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“Deserves an extra star” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Vivanta by Taj - Bentota

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Vivanta by Taj - Bentota
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   National Holiday Resort, Bentota 80500, Sri Lanka   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 26 Hotels in Bentota
Beirut, Lebanon
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Deserves an extra star”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2013 via mobile

We stayed as a family with kids for 2 nights in August 2013 and I can say that among the four hotels we stayed at during our stay in Sri Lanka this one was by far the best. The experience was almost flawless. Despite the fact that the hotel is really big, service was individualized and requests immediately answered. Dining was amazing especially at the Shack, the charming restaurant on the beach, which offers the catch of the day, amazing sea food. The Chinese restaurant although almost empty when we visited, was really good as well, especially the service of the staff, who were so helpful and smiling at all times. The less enjoyable restaurant is the palms where breakfast is offered, and is more of the mass kind of type where service is slow, and tables a bit dirty. Breakfast was fine. The rooms are clean and spacious, beds comfortable. The room had a nice balcony with a view on the ocean. Upon arrival we noticed ants in the bathroom and informed room service, the issue was solved in minutes. You have to know that wifi is not free of charge in this hotel. The hotel has also good entertainment for guests, especially those with kids, such as a ping pong table, and animation to kids. The gym is good as well. We did not use the swimming pool, as it was quite crowded. This was a wise decision, as we went to the private beach of the hotel, which is really clean and so much going on around, with monkey shows, surf lessons, fresh juices being sold, and wonderful waves. The guards were really nice and helped us organize a beach safari, which turned to be a memorable trip to the lagoon, where we saw crocodiles, iguanas, other reptiles, and unique landscapes. I also tried the Jiva, the hotel spa, which is really good but make sure to reserve well in advance, even before getting to the hotel, as it is so busy. The massages are hood, but a but pricey. On the second day of our trip the beach guard suggested that we visit an Ayurvedic center, five minutes from the hotel, which cannot be compared to the Jiva spa in terms of luxury and cleanliness, but is charming in the middle of the nature, and offer very good treatments for half the price. Overall, I really enjoyed my stay at the hotel, and wild have extended the period if I had more time. I will certainly be back.

Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MathewVM, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj - Bentota, responded to this review, August 21, 2013
Thank you for writing back and giving us your feedback through the TripAdvisor.

We are delighted to note that you and your family had a memorable stay with us. Our associates are our greatest asset and they take great pride in offering the very best of service at all times. We would like to thank you for complimenting our Food & Beverage outlets especially the SHACK - the sea food restaurant and The Oriental pavilion - our Chinese restaurant.. These food & beverage options are unique and are patronizer by guests from neighboring resorts.

We have noted your comments regarding the WiFi and are pleased to inform you that we have now introduced WIFI inclusive packages. The Palms restaurant, our All Day Diner tends to get busy during breakfast time, especially during high occupancies. We assure you that will will look into this matter immediately. Than you for bringing it to our attention.

Once again thank you for taking the trouble of sending your feedback.. We look forward to welcoming you back to our hotel.
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1,164 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 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 (313)
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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2013 via mobile

We stayed at the Vivanta for two weeks in July. Fantastic facilities, with a great room. Excellent and varied food, and beautiful surroundings. The staff really went out of their way to make our stay pleasurable. Staying at the end of the 'off season' means that the prices stay reasonable, but the weather is still very nice.

The only negative point were all the touts around, but this applies to all of Bentota, and had nothing to do with the hotel.

Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MathewVM, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj - Bentota, responded to this review, August 17, 2013
Thank you for taking the trouble of sending us your feedback about your recent stay at Vivanta by Taj Bentota.

We are happy to note that you had a memorable two weeks stay with us. Thank you for your generous compliments about the hotel and its services. Our associates are our biggest assets and take great pride in providing the best of service at all times. Our Chefs are always conscious of the needs of individual guests especially those staying for longer periods and the various Food & Beverage options available at the hotel is a unique feature of this hotel.

We look forward to welcoming you back to our hotel.
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Singapore
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2013

I was there with my sister for 2 nights from 9th August 2013. The hotel is big and the room that I stayed in has a small balcony overlooking the sea. Although it is fully occupied, we did not feel it as the place is big. It happened to be my birthday on the 10th and when I went back to the room I was pleasantly surprised to find a birthday cake and a nicely decorated bed including a gift. The Hotel really paid attention to such details although it was full - even the Chamber staff wished me as I stepped out of my room.

The only sad thing is there is no free Wi-Fi service. Hope it will be there when I next visit.

I am planning to bring my children and grandchildren there sometime in December as I was told that the best time would be December - January where the water is calm.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MathewVM, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj - Bentota, responded to this review, August 17, 2013
Thank you for taking the trouble of writing to us and sending your impressions about the hotel.

We are delighted to note that you had a memorable stay with us. We were honored to be part of your birthday celebrations. our associates are our greatest asset and they take great pride in providing the highest levels of service at all times.

We are happy to note that you will be coming with your family soon.

We will be eagerly waiting to welcoming you back to our hotel.
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Worcester Park, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2013

Although it was in the off peak season [ July ] for Bentota, the hotel Vivanta by Taj was excellent in all departments. The location is superb , with the beaches only a minutes walk away. The village of Bentota also only a walking distance away, All the facilities are good and kept clean all the time .We found the experience was rewarding and we were extremely pleased with this hotel.. The staff were always ready to help in any eventuality. Weldone Vivanta by Taj.

Room Tip: We were in Room 610 and were very happy with this as it was ovelooking the pool and and the sea.
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  • Stayed July 2013, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MathewVM, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj - Bentota, responded to this review, August 17, 2013
Thank you for taking the trouble of sending your feedback about your recent stay with us through TripAdvisor.

We are delighted to note that you had a memorable stay with us. This one of the most stunning locations and we do great reviews from patrons like you.

We look forward to welcoming you back to our hotel soon
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madrid, Spain
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
100 helpful votes 100 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2013

As a Taj hotels, this is a very good hotel, with 162 rooms that have been renewed recently, with a lot of people to serve you, clean and well maintained, with a lot of space, very good food and in an excellent location : in the "hotels complex" and in front of a fantastic beach.
But for me it has many unconvenients :
-the hotel is too big, you spend your days walking through the hotel corridors and everything is too far, the swimming pool is located in the 4th floor, the beach is in the ground floor, the lobby is in the 3rd floor...and the floors are large...
-another problem are the prices, the drinks in the restaurant are 4 times more expensive than in a good restaurant (400Rs a can of Pepsi when it's normal price is 100Rs in a good restaurant).
-the wifi is payable in any case (18$ per day!!!). I have to say that I complained seriously and they offered me 1 hour complimentary per day : nice detail that I thank them sincerely, but unconfortable, as I have to use the 1h complimentary wifi all at the same time and with only 1 device, I can't check the emails in my smartphone 2 or 3 times a day and search information in my tablet.
-the hotel is not prepared to face the beach : the beach line is closed with a fence with only 4 doors with guardians and there are no chaise-longues or umbrellas on the beach (only on the swimming pool, 4 floors and 10 minutes walk far).
As a detail, most of the guests of this hotel are indians and russians.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MathewVM, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj - Bentota, responded to this review, August 15, 2013
Thank you for taking the trouble of writing to us.

We are delighted to note that you were happy with most of our services.

We have taken note of your concerns. Though it is a fairly large hotel, we do accommodate requests from guests, whenever possible, to stay in rooms closer to the hotel services like the pool and restaurants.

The safety and security of our guests is always our paramount concern hence you will appreciate that access to the beach is always monitored so that our guests are able to relax and enjoy without any untoward incidents.

We have introduced Wifi inclusive packages. Thsi si being appreciated by most of our guests. Thank you for sharing your concern.

We value the feedback and comments from our well wishers and look forward to welcoming you back to our hotel.
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Singapore, Singapore
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2013

In hindsight, I should have paid attention to the fact that about one out of every 4 reviews of this hotel, has given this an average to extremely poor rating and I should have avoided booking us in this hotel. But it came with a Taj name and having experienced during every stay at every Taj hotel, the efficiency, the amazing hospitality and the excellence that group is famous for, I went ahead and booked us into the Taj Bentota. Only to discover how this is definitely not in the same league as other Taj hotels!

When we were checking in, we wanted to pay via an American Express card because it gives us points on Singapore Airlines. At first we were told, our card was not being "supported" by the machine. We immediately called up Amex Singapore and were assured there was no problem at their end. At which point the person at the front desk informed us that the problem was at their end and their American Express machine was not working and hadn't been functional for the last 2 days!!! (Had he mentioned that earlier, he could have saved us a panic stricken international call to Amex Singapore) We couldn't believe that a supposedly 5 star hotel was telling us that the credit card machine of a leading credit card was out of service for 2 whole days!

Then we checked into our room 203 - which happened to be a beautiful suite with a small sitting room and a bedroom. Everything was fine until the evening when I tried to give my twins a bath in the bathtub. The minute I opened the drain in the tub to release the water in the bath tub, the entire toilet flooded as the water instead of going out of the drain, came out from under the bath tub and spread all over the loo floor. We called the reception and the maintenance staff arrived promptly. They informed us that there was a leak and it would take at least 2-4 hours of work to rectify the leakage problem. Since the loo was flooded and we couldn't use it and we didn't want to be around when the repair was happening, we asked for a change of room. We were shifted to 303, which turned out to be a smaller room than our earlier one!

And then, the next evening at around 9pm, we discovered that thanks to the connecting door between our room and the one next door, we could hear every noise in the adjoining room, where a party of sorts was on full swing. When the people next door started shouting and laughing and put their TV on full volume, we called the front desk to request the adjoining room to tone down their volume as our 4yr old boys weren't able to sleep due to the noise the people in the room next door were making . The duty manager apparently asked them a couple of times to stop the noise but nothing happened. Then, at 11pm, the duty manager came to our room to request us to shift to another room (619) for the night. So we had to carry our sleeping kids and go to another room for the night.

Thus, this was the second night in a row, we were forced to shift rooms; and that too in our 2 night stay! When we were leaving, the front desk people were very apologetic about all the problems we faced and even gave us a 15% discount but to be honest, when you are paying 320 Singapore Dollars a night, you do not expect a leaking bath tub and loud raucous noise to be a part of the package. And this is definitely not what you expect when you are staying in a 5 star hotel which carries the Taj name. I have had far more pleasant and comfortable stays in far cheaper and little known B&Bs in tiny villages in the UK and Europe!

On the positive side, the property is large and has lots of facilities for various games. The staff is very courteous. The rooms are beautiful and tastefully decorated. The breakfast spread is very good. And there are lifeguards all over the beach ensuring the safety of the guests.

On the negative side, other than the problems we personally faced, the food is quite expensive if you eat at the hotel, with a meal for 2 adults and 2 kids (minus alcohol) working out to between S$60-75 per meal. And the service in the pool side restaurant is atrocious - the waiters tell you they will be back in 5 minutes to take your order and never show up. The best way to get service is to walk up to the restaurant yourself and order. The kids pool is also a bit too shallow - at 0.3m it is more a puddle than a pool! And unlike other hotels, it has no slide or any activity to keep them occupied.

On the whole, I would definitely not be ever going back or recommending this hotel to anyone I know!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MathewVM, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj - Bentota, responded to this review, August 15, 2013
Thank you for taking the trouble of giving your feedback about the recent stay with us.

It is our endeavor to provide the finest Hospitality and Service in line with the standards of Taj Group of Hotels. However, we have fallen short of your expectations in certain areas during your stay with us. I have noted all your comments with utmost seriousness and have taken it up with the concerned departments for corrective action to ensure non recurrence in the future. Associates have also been briefed and training has been reinforced to ensure that service delivered is in keeping with the standards of the Taj.

I regret once again the inconvenience caused to you during your stay with us at Vivanta by Taj Bentota and urge you to treat this experience as a one off aberration.

Thank you for sharing your feedback with us. A sincere feedback of a well-wisher such as yours is vital for us to improve upon our existing standards.

We value your patronage and look forward to welcoming you back to the Emerald Isle.
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Cambridge, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
121 reviews 121 reviews
64 hotel reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2013

This is a beautiful place. The rooms are elegant. I was moved up to the third floor as I was unhappy with the ground floor room I was given and had a lovely room with a balcony and a great view of the bay. (Watch the marble in the bathroom as it gets slippery when wet.) The sunset from the Pool was wonderful. I would however recommend this for couples rather than families for several reasons, as when we stayed further down the coast it met with much more approval from the teenagers in the group as there was more to do. The atmosphere is also much better suited to a romantic holiday rather than a family action one I felt, but I really loved it and could have spent a happy holiday there. Unfortunately, however the hosts of our group had some problems with the Hotel which upset and offended them so we did not stay after one night and they lost our business which was a shame for everyone. There was rather a pedantic, inflexible and formal approach from the registration which created an unwelcoming feel (despite the lovely welcoming flowers) and caused a problem for my kind and generous Sri Lankan hosts in the way they were treated. If it had not been for this this would have been 5 * review as everything else about the Hotel is immaculate. They just need to work on their customer relations. I was also disappointed with the atmosphere in the breakfast and buffet area as it felt more like a cafeteria than a relaxing room in Sri Lanka to eat in, and they have got the decor wrong there, especially compared to the design of the rest of the hotel. However the food was fine and because of the overall location of the hotel not really a problem as such, as you can always look out at the amazing view, palms and heavenly pool.

Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MathewVM, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj - Bentota, responded to this review, August 15, 2013
Thank you for taking the trouble of writing to us and sharing your feedback.

We are happy to note that you enjoyed your brief stay with us and we look forward to welcoming you back.

Do let me know the concerns of your group so that we can take corrective action in future.

Thank you once again and hope to see you soon.
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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 - Bentota

Address: National Holiday Resort, Bentota 80500, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Bentota
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Bentota
#3 Spa Hotel in Bentota
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Bentota
#4 Romantic Hotel in Bentota
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Vivanta by Taj - Bentota 3.5*
Number of rooms: 160
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sri Lanka is referred to as a ‘small miracle,’ for despite the island’s relatively small size, its natural wonders and beauty are in abundance. Vivanta by Taj – Bentota is located on the south west coast of Sri Lanka. The hotel lies over a lush hill that overlooks the Indian Ocean. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vivanta By Taj - Bentota Hotel Bentota
Taj Exotica Hotel Bentota
Bentota Taj Exotica Hotel
Taj Exotica Sri Lanka
Taj Exotica Srilanka
Taj Exotica Bentota

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