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“Heaven on Earth!”

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Vivanta by Taj Bekal
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Bekal
Certificate of Excellence
Hyderabad, India
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Heaven on Earth!”
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
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Thank Charitra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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mumbai
Level Contributor
45 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
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
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Thank lovetravelling46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed October 19, 2012

This was a family trip with 3 couples staying in 3 Superior rooms. This was my first stay in a Taj property and it was all that we expected - the property is in an amazing location, the staff are ever-smiling, well-trained & eager to please and the service & attention given is perfect without being intrusive. The hotel is well connected (only 15kms to two (relatively) major railway stations).

The plus points (which vastly outnumber the minor niggles) are -

1. The picture perfect beach that adjoins the property.
2. The quick service with a smile each and every time we needed something.
3. The range of activities available at the property - fishing, kayaking (in a placid backwater lake), archery, etc.
4. The spread at the restaurant buffets (breakfast and dinner) was very good. Bibin and Kishore looked after us very well.
5. The rooms were spacious, beautiful and overlooked a lawn leading to backwaters.
6. Complete absence of mosquitoes in the whole area of the property - not in the balconies, not on the lawn, not beside the backwaters nowhere at all. I don't know how that's possible in that part of Kerala, but it is here. I didn't see a single mosquito all the time we were there, quite a miracle.

However, there were a few niggles / room for improvement -

1. The volume on the room telephones were pitifully low, even when we turned it up all the way. It was the same in all 3 rooms. I wouldn't mind if weren't so low that it was practically impossible to hear the person the other end, be it room service or another room.

2. The AC settings are a bit funny. In my parents' room, I set it to 25, but it never got warmer than 22 and they finally had to switch it off in the middle of the night to be able to sleep.

3. They should have given us a feedback form at the end of the stay, especially considering the fact that the property is relatively new and in a part of Kerala that does not see a lot of tourists.

4. The activity room was quite under-equipped, with just an xBox, a carrom board and something else. I would have expected a pool table and table tennis at the very least.

5. The security guard at the beach was a bit too eager to stop people from going into the water.

Everything said, it was an excellent choice and we will definitely come here again for a family holiday.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank RahulKaitheri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mysuru (Mysore), India
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed October 18, 2012

Not a luxury traveller generally, we decided to splurge for our 5th wedding anniversary at what i thought would be an excellent choice of hotel. I was not ENTIRELY wrong.

1>The room: We stayed in the deluxe delight room with a courtyard. Didn't opt for the one with a plunge pool as i've got a 3 year old who loves the water and didn't want to let him near a 5 ft deep pool. The room was excellent and spacious with every modern comfort incl an electric water kettle, a hair dryer, an lcd tv with dvd player and an iron. Three things that caused us a great deal of annoyance were the AC, the fan and the lack of running water in the toilet(only toilet paper was provided). The AC didn't cool lower than 25 degrees (which in the Kerala heat is not ideal). The fan, whether or not the regulator was turned to low, medium or high, rotated at the same pace. As for the toilet paper - it's an Indian hotel, in India, with a majority of it's customers being Indian. At least a health faucet could have been provided. Due to a couple of glitches in the room originally assigned to us (the fan wasn't working) we spent the entire afternoon with 2 men in our room trying to fix the fan. Later in the evening, we realised that the landscaping light wouldn't come on. After a couple of calls to the front office managers, we were shifted to another room around 7.30pm. That basically spoiled our first evening there. The closet was very funnily designed with most of the space being taken up by a safe. 3 small drawers which were too small of put any folded clothes in. Also, except for one in the bathroom, there were no hooks to hang clothes on.

2> Cleanliness: The room when we arrived appeared spotless, but on closer inspection we realised some empty shampoo bottles discarded around the fountain area and wet tissue paper on the floor of the outdoor shower. The outdoor bathtub was dirty and we had to give it a washdown before using it. Also, due to the numerous dogs on the property, our day bed and lounge chairs became home to 2 dogs who always seemed to be lurking around. Another notable con was that when the towels in the room were changed, the dirty ones were unceremoniously dumped on the chairs. Same for the used glasses.

3>The room amenities: seemed to differ from two rooms in the same category. The room we initially checked into had a beautiful duvet on the bed, a pair of slippers and 2 bathrobes in the closet. The second room however, didn't have the above mentioned but had a laundry bag, an in-house magazine and 2 extra towels.

4> The pool area: A large pool ranging from 3-51/2 feet in depth. Also had a 1.5 ft in depth kids pool. One major issue was that they kept running out of towels. My son and hubby were given one towel for the 2 of them. Another nice touch would have been if they could have had a few beach balls or floats for kids which they could have hired out on an hourly basis.

5> The restaurant: The highlight. For non-vegetarians like us, there was nothing more we could have asked for. Very courteous waiters and staff. We stuck to the buffet for all meals as the variety was fantastic.

6> Ivory Bar: Not too much in terms of decor, but the bartender made up for everything. We were unfortunate to go there when a large group of very loud people were present. Since it is a dome shaped room, their conversation was amplified. Every evening 2 guitarists sing in one corner of the bar. However, since no mic is provided to them, you will have to sit very close to hear them.

7> Jiva Spa: Not too much of a spa person, and since the spa was literally taken over by a large group of ladies, decided to give it a miss.

8> The Creche and Activities room: The creche had a decent selection on activities to keep a toddler amused. A see-saw, large foam blocks, a tv with cds and a few board games and stuffed toys. Could have done with a few cars or story books to keep a 3 year old boy happy. The activities room had a large tv with an x-box kinect and a few gadget and books besides an air-hockey and table and carrom board. However, here too, the AC was not working.

8> The staff: seemed very friendly and willing to help. However, thought some of them literally had smiles painted on.

9> The gift shop: A decent collection of artifacts, bags, designer clothes and jewellery and a few trinkets and stationary.

Would like to mention one more point. In the hurry and confusion at check-out, i left a bag containing a few things bought at the gift shop at their reception area. Realised the bag was missing only after I arrived home. When I called the front desk the next day, they assured me that they would courier it immediately. It reached me 2 days later.

Would I go back? Definitely! The cons were outweighed by the pros.

Room Tip: Take a room away from the pool to avoid the noise If you have small children a pool room may not be...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank DiyaFernandes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beijing
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed October 17, 2012

This resort sits unexpectedly in a delightful yet undeveloped section of the mid west coast. It only opened in 2011 but the operator and staff are clearly well trained and the resort facilitiies and program all new and first class. Its acctually pretty small which is a big plus. i would urge you to visit before it becomes really popular and the prices start to soar.I almost got the feeling we were part of the ttraining of treating guests very well at all cost. The beachside setting alongside a small inlet is very attarective and offers prorection when the off shore breeze is strong. Not much opportunity for local participation but enough to do in the resort itelf for a few days - early morning yoga on the lwan and and a swim before breakfast are highly recommended.

Room Tip: Even the inexepensive rooms are roomy and great - with a day bed and cool decor
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank beijingM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangalore
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed October 17, 2012

This is the 5th Taj property I have vacationed at and by far the worst of them, no way comparable the other Taj properties I have vacationed at.
I stayed at the Presidential Villa with plunge pool. We were a family of four, 2 adults and 2 kids.

The good:
1) Property is nice, with lot of greenery around.
2) Private access to a private Beach and Beach is clean and Ok
3) Staff are well intentioned and try to be helpful (but not successful)
4) I liked the lobby area, it is pleasingly done with water bodies

Now, Why this does not feel like a Taj property:
1) They goofed up my reservation!!! Come on, really, does that happen in Taj ? or anywhere in this era?
I made my booking online at Taj website for villa with plunge pool, since it was not available at that point of time, I made a reservation for a deluxe room with sit-out. I later sent the reservation details to the Vivanta Bekal with a request to let me know if the villas with plunge pool opens up. No answer to my mails. After a couple of days, I called up the hotel and lo, they say villa with plunge pool is available, so nice, I asked the person to upgrade, he put me on hold for a couple of minutes and told me it was upgraded and told me the new cost etc, I agreed to pay the additional cost during my visit.
During my check-in, I discovered I was allotted the sit-out villa, on confronting them regarding the telephonic confirmation to my upgrade, they claimed that the upgrade request never reached them. Unfortunately I did not have any proof of this as all the upgrade discussion happened on telephone. Later that day, they offered me a paid upgrade to presidential villa with plunge pool, I ended up taking that paying additional $$$$ as I had promised my kids a pool in room. It is another matter that the plunge pool turned out to be useless, see below.

2) Design Issues
- No thought applied for guest needs, example, the wardrobe does not have shelves, only the hanger bar plus small weirdly designed, ultra small drawers. You cannot unpack :-(
-The plunge pool is neither small not big, which I can live with, but it has uniform depth of 5 feet throughout, how are the kids supposed to play? and neither is it good for adults, it is too small to be a swimming pool, and too deep to sit and relax. Wonder what purpose it serves?
-Lighting at night is very bad
-Weird telephone, cordless actually, thought it was cool, but, you can hardly hear the person on the other side, each time volume resets to low ........
-AC settings are weird, I set a temperature, it blinks and shows something else, ex: I set temperature to 22 deg, it blinks twice and shows 25 deg….later found out it always shows the current temperature and not what you set, so you wait long enough, say like 30 mins, it should show the temperature you set, at least, theoretically, never saw it happen, all the 3 days it kept showing up some numbers.
-TV and DVD player, but no DVDs, you need to carry your own movies
3) Restaurant
- Buffet spread out is meager, only one starter, alternated between vegetarian and non-vegetarian daily. So, if you are vegetarian, every other day you don’t have starters, which was 2 of the 3 days we stayed in. First buffet spread, where I was still hungry and did not what else to try. Need I say more....
- Live counter is slowest I have seen, you need to remind your order many times, are they under staffed?
- No change in salads, desserts, most of main course in the 6 meals we had, only 4 or 5 dishes were changing, rest were exactly the same. (I dont consider orange mousse to strawberry mousse as a change !)
- Breakfast spread was just Ok again, dosas were too slow in the live counter, no change in spread on both days
- Service is pathetic, again, are they understaffed? What you order never turns up, and may turn up after multiple reminders, they are so bad that everyone was reminding them and it becomes even more pathetic …..
-some dishes in dessert section and salad section did not have name plates, and it happened on all the days I stayed, had to ask what it was.


Over all, very disappointing, especially for a Taj and considering the price paid. Hope they improve.

Room Tip: If you want a room with plunge pool, please see my review above, likely to be useless, better take t...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank sudindra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kolhapur, India
Level Contributor
44 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed October 14, 2012

Vivanta by Taj - Bekal, is one of their best kept secrets till date, you will discover some of the most amazing pleasures and experiences life has to offer. Seek the backwaters and you will find it running across the property as seamlessly as the Kappil beach shoreline touches the manicured lawns and landscaped gardens. See the local flavor of North Kerala combined with Balinese influences in laterite stone sculptures.

the room - the stylish villas and rooms with Kettuvallam houseboat motifs woven in Balinese design and laterite lined exteriors spread over landscaped gardens which embrace the backwaters and kiss the Kappil beach shore. we choose the premium indulgence with a private pool, which over looks the backwater. it really makes you feel Relaxed, Refreshed, Energized. the little splash pool in the room is just so superb, that you just don't want to get out. the only concern here was that the backyard didn't seem to be much secured, it was more open, & this could disturb your privacy. the room was clean spacious n very luxurious. it also had a day bed in the form of a swing where you could just laze out.

the bathroom was huge, with his & hers basin, indoor shower and an outdoor rain shower, & also an outdoor tub, which beautifully lit up at night.

latitude - the restaurant - Be pleasantly surprised to find some of Bekal’s most celebrated food offerings just around the corner. Latitude - the multi cuisine restaurant, with an accent on regional Kerala cuisine.. they have a wide spread of the buffets. the breakfast is very energizing, with fresh fruits n juices, south n north indian style preparations. the food here is very delicious, the variety would just tempt you to go beyond your capacity.

the staff - always smiling, caring & ready to help. they will make sure that you really are very comfortable with all the amenities & facilities provided in your room. be it the housekeeping staff or the room service, always there for your help, n to fulfill your needs & requirements. call for the buggy on day 1, n the attendant will drive you around the property to give you the feel of the spread of the property.

other activities - one can go kayaking in the backwaters, explore the bekal fort, enjoy an evening walk on the kappil beach & watch the beautiful sun set. you even have live cooking on certain days. the fitness center you can head to, to burn off those extra calories, the jiva spa, its the best. it really rejuvenates you.

we went there for my birthday celeberation, they really made it very special for us, with room decoration n a complimentary birthday cake. it was my 1st stay at a taj property, & they reaaly live up to their standards & name. Enjoy the sea breeze. Lush gardens. Swinging palms. Serene backwaters. And nestled across 26 acres their cottages and villas play hide & seek. Sit under swinging day beds. Stretch on deck chairs. Explore open spaces which are refreshingly breezy.

Very modern. Very in.

thank you TAJ ...!!!

Room Tip: premium indulgence with a private pool ....they are really very exotic
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank raj25918
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

Property: Vivanta by Taj Bekal
Address: Kappil Beach, Bekal 671319, India
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 (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Vivanta by Taj Bekal 5*
Number of rooms: 71
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