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Vivanta by Taj, Bekal
Why we like it
- 26 acres of property that reflects Kerala culture with Balinese influences
- 71 stylish villas and rooms with Kettuvallam house boat motifs woven in Balinese design and laterite lined exteriors spread over landscaped gardens
- Kappil beach shoreline touches the manicured lawns and landscaped gardens
- Jiva Spa offers the best in Indian rejuvenation therapies
- Latitude - vibrant all day dining restaurant overlooking the backwaters of the Kappil River serving Continental and Indian cuisine with a hint of South India
- We recommend the Superior Charm rooms with Sit Out as the day bed in a private courtyard is a great addition to appreciate your surroundings
You must try the traditional Kerala banana leaf lunch. Crush a potato papad, mash a banana, create a symphony of coconut curries, see red show up as the colour of par boiled rice. Chase it with a wicked payassam.
We were delighted with Lynne Cooke. She was efficient, friendly and mostly took note of what we wanted and did her best to accommodate our request. She always replied to all our emails and phone calls promptly.
- KB, London
Spacious living spaces with large terraces offer panoramic views of the beautiful backwaters and Balinese style landscaped gardens. Amazing Chitra Pothi art tells a story on the walls. Stylish bathrooms beckon with walk in showers. Deluxe Delight rooms boast courtyards with outdoor showers, large bathtubs, day beds and a fountain or some with the added touch of a private plunge pool.
See the local flavour of North Kerala combined with Balinese influences in laterite stone sculptures. Spot the mythical Garuda and consecrated tuskers in the architecture and decor from the moment you step in the lobby.
The Fitness Centre has everything you need to meet your health and fitness requirements. Complimented by the Jiva Spa that blends ancient Indian wisdom with contemporary therapies. Therapies range from Indian aromatherapy massages, time-honoured Indian treatments, body scrubs and wraps.
Latitude - the multi cuisine restaurant, with an accent on regional Kerala cuisine. A favourite is the Karimeenpollichathu (Pearl spot fish steamed in banana leaf with a unique tamarind based paste). Ivory Bar the elephant's watering hole is where Bekal's most imaginative cocktails come alive. Try Nature's Gift laced with white rum and cool coconut water. BBQ by the pool has fantastic views to the west of the Arabian Sea or straight out onto the backwaters of the Kappil River. It serves barbecue food with a twist.
Adventure activities on offer range from boating, rowing, kayaking in the Kappil River, fishing, trekking or packing a picnic basket to visit the spice plantations and the historic forts.
Best time to be there
From October to March the weather is refreshingly cool with minimal rainfall in most places. India's main festivals also take place during this time, such as the Pushkar Fair in Rajasthan, the Republic Day of India and Holi, the festival of colours.
8 hours 20 minutes non-stop
GMT +5 1/2 hours
Required for UK passport holders
Yellow fever certificate if arriving from an endemic area
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