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“Beautiful retreat”

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Vivanta by Taj - Kumarakom
Ranked #5 of 26 Hotels in Kumarakom
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 6, 2012

I booked Taj Kumarakon based on the wonderful reviews on Tripadvisor and I'm glad I did. I would not like to repeat all the stuff that everyone else has mentioned in their reviews.

1. Though the lagoon facing rooms are very good with lovely view of birds and lagoon, you may try the luxury villas if you are looking for more privacy for a little extra. The villas face a pond in the backyard and is a great sight with small tortoise in the pond, lots of pigeons and other birds...(pictures attached)
2. Don't miss the country boat experience ( ideally in the morning or evening ) where a local takes you on a rowing boat through the villages. You get to see local life and also stops for a local drink ( toddy ) if you wish to try. It cost just Rs 350 per hour and is arranged at front desk.
4. Skip the early morning bird sanctuary walk ( unless it is the migratory season for birds ). It was disappointing as we spotted only 3 birds during our walk. There are hundreds of birds in the property itself (even the birds prefer 5* to a sanctuary)
5. With all the birds around, it is a very difficult property to maintain, but Taj has done a very good job.

I agree with most reviewers, there is no hospitality like Taj and this one probably surpasses the others as well. Nitya and Mitto from front desk made our stay memorable and had some surprises planned for our special day. Bibin and Suresh from the restaurant made every meal a pleasure with individual attention. Ravindran and team has activities to engage and entertain the kids.

Room Tip: Luxury rooms have more privacy
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Ashid_Md
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sibi_Mathew, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj - Kumarakom, responded to this reviewResponded October 12, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review of the hotel.We are glad you had an enriching experience with us.
We are glad that you mentioned the bird sanctuary and the country boat experience.
The country boat experience through the narrow canals is indeed a magical experience.Only until 10 years back,one could access the resort by water alone.With modernisation,roads and bridges have now come up and one has now forgotten the traditional means of transport which continues to have a charm of its own.It exposes you to how the local people in Kumarakom lead their lives.
We look forward to welcoming you back to the resort yet again very soon.

Thanks and regards
Sibi Mathew

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935 - 941 of 1,267 reviews

Reviewed October 5, 2012

First of all, kudos to the management of Taj Vivanta for coming to our rescue when our plans changed at the nth minute. They arranged two rooms for us and we were able to salvage our 5 day trip to Kerala. Next, let me tell you how beautiful the view from our room was. Our sit out/Balcony faced a beautiful artificial lake. There were a few steps leading down to the lake, where birds kept swooping down frequently. At night, the perimeter of the lake was illuminated by Diyas kept all around it. The room that we stayed in was good. Spacious and clean.The resort had cycles (albeit a bit rusty, rickety and of weird sizes) that one can use both inside the resort as well as outside (like if you want to go cycling to nearby tourist attractions./hotels, etc.) There is a pottery class that can keep kids enthralled. They get to create stuff for a certain amount. There is a spa as well.
Now to the not-so-great points:
The bathroom was a little too small. The shower curtain kept brushing against my hand and it was a bit annoying.The loo did NOT have a hand faucet!!!! I mean come on, even 3 star hotels have hand faucets in the loos. It was pathetic. They had kept a mug for our use!!! A big turn off.
Next: we checked in at 10.45 and so the buffet was closed (thank god for that-I'll tell you why later). The reception told us that we could order breakfast from a coffee shop as the kitchen was closed, and that we could avail the buffett the next day. We told him that meals were not part of our package. He replied that our breakfast for the next day was part of the package. Well, we were pleased as punch at this supposed upgrade. We went to the coffee shop where the only thing available was sandwhich. (Dosa apparently takes 45 minutes to make. I have no idea why). We ordered grilled veg s/w. We were told that the filling is tomato and cucumber. The s/w took 30 minutes!! and what did we get? exactly what we ordered. Tomato and cucumber s/w. My point? The s/w had ONLY tomato and cucumber. Nothing else. No salt/pepper/mayo/cheese/butter. The serving was huge. 4 Pieces. Usually they give 2 or 3 pieces when it is grilled. Horrible tasting, jumbo sized s/w! Swallowing it was a feat! and it cost us 350 per s/w . For 4 of us, the bill came to 1650. I know that this is the price that you pay in 5 star restaurants/resorts. But come on... the food has to be edible, right? It was a total rip off! Next: Lunch. Hubby and I ordered (wisely, i thought) aapam and thial. A local dish. And, well, when the Maitre'd asked us how it was, we admitted that it was the worst thial we had ever eaten. I am a big fan of the dish and my grandma makes it so delicious, though she is not a mallu. My hubby was brought up in Trivandrum and knows what the dish is supposed to taste like. Trust me, I have not put anything that tastes so vile in my mouth.It was so bad, that I tried eating the aapam with dal makni and pickle.
That evening, we went on a speed boat ride. It was fantastic. The next day, we strolled in to the buffet. Most of us hardly ate anything coz the food was beyond pathetic. The vadas took forever to be made. I was given the vadas directly from the pan-without draining it on the tissue first. The idlis had a hard coating and a slimy core. It was weird. the only thing worth having were the fresh fruit juices and omlettes. To our great shock, we were charged 800 per head for the breakfast!! it was a total rip off. A whopping amount of 3300 for food that should have been thrown in the bin. Not only was the food not worth it, but they actually told us the previous day that it was included in the package. Since we were in a hurry to check out (we had to go to a boat house near by that would sail in an hour), we did not argue about this .We came away with a very bitter taste in our mouths. Well, u know what they say-Once bitten..... I will learn from this lesson and make sure that everything is crystal clear during the check in. One tip- You can avoid this unnecessary expense by having meals at "Lakshmi resorts" which is just 1/2 km away. It had delicious food which we relished (dinner the previous night)

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank NamrathaRao
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sibi_Mathew, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj - Kumarakom, responded to this reviewResponded October 12, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your feedback of the property.Whilst we are happy that you were delighted with most aspects of your stay with us,we are sorry that your food experiences were not as positive.
Would request you to treat it as an exception and we do hope to be of service to you yet again in the near future where in our team could delight you with our culinary delights and change your impression.
I personally look forward to welcome you back to the resort.

Thanks and regards
Sibi Mathew

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Reviewed October 4, 2012

Had a very quiet, highly relaxed break in this absolutely superb property...stayed with my wife and 8 year old daughter under the summer package for 3 day/2 nite.....The staff overall were too cordial right from the time we checked in till we depart...The property is best suited for people who want a "Do-Nothing" holiday break...The property offers lots of small,small activities for children like pottery,painting,goose,rabbit feeding,fishing in the natural lagoon, evening games at the lakeside....Special word of praise to Ravindran, Activities Mgr, Joseph, chef, Bibin who took care of us during our lunch and dinner times, Delin and Nithya -Reception staff who all went out of the way to see to it that we were feeling at home...The only drawback ,if one has to mention was the dining area is slightly smaller to accomodate the guests when the property is going full....the staff at the dining gets tensed while handling the guests during peak hours....Overall, it was a memorable experience and for the price of the package, it is worth the stay....

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank prabakar566
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sibi_Mathew, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj - Kumarakom, responded to this reviewResponded October 12, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your heartfelt feedback of the resort.We are glad the family enjoyed every bit of the break with us.
We do understand how challenging it is to get a break in one's busy lives today and hence how precious that break becomes since it then serves as memories for the years to come.
We are glad that our associates in their own small ways could make a great difference to your holiday.
We do look forward to welcome you back to our resort in the near future

Thanks and regards
Sibi Mathew

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Reviewed October 3, 2012

Wonderful three days at vivanta by taj, at Kumarakolm , in Kerala.
Restaurant, choice of outdoor or indoor eating. Fresh local Fish, every day , and plenty of Kerala dishes on the menu to try .
All staff a credit to the Hotel, good manners, happy faces and so obliging .
Every evening candles light along the lagoon. stunning ! Also dancing ladies,and Kerala Folk music for an hour .
A real gem in the beautiful backwaters of this Country.
Loved every minute of the last three days . For a treat and short stay , maybe two or three days . A plus

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Gina A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sibi_Mathew, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj - Kumarakom, responded to this reviewResponded October 12, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your excellent review of the resort.We are glad we could give you the feeling of being in paradise.That indeed is a big recognition of our service.We truly believe that happy employees go on to delight our guests.Hence we try and live that.
We look forward to welcome you back to the resort in the near future for a longer stay with us

Thanks and regards
Sibi Mathew

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 3, 2012

It was an amazing experience with the kind of hospitality my husband and I, have received from Taj Kumarakom. We didn't have to ask for anything. Everything was arranged so perfectly. We stayed there two nights. The first night, we stayed in the lagoon facing room and the next day was my birthday. So Taj upgraded the room to the Villa with the private pool. My husband has asked them to arrange a bouquet and an eggless cake. It was delivered perfectly on time at midnight. It was the best cake we have ever had and the bouquet was the most beautiful I have ever seen. They also arranged a beautiful birthday special dinner table for us. We couldn't have the complimentary boat ride they organize for their guests because of technical difficulties. When the boat incharge came to know that we will be leaving early morning the next day, he specially arranged a speedboat ride for us. We had to leave at 5 a.m and they themselves had packed very nice sandwiches in a carry bag for our journey (We didn't ask them to do so). The staff was very cordial and ensured that each of the guests has a great experience.

Room Tip: Stayed in both the villa with the private pool and the basic lagoon facing room. Found both of them...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank njain02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sibi_Mathew, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj - Kumarakom, responded to this reviewResponded October 13, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your detailed and heartfelt review of the property.We are so glad that we could make your special occassion in our own special ways.We do understand that vacations are special and do not come by often.Therefore the entire team tries wholeheartedly to make the vacation special.
I am sure your review will encourage a lot of visitors to firm upon our hotel for their vacation.
We do look forward to have you back with us to celebrate many more occassions in your life whereny we could of service to you.

Thanks and regards
Sibi Mathew

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Reviewed September 30, 2012

We stayed for two night and it was one of the most wonderful experience. The staff is geared upto to fulfill all your demands including the latent demand aswell. Excellent food, scrumptious food, awe inspiring location, gorgeous lagoon inside the resort, wonderful rooms, amazing complementary boat ride followed by chai-nashta and some fun games, good pool, tranquil spa (have ran out of adjectives in praise of the hotel). All in all you have to stay to experience the bliss. Special thaks to to Bibin, Suresh, Aaron, Sibil to make our trip unforgettable.

Room Tip: rooms facing the lagoon
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Nishitshah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sibi_Mathew, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj - Kumarakom, responded to this reviewResponded October 17, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you so much for the encouraging review of the hotel.
We are glad that our associates could fulfill your latent demand as well.We realise that most of the times,our guests do not know what to expect.
Through small suprises that we are able to work through our associates,we try and delight our guests.
We are so happy that you enjoyed every aspect of your holiday with us.
We do look forward to welcome you back to another stay with us

Thanks and regards
Sibi Mathew

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Reviewed September 30, 2012

From the moment we arrived, the staff at the Taj went all out to make our stay perfect. They greeted us with wreaths and tender coconut drinks, made us a congratulatory cake (it was our honeymoon) and organised trips for us. There were various activities on offer, many of them included in the price of the stay, such as a short evening cruise on a converted rice barge followed by games and chai by the water's edge, pottery and feeding the geese, rabbits and fish. We really enjoyed taking part in all of these activities.
We stayed in a villa with private pool, and it was lovely. It was spacious inside, with a comfortable four-poster bed and a sitting area. The little pool was lovely, and we enjoyed lounging on the day bed next to it, and the outdoor bathroom was cool. There was also a big veranda with a hanging chair and loungers, and a table and chairs on a patio. We initially booked for four nights, but extended our stay for an extra one because we were having such a good time.

Room Tip: We loved our villa with private pool.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Kirsty A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sibi_Mathew, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj - Kumarakom, responded to this reviewResponded October 15, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your excellent review of the property.
We are indeed glad that you were so pleased with your stay with us that it encouraged you to extend your stay with us by another night.
Thank you also for a mention of all the activities which you particularly enjoyed.We have tried to keep most of the activities unique and different from what would generally do,hence helping one to connect better with the natural surroundings
We look forward to welcome you to an even longer stay with us

Thanks and regards
Sibi Mathew

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Vivanta by Taj - Kumarakom

Address: 1/404 Kumarakom, Kumarakom 686563, India (Formerly Taj Garden Retreat)
Location: India > Kerala > Kottayam District > Kumarakom
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Kumarakom
#2 Spa Hotel in Kumarakom
#3 Family Hotel in Kumarakom
#4 Luxury Hotel in Kumarakom
Price Range: $201 - $685 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Vivanta by Taj - Kumarakom 5*
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kumarakom is a popular tourist destination in the Kottayam district of Kerala. Located on the picturesque Vembanad Lake, Vivanta by Taj - Kumarakom, Kerala, is a 30-minute drive from the Kottayam railway station or an hour's drive from Cochin city. Kerala's backwaters surround the 140-year old colonial bungalow which houses this resort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vivanta By Taj - Kumarakom Hotel Kumarakom
Taj Garden Retreat Hotel Kumarakom
Kumarakom Taj Garden Retreat
Vivanta By Taj - Kumarakom Kerala

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