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“Beautiful location, helpful staff with a few glitches.”

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Taj Bekal Resort and Spa, Kerala
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Bekal
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 26, 2012

Having traveled to several countries and lived in some of the Top hotels of the world, we have become a little picky and expect everything to be perfect. Here is our experience at this new Taj property in Bekal. We went there to celebrate my hubby's birthday and stayed in their Premium Temptation Villa which is the highest category of villa they have and yet not opened for the guests to book online. Some things were great and some things not-so-much. Whenever we expressed our concern, it was fixed. But being luxury travel connoisseur, we believe that we should not have to express our concern to get it fixed. It should be perfect from the beginning. However, we think it was a great property overall. If they fix just a few minor things and add more restaurants, it could be one of the top hotels in the country.

Some Pros:
1. Beautiful location - The hotel is situated around a river flowing into the sea. It looks so pristine and surreal.
2. Beautiful property - The property is a fusion of Kerala house-boat structure with a touch of Balinese arts and sculptures. Very warm and welcoming.
3. Everyone in the staff was extremely polite and had a ready-to-help attitude.
4. The food was great, especially for seafood lovers. They go out of their way and give you complimentary tasting of some special out of the menu food.

The Okay parts:

Airport Transfer:
We took an airport cab (Tata Indigo) to get to the hotel and it was a super bumpy ride. On the way back, we took the hotel's car - slightly better experience but without any music! The chauffer told us that the music system is not working and had gone for repair. They should have mentioned this when we booked the car. We don't expect paying Taj premium and have no entertainment for 2 hours! However, they were extremely kind to pack delicious kathi rolls and sandwich for our lunch - a very nice touch.

Our villa:
1. There was no Full length mirror in our villa. For 4 days we were there.. we didn't see ourselves fully. Quite surprising for Taj. So, please add one in every room/villa.
2. There was no Magnifying glass - A big problem when my hubby had to shave and I had to do my makeup.
3. One soap for 2 basins - unhygienic. You should have two soaps for two sinks.
4. When we arrived, our private pool had 4 earth-worms and 1 big grasshopper dead in the pool. When we called for someone to clean the pool, the pool cleaner came to our pool area from outside without informing us that he would be doing so. That was a big privacy concern as we had kept all our curtains open.
5. When there was no electricity, water pressure in the shower went away and there was no emergency light in the room and it became completely dark. UPS need to be installed in each room.
6. The way these bigger villas are designed, one can't enter the bathroom directly after dipping in the pool. Hence, after coming from the pool, you have to walk through the bedroom to go in the bathroom, making everything wet. Need to keep a drying mat at the bedroom-pool entrance.
7. The carpet below the bed smelled a lot due to moisture. Even spraying perfume didn't help. They need to be figure out what to do about that.
8. The A/C didn't work right. We set the temperature at 25 degrees at night as we very cold at night. The next morning when we got up, the A/C was cooling even more and the room temperature dropped to 22 degrees. So, we had to turn of the A/C. When we turned it off, the carpet started smelling a lot more.

Private dinner:
1. We were shown two locations in the afternoon and we picked our favorite for our private dinner. But when we came for our dinner, we found 10 people dinner arranged very close to ours as it was closer for the kitchen to serve dinners for both the parties. Obviously, it was no longer "private dinner". We complained and their table was moved and we got the private dinner. We shouldn't have to ask for it.
2. While discussing the dinner menu, the Executive Chef told us a 4 course menu starting with a salad. It was not served. We didn't bother to ask then as we liked what we had and we didn't want to keep complaining the entire night.
3. We particularly asked the chef no potatoes in our food. For the vegetarian course, we got potato and pea curry which we obviously sent back.
4. When our bill came, it was slightly more than what was quoted while booking the dinner. When we mentioned this to the front desk manager and he was kind enough to take out the extra. Again, we had to mention it.

In-room breakfast-
While ordering breakfast, we asked for continental breakfast which included eggs, danish pastries, tea or coffee. The room service person told us the menu has changed. No egg is included, you don't get any breakfast rolls. Anyways, we got so annoyed that we told them to send whatever we are ordering and charge extra if they need to. Our food arrived on time and the server said that the food will be on the house because of all the confusion. Well we got the new menus and we found that the new menu had only the name switched between continental and european and the price was the same for both. If it was me, I would have taken the order and understood what the guest was trying to order as everything was the same price anyways. Again, the hotel fixed the problem/confusion.

Archery:
We tried the archery the day we were leaving. The dart quality needs to be improved. It looks very low quality and the arrows don't really get stuck.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this property for a weekend getaway. You will get the same great Taj service and if something is not right, let them know and they will try to fix it.

Room Tip: Go for Premium Indulgence Villa with Pool or Premium Temptation Villa with Pool. Both are beautiful...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank shikhasf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 25, 2012

We came to Taj Bekal after quite a bit of research. Reviews suggested we were in for a good time but considering it was a new property and at a not-so-famous location, we were a bit circumspect. We had initially booked a premium indulgence room but changed it to deluxe room with plunge pool since it seemed to provide much more privacy. Must say, it was a really good decision. You can enjoy the smallish private plunge pool at ease. Overall, the experience was pretty amazing; the sea is so very near, you can hear the sound of the waves all through the property. The food was good and so was the service. All in all, Taj has done some fantastic work here. Well done!!

Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
Thank puneethere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 25, 2012

Wow! The location of property is such out of place, amazing, well it cannot be described in words how it soothes you. You have a small river / backwater flowing through the property,and it is full of birds, chirping around creating a nice atmosphere. You can lie on hammocks and enjoy the view.

There are bunch of activities on resort to keep you occupied, you have archery, croquet, angling, xbox, other board games, air hockey, carrom etc. We really enjoyed spending time able to play all this stuff and have fun.

There is a beach adjacent to property, the sea is quite rough and deep and few points, so it is not safe to go in, but was nice to stroll along the beach.

Coming to the room, we stayed in a premium indulgence pool villa, it was a superb villa and had a big enough pool, outdoor bathtub, outdoor shower, day bed, and 2 sun beds. Sun beds and pool had a nice view of the backwater, and we spent lot of time lying on the sunbed enjoying the view, birds etc. Room has a DVD player, and you can borrow DVD from reception. We looked around other rooms, and I felt superior charm rooms with balcony also had nice view of the backwaters .

Onto the worst part, the restaurant, it was not only utter chaos, it was only place where we felt not welcomed at all. I can go over and over about how bad restaurant was, but few main points here. On buffet there were no veg starters, (only 1 non veg starter), now i do not remember when was last time i had a buffet with no veg starters on it - absolutely strange. Live counters were really badly managed, they will say that dish will be sent to table, but it hardly used to come, and it was very chaotic, even with not so much rush. Some of the staff had really bad attitude, and it was like why have you come here. Again, there were many issues, but this section really needs to be pulled up, not more than 2/5 experience in restaurant.

Staff (except restaurant) was really nice and they will do everything to assist you, everyone, whether it be front desk, housekeeping, activity center was very nice and helpful.

It is really a gem, and with a better restaurant, it will become amazing place to visit.

Tip: to reach the place, one can easily take the taxi from airport (pre paid mangalore airport taxi) and use the same driver while coming back, it saves quite a bit of money.

Room Tip: Premium Indulgence Pool Villa, have river view, and thus are little less private, but we really enjo...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank puneet1622
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2012 via mobile

Have yet to come across a better resort in India.Great value for money too.

The staff better the usual Taj Service with excellent individual attention

Grab any offer from this hotel with both hands for excellent value and consider spending some money here even otherwise

The best spa of any hotel/resort that I've been to

  • Stayed: September 2012
    • Location
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Thank vyomesh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2012

The Taj Bekal is the most beautiful resort I have stayed at . It is indeed paradise on earth. An ultimate location to unwind at especially for those who work crazy hours and are hounded with work related communication. The resort is set in the midst of nature and is so peaceful that it helps you connect with your inner self.The elements of nature the sea, the backwaters and the greenery does a weary city dweller a lot good.
We stayed at the resort between from June 28 - 30, 2012 and should say it was the most beautiful experience of God's own country. The prevailing monsoon added to the existing charm of the place.
We were accommodated in room 418 which had a balcony with a queen sized bed swing overlooking the landscaped gardens and the backwater. The swing was such a comfy place to spend the lazy morning sipping espresso and browsing through the day's paper.
Another wonderful thing about the room was that it had an outdoor shower on the balcony adjoining the washroom. You could have a shower in the confines of the balcony which had a roll over reed blind which gave the user privacy from the outside world.
The room was impeccably clean and the housekeeping did a wonderful job getting the room organized each morning when we left the resort sightseeing. Each evening we returned to a well done room with fresh laundry and supplies in the closet.
The support staff was extremely helpful in getting umbrellas for us to come down to the all day dining restaurant because of the incessant rain at dinner time, and arranging for a buggy to get us around the resort.
A special word of thanks to Chef Sachin who showed me around the open kitchen and shared a few recipes and cooking tips.
I should say it was hospitality at its very best, quintessential the Taj. The duty manager, the reservation executives, front office staff, the housekeeping and all other support staff were extremely courteous, helpful and most of all obliging to assist with arrangements within the hotel as well as providing ideas for exploring Bekal and experiencing the local cuisine.
All in all the experience was great and would recommend anybody to stay at the Taj Bekal.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank thewanderess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2012

We loved everything at the hotel right from the time we stepped out from our car. Very friendly and helpful staff.
We had booked a premium indulgence pool room. Though initially, our plan was to also visit the spa and spend time at the beach, we couldnt do it as we could never get enough of our private pool. Food was excellent and cant comment much about the bar as we had our wine bottles delivered to room and was never at the bar really. I would really love to visit again. For sure.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank Navanith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2012

I stayed here for 3 Nights in the month of August. The hotel is indeed a paradise in the country of Gods. I wanted a Plunge room, but due to nonavailability, had to settle in a Tower room, though I was shifted the next day.

This resort indeed beats all your expectations and proves out to be far more than what you expect. The tower rooms provide a amazing view of the backwater and the sea. The Balcony has a large swinging divan, where you can simply spend the whole of your evening, provided someone helps you with the swings, which in my case was my three year old kid :). The food was just "all right" though the service was excellent and the staff ever friendly. The staff will go out of their way to help you with every minor needs that you may have. But this I can definitely say is a usual Taj signature.

I was a bit disappointed though as the hotel does not support all dongle networks, though this made my better half and kid quite happy!!! And in the evening you get nothing to do except spend time in the room or the restaurant.

But daytime was fun and the Plunge room more than makes up for any grudges you may have. The SPA as boasted by them is the biggest SPA in this part of the world and it does seem to be, being on a sprawling 2 and half acres.

It was a lifetime experience, and we liked the resort so much that we never bothered to visit the nearby Bekal fort too. The drive from Kasargod to Bekal is amazing and at this time of year the only visible color was GREEN.

A must visit, if you have a three day holiday for relaxing and rejuvenating.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Jayanto_mohanto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Taj Bekal Resort and Spa, Kerala

Address: Kappil Beach, Bekal 671319, India (Formerly Vivanta by Taj Bekal)
Phone Number:
Location: India > Kerala > Kasaragod District > 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: $153 - $473 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Taj Bekal Resort and Spa, Kerala 5*
Number of rooms: 71
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