Taj Exotica, Bentota, 403 716, Sri Lanka
This overpriced hotel has snobbish staff, small bathrooms and numerous room malfunctions such as cupboard doors not closing, bath-to-water water output handle, hairdryer handle broken and more. To our dismay, once the children's bed was opened up- the floor underneath was revealed to be dirty. Normally the staff should have been embarassed at revealing that no one had cleaned in a long time under the beds - yet they pretended not to notice.
The food in the dining room (Palms) was good with a wide variety of mainly Western food. The bar old fashioned, with awful 50s music and an elderly crowd of guests. The food for lighter snacks and lunches- horribly overpriced.
I would not recommend it.
Great place to chill
We loved the Taj the service, our ocean view room and the facilities. The Jiva Spa was wonderful and we spent many chilled hours by the pool. The prices were not any more expensive than London and loved the food.
Our Tuk Tuk driver was amazing, an honest man Dias who made our trip special by taking us to his home for tea which was humbling. I would recommend him to anyone and have number.
The Taj was very clean with well maintained gardens, a lovely beach. Would definitely go again as it was good value.
Unique Quality: The pool
Location over lookibng the sea
Directions: Three hours from Colombo Airport
Taj Exotica Wedding, Sri Lanka
We got married at the hotel. It was raining that day so we could not get married in the gardens so we got married on the sun terrace.
Brilliant day and the hotel made it run like clockwork. Get the traditional dancer option. We had the elephant ride which was gratefully (not very comfy :) )
we dont regret getting married abroad abs brill
Best Hotel in Bentota, Sri Lanka
Lovely hotel, nice grounds and nice rooms. Stayed in a seaview room on Full Board. Food is buffet, v good quality however the menu is superb which is not included. The food is actaualy reasonably priced. I would recommend going B&B. the bill is settled in Rupees so at the time of my visit it was v reasonable.
We got married at the hotel, we thought is was going to be a quiet ceremony however a large crowd developed. Added to my nerves :) The staff are abs excellent, very friendly.
Dont let the recent Tsunami put you off, a freak occurance.
I would say due to the basic road network in Sri Lanka, 1 week is def not enough to do the sights.
I experienced the lower stars hotels in Sri Lanka down the Bentota chain which can be basic. We went in July 04 and the seas were quire rough.
A short walk away is the town, which is really bustling and cool. This is what Sri Lanka is all about in my view. The people are very curteous and some will try the hard sell but ive experienced far far worse. I would recommend a sari which you can pick up very cheaply.
Unique Quality: Lovely views, sunsets, private grounds, japanese garden, art gallery, nice bar, excellent food, internet service, friendly staff and big lobby with elephants!!
Taj Exotica Hotel
Situated on a hillock, overlooking a palm-fringed beach and All rooms are elegantly appointed and have balconies directly with overlooking the sea,international direct dial facility, mini-bar and personal safe.
Directions: Located 60 kilometers (2 hours drive) from Colombo and 90 kilometers (3 hours drive) from the Airport
More about Taj Exotica
Just the job for a beach holiday
One of the best, if not the best, hotel in this area. We stayed for a week in mid December 2005 and generally found the hotel lived up to our expectations.
Our room was not over large but adequate, clean and well presented with all facilities working satisfactorily. We had a deluxe sea view room for which we paid a little extra, probably worth it.
Breakfast and Buffet Dinner were good value. We also dined twice in the Sea View restaurant which was O.K. but not gourmet( fish was much better value at the cafe on the beach - superb giant prawns!). The Chinese restaurant was still recovering from the Tsunami but the other outdoor restaurant my wife thourght very romantic although the food was no better than the Sea View.
Staff in all areas of the hotel were very hard working and gave no cause for complaint. If visiting again would certainly stay at the Taj Exotica.
Top Draw Hotel
Me and my fiancee have just come back from a 11 night stay at the Taj. We were very impressed.
The first thing to say that it is not a five star hotel! I am ex Trailfinders Staff and Trailfinders did rate it as a 4 plus star hotel. I think the reason are the rooms. The fixtures and fittings can do with some modernising.
We stayed in a Standard seaview which gives a partial seaview. We were in room 109. For another $15 per night you can upgrade to a full seaview. This is good value but the room is identical. It is just on a higher floor hence the full seaview.
Throughout the stay the service was impeccable. Room service is fantastic. You can have a lovely dinner on your balcony at extremely reasonable prices. The palms restaurant where breakfast was served every morning was fantastic. Great selection. The same restaurant also does a buffet lunch and buffet dinner. 1000 rupees (about £6) for lunch and 1700 rupees (about £10) for dinner. Strongly recommended. They also offer a la carte options in the restaurant. Within the hotel there is also a sea-food and chinese restaurant. We tried the chinese. It was good but the menu was very limited. The tsunami had badly hit the restaurant so there was very few tables. This was probably the reason for the reduced menu.
It was very much a couples type hotel. There were some families. There didn't seem a great deal to do for young kids. Most of the time the parents were doing the supervising rather than there being a kids club. However there was a kiddies pool. The adult pool was fantastic with water aerobics and water polo everyday. Around the hotel there was also beach volleyball. One of the dissapointing things about the holiday was the sea. Although peak time for Bentota is October to April, in reality the sea only really calms down from middle of November. Hence the sea wasn't safe for swimming.
Word of warning. If booking excursions from hotel, all the establised tour companies will say don't use the local beach boys to avoide being ripped off. That is rubbish. You can organise the same tours with the local tuk tuk drivers for 40% of the cost. AITKEN SPENCE charged us £32 per person for boat safari and Kosgoda turtles at Balapitiya. You can organise exactly the same thing yourself for about £10 per person!!! AITKEN SPENCE ARE A RIP-OFF along with others like Walkers Tours and Hem Tours. We didn't see a thing on our boat safari. Aitken Spence knew I was ex Trailfinders and I advised them I will not recommend their company to anyone as they do not represent value for money. Speak to other couples at the hotels and through word of mouth, you will find the trusted local tuk tuk drivers who will organise cheap trips.
Anyway Taj Exotica in Bentota is fantastic hotel. We even saw a wedding there which was brilliantly done so anyone looking to get married there, big thumbs up!
Myself & my partner stayed here for 1 week before going on to the Eden hotel in Beruwela. From the second we walked in to the hotel we were treated like royalty. The staff are very friendly and will do anything to please. The rooms are fine, the bathroom was a little dated and the hairdryers are a waste of time but it is hardly something that would affect my holiday! the hotel itself is in a great location overlooking the beach, the pool area was lovely and the swim up bar is a nice touch. The sea at the moment is a little rough as its coming to the end of the monsoon so unfortunately we couldnt swim in it but aparently in the next few weeks it will be fine. Since the Tsunami (which hasnt affected this area) there isnt much going on the beach, there are no bars/restaurants/shops etc we found 1 little bar just up from the hotel which was a nice change called Wunderbar. We found that the food was really good in the seaview restaurant but it can be quite pricey, you will pay about £20 for steak in here which in sri Lanka is very expensive but being in a 5 star hotel you expect to pay more. I dont understand what some people have complained about, being an ex holiday rep myself i have deterred people from booking with the locals and the dangers of doing anything independently but it is all nonsense, you can do everything cheaper with a local guide, you will see more and have more time too see things as they are working for you. you have to remember that these reps are working on commissions so will discourage you doing anything on your own! As long as you barter everything down you wont get ripped off, everyone is extremely friendly and there are no scams, you will find that all tuk tuk drivers and taxi services will try and get you to go to gem factories, mask makers etc but you only need to say you are not interested and they leave it there! You do tend to end up tipping everyone for everything but you dont have to tip a lot or just do what we did and tip the bar tenders, pool boys at the end of your stay. A lot of people have complained about the sun bed situation, to be honest we didnt have a problem with this until the last day, whatever time we came we got a bed and the hotel was full however, on our last day a lot of locals came to the hotel so beds were sparce but saying that i only waited 10 mins before the pool boys had got me 1 so not a big deal. all in all a great hotel in great surroundings and i would def stay here again!
Worth the Journey! 5 star
We have just returned from 2 weeks at this fabulous hotel. First visit to Sri Lanka and it won't be our last. The weather was fantastic, with only cloud after about 4pm, so plenty of time to catch the rays and read a good novel.
This hotel is perfect for relaxing, swimming and eating! We didn't venture out at all so can't comment on the locality apart from the immediate village of Bentota which was very basic, but they had sun cream!
The food is buffet breakfast, lunch and Dinner. But there are 4 other restaurants at the hotel if you want to try something different. Although we tried the Sea View and found the food was average and not nearly enough. We stuck to the buffet after that as it was always varied with something new to try.
Lunch costs 1000 rupees each (£6) plus drinks and it's all you can eat.
The Orchid Rooms were fantistic, gorgeous view from balcony over the pool and sea beyond.
They were slightly affected by the Tsumani, but only the ground floor was flooded. They have just finished a refurbishment so the rooms are fresh and clean and the beds are HUGE!
They have also just opened a Spa called "JIVA" which is very tranquil and is set amongst the trees just off the beach. You get a 30 min head massage thrown in if you stay in an Orchid Room. They do a massive range of treatments including Yoga, but beware there is nearly 25% tax to pay on top of the brochure prices.
The 3 hr transfer was a bit horrific, with the roads being a little "tired" and cows roaming freely it was a slow process. There is only one road down the coast too, so any traffic problems are your problems!
But all in all the holiday was fantastic, highly recommend the Taj to anyone who wants to relax with a book, maybe play a little Water Polo or Volley Ball, eat loads of wonderful food and walk along the beach in either direction for miles.
The sea is quite rough, but there were people surfing and body boarding all the time so it was safe.
Definately 5 star, friendly staff who were unobtrusive and not pushy about tipping like the locals.
Oh yes, it's not a formal place in the evenings either, very relaxed, smart casual.
Taj Exotica Bentota
Does anyone have details about the ORCHID rooms at the Taj Bentota?
RE: Taj Exotica Bentota
There is a sort of room caste system at the Taj, the Orchid rooms are on the sixth floor, they are one grade up from the 'superior' sea view rooms. They have the usual stuff (including a sea view) but the furniture is better and you get a DVD player.
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We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:
- Taj Exotica Bentota
- Taj Exotica Sri Lanka
- Taj Exotica Srilanka
- Taj Exotica Hotel Bentota
- Bentota Taj Exotica Hotel
- Vivanta By Taj - Bentota Hotel Bentota
Address: Taj Exotica, Bentota, 403 716, Sri Lanka