covered by a gazebo. There is an outdoor bath-tub for those who want to have a soak in the sunny outdoors and a surprisingly decent plunge pool that's about 4'9" in depth and runs the length of the deck, I guess about 20ft or so. There is also an outdoor shower area and this connects to the bathroom which has access from the room and from the deck. The entire area is partially walled and then landscaped with shrubs such that you have almost complete privacy while you are out on deck.

It seems to be tailor-made for couples to spend quality time together and I guess that may be why a lot of honeymooners visit here.

But we had a great time as a family and we saw many other families with young kids during our stay. We did have some boisterous youngsters in the adjacent villa but I didn't think it was too much of a bother. The kids had a marvelous time in the pool - first thing in the morning, then after breakfast, then after lunch, then again in the evening and later at night. Once it rained, so we all had a great time enjoying the pool in the rain too! In fact, as a first, I didn't even visit the main pool or try out their other activities. The fact that it is so self-contained means you could just spend quality time enjoying as a family for long stretches of time in the room itself without going anywhere else. And that for me was what worked about this hotel - the room isn't a place to stay the night and then go out the whole day sight-seeing or adventuring. Instead, its a room where you can spend lots of time without necessarily needing to go anywhere! Since I had read in the other reviews about the pool depth, we carried tubes and floats for the kids and so that wasn't an issue for us.

The Kappil beach is just a walk down with access from within the hotel property. It's a rough beach and the hotel doesn't advice swimming there. But it's nice to just sit there and watch the waves while the kids play in the sand. There is a small outcrop of rocks a short walk away on the beach. The hotel has cycles which you are free to use and they are really handy to move around the place. Be wary of the slopes though especially if you don't cycle regularly, I saw one lady and her daughter cycling and the lady had a nasty fall, injuring herself by falling on a curving slope.

They do have a small kids room with a TV and some toys, a small outdoor play pen and another recreation room with TT and an xbox console. But I wouldn't say the staff in the kids room are well equipped to deal with small children and the activities are basic; we couldn't really leave our two-and-half year old there.

Regarding the food, the first morning we had a difficult breakfast because it was completely full and chaotic. The manager says everyone comes at 9:30 although they start breakfast at 7:30 or something and thus they aren't able to handle the rush. But I thought that if they knew this happens regularly, they could have definitely handled the situation better by having extra staff, etc at that peak time. The next two days, we planned a bit and reached a little earlier so that we could have a table without so much chaos. For other meals, we decided to order a-la-carte instead and had a much better experience and the food was good. I must here mention our server Amitabh who attended to us during all the other meals; he was very amiable and although had just started there twenty days ago, was very enthusiastic and friendly. There aren't too many other dining options outside the hotel, we ate once at the Nirvana resort at Bekal beach and that wasn't bad either for one different meal. There is not much to see nearby other than the Bekal Fort I would say.

The service has already been commented upon. My first day saw many requests unfulfilled such as for newspaper, mosquito repellent, fruits, room cleaning, etc. These were ironed out after I made my unhappiness apparent to a member of the staff. But I didn't give the five stars for this reason, they have such a lovely hotel and friendly staff - I just think they need to raise the bar that small bit more to go from delight to ecstatic!

Small other kinks: the bathroom access from the room is through a sliding door that doesn't latch easily which means you have to be more careful when kids are around. I think they need to provide mosquito repellent standard and not when you ask for it. I also think they need to provide a few outdoor repellent coils (the green tortoise thingies) so that you can spend time comfortably outdoors on the deck in the evenings. Since there is a pool in the villa, a clothes horse or stand or hooks are a surprising miss in the villa.

I believe the next higher room temptation has a bigger deck area but we were advised by the hotel and also from the reviews here that those rooms have less privacy because there is a line of shrubbery instead of a wall between villas and they have another room on top so residents above could see below.

To sum up, I highly recommend the hotel for couples and for families as well. You can spend three nights easily without really needing to go anywhere; and I think minor enhancements can really earn the hotel a top place in my list and the five stars!

Room Tip: I can confidently recommend the deluxe delight villa.
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Samir K, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj Bekal, responded to this review, June 6, 2014
Thank you for your review and compliments.We have read your comments on the requests which were made and time taken to deliver. Please do let us know if we can be of any assistance. Best wishes, Samir
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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487 reviews from our community

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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 (254)
Date | Rating
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English first
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2014

Despite having visited Kerala so many times, I never knew that a place like Bekal even existed. And to find Taj there was another pleasant surprise. Thanks to my friends that I discovered this place.

What I loved:
--------------------

I loved; simply loved my room; especially because it had a plunge pool along. The rooms are spacious and the bathroom is grand. Add to it that they have a beautiful outdoor shower along with a bathtub, both of which was accessible from the bathroom. It sure was a wonderful to have them.

The bed was large and spacious and the pillows, comfortable. It would be a nice idea to keep the AC on 24 degrees; else it can get real cold. The room service was impeccable; thanks to Jayanta who ensured I always had everything I wanted.

Do try your hands on the archery and paint ball shooting (psst… if you hit past the bulls eye or the board, blame it on the breeze). Cycle away to glory and also go for the backwater sunset trip. It’s a beautiful experience in itself. Remember though that it is about an hour’s distance from the property, so you will need to arrange for a vehicle.

And if you are lucky to visit this place during the mango season (like we did), as the staff to pick some mangoes for you and get them ripened. If they don’t within your stay, carry them back home and gorge on them. They are delicious!

The food and drinks:
-----------------------------

The restaurant is well arranged. The food is nice and the choice is wide. And if the F&B manager Charlie can afford to spare some time, request him to cook his famous Chicken breast with mushroom and cream sauce (tip: give him an advance notice and also ask him to put cream in the sauce as per his measure. Else the sauce dilutes). Also try the fish fry: Sear fish and Karimeen. Ask them to pan fry both. No sauces, please.

The servers Amitabh, Achuthan, and Pankaj are a delight. And when it comes to in-room dining, Rimio is sure to steal your heart with his dedicated service. Ask Pankaj to get you iced coffee (he learnt that from an English client). Its black coffee with plenty of ice, and boy, he makes it real well.

When you head to the bar, ask for Prince. That fellow has a sunshine smile, and boy, he knows his intoxicants well. If you want something off the menu, give him a brief and he’d blend it just right. Not fond of alcohol? Prince does some amazing mocktails, too. I vouch, having tried both.

What I did not:
---------------------

There was no health faucet in the toilet! Did the owners not know that we are in India and here toilets tissues are not preferred? Adding to the woes was that there was no tap from which the water could be sourced, inside. The only option was to fill the bucket (provided) from the tap present in the outside shower. That sure made matters extremely inconvenient.

Also, I sorely missed a cabinet to unpack and lay my clothes inside. Having to pick your clothes from a suitcase can be a real hassle at times. Thank God there was an iron and board, so at least I could wear my clothes, wrinkle free.

Wonder what’s with Taj’s telephone, for even if you pump the volume, the sound is too low for comfort. Top it with the fact that there has been umpteen times when despite multiple (and multiple and multiple) rings, no one has picked the phone. This, most of the times, in the “Ask” department, followed by in room dining (not as much, though).

The one thing which sored my experience the most was the attitude of certain staff and the below average service. Talking with most of the staff (on phone) made me uncomfortable, for their voice sorely lacked the warmth. Guess they are not taught to smile on the phone. This holds true for both, the front office and the in-room dining. Some classic examples of their terrible service:

- I’m at the reception and asked for a bottle of chilled water, which I was told needs to be sourced from the restaurant (about 30 footsteps away). It took me 15 minutes to get the water.

- The in-room dining staff gets me three empty cups without the teapot. I ask for the tea and I get a blank expression. Finally when I get through the in-room dining, I’m told the “tea was over boiled and hence is being re-done!” Whoa!

But despite this, I’d still say the stay was nice. I wish these guys shut down their operation for a few days, fix those much-needed health faucets, and address the staff’s attitude. And when they do, I sure am going back.

Room Tip: The deluxe rooms are great, but if you choose a villa, remember that the people staying in the adjac...
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  • Stayed May 2014, 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Samir K, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj Bekal, responded to this review, June 9, 2014
Thank you for taking time and sharing your review on the Trip Advisor. Your compliments have been shared with the members of the Resort. Areas for improvement identified have also been taken into consideration for training analysis , this will help us to improve upon our services. We hope to see you soon at our Resort. Best wishes. Samir
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2014

Around 80kms from Mangalore airport. I stayed in large room with balcony with a nice backwater view. It has two restaurants - By the bay which serves coastal food and latitude which serve multicuisine. We were veggies and the restaurant's does have good number of V options. Small play area of toddlers. My son was 2 and thoroughly enjoyed it. I did kayaking....we'll sort of kayaking. It's not the same sleek kayak...slightly wider boat, can be done with family also. Cost was INR 400 for 30 minutes. Bow and arrow and paintball shooting were also other options though I didn't try them.

The weather was humid...No cooling/fans at Reception makes it not so nice experience once you enter reception (purely because of weather). Reception has a small fish pond which my son enjoyed. I have been to lot of other vivanta properties but by far the service quality was lowest here. They are slow. "ask" call goes unattended many times. we asked for three feather/soft pillows but were given only two because the housekeeping didn't had them in stock !!

Food quality was average on both the restaurants.

Property has a private beach with nice views but with strong currents. we enjoyed the walk. There are seating arrangements at the beach.

You may want to hire rooms with private pools specially if you have kids. Pics saw one of them but given my small stay didn't upgraded.

Room Tip: Rooms with private pools and backwater view are best options.
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Samir K, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj Bekal, responded to this review, June 3, 2014
Thank you for taking time and posting your review. Your suggestions for improvements in areas have been undertaken by us. If we can be of any assistance then please do let us know. Best wishes. Samir
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vadodara, India
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2014

A very nice hotel with cottage concept. Its 75km from Mangalore airport.

Huge property and excellent location. Entire landscaping and layout of the property is Excellent.

Room size is adequate and so are the bathrooms. View from rooms is also good. excellent green cover in the entire property with view of back waters. Right on the Ocean. internal travel by buggy.Excellent place to be with friends, family or even for couple or honeymooners. staff is friendly.

Spa is Superb and highly recommended. Have very well trained people. The Spa is huge and well designed. .

Need to improve on sattelite tv channels. immediately change to tata sky or Dish tv from this local cable with very ordinary transmission of the 80"s. very very basic.
also needs to improve on A/C performance.

All in all a very nice property and highly recommended for a short trip of 3 days.

Special mention of the GM(always ready to help) and Manjeet at the restaurant for taking good care of our Jain food requirements.


regards

dilesh mehta

Room Tip: though basic rooms are also very good... pool villas are better.
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  • Stayed May 2014, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Samir K, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj Bekal, responded to this review, June 1, 2014
Thank you for taking time and sharing your experience with us. We have read your comments on the TV Channels provided by us. Our Engineering Team will surely look for improvements. Best wishes. Samir
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pune
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2014

This is a beautiful place. Location, Architecture, Furnishing, Water bodies, Activities, Service and Food - everything is just right. Icing on the cake is the Manager (I think Mr. Sandeep Khanna is his name), who was omni-present, very well dressed, polite to a fault, ever smiling and always volunteering help.

All in all I will treasure the stay forever!

Room Tip: If you can afford it, go for the villa. Its out of this world!
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Samir K, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj Bekal, responded to this review, May 31, 2014
Thank you for posting your review. We are pleased to read that you enjoyed your stay with us. Hope you are planning your next Holiday with us , soon. Best wishes. Samir
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reading, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2014

This hotel is absolutely stunning. The location, setting, layout, service are just fantastic. I was staying for one night with a friend whilst on a road trip. We had a standard room and it was awesome, two Super king beds, indoor and out door shower, large balcony with day bed. The location between the Ocean and the backwaters is amazing, Bekal beach is clean, goes for miles and is empty. The whole place was beautiful and very good value for money.

Only criticism, the reception bathrooms could be cleaner and there were a lot of power cuts

Highly recommend, wherever its friends, business or a special occasion

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Samir K, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj Bekal, responded to this review, June 3, 2014
Thank you for sharing your experience with us. We are pleased to read that you had an Amazing stay at our Resort. We will definitely look at improvements in the areas shared by you. Best wishes. Samir
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
INDIA
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2014

If you love a luxurious vacation with some lovely serene & scenic environment, love the beaches & a place to connect with nature....Then you can't miss out on this beautiful property..Vivanta by Taj, Bekal. Situated on the backwaters, this place is an hour's drive from Mangalore so one can think of clubbing the two places for a holiday.
The property's main attraction is it's location where the sea & the backwaters merge. The beautifully created pathways lined by trees & exotic plants will lay all your stress to rest!! If you are a water baby...(if you love to be in water), you have ample choices...the open bath tub, or the personal pool in your cottage, or the clean & huge common swimming pool area which has a separate kid pool cordoned off so you children can enjoy a safe swim. I did not try the kayaking but everyone who tried it said it was a great experience. For complete rejuvenation, do visit the spa.
The huge swing in the open area outside the cottage is wonderful to rest on & sip your tea/coffee or your evening drink.
The rooms are spacious & have a comfortable bed which is generally decorated by the staff with Towel art..! The bathroom & toilets are tastefully done with an indoor & outdoor bathing area...Choice is yours!

As far as food, they cover most of the cuisines (North Indian, South Indian, Continental, & Chinese). The breakfast buffet spread is nice while the lunch and dinner has limited menu & portions are pretty small.

Go for a walk, go for a swim, go for relaxation...under the lap of luxury & nature in Kerala! U'll love the experience!

  • Stayed June 2013, 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.
Samir K, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj Bekal, responded to this review, May 29, 2014
Thank you for the positive review. We hope to see you soon on a return Holiday. Please do let us know if we can be of any assistance. Best wishes. Samir
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 #1 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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