Our recent visit to Kasargod took us to Vivanta by Taj – Bekal. The hotel is located besides the Kappil river and is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of civilization. The quintessential town of Bekal is located near Kasargod and is a perfect setting for anyone who wants to spend time amid nature.
We were driving from Bangalore and were taking the Mangalore -> Kasargod route. It took us around 9 hrs to reach the hotel, mainly due to the pathetic state of roads. We would have easily driven around 100kms of practically roads with huge craters and potholes.
We were greeted with the welcome drink and a hot towel and check-in was a breeze. The one thing that you would immediately notice is that the lobby is not that huge and does not look my the typical grand lobby’s that we associate with 5 star properties.
The highlights of the resort has to be:
Rooms are huge.. Our room came with a standard king size bed, a huge bathroom with a beautifully carved out bath tub – I do have my concerns over the way it was located… Once full, the overflowing water would flood the entire bathroom. It would have been great if they could have built a low periphery around the tub, a simple solution but overlooked. We also had a big balcony with a huge swing.. Great place to read your book and wail away time. And for all those travelers hooked to their gadgets, there was good network connection – we had no issues with data cards and smart phones 🙂
We found the staff to be very friends, especially in the Latitude restaurant. As we stayed for 4 nights, we practically visited Latitude restaurant around 10 times – be prepared to have most of your meals within the resort as there are practically no hotels around where one could have a decent meal.
Food was tasty and the menu had a good range. Special thanks to Pankaj, Anand and Aviv for helping us selecting dishes during our stay. The chef was also kind enough to come down and check if the food was to our liking – I generally do not prefer spicy stuff, so many of the dishes that we ordered were customized to our needs.
The highlight of our stay has to be the Spa. One of the grandest Spa’s that I have visited till date (it lives up to the name JIVA “Grande” Spa.The SPA is located across the river and is located in a secluded corner of the resort. Both me and my wife went for Ayurvedic treatments. Consultation is free and Doctor was very kind. Had one of the most relaxing treatments and would like to thank Vijesh my therapist
Few areas where the resort can improve
The lighting: Somehow the hotel is very dark in the night… had a bad tumble on the very first day of my stay and had a broken toe nail.. Thankfully the pain subsided in couple of hours – else the stay could have been uncomfortable.
Considering that there are so many undulations on walk way, it would have been better if it was well lit. The resort is lush green with dense trees and bushes and thus better lighting would help us spot insects
The Beach: Big disappointment!! Our ideal beach holiday is sipping a cool drink, listening to music and passing time lying on the sun beds (that is what we generally do when we hit the Goan beaches). None of these were available. Since we were visiting the resort in mid September, the restaurant by the beach was closed (infact they started service during our last day of our stay)..no sun beds were provided.. (few people demanded it and they managed to pull them from somewhere) and ye.. the most important point.. one cannot take a dip… that was the biggest damper.. the sea is so rough (practically around the year) that one should not venture into the sea for a swim.. undercurrents were pretty strong and people were advised not to venture into the sea. The charm of a beach resort was lost 😦
On the positive side, the beach was a private beach and was very clean.
The pool and activity room: The location of the pool was great and water was very clean.. but one concern was that the deepest part of the pool was just 4 Feet !!! Well I do understand the safety point of view, but I think an adult pool can at-least have 5 feet depth. The activity room was very small for a resort of this size and wore a deserted look. There was no staff around to even help us !!
This has to be one of the good resorts that one can find in and around the Mangalore – Kasargod belt. The resort though was not very lively !! Not sure if this has to do with our timing of the visit – September being off season. The vibrancy of a resort of this size and magnitude was missing and it was as if everything around us was moving at a snails pace. Unfortunately the resorts in Goa have spoiled us to such an extent that we set pretty high standards when it comes to beach resorts. Will I again visit this resort and recommend this place?? ABSOLUTELY… Do not miss this hidden gem !!!
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