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“Very disapointed”

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Vivanta by Taj - Bentota
Ranked #3 of 23 Hotels in Bentota
Certificate of Excellence
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Very disapointed”
Reviewed January 12, 2008

On arrival 31st Dec - every hotel we stayed at during tour someone opened the door and welcomed us sadly not this time. I was greeted with "what do you want"? i am no bag lady and take a pride in what i wear and my appearance . So i was taken to reception when i said we had a reservation. Having read other reviews i wanted to make sure we were given the orchid room we had paid for. I was told we were given a free upgrade to an orchid room?? next i was pounced on by another employee telling me i couldnt come to the gala new years eve ball as all the tables had sold out. At this point if our guide/driver hadnt left i would have departed "pdq" with him. I did explain ,1) we paid for an orchid room thankyou. 2) we also paid a small fortune for the gala dinner. They did find us a seat very much on the outside looking in, and would we like to reserve a bottle of chablis for which there were only 2 left at £92 per bottle? think you can work out the answer, still hadnt seen the room yet! apparently we had to pre select our wine for this dinner we picked a bottle of chardonay that cost £35 this was the cheapest on the menu. We arent short of a bob or two but detest passionatly being ripped off. Eventually we get to the room i was assured i wouldnt be disapointed in- only to find yes i was disapointed i was informed that the orchid rooms had been reciently redecorated that would be about 15 years ago?? bathroom was needing a desperate refit along with some of the other furniture. New Years Eve party started with a procession outside hotel with cultural dancing, elephants, a champagne reception , food was amazing never seen so much layed on before. Breakfast food excellent but a nightmare with guests barging in infront of you. We were told not to go half board as food is vert cheap , we twice went to the seaview sea food resturant which was ok, the rest of the time we used room service which was excellent. Staff were really great, room kept spotless , pool staff kept sun beds for anyone who asked and waiters kept everyone happy with drinks which went back to normal prices after new years eve. Only downside was last few days when large Russian group moved into hotel and seemed to take over.

  • Liked — Room Service
  • Disliked — Receptionists
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank Scottishwife_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (523)
Date | Rating
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English first
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
38 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2008

We stayed at the Taj from the 19-26 Dec, for 7 nts. We were not disappointed at all, as we have stayed in worst hotels through out our tour of Sri Lanka.
We stayed at the Orchid Room (601), we had 2 Balconies overlooking the sea. Magnificent view. We love it.

Overall the staff were very friendly, and always eager to please us. There is always enough chairs at the pool. The food was good at the Hotel, however we tried eating outside of the hotels at times. We ate at the Aida, suthanta (not sure of the spelling) , and wunderbar (they have a good Turtle Hatchery).

However we have to pay USD130 per person for the X'MAS eve dinner party(Compulsory), which I personally feel is overpriced by sri lankan standard.

Overall The Taj is a excellent place to stay.

  • Liked — Friendly staff, good and clean accomodation
  • Disliked — Overpriced Menus / X'MAS Party
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Bless55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Preston UK
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2008

Really nice hotel with wonderful views over the sea. Very friendly and helpful staff. Not too busy always sun chairs available. Take care with the sun which even on cloudy days is very strong.
Food good and reasonably varied. Food in specialist restuarants is excellent. Room very clean but just beginning to shown signs of wear. Certainly would go back.

  • Liked — Staff
  • Disliked — Needs some refurbishment soon
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank sinbad1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
worcestershire
Level Contributor
53 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed December 28, 2007

I read mixed reviews about this hotel on this site before I went, but the hotel is absolutley excellent. Rooms are clean & comfortable, the staff are very friendly & attentive,the food is really good. I can particularly reccomend the chinese restuarant in the hotel. The pool area is very comfortable,no problem with sunbeds,and like most hotels along the strip,it backs on to the beach so you can leave your gear by the pool safely,& have a swim in the sea. There was nothing in the way of entertainment in the hotel,nor in Bentota itself,this wasn,t a problem for me but might be for some.Sri Lanka itself is a lovely country,with really friendly people,can recommend getting a taxi or Tuk Tuk to the turtle hatching research centre nearby to look at that, & take a trip to Galle,and walk up to the fort which overlooks the city. For eating outside the hotel,try the Aida restaurant, Golden Grill, & the Wunderbar for superb grilled jumbo prawns.All in all I had a great experience of sri lanka,even the unseasonal rain storms couldn,t ruin it.

  • Liked — service & cleanliness
  • Disliked — no entertainment
  • Stayed December 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank dazmoz1969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Herefordshire
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed November 19, 2007

Just returned 18th Nov 07. Reading the reviews on this website before our visit i got very worried and now want to reassure anyone wanting to visit the Taj Exotica that it is a very pleasent place! This was our first time travelling outside of Europe and we certainly did get a culture shock when we arrived in Sri Lanka. I do agree with some reviews in respect with the star rating, in European standards, 3/4 star but in Sri Lanka a 5 star without a doubt! Our journey to the hotel we passed many hotels that looked like over sized shacks and very dated places but when we arrived we were pleasently suprised to find secruity, lots of staff and a high level of cleanliness. The pool is amazing, fresh water so no problems with stinging eyes or contact lenses.
The staff in the hotel are brilliant and will try and make your stay more enjoyable so you come back. Be warned of beach boys and random people who come up to you in the street, they will start off a perfectly normal conversation but it all ends in how much money they can get out of you. Would reccommend taking your tennis and baddminton rackets, we did and played every day (a little exhausting in the heat). There isnt much to do in the area apart from an exceptional water sports center called sunshine watersports. Some of their staff walk around the hotel advertising, not a rip off at all, good value for money. we went water skiing and wake boarding, staff at the center were very patient and good at their jobs, free taxi to and from the center with air conditioning (very important)!
Only draw back is entertainment in the eveenings. There are no local bars and it is apparently very dangerous to go out of the hotel grounds at night. The hotel can be quite boring at night enless you are in a large group that can make your own entertainment.
Hope this is helpful to people

  • Liked — the views and the pool
  • Disliked — lack of evening entertainment
  • Stayed November 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank annadonkey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
68 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed November 16, 2007

We have just returned from a 2 week stay at the Taj Exotica in Bentota and were delighted with the holiday. Our friends were getting married at the Eden hotel in Berewela (just down the road) but we stayed seperately, choosing the Taj Exotica for our holiday.

The hotel was fantastic, the staff were brilliant and it was certainly classed as a 5* hotel in Sri Lankan terms, however may be a 4* in European class. The food was fantastic, always a huge selection of fresh fruit, salads, vegetables and fish dishes. The entertainment was ok with live bands on every night and an evening of 'Sri Lankan Culture' with dancers once a week. The rooms had slightly dated furniture but the views were fantastic. We had a standard room with a sea view and could watch the sunset every night. Pool and restaurants were also great.

Outside of the hotel, there isn't really a great deal to do in the immediate vacinity. We did not eat outside of the hotel due to lack of restaurants in the area but visited our friends in the local Eden hotel and Club Palm Gardens in Berewela. We were able to get a tuk-tuk to a local supermarket for some provisions for 300SLR round-trip, just over £1.

We went with Virgin Holidays who work in conjunction with Walkers Tours, based in Sri Lanka. The transfer from the airport took about 3 hrs, though beware of the driving as it is like nothing I have ever seen before! We bought 2 excursions; a 1 day trip to Galle, visiting a turtle hatchery, moonstone mine and the Dutch Fort in Galle itself, which was taken over by the British about 50 years ago. Our 2nd trip was for 2 days, visiting herbal gardens, silk and wood factories, botanical gardens and the elephant orphange which I would strongly recommend. We stayed in a 4* hotel in the hill country which made the Taj Exotica look like a 7* hotel when we got back!!!

Overall a great holiday. The people were very nice though they do expect to be tipped for absolutely everything. They are really trying to increase the number of tourists to Sri Lanka so will do everything they can to make sure we come back with great reviews :)

  • Liked — Views from pool/room
  • Disliked — Staff expected tips for everything
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank jsh13980
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moscow, Russia
Level Contributor
44 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed November 4, 2007

We have just returned from Sri-Lanka, having spent fantastic holidays there. The hotel is very nice, all in all. The only drawback consists in rooms which seem quite old, with tired furniture and small bathroom which needs refurbishing. Although we did not pay much attention to such details as the landscape around the hotel was very picturesque and all the other hotel details (breakfast and dinner buffet, pool area, reception, beach etc.) were excellent. It is worth saying the ocean is stormy there throughout the year and you should be attentive while swimming. Huge waves all the time! Nevertheless we were enjoying swimming in the ocean 5 times per day since the water was clean and very warm. Within the hotel area one can see big lizards and palm squirrels - my wife liked feeding them from hands. Our package included a 4 day tour around the country but it is also possible to order all excursions at the hotel or buy tours from beach boys which could be essentially cheaper, no problems with that. I could recommend to visit Sigiriya, Dambulla, Nuvara-Eliya, Colombo, Kandy. Many ancient monuments, temples, dagobes - all very impressive. Not far from the hotel you can try boat tours around Bentota river, we were lucky enough to see crocodiles, snakes, tropic birds, big lizards in natural conditions. Turtle hatchery near Bentota and Elephant orphanage in Pinnawella are also nice places, worth visiting. Botanic Garden in Peradenya is a must! All in all our vacation was great. The hotel can be recommended as a good value for money (now they are offering very attractive prices, e.g. price of 7 days = 3 paid days). It is not a 5 star hotel, of course (I am almost sure there are no such beach hotels in Sri Lanka at all). But it is nice for quiet and relaxing vacations near the see, close to the places of Sri Lanka's cultural heritage

  • Liked — hotel territory, beautiful landscape, reception, large room
  • Disliked — tired furniture
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
7 Thank SergeiV
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 - Bentota

Property: Vivanta by Taj - Bentota
Address: National Holiday Resort, Bentota 80500, Sri Lanka
Phone Number:
Location: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Galle District > 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 Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Bentota
#2 Luxury Hotel in Bentota
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Bentota
#3 Spa Hotel in Bentota
#3 Romantic Hotel in Bentota
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Vivanta by Taj - Bentota 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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