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“Fantastic property, visit before rest of the world discovers it”

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Taj Bekal Resort and Spa, Kerala
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Bekal
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 10, 2013

This is a relatively new property by vivanta set on a pristine beach and backwaters. About 1.5 hours from mangalore airport, the place reminded us of what goa would have been like when it started out. We hear now that around 20 resorts are being planned in the area. So get there before the place gets overrun.

We had the top category room (with a private plunge pool) and an outside sitting area overlooking the backwaters. Everything about the place from the rooms to the service was fantastic.

The hotel has private access to a beach which is completely clean and largely secluded. and one tip...you can walk along the beach to bekal fort in about 30-45 minutes and avoid paying rs. 900 for the nice but expensive hotel taxi.

Which brings me to some teething challenges:
- there is nothing to do outside the resort besides a few small excursions, so after 3 days the place can become dull
- they do good local food, but could pay more focus to fresh sea food and doing other options besides Kerala style curries. Having said that the head chef was more than accommodating for any special requests
- because all activities are confined to the hotel. It can become expensive over a short stay. The basic price of food/treatments is in line with top end prices, but add the taxes on top and it adds almost 25% to the final bill

On balance the price is worth paying for the luxury you get and the service is signature taj, so they will make sure you are well looked after

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Vgupta_21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,288 - 1,294 of 1,418 reviews

Reviewed February 4, 2013

My husband and me stayed here for 2 nights in January. Absolutely beautiful property is only about one and half hours away from Mangalore airport. Our pool villa was awesome, with an indoor plunge pool 4.9 meters deep so you can actually swim, swing bed, open air bath and shower as well as indoor. the attention to detailing in every aspect amazing, the beach is beautiful and one evening it was just 2 of us on the entire beach. The spa is also good, Prakash the Spa Manager was very helpful in choosing new treatments and accpeting comments as well :) besides this food is average and so are the drinks at the bar, with a very limited menu. The seafood restuarant By the Bay is nice though and Manoj the manager was very helpful. The common pool and the river running past is also nice to spend an evening at. We understood that its all new staff and no old staff from any other Taj properties is here. Besides Prakash and Manoj the rest of the staff has a long way to go to attain the Taj hospitality. We have stayed at many Taj properties around the worrld but this one lacked the staff courtesy which all people who have stayed at the Taj would know what I mean... howver all in all beautfiul place to go to and put your feet up and just relax!!!!!!

Room Tip: take a room with a pool
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank KomalSolomon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2013

Bekal by the Taj group of hotels in India shows how the hospitality business is run. Bekal is a resort on the Karnataka and Kerala airport accessible from Mangalore airport in a bone jarring 2 hours drive. However, on reaching the resort one is greeted by the warmth and attention to service that is typical of the Taj Group. The resort itself is made up of regular rooms and private villas similar to other Taj properties all over India. The resort is on a U shaped back water of Kerala ending in a sand cul-de-sac that opens onto the beach and the ocean. The place is perfect for a three to four day get away. The Bekal resort is named after the eponymous fort which is about 7 kms away. Though we did not visit the fort we did take the opportunity to take a cruise on a river about 35 kms away on a house boat. Alas, that house boat was not owned by the Taj and left much to be desired. However, the perfect place to spend three to four days is on the resort being pampered by the staff and doing nothing but enjoying the and excellent Kerala cuisine of which a lunch on their banana leaf plantains is a must. A word of caution; the liquor is heavily taxed and frightfully expensive so do not order imported liquor with out looking at the price tag. All in all a pleasant experience.

Room Tip: If you are willing to spend then DON'T go for the regular rooms and opt for the villas with priv...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Pankaj M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2013

If there is Utopia in this world, then it is at the Vivanta by Taj, Bekal. IF, we could press the 'PAUSE' button once in our life, we would do it here.

An experience which remains indelible and re-lived time and again through a journey back in time.

We stayed at this property for 2 nights from the 28th December in their top end Premium Tempatation Villa with a plunge pool and day bed.

I have lots to write about, however let me begin with the essentials first :-

Getting there :- You can fly in to Mangalore Airport and take a taxi from the (Bajpe) Airport to reach Bekal in about 1-1/2 hours. The roads are not the best especially with some bad stretches. If you have no hang-ups in taking a train for a short journey, I suggest that you go there by train. We took the Mangalore - Chennai Express from Mangalore Central Station,this train starts at the crack of dawn around 6.55 am. We got down at the Kottikulam Station.at 8 am and walked out to flag down an auto, which took us to the Taj property for a humble Rs 30 and in less than 8 minutes. You can also ask the hotel to send a car for you, however they would charge you so accordingly.

Property & the Room :-
Spread over 27 acres of lush greenery, with the backwaters and the sea for company, coupled with the exemplary Taj service, you cant ask for more. I have been fortunate enought to have travelled and stayed in some of the top resorts across many countries but this property beats them hollow. The Villa ( # 511) we had booked had a huge drawing room with a dining table, an attached pantry(microwave, iron etc) a spacious bedroom and a bathroom. The bathroom was equipped with a steam facility. A luxury not experienced hitherto. There were 2 TV's and useful, if holidaying with kids. We had reached the hotel a good 5 hours before the check in time and the front office check in was seamless, we spent the time in the library area and walking around the property. As a gold Inner Circle Member, I had requested for an early check in and we could check in around noon.

The beds were of the right size, mattresses very comfortable -just as we like it -neither too soft nor too hard. The plunge pool area is the icing on the cake, deck chairs and the day bed over looking the lush greenery, you can cuddle with a book to the chirping of birds. While this area is secluded, the occupants of the next door villa on the upper floor do get a view of the pool.

Restaurant & the Food :-
The breakfast buffet spread is really very nice and healthy, 2 distinct sections in the layout, one being for fruits, cereals, cold cuts and juices the other being for traditional Indian fare like steaming hot appams, idlis, parathas etc. The lunch buffet spread however could be better. Would suggest going a la carte for lunch.We usually would keep dinner light. They make some excellent club sandwiches which are highly recommended. The Bar and restaurant are adjacent to each other with an open seating area where we would prefer to sit. They have a sea food restaurant recently opened but the fare offered was limited and prices obnoxiously high.

The Beach & Back Waters:- Is a nice 3-4 minute walk or a minute drive on the golf carts provided by the hotel. Deck chairs are provided on the beach. You could also use cycles provided by the resort to get there, Do go to the back water area, they have provided some hammocks and chairs where one could spend some lovely moments of tranqulity.

Jiva Spa :- a jewel in the crown of the Taj, treatments are not cheap but you do get discounts if you are an Inner Circle Member, I got a 20 % discount. We just spent the whole morning up to lunch at the Jiva Spa. I opted for the aromatherapy massage for 90 minutes. Prior to the massage, I took a 15 minute Jacuzzi bath. Truly divine, I was the only person there. The masseur was superb to say the least.

Kids activities- there is a play room with board games and a play station equivalent. Besides that there is kayaking, archery etc.

Did we go to see the Bekal Fort, NO. We kept that as a reason to return back to this property. We just enjoyed staying at the property itself.

Is there anything that I wish could have been better, YES, off course:-
1) The air-conditioning- needs to be improved in the rooms. Gets a tad bit warm some times.
2) The room service tariff needs to be seriously reviewed as I found it relly high.

Mr Unni Krishnan, The Front Office Manager was there to see us off. The staff from Jiva came to hand over a small fragrant oil which we loved, just before we checked out...

SMALL touches that make a BIG difference.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank PrashRao
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2013

Was there to celebrate my daughter's 2nd birthday with 3 other couples and their children. Was fortunate i took the villa rooms.. the rooms themselves - simply awesome... indoor plunge pool, swing bed, outside/inside bath, beach beds, gardens , more and more... highly recommend you take these rooms.

Food, in taste nice... but service, specially room service a bit slow... that simply just maybe due to the size and distances between places.

Spa - superb. must do. one of the best in the country.

hospitality - staff are very friendly, hospitible and make sure all your needs are met.

Room Tip: their premier villar rooms are a must.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Bhartia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2013

This is a new property of Taj. Nicely done up with water bodies and greenery within the premises. The beach is at walking distance but extremely rough. Plenty to do within the property: nice swimming pool, fantastic spa, kids room. The rooms are spacious and done aesthetically combined with modern amenities.

We spent all our time in the property. Nothing much close by except for some temples. Made a trip to Bekal fort which is close by. Very enjoyable.

Food was awesome at the hotel. Breakfast spread very good and lunch/dinner also was one of the best we had. Clearly superior chefs specialised in continental, north indian and south indian.

Staff very attentive and services very good. Overall we had a good time.

Room Tip: the cottages are spacious. Take the ones closer to the stream running thru the property
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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Thank vinodgiyal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

We celebrated our friends 40th bday n had n absolute blast! We went in sept 2012. We had our plunge pool cottages, though I guess no one used them as all day we would laze party n dance at our friends cottage. :):) The property is fabulous. It's the perfect getaway. Even for just the weekend. It has a perfect balance of everything , beach, backwaters, spa, pool, gym, yoga room. The landscaping is lovely n a huge stone Ganesha welcomes you at the entrance to the resort . If u wanna laze all day by the pool or curled up with a book on your own private swing in the villa, this is just the place for you. And the Taj hospitality is the icing on the cake. All in all, a Great Getaway.

Room Tip: The villas are fabulous . Else go for a room that faces the backwaters. Very serene.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank karishmagarwal
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: $152 - $439 (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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