Vivanta by Taj Bekal, Bekal India, Kerala
In this rarely visited part of Kerala’s north, Vivanta by Taj Bekal is a striking resort inspired by Kettuvalam architecture (the local houseboats that populate the backwaters). This lovely hotel is well known for its exceptional customer service, great dining, and lovely rooms. The Taj group has given Vivanta an international feel, which is unusual for this isolated region in India.
Northern Kerala is full of unexpected treasures and plenty of beautiful land and waterscapes to explore, largely uninterrupted. The Bekal fort is an imposing relic, and you can cruise through the backwaters in a traditional kettuvalam. Bekal is teeming with banana and rubber plantations to wander through. Leave plenty of time to discover the very best of Keralan cuisine; it’s particularly good at Vivanta.
There are 71 villas in total, and even the entry-level rooms are spacious. Many of the rooms have outdoor bathrooms, rain showers, soak tubs, and private pools, so you won’t be short of opportunities for indulgence.
This isn’t an intimate boutique hotel with old-world charm, nor is it enormous or plain. It’s a really lovely and very characterful hotel in Bekal for anyone seeking international standards and great cuisine in a remote part of Kerala.
Superior - This is what we would describe as our standard category. These will be decent 3/4* hotels providing a really good level of service. We would generally expect them to be providing a little something extra, in terms of character, guest experience or facilities too.
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Just when we thought our guides must have exhausted their most exotic and fascinating sights, up popped another one.