The prospect of leaving behind the mundanity of daily life and heading out for a holiday is exciting, to say the least. But when such an opportunity is presented out of the blue to stay at a resort and spa destination, its joy is incomparable to any other.
A DECEMBER HOLIDAY IN KERALA, GOD’S OWN COUNTRY
Having read, heard, and seen so much of Kerala on travel shows, I always wanted to experience its bountiful beauty with my eyes and last December, I got lucky!
It took me a three-hour flight from Delhi to Mangalore (Karnataka) followed by an hour and forty-five-minute drive from Mangalore Airport to reach my destination – The Taj Bekal Resort & Spa in Kerala.
Even though I don’t particularly enjoy being on the road for too long, it was relaxing to look out of the window and witness the changing landscapes as we made our way from Karnataka into Kerala – the narrow tree-lined roads dotted with quaint little shops and the occasional speeding trucks for company.
The moment I laid my tired eyes on the beautiful Taj Bekal in Kerala, I knew every moment spent in getting here was worth it.
ABOUT TAJ BEKAL RESORT & SPA, KERALA
Taj Bekal Resort & Spa is a stunning five-star property, a beach-side resort cum spa, ensconced in the lap of nature at the Kappil Beach in the small town of Bekal, 12 km from Kasargod in Kerala.
Spread across a sprawling 26 acres, the resort is a beautiful mix of elegant architecture, laid-back luxury, and untouched natural beauty.
It stands out for its gorgeous location in the midst of nature, overlooking the serene backwaters which create a picture-perfect backdrop for holidayers craving peace and serenity.
A WARM WELCOME
Upon arrival, I was nicely greeted, replete with one of the most refreshing welcome drinks I’ve had in a long time and a pretty beaded necklace around my neck that continues to remind me of the beach, the backwaters, and the wonders of quietude.
The chocolates in the room weren’t so bad either 😛
The lobby area looked beautiful under the evening lights and smelled divine. The check-in process was quick and within minutes, I was taken to my room, seated in a comfortable buggy.
GUEST ROOMS AT THE RESORT
There are many different room and suite categories available at the Taj Bekal Resort including Superior Rooms with Balcony, Superior Rooms with Sit-out, Deluxe Villa with Courtyard, Deluxe Villa with Plunge Pool, Premium Villa with Plunge Pool, Luxury Suite with Terrace, and Luxury Suite with Plunge Pool.
You can choose the one that best suits your needs, based on your preferences and budget.
I stayed in the Superior Room with Sit-out located within one of these heartwarming and instantly relaxing houseboat-inspired buildings.
The air was fresh, the trees were splendid and the moderate temperatures were a great relief after the biting cold in Delhi.
My room had a 228-square-feet private courtyard with a seating area and a personal jhula-swing offering unforgettable views of the property and the backwaters.
It was a relaxing haven where you can easily spend hours at a stretch, gazing at the scenic beauty, listening to the sounds of birds and the mild sea breeze as it caresses your face.
ROOM DECOR & FEEL
My room was large and comfortable with an understated decor. The bed was luxurious and the bathroom was super-pleasant.
The uncommon Chitra Pothi art from Orissa adorned the walls and added character to the room.
Don’t you just love this beautiful ceiling fan? 🙂
Though I liked my room and loved the sit-out area with the private jhula, I found the room’s lighting to be a bit dim in the evenings. I would have also loved to have a vanity mirror in the bathroom.
One afternoon, I requested for a hair straightener and though they did manage to send one to me after a little wait, the straightener didn’t work.
Oh well, a no hair-styling day never hurt! 🙂
FOOD FOR THE SOUL
For foodies like me, the resort has a lot to offer. In addition to the ‘Backwater Cafe’ that serves multi-cuisine as well as Kerala delicacies, you can also dine at the pool-side ‘Grills N More’ restaurant or ‘By the Bay’ Restaurant serving coastal cuisine.
It was nice to the see the attentiveness of the staff at the Backwater Cafe and their willingness to go that extra mile and accommodate the varied requests of parents who were staying with their little kids.
It’s that personal touch and personalized service that makes all the difference.
CAPTIVATING BEAUTY OF THE BACKWATERS, KERALA
And now, the best part. I could go on and on about this but really, if there is one thing that truly stood out for me at the Taj Bekal Resort and Spa, it was experiencing the beauty and tranquility of the breathtaking backwaters as they merged into the Arabian Sea in perfect abandon.
All I had to do was to step out of my room’s courtyard, head onto the stunning gardens and walk a few steps to get up close and personal with the backwaters.
They say, there is a first time for everything. My first visit to Kerala and my maiden view of these majestic backwaters are forever special. It’s an experience I’ll never forget. 🙂
BACKWATER-BEACH DESTINATION – THE KAPPIL BEACH
Taj Bekal is a water lover’s paradise. In addition to its proximity to the backwaters, the resort is also connected to one of Kerala’s less explored yet gorgeous beaches, the Kappil Beach.
The Kappil Beach is one of the cleanest, most peaceful and quiet beaches I have ever been to. It has an approximate land area of 25 acres; perfect for long walks in the sand and for making undisturbed discoveries.
A word of caution – Be careful of the rough and turbulent waters here.
Relaxation & Rejuvenation @ The Jiva Spa, Taj Bekal
Another highlight at Taj Bekal is the famous Jiva Spa.
Honestly, your stay at the resort will be incomplete without a visit to this spa. In addition to its ‘Jiva Signature Experiences’, you can also choose from a large number of traditional Ayurveda healing therapies, holistic rituals, beauty treatments (scrubs and wraps) as well as long duration treatment plans.
With an area of 165,000 square feet, this is one of the largest Jiva Spas in India.
I had booked a mid-morning appointment for a relaxing body massage. I chose to get to the spa on foot in my walking shoes instead of taking a buggy as it gave me a wonderful opportunity to explore the expansive property that Taj Bekal is famous for, and of course, soak in the unforgettable beauty all around.
Owing to its largeness, finding my way to the Spa was like a treasure hunt – with clues and signs to guide me 🙂
Walking along the pebbled paths and the mesmerizing greenery, I witnessed a number of fascinating views and it took me a good 10-15 minutes to reach the spa, but who’s complaining? 🙂
The resort has a souvenir shop where you can pick up gifts for your friends and loved ones. Some of the items on display include shawls and stoles, jewellery, Kerala-themed fridge magnets, etc.
Incidentally, the internationally-renowned Jiva Spa made it to my list of 5 Best Spas in India And Why You Should Visit Them just a few months prior to my unexpected visit here (that’s what I call a happy coincidence!)
Upon arrival, I met my massage therapist and once the formalities were completed, I was guided towards my locker.
I found my massage session to be deeply relaxing and stress relieving. A feeling of wellness descended over me and I came out feeling light, peaceful and refreshed.
On my way back, I took time to sit and enjoy the enthralling sights all around – a true delight for nature lovers like me!
Activities at Taj Bekal Resort & Spa, Kerala
From cycling, swimming and Yoga to refreshing Kettuvalam rides in the evening (houseboats with thatched roofs), bird watching and dinner by the river, there is no dearth of activities you can indulge in with friends or family, during your stay at the resort. You can also visit the Bekal Fort close by which is the largest fort in Kerala.
The resort also organizes a number of fun activities for children.
The spice market some distance away from the resort is also a great place to visit, especially if you love your spices and would like to take some back home for family and friends!
I enjoyed my stay at the Resort and came back with happy memories.
I was expecting this holiday to be one that I will always remember fondly and I was glad to conclude that the resort more than met my expectations.
If you are in search of undisturbed tranquility, wellness and a chance to get up close and personal with the wonders of nature, the Taj Bekal Resort and Spa should definitely be on your must-visit list!
My Rating: All things considered, I would give the Taj Bekal Resort & Spa in Kerala 4.9/5.
NOTE: This is an unbiased review based on my personal experiences at the resort.
- Have you been to The Taj Bekal Resort & Spa?
- Did you love your visit to Kerala?
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