Kerala Resort-Vivanta By Taj In Bekal
A wonderful retreat in ‘God’s own country’ –Vivanta by Taj in Bekal , Kerala, is set amidst 26 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens. Having presented the entrée (Prismma featured Jiva Spa) a few months ago, we reckon that our readers are eager to lap up the exciting main course….so here we go, once again transporting you to the mesmerising slice of paradise by the Arabian Sea. Kerala Resort
Backwaters cutting across the lush green sprawling property and the Kappil beach shoreline hugging its manicured lawns add to the magical effect of this retreat. Not to forget the spectacular views of the Arabian Sea!
The perfect marriage of Balinese design and North Kerala architecture results in a seamless, highly aesthetic and well balanced ambience in the 71 villas and rooms surrounded by lush green, landscaped gardens.
The design of Kettuvallam house boats (traditional boats from Kerala) adds unique charm to the roofing and façade (hand woven by local craftsmen), while Chitra Pothi art on the walls, hand carved timber screens, vaulted ceilings, custom made chandeliers,
Balinese influenced mammoth sculptures and laterite walls play equally important roles in integrating the design beautifully.
Talking of sculptures – a huge sculpture of Lord Ganesha greets you at the entrance! A copper and gold leaf mural forms a stunning backdrop for the stone carved service desk.
Australian architect Nick Juniper (Partner, Grounds Kent Architects) has ensured that a strong connect with regional design within a contemporary framework is maintained throughout this retreat. Holding hands and enabling the perfect union of design and nature is landscape artist Made Wijaya from Bali.
Liberal doses of water bodies with water spouting statues, rugged, meandering pathways, interesting walkways that connect some spaces – something to capture your attention in every nook and corner, is a visual feast indeed!
The perennial garden has many types of palms including the tall, graceful coconut palms, ferns, bamboo, frangipani and water lilies.
While exploring the beautiful property on foot is in itself an interesting activity, a visit to the famous Bekal Fort is another exhilarating experience. This vantage point has historical significance as it was used by the great Tipu Sultan and his soldiers to defend Bekal. Fancy a ‘kettuvallam’ boat ride or a visit to the local fish market accompanied by the chef? Go trekking or fishing and indulge in the luxury of being one with nature!
Back at the resort, relax under the thatched roof of the gazebo or lounge under the shade of the sun umbrellas by the infinity pool, after exercising your limbs. Recharge your batteries at the well-equipped fitness center.
If that’s not your cup of tea, head to the Jiva Spa and get pampered, detox your system, erase all traces of fatigue and emerge rejuvenated. A wide range of therapies are available at the Spa. For spiritual cleansing, participate in the ‘homam’, by the sacred fire. Experience the essence of Kerala – enjoy a ‘sadya’ (feast), served in the traditional manner, on a banana leaf!
Superior charm rooms, Deluxe delight rooms, Premium indulgence rooms — all of these have understated yet elegant décor and follow a neutral colour palette by and large with minimal doses of bright colours, adding interest.
Elegant furnishings, Chitra Pothi art embellishing the walls, charming designer fans and light fixtures, contribute to the beauty and comfort quotient of these rooms.
The icing on the cake – luxurious bathrooms!
The Superior charm room with balcony covers an area of 330 square feet, with stylish interiors and a balcony that enables sweeping views of the beautifully landscaped gardens and backwaters. The private courtyard presents the ideal spot to relax and soak in the views of the lush gardens and mesmerising backwaters, lounging on a comfortable day bed swing!
The Deluxe delight room also has a large courtyard with a fountain and a day bed. The room itself is spacious and well designed and everything needed to ensure the comforts of the guest is present.
An outdoor shower adds spice to the ambience.
The Deluxe delight room with plunge pool is also spacious with a day bed and fountain in the charming courtyard, an outdoor shower and a large bath tub.
A plunge pool and a large courtyard feature in the Premium Indulgence room that also has an outdoor shower and a well designed bathroom. A day bed (swing) and a fountain in the courtyard – the two most charming features are present as well!
Adventurous enough to sample authentic regional cuisine or prefer to play it safe and stick to familiar terrain? Either way, Latitude, the multi cuisine restaurant will not disappoint.
The wooden terrace overlooking the infinity pool and backwaters is ideal for alfresco dining. Yet another beautiful and romantic setting for private dining is the bridge across the backwaters, leading to the spa. Truly magical and breathtaking is the sight presented by the reflection of lights in the water!
The resort is also equipped to handle events in style, from weddings to board meetings and others. The banquet hall is 3405 square feet of sheer elegance and style!
The Ivory Bar, true to its name, is designed with all the grandeur and respect that is always commanded by this majestic animal – the tusker. The standalone bar is a dome shaped island, with two, huge stone carved elephants spouting water into the moat.
Inside, the dome shaped ceiling is textured and a full height wall mural behind the ivory stone top bar with carved hardwood elephant heads as stunning embellishments — all make for eye catching design.
Beauty is indeed enhanced by little details and nuances and this is quite evident in the design and décor of this retreat – be it a quaint sign board with a kettuvallam style woven façade, another one in rough stone sitting pretty on the lush lawns or a slot for holding newspapers, crafted out of the humble bamboo!
Beautiful light fixtures compete neck to neck with lovely traditional lamps – well, I suppose both are winners here!
While the setting in contemporary and all modern amenities have been incorporated, the design features reflect the vernacular heritage of the region and nuances of traditional craftsmanship are evident throughout the interior.