Taj Bekal Resort & Spa, Kerala
What We Love
- Rooms inspired by traditional kettuvallam houseboats
- Stunning spa for modern and traditional ayurvedic services (a Kerala specialty)
- The Kappil River runs through the resort for fishing and boating
- Direct access to a hidden beach
What To Know
- A 12.5 percent luxury tax and a 7.42 percent service tax per night will be collected at the Jetsetter checkout
- The resort is 50 miles from the Mangalore airport, and the drive (through villages and countryside) can sometimes take a few hours?
- The By the Bay restaurant is open only when the weather permits (it’s closed during monsoon season)
- Free WiFi
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
India-meets-Indonesia at this 26-acre resort, off the tourist trail in northwestern Kerala. The open-air walkways and pavilions, flower-filled courtyards, and alfresco dining areas celebrate the area’s natural beauty, and the low-slung buildings are inspired by local houseboats (many have thatch or curved roofs). The interiors range from traditional (dark woods, jewel tones) to contemporary (monochrome, colored lighting), but most of the action takes place outside: The Kappil River runs through the lush grounds, and there’s direct access to a private beach.
Bed and Bath
The 66 guestrooms vary in size and layout, but they all feature outdoor spaces with a daybed or a swing (some also come with interior courtyards, private plunge pools, fountains, and/or outdoor showers). The exteriors are inspired by traditional kettuvallam houseboats, while inside you’ll find bright, contemporary resort decor accented by fabrics and artwork from Bali as well as India. Amenities in all rooms include interactive flat-screen TVs with surround sound, natural Forest Essential bath products and walk-in showers.
Overlooking the Kappil River, the all-day Latitude restaurant serves regional dishes like fish steamed in banana leaves and multicourse thalis. The BBQ by the Pool is the place for freshly grilled fish and meat, while By the Bay offers local cuisine and sea views. Pair snacks and cocktails (infused with cloves, cardamom and coconut water) at the chic Ivory Bar. For active types there’s a large outdoor pool, a well-equipped fitness center and kayaking along the river. The excellent Jiva Spa, which is large for a resort of this size, offers ayurvedic massages, facials, and wraps using potent natural ingredients.
In the Area
Head to noted local sights such as the 17th-century Bekal Fort, a large complex complete with moats, tunnels and an observatory tower. Or spend a whole day at Thonikadavu, a private nature reserve where you can hike through forest and jungle to waterfalls, learn about the indigenous plant and flower life, and cool off with fresh coconut water. Other activities, such as cruising the backwaters around Valiyaparamba Island on a traditional houseboat, or visiting the local Kappil fishing village’s boisterous morning market, can be arranged through the resort.
How to Get There
Our family of 4 enjoyed a 5-day visit to this property last week. Kerela in the monsoon season is lush green and bursting with nature's bounty.
Our choice of stay at Taj Bekal was a very good decision. The legendary Taj hospitality and their top notch staff, put our tired souls at ease. In a few hours after a dip in the plunge pool and a soothing massage at their hands of the expert spa staff, I was asleep
Though there was only restaurant functional, nothing was lacking in terms of choice - whatever we wanted, their staff was eager to serve us. We had some amazing cocktails at their bar. My wife and I indulged ourselves more than once of their spa treatments - forget the cost, its a holiday to relax!
As my kids said...I hate leaving to go back home
Keep it up Taj, each time I stay with you'll, you out do yourselves
Comparatively Costly resort. less amenities, could have been provided with other amenities ie., lunch and dinner should been included. No guidelines given regarding the activities in the resort.
overall it was ok.
Clean, luxurious, beautiful, property.
Excellent service absolutely no complaints about anything
Visited in monsoons yet everything was clean and we could still enjoy some swims, go to the beach, sit out and enjoy my birthday! Dined in one day and the curries were lip smacking. I am still waiting for the recipe 😋
Staff is amazing, kind, helpful, loyal, professional, and very friendly.
I always say no one does luxury like Taj, and Taj Bekal continues to keep up the tradition.
Jiva Spa is another reason why this property is worth visiting and staying.
It is a very family friendly place. Beach walk is lovely, sitting on the river side bench is the highlight. Swimming pool, activity room, gym all well equipped.
We had taken pool villa room and courtyard room,,,,, both were excellent choices.
Trip would never be good and memorable if you are pampered for choice with the long spread of buffet breakfast.
Excellent hospitality and staff eversmiling and more than happy to serve.
Sharath at the reception manager in charge had really taken good care
Raj the chef at the buffet had really pampered us with all the choices we demanded
Dinesh the chef who made South Indian dosa was too good.
Can never go wrong with your holiday with Taj who have such amazing warm and friendly staff.
Celebrations was memorable...... Glad we made the right choice.
A stay in a Taj property (also a matter of pride - having worked in a TATA organisation for the longest period of my work life) was in my bucket list for ages. Finally had a chance to visit the Taj at Bekal.
The monsoons in Kerela can be wild but at the same time adds charm n magic to the whole holiday experience. The fierce oceans, lush greenery, pouring rains added that charm to the holiday (but yes not too easy with kids and elderly folks around. This time it was a girls trip only).
We checked in on a Saturday (while the checkin is at 2pm we did manage to get a room at 12.30p on request). Checkin smooth.
ROOM : The Superior room with a sit out was beautiful but we did have issues with the bathroom. Water kept seeping in through the walls (we initially thought the bathtub was leaky). The situation did not improve and it was quite a tough scene with a flooded bathroom at night. Finally late next afternoon, they moved us to a villa. The villa had a plunge pool, bath tub and shower in the exterior. Looked beautiful but not really usable given the weather conditions. The continuous rains led to the plunge pool being filled with some floating stuff (given the greenery all around).
SERVICE : Attentive but the housekeeping can defn improve. We had to repeatedly remind them to put up the rollaway bed in the room and also to have the bathroom checked.
FOOD : Only two of the restaurants were operational. Ivory and the Backwater Cafe.
The buffet breakfast (part of the package) was served at the Cafe. While the south indian and north indian items were good, the bakery section most certainly needed a check. Croissants, danish etc - stuff that i relish the most were pretty dry and not so fresh !
We tried the Kerela Sadya and liked it. Rest of the food that we tried ala carte at lunch and dinner were quite good but for the Italian food. Dont remember the name but the pasta that we ordered defn lacked the flavour and they had forgotten to add part of the dish (basil scone)...The food is expensive and i would suggest stick to time tested North indian or south indian fare. We tried the vegetarian only.
They serve tea and snacks to all guests between 5-5.30p which was yummy but could have been managed better. There is a huge crowd at the counter and people were all over to get their food quick (obvious given that the smell of the pakodas were wafting thru the air).
BEACH : Very rough and steep and not worth getting into. We had to borrow umbrellas from the lobby since it was pouring ... but the monsoons added glory to the mighty oceans and it was a beautiful sight to savour. The estuary (where the backwater and ocean met) is another interesting place to view. A long walk along the coastline is recommended.
Taj can perhaps take up cleanup drive on the coastline which seemed filled with a lot of plastic etc.
SPA : Most recommended. The Jiva spa is huge and the ambience lovely.Tried the Aromatherapy and a facial and loved both. Ended up with a few niggles and pain in the neck /back post the massage and was told it was coz of the very tight muscles. they offered an ayurvedic shoulder and neck massage plus steam (thanks Rejitha - you were brilliant) to fix the issue and it worked well.
ACTIVITIES : Given the continuous downpour, most activities like hiking, beach walk, kayaking etc were cancelled. We did a trip to the Bekal fort (hotel can arrange auto or taxis) .. The fort is a must visit.
With no outdoorish activities happening, felt the hotel could have engaged guests with some cultural activities (music, dance etc given the rich heritage in Kerela).
Overall a relaxing stay and hoping Taj makes note of the glitches we experienced.