There are resorts that seek to entertain, and there are resorts that seek to make you feel at home. Vivanta by Taj in Bentota belongs to the second category.
You feel like a long-time resident of the place after spending just two days there.
The drive from Galle Road, which connects Colombo to Galle, located in the south-western tip of Sri Lanka, sets the tone for a good holiday. A narrow lane, with a few other popular resorts on the way, culminates in Vivanta by Taj.
Like most star hotels, this one too lives up to its brand name in terms of facilities — be it the refurbished rooms, tastefully done-up interiors, the variety in the menu at its restaurants, or the entertainment options available.
With its proximity to the beach, the quiet chill, the varied shades of green fencing the area and the palm trees that sway every now and then, Vivanta by Taj presents a view that borders on the ideal.
The many restaurants offer a range of cuisines, including Sri Lankan, Indian, continental and Chinese. The dessert menu is particularly appealing.
For seafood lovers the shack right by the sea is like a dream. If eating some of the finest dishes made with fish and prawns, with a glass of wine by the side, perhaps a book, the sea breeze and murmur of the waves for company aligns with your idea of ultimate fun, then this is the place to be.
Another interesting feature of the resort is its spa. A cosy little lane takes you to Jiva Spa, located well within the premises, yet tucked away. A range of aroma therapy and body massage services are available here. The rustic, woody interiors enhanced by muted yellow lights and faint strains of a flute provide an apt setting to unwind. The therapists not only give you customised options, but also explain in detail what each is meant to do.
For the evening, there’s Tease Bar with a live band performing some of those numbers that make you go ‘Ah, it has been such a long time!’ Most bars tend to get claustrophobic with a little crowd but Tease, by design and arrangement, proves more open and spacious.
After dinner, all you need is a walk on the beach to round off the day’s indulgences.
What stands out at Vivanta by Taj is not flamboyance, but charm. One feels welcome, and at home.
(The writer was at the resort on invitation)