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“Wah Taj ! You never stop to amaze us !”

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Vivanta by Taj - Kumarakom
Ranked #5 of 26 Hotels in Kumarakom
Certificate of Excellence
Mumbai, India
Level Contributor
76 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Wah Taj ! You never stop to amaze us !”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 July 2012

We reached Kottayam on a beautiful misty morning from Thekkady. We visited a popular local church and then proceeded towards Taj Kumarakom. The hotel is set in the backdrop of the Vembanad Lake which is the largest freshwater lake in the state of Kerala.

Taj Kumarakom is famous for the Victorian two storied bungalow built by Alfred George Baker in the year 1881, on huge pieces of Teak wood rafters packed in mud as a base. This house on the lake at Kumarakom was the house of four generations of the Baker family, for over a hundred years. The bungalow still remains grand but silent reminder of an age and people whose hard work cannot be erased by time. It is also known as the famous "History House" as mentioned in Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things.

Because of its prominent history, natural beauty, and the neighboring bird Sanctuary; the resort which includes the two storied Bungalow built by Mr.A G Baker on the muddy land is a place of interest for tourists from all over the world and we are glad to have chosen the property for our visit to Kumarakom.

On day 1, we stayed in the Superior Charm room facing the beautiful lagoon, which houses a beautiful waterfall and a small island. From the sitout, you can watch birds across the lagoon, catching fish, swimming and nesting on the trees. The resort has many ducks which flock together and walk in front of the rooms quacking away to glory every morning.

Breakfast is served at the "Open" restaurant and is a good spread of Continental, South Indian and north Indian cuisine.

The hotel has loads of activities to keep you occupied, one can learn pottery, play badminton, enjoy fishing & peddle boating at the lagoon, feed rabbits and learn some recipes from the inhouse chefs ! We also took bicycles from the resort and went about exploring the local area. In the evening we enjoyed the complimentary Taj sunset cruise along the backwaters. The 30 minute cruise is the best way to enjoy the calm and tranquil backwaters.

Once you are back from the cruise you can enjoy special tea and snacks on the banks of the lake as you watch the sun go down. As the night falls local women light diyas across the lagoon, which glimmer away through the night casting their reflection on the waters. It is then time to enjoy candle light dinner with local musicians spinning their magic and special dancers performing Mohiniattam. There is no better way to spend a day than enjoying such an amazing hospitality of Taj !

We thought we had already had the best time of the trip until day 2 ! On day 2 we were upgraded to the Luxury Villa facing the lily ponds at Taj. The villa has been built like a traditional Kerala house, with huge four poster beds, open air bathrooms, classic study table and chair and large glass doors that open to a veranda with a chaise lounge. From the beautiful paintings to the traditional furniture, from the brightly colored walls to bathing in the garden every moment spent there was a memorable experience for us (me and my wife).

We enjoyed swimming in the morning and went for a relaxing Head & Shoulder massage in the afternoon. Evening was serene with clear skys and the best sunset of the season ! At night Taj had organised a surprise candlelight dinner for us, with a secluded table decorated with flowers. As we enjoyed the local delicacy of appam and coconut based vegetables, the local musicians and dancers made the evening more special.

We would love to come back to the resort again, and would highly recommend it to all those travelling to Kumarakom!

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
7 Thank Highseas_11_DGehani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sibi_Mathew, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj - Kumarakom, responded to this review, 17 July 2012
Dear Guest,

We are delighted to note that you had an exceptional experience with us.Thank you for writing such a detailed review both about the history of the property as also about the services of the hotel.
The hotel is seeped in so much of history and natural beauty that the experience seeps into you .
We try and enrich the experience by trying to delight you in our own small ways.
We hope it will stay etched in your memory for long.
We look forward to welcome you back to the resort for another enchanting experience very soon.

Thanks and regards
Sibi Mathew
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (337)
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English first
New Delhi, India
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 July 2012

When you start searching for a top end property in a popular tourist destination like Kumarakom, you get numerous options. We had shortlisted the Kumarakom Lake Resort and the Coconut Lagoon alongwith the Taj, but finally chose the Taj simply because it was the familair "Taj" brand (and ofcourse because we got a good deal!)

And we were not disappointed... The property has limited no. of rooms so it kinda gives it an exclusive feel. As you enter through the main gate, you reach an 'open' reception area where you get a traditional welcome. The first sights that you soak in are of the lagoon within the property and the Superior Charm rooms overlooking it. Serene!

The reception area is in the 140 year old hertitage building which also houses the restaurant and bar on the ground floor and a few rooms on the 1st floor for those who want to get the feel of staying in an old colonial bungalow.... i'd prefer the villas, thank you!

Right next to it is the open restaurant which is were the breakfast buffet is served. The property is right next to a bird sanctuary so one does get to hear birds chirping away. There are then the walk-ways and cycle tracks (complimentary cycles provided) along the length of the resort. Little away from the lagoon is the pool and Spa, beyond which are the Villas - Allure Villas with open bathrooms, a concept we had heard and seen in many places but tried out here, interesting experiences to have a shower under the stars!!. The higher end villas are the Temptation Villas which come with private pools.

We stayed at the Allure Villa, lovely large rooms with walls painted in bright colours. Huge bathroom with tub and shower in the open. A private sit out - the lagoon facing it is smaller and unless the lillies are blooming, its large leaves make the lagoon look a bit untidy!

From what i have heard from others, this may not be the best looking property in the city in terms of landscaping etc but what really sets this place apart is the SERVICE. The Staff are friendly and like any top end resort, they can anticipate your needs and preferences. Kudos to the entire team there.

After you have had your prolonged 'Garfield' moments there - Kumarakom is all about doing nothing but enjoying the serenity of the Vembanad lake and the beautiful sunsets - the staff do try and make your evenings interesting. There is complimentary evening snacks everyday at the edge of the lake and they also get you together for some games. Refreshing!

The other highlight of the evening is the diya lighting all along with logoon which is a feast for the eyes at night as you enjoy a live classical music/ dance performance everyday. For the food enthusiasts, do savour the local delicacies - the Chef will be more than happy to help you decide your dish!

We also took the hour long complimentary ride on the Vembanad lake in the traditional boat which was good enough to enjoy the beauty of the vast and seemingly endless lake and hence we skipped the paid day long ride on the house boats.

We did take the dinky speed boat ride along the real backwaters of the town which was neat. And then we took the boat for a spin on the main lake which was exhiliarating! We also took the walk to the bird sanctuary but were disappointed. Guess you need to be a real bird watching enthusiast to enjoy it.

The only shortcoming of the resort - the weed growth at the edge of the property steals away the feeling of being right 'on-the-lake' that some of the other properties have. And the breakfast buffet, though yummy, is not as sumptuous as one expects of a Top end resort.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank seejay04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj - Kumarakom, responded to this review, 16 July 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your kind review and thoughtful note about your experience with us.
We are glad the family had a memorable time with us.
You are absolutely right.The small inventory gives an exclusive feel to the resort unlike what any other resort in the detaination offers.We have also chosen to keep a small inventory though we have a huge expanse of land because we had already been blessed with a huge cover of flora and fauna when we had taken over this resort .
We do hope the small touches by our associates has made your vacation even more special.
We do look forward to welcome you back to the resort very soon

Thanks and regards
Sibi Mathew
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gloucestershire
Level Contributor
53 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 July 2012

Stayed here for two nights in March. Had travelled from Alleppey on the public ferry to Kottayam and then on to Kumarakom via a rickshaw. The ferry boat ride was awesome...a 3hr journey through the beautiful backwaters. We saw Keralan village life laid bare, paddy fields, flocks of white egrets sitting in the water hyacinth and even a kingfisher. The trip cost us about 25p for the two of us and it was so worth it. We were greeted warmly at The Vivanta and shown our "Superior Lake View Room", a short walk from reception at the Baker House. (bikes are provided) The bungalow style accommodation overlooked the small man-made lake at the heart of the resort and had its own private verandah with comfortable seating. Very spacious,comfortable and spotlessly clean room with huge glass doors looking out on to verandah. Restaurant a short walk or bike ride away. Super friendly and attentive staff and superb food. We were very lucky to be offered an upgrade on our second night... to a luxury villa with private pool etc. It was beyond our wildest dreams with palatial accommodation and beautiful decor. We felt like royalty and with the impeccable service too we made the most of it, we just relaxed. The resort ends at the edge of Vembanad Lake, from here you can sit under a thatch canopy and watch the sunset. There is a lawned area here too with hammocks and other seating with a coffee shop at the far end. The resort grounds are attractive with trees and greenery all around and with water courses here and there attracting the inevitable mosquitos. We enjoyed our few days of luxury here before our next stop up in the hills.

Room Tip: Luxury villa with private pool if your budget allows!!
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank SUSEYG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj - Kumarakom, responded to this review, 16 July 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review.We are indeed glad that the stay with us will be ethched in your memory for long.That is exactly what we intend as well.We would like for each guest to be treated as an individual and his/her needs be customised as much as possible.
We do whatever possible at our end to make the stay memorable.
We look forward to welcome you back to our resort again very soon

Thanks and regards
Sibi Mathew
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gurugram (Gurgaon), India
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 July 2012

I cannot recollect any other hotel (including several Taj group properties & other reputed hotels) where I have experienced such warm & exemplary service - truly in line with traditional Indian philosophy of 'Atithi Devo Bhava'. Such excellent service, together with the sprawling property and its plethora of engaging activities (fishing, boating - both on Vembanad lake & the internal lake, goose feeding, pottery, cycling, swimming, games during evening tea on the lawn facing Vembanad Lake, musical / dance program during dinner) - this property & its offering kept us and all other guests deeply engaged and spellbound.

The cottages all around the property are very well laid out, interiors at par with Taj standards and room services decently prompt.

Our 2 Nt / 3 day package included all food at the main restaurant - I must say we ate to our heart's content! The F&B Manager (Mr Prince) took special care to custom-make non spicy dishes for our little one. Every staff member of the hotel knew each guest/family by their names and at all available opportunities offered to help as much on anything one needs. Overall - a truly refreshing holiday experience we had at Taj Kumarakom.

Room Tip: We stayed in Cottage # 18 which is the only East facing cottage in the property
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SantanuGanguly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj - Kumarakom, responded to this review, 13 July 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much indeed for such a detailed and noteworthy review of our hotel.It is indeed a matter of great pride for us that you consider us to be one of the best properties that you have visited.
Am sure this will encourage several visitors to look upon our hotel when they plan a visit to the destination.
Will pass on your good wishes and comments to the rest of the team members as well.
We are indeed glad that the holiday has refreshed you because that in essence is the importance of a vacation keeping in line with one's hectic lifestyle today.
We do look forward to welcome you back to the resort again very soon.

Thanks and regards
Sibi Mathew
Report response as inappropriate
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Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 July 2012 via mobile

Great property...we were upgraded to a Suite...which was a pleasant surprise. The pathways were a bit slippery, which made the walk to and from dinner adventurous..but not a big issue. Watch out for the killer mosquitoes, like everywhere in Kerala. the hotel is next to a bird sanctuary, so one can see them all over.

Food was ok, a bit of a letdown after Taj Malabar. Sometimes lukewarm, sometimes a little low on salt, etc... Not a big issue, but a bit disappointing.

Pool was nice, but again there were slick mossy patches by he poolside, which were a bit dangerous for the kid. Spa was decent...had a good massage, but should be upgraded, since a lot of guests must be using it for the famous Kerala Ayurveda therapy.

Lots of honeymooning couples around as well.

Stayed November 2011, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank Tushar C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj - Kumarakom, responded to this review, 13 July 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review.We are glad you had an enjoyable time with us.
Whilst we were happy to note that you enjoyed the stay on most grounds,we have also noted the aspects which were not upto your expectations.
We do hope to be of better service to you in the near future whenever you plan a visit to the destination.

Thanks and regards
Sibi Mathew
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Vivanta by Taj - Kumarakom

Property: Vivanta by Taj - Kumarakom
Address: 1/404 Kumarakom, Kumarakom 686563, India (Formerly Taj Garden Retreat)
Region: India > Kerala > Kumarakom
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Kumarakom
#2 Spa Hotel in Kumarakom
#3 Family Hotel in Kumarakom
#4 Luxury Hotel in Kumarakom
Price range (per night): ₹ 6,614 - ₹ 15,089
Hotel Class:5 star — Vivanta by Taj - Kumarakom 5*
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kumarakom is a popular tourist destination in the Kottayam district of Kerala. Located on the picturesque Vembanad Lake, Vivanta by Taj - Kumarakom, Kerala, is a 30-minute drive from the Kottayam railway station or an hour's drive from Cochin city. Kerala's backwaters surround the 140-year old colonial bungalow which houses this resort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vivanta By Taj - Kumarakom Hotel Kumarakom
Taj Garden Retreat Hotel Kumarakom
Kumarakom Taj Garden Retreat
Vivanta By Taj - Kumarakom Kerala

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