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Vivanta by Taj - Bentota
Ranked #3 of 25 Hotels in Bentota
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 10, 2006

After a fantastic Tour of Sri Lanka we arrived at the Impressive Taj Exotica, with a fabulous welcome and given straightaway the room we requested.
Very comfortable, all the things you need for a relaxing holiday.
Food and service excellent. Nice pool with plenty of shade.
Weddings going on so lots to watch. Staff friendly.
Beautiful Beach, but hotel is up much higher than you think to the beach. Besides stairs there are lifts.
Enjoyable evening entertainment. Definitely 5Star overall.
No snorkelling from beach but had an enjoyable snorkle from boat trip.
Had a deep sea fishing trip, but did not catch a fish. BUT saw 30 Humpback Whales. They came so close to boat that I could touch them. It was one of the most amazing experience of my life, seeing these 40 ft mamals comming so slose, swimming along the boat, sticking their heads out to look at me. Unbelievable, unforgetable. Like Sri Lanka itself. Definitely would go back.

13  Thank mike_StAlbans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,062 - 2,068 of 2,402 reviews

Reviewed August 4, 2006

After a very long flight I found having no air conditioning in the airport quite uncomfortable. Also having to carry my 7 month old son without a buggy (they took it in the hold and we never got it back until we collected our luggage) this was most annoying and uncomfortable. When we collected our luggage we headed towards the exit looking for our guide, he told us to follow a porter who ran on ahead and left us battling through the crowds not knowing where to go, which wasnt the best of experiences. Anyway we all got onto the coach together-there was 17 adults and 4 children going for my sisters wedding so it was good we were all on the same coach. However it was a long journey for us all especially after 10 and a half hours on a plane another 3 and a half hours on a bus is just way too much!!! When we got to the hotel it was like wow we are in another world I have never seen such a beautiful hotel ever and the service as soon as we came through the door was fantastic couldnt fault it. However it was a different story when we got to our room, it smelt terrible so mouldy and the sheets were damp. We also got an infestiation of ants-however they were quick in clearing this so this wasnt really a problem. The decor in the room wasnt really all that great i have seen better in a 3 star hotel in majorca this is supposed to be 5 star!! These are all negatives however we did have some great experiences too. My sisters wedding for example was almost perfect the wedding coordinator did a fantastic job, organising the colour of the flowers,even the lettering and colour of the cake. I have got one thing to add however, the registrar was very softly spoken and the roar of the sea didnt help us hear any of the vows, I had to sush everyone as they did not know it had started, maybe a pa system in the future may help. The candlelit dinner was a lovely touch in the seaview restaurant although it was at an extra cost. I would recommend the fruit cocktails at the swim up bar-the bar staff are so friendly they made me a necklace out of the local flowers-nice touch. We enjoyed the food in the hotel and the chef in the hotel was very accomodating he made my son a meal every day, saved me buying baby food and he enjoyed it so much more. We enjoyed the trips we went to however the elephant sanctuary should be done in 2 day trip dont attempt it in a day - it took 4 hours there and 4 hours back in a coach and you barely got to scratch the surface of the sanctuary, they took you to a lovely restaurant overlooking where the elephants took a bath. We also went to see the turtle hatchery which was good too. The journey home was an adventure though, we never thought we would get everyone and the luggage on the "minibus" everyone was cramped up and the luggage was on the bus with us cos there was no room in the luggage hold. All in all though we did have a good holiday and the wedding did go almost according to plan the staff in the hotel are really friendly and efficient but i think that the standard rooms should be refurbished to the same standard as the rooms on the 6th floor-my sister got an upgrade to room 604 and her room was the standard that you would expect of a 5 star hotel-whats that all about??

  • Stayed: July 2006
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7  Thank caz_leys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2006

Lovely hotel, had plenty of bars and restaurants and lovely views. Prices higher than we'd expected (not far from London prices) but I suppose that's what you expect from 5 star hotels!

Looking around at local hotels I think this is the best one in bentota but if you haven't already finalised your destination maybe think about heading further down the coast as there isn't a tremendous amount to do there.

Approx 3 hour journey from airport although the driving kept it 'interesting'!

WARNING: DO NOT go to the Aida restaurant by the lagoon. They ripped us off and tried to intimidate us into paying nearly 6 times the price we wanted to pay for something we didn't order by having 3 waiters stood round us muttering aggressively in Sri Lankan. Better to stick with the hotel restaurants or maybe there are better ones elsewhere in the resort (although we didn't notice any)

  • Stayed: July 2006, traveled with friends
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9  Thank andrewwhiteuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Edinbrgh, Scotland
117
Reviewed July 3, 2006

Myself and my wife stayed at the Taj Exotica from the 18th June-3rd July 2006 and had overall had a good time on our honeymoon.

After a long 10 hour flight, the 3 hour drive to the hotel does require some patience as the roads were very busy in the afternoon and it was very hot and stuffy on the journey there, some erratic driving from the locals can also leave you on edge!

Once we arrived at our hotel we found the staff to be very friendly and found our standard room to be comfortable.

As we stayed on a half board basis we were able to have a breakfast and dinner buffet in the Palms Restaurant where we found the food to be of decent quality and there was some choice although more choice might have been nice.

The Seaview Restaurant was fairly expensive but definitely worth a vist as the food was excellent and still a lot cheaper than if you visited the same kind of restaurant in the UK.

The other restaurant was a Chinese called the Oriental Pavilion which only had 4 tables open due to refurbishment from the damage caused in the Tsunami but we were given a table on some wooden decking by the sea which made for a romantic meal and found the food nice.

The hotel bar offered good service and some tasty snacks, although some of the evening entertainment could have been better!

There was also a bar in the pool where you could relax during the day with a drink in the sun and found the food service around the pool to be good.

The hotel also offered room service (food) around the clock which was good for when it got too hot and offered another variation from the restaurants.

The hotel has a health and beauty spa which my wife visited, it is set in very relaxing scenery but is not cheap and my wife also felt the staff were talking about her throughout her treatment.

It would have been good to be able to have enjoyed the beach more but some constant pestering by the locals for money etc made this irritating, a trip to the local village will also see you approached by a lot of locals looking to talk to you and try and get some money out of you by offering there services.

We found a lot of the trips were 4 or 5 hours away which put us out venturing out much as we didnt want to travel for such long times on our honeymoon although we did hear the trips were worth seeing.

The staff were very friendly and they would go out of their way to help you, it was great to be treated so well and the staff do rely on tips and theres no doubt they do there best to obtain a tip at every opportunity (especially the cleaning staff who were never away from our door!)

This hotel is definitely best for people who like to chill out and relax and take it easy, if you've got itchy feet you may find yourself getting restless as there is not a lot to see locally and you may find the holiday monotonous.

Overall we had a good time and the hotel and staff left a favourable impression on us and we both had a very enjoyable and relaxing time.

  • Stayed: June 2006
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17  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2006

My wife and I got married on the 23rd June 2006 at the Taj Exotica. Bentota. (Becci & Steve)

We booked our trip through Hayes And Jarvis in England back in April.

The Taj is a lovely hotel in wide grounds with a huge swimming pool. with four restaturants. It is located on the beach in Bentota.

The staff were very hospitable and welcoming. They made us feel we were family.

The rooms had just had had a bed upgrade and the matress was soooo cumfortable.

Most nights we ate in the palms restaurant on the buffett which was very extentive in its choice of delights some thing for every ones taste.

The wedding itself was a traditional Sri Lankan one (our choice) and was wonderful full of meaning and exotic. The mangament of the wedding arrangement ws very proefessional by virshika.

We also had time to try out their spa facilities "JIVA" very relaxing made to fell like a king and queen.

Some rviews said the Taj was tired - I tried to find evidence of this but could not find it.

We loved the Sri Lankan people who are very geniunely friendly.

If we were going back to Sri Lanka we would consider saying at the Taj again.

Hope this review helps.

Just got our wedding pics back - amazing will cherish forever!

  • Stayed: June 2006
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13  Thank ZIMUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
29
Reviewed June 25, 2006

Just returned from a 2 week holiday at the Taj. I was disappointed with the hotels location, there is nothing near the hotel, no shops or restaurants. We managed to find a nice restaurant at the bottom of the road called AIDA and we would recommend the Wunderbar restaurant along the beach. The hotel itself has 3 restaurants a normal buffet which has lots of spicy curries but there wan't enough variety and after 2 days we became bored of the food. The seafood restaurant is nice but extremly over priced and the chinese restaurant had little choice. We wanted to do lots of trips but they were at least a 4 1/2 trip there and we met a couple who had taken 7 1/2 hrs to get back from the elephant orphanage. The roads are pretty lethal with bikes and tuks tuks everywhere. The people are nice but we didn't appreciate the fact we were constantly asked for money. We don't think we will be returning to this hotel definitely not a 5* we have stayed at much nicer 3* and we won't be going back to Sri Lanka.

  • Stayed: June 2006
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4  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Cornwall, England
16
Reviewed June 9, 2006

We went to stay at the Taj Exotica in December 2005 for our Honeymoon and it was the most amazing place we have ever been. The location is fantastic, the Hotel was beautiful, clean and the staff couldn't do enough to help you. I agree that the journey from the airport was not very pleasant and took for ever and it is quite a culture shock to see some of the run down areas that you pass through but it is worth the wait when you get to Bentota as the scenery is stunning! The locals are lovely too, and we made some wonderful friends and it made our stay all the more special! I would highly recommend a stay at the Taj Exotica and we will definately be returning in the future.

  • Stayed: December 2005
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6  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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

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 Romantic Hotel in Bentota
#3 Spa Hotel in Bentota
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Bentota
Price Range: $159 - $680 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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