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Vivanta by Taj - Kumarakom
Ranked #5 of 26 Hotels in Kumarakom
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 7, 2007

  • Stayed: May 2007, traveled with friends
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1  Thank wodonga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,264 - 1,270 of 1,306 reviews

Reviewed April 19, 2007

The Taj Garden Retreat is one of the best hotels we stayed at (in Kerala we visited the Taj Malabar which was fine and the Taj hotel in Kovalam which definitely doesn't deserve its 5 stars). After one night on the rice boat and three nights in one of the villas we felt like extending our holiday for another month! The accomodation was fantastic, service great not to mention the beautiful location and peace and tranquility that surrounded us throughout the whole stay. It's definitely a must go if you're looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of every day life.

Stayed: April 2007
Thank MagdaDelhi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2007

Decided to stay at a Taj having travelled much of India and wanted to treat ourselves. Unfortunately I was not impressed by this hotel at all - except for the cottage we stayed in which was clean and well maintained.

However, the continental food in the restaurant (of which there is only one) was terrible, cheap and poorly presented. I realise that you can't expect great continental food when in India but for a Taj, it should have been much better. I could have done better myself in the hotel room by buying stuff in from outside and putting it all together.

The pool was dirty and chipped, and smelt terrible as the lake and ponds upon which the resorts sits were a stagnant luminous green colour. This, mixed with the massive amounts of bird droppings on the paths, made for a really off-putting aroma.

I am not the type of person to moan about things, but if you are looking for a Taj hotel with the usual 5 star trimmings, then don't book at this resort. It would be a 3 star hotel (and that's being generous) in my opinion.

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank lauras231279
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2007

The trip to this hotel was a disaster...

DOWNGRADING THE ROOM: First the hotel management tried to downgrade the room we paid a lot of $$$ for. After a bit of discussion, they showed us another room which was better. Finally, after much more argument, we got what we paid for.

LACK OF HYGIENE: Both of us got sick at the hotel. Since our package was all-inclusive of meals, we only ate food from the hotel. One expects that the premium paid for a '5-star' should mean they are in a sanitary environment. Many other guests became sick too.

CHARGING FOR THE DOCTOR: Once we got sick, they called a doctor. The doctor charged us 3x the normal premium that most doctors charged. He first asked our occupations before trying to over-charge.

UNCLEAN POOL: The pool was never cleaned nor maintained.

The property looks nice on the outside. And the backwaters at Kumarakom are worth the visit. One of the hotel staff took us on a speed boat trip through the backwaters and even took us to a better hotel to show us what we could have gotten.

I recommend not staying at this hotel. For the price, you could do a lot better. The Taj brand premium has suffered in recent years and this is across India - not just at this hotel.

  • Stayed: January 2007, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank ARK_Travelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 30, 2006

Stayed at the Taj Garden Retreat for one night and ended up spending the entire time at the neighboring resort! Had high expectations after visiting the Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur and the Taj Malabar in Cochin. This was awful! The hotel needs serious updating. The room was musty smelling and poorly decorated. The grounds did not look like a 5 star resort and the pool, gym, and aruvedic (sp?) center were old and dingy. The food was ok, but the staff had dirty and torn clothing, which seriously undermined confidence. I did not expect this from the Taj hotel group.

  • Stayed: November 2006, traveled with friends
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4  Thank nagreen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 28, 2006

I'm from the US, but lived in India for two months. For my last weekend, I decided to stay at the Taj in Kerala (I'd heard Kerala was the "Hawaii of India" and wanted to do it right). This resort was a tremendous disappointment. The service was poor (waitstaff hammered and banged outside of our room's door the entire time; receptionist chatted on the phone excessively as we tried to check in; service workers uniforms were very dirty; pool was dirty and unkept; food was bad and waitstaff stared awkwardly; etc.) The accommodations are not worth what you pay--fitness center is a tiny, dark, dusty room with a single piece of dated equipment. Spa center is sub-par for what you can get in Kerala. If you do end up stuck here, I would highly recommend at least leaving the premises for dinner. Go to the Kumarakom Lake Resort. It's very nice...great service and tasty dinner buffets.

  • Stayed: October 2006, traveled on business
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7  Thank bec54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Bangalore
17
Reviewed May 24, 2006

We always thought Taj Kumarakom was a 5 Star property, especially after it was made famous by the Indian Prime Minister's visit there. We had booked the place 3 months in advance and were really looking forward to the holiday. Since we were 2 couples we had booked for 2 lagoon facing cottages next to each other. Even 2 days before going there we were told the lagoon facing cottages are confirmed and everything is in place.

When we reached Kumarakom, we were suprised to find that we were given rooms on the 1st floor ( not cottages as promised) and that too at 2 different ends of the property. After a lot of haggling and using pressure from senior staff from other Taj property, our friends were shifted to the cottage the next day, but still our rooms were about 100 meters apart. By this time half our holiday was spolit as we were left haggling with the staff.

The cottages of the property are good. But the dining, entertainment, bar and other facilites are very poor. The entertatinment centre has a TT table, chess and carrom board. But the place is very ordinary not even worth a 1 star rating. The kids play (like swing / slide) are is not at all clean and stinks of bird droppings. The dining area is very small with only about 3 tables with air conditioning, the others are outside in the garden.

The spread of food in the buffet lunch and dinner except for few dishes is very poor. Items like chips, papads etc. were not at all crisp, then were soggy. 45 minutes before the closing time, most of the dishes in the buffet are empty and not refilled until requested.

About the service, most of staff are very courteous and helpful. But the same cannot be said about all of them, a little more training is required as some of them react like they are doing you a favour.

All in all - Dont expect too much from the property. Its a nice place to go to if you are on discounted rates, else its a rip off. Its really a shame to have a Taj tag on this property.

  • Stayed: May 2006
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7  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 - 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: $189 - $483 (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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