We have just returned from a five night stay at the Taj. We were in Deluxe Delight Sea view room with breathtaking views over the golden sandy beach adjoining the hotel over the spectacular Indian Ocean. Our room was spacious, clean, tastefully decorated ,regularly cleaned and maintained to a high standard. There were tea and coffee making facilities in our room and everything worked (TV, remote, phone, services etc). Many of the negative isues raised in 2012 feedback stream, seem to have been resolved. The refurbishments are finished.
The Taj has three(?) eateries. The Palms is the biggest and hosts breakfast, buffet dinner, lunch and snacks. The Shack specialises in seafood and has amazing views over the ocean and a fine dining restaurant. We didn't try this one so have no comments.
We picked the Taj almost as a second thought. Having first considered the Avani, a bit further down the same beachfront, we decided to pay a bit more for the Taj hoping to put ourselves a bit further away from the train track which runs along the back of the hotel. Although the trains were not an issue (there aren't that many anyway ), the Taj turned out to be a fantastic choice. The layout of the hotel is open and sapcious and it has a friendly, non-corporate, homely feel. The swmming pool sits high on a clifftop plateau and the views (west and and east) looking out over the beautiful golden sandy beach are truly spectacular.
Specifically, the breakfast and lunch buffet at the Palms restaurant which adjoins the pool, presents a wide choice of dishes which includes Indian, Continental,Sri Lankan and has a good range of deeserts. Every day both at breakfast and at dinner, the chef and his team circulated among the guests ensuring everything was running well and they went to extraordinary lengths to make sure that we were well looked after. Everyone, from the check-in staff to the exec housekeeper took the trouble to talk to us and were sociable, willing and curious about the quality of our stay and nothing was too much trouble.Can't praise them highly enough.
We prefer to stay at places which scores highly on the personal stuff. We will put up with small discomforts or inconveniences if the staff take a genuine interest in their guests and pride in their jobs. We find that these qauities are becoming increasing rare in the stifling corporate atmosphere of the big chains that present a fabulously ornate lobby downstairs and miles of prison like corridors upstairs. We are neither reassured nor comforted by the philosophy of familiarity and prefer to experience a true flavour of the places we visit. The Taj has this unique character and we hope it doesn't go 'corporate'.
For a different dining experience, try some of the restaurants located further along the beach. Turn left out of the hotel on to the beach and walk about five hundred yards or so for some options. There is a turtle hathcery along there as well. Also cross the railway line using the overbridge in front of the Fragipani reaturant, to the 'Samantha' (?) restaurant with the fabulous and evocative courtyard staright out of a film set, which is accessed from the platform.
Two suggestions for improvement. 1. Free Wi Fi (even the 4 star Cinnamon and others, offers this) and 2. Decaffeinated coffee, please!
- 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