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“Great stay”

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The Gateway Hotel Janardhanapuram Varkala
Ranked #4 of 52 Hotels in Varkala
Certificate of Excellence
Oslo, Norway
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Great stay”
Reviewed 3 April 2011

Very nice hotel in a quiet location withdrawn from the hustle and bustle of the Varkala beaches. Beautiful, large swimming pool with good service from the attendant. Restaurant with excellent food and very friendly and efficient service. We loved the romantic candle-light dinner on the lawn in front of the restaurant. Some evenings there was indian live music in the pool area. We appreciated the daily newspaper at the door. The hotel has a couple of bicycles for free use. We would recommend a less formal welcome – may we suggest a welcome drink? Somewhat expensive and rather slow Internet.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank GSandBH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Billings, Montana
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 March 2011

The location of this hotel is fabulous. Our room had been recently refurbished and the walls had been "touched up" with paint of a different color. The satellite television system could not be turned out without directions, and there were none available. It required 4 people to get our television going. A list of stations was provided--many were "not subscribed to" and there were stations available not listed. The staff explained that the list "came from the outside". We ordered lunch off the menu--our lunch arrived about 45 minutes after ordering and our drinks (tea and a milk shake) arrived 65 minutes after ordering. The hotel seemed understaffed. Most meals were buffet style with the wait staff removing plates and not able to take drink orders, refill water glasses, etc. Most of the buffet items were not described and were almost strictly Indian food though most of the guests were western. The poor service was a topic of discussion among guests at the pool.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Montana0535
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 March 2011

Great location, the hotel is set on a raised point of land and is surrounded by vegetation and palm trees(typical Kerala). Not far from the beach, which has a large life guard patrolled area and is cleaned every day by a team of local tourist dept cleaners. The sea was wonderful. But be aware, this hotel has two very distinct halves, something which some other reviewers probably never realised. The wing with rooms beginning with a number 1, eg 102, 103 etc are all newly refurbished and are very nice with all modern decor, huge super kingsize beds, flat screen TV, great bathroom etc. The other wing with rooms beginning with a number 2 are old, shabby and have dated decor, old style dodgy TV and electrics, and tatty old bathrooms. This wing also has the huge noisy kitchen extractor, and the closer the room is to the central block , the greater the noise. Also the refurbished wing looks over trees and foliage and the other wing faces the hotel utilities site (screened by a green mesh sheet stretched in front). So like we did, unless you get a 'new room' on arrival, insist on being moved. The hotel should give a priority to getting all rooms up to standard. The manager is very pleasant and the staff are also pretty good and friendly with just the one glum face that we saw (a young lad at reception who never smiled). The pool looks out over the surrounding greenery and is fairly good but suffers from lack of sunbeds/sunshades. This is such a fundamental requirement yet we saw people arrive who couldn't get a bed as there are so few, and some beds had to go without shade as there are just a handful of shades. I felt sorry for Mathew the pool attendant who struggled to appease disgruntled guests. I told him the management should get this sorted and it wasn't his fault, he is very good and has excellent customer service skills. There is plenty of space for more beds but the management mustn't rate this as important. We went to the beach a lot so it didn't trouble us too much. On one occassion, after a complaint by a group of guests, some old fashioned metal folding beds were brought out, we joked with some other guests that these looked like old military hospital beds. The food is fine and no complaints but it's always difficult to please all of the people all of the time as it's such a personal thing, we had no complaints and were always filled but still ate out sometimes as you always get a bit tired of the hotel grub. Also it's worth noting that you can go out and get a really nice meal with drinks for the price of drinks alone in the hotel. Get a Tuk Tuk up to the cliff top restaurants for just 50 rupees, great!! (try ABBA restaurant, nice clean kitchen and you can see them cooking). Don't worry too much about paying extra for a 'sea view' room as this is misleading, the lower rooms are nice and have there own little front gardens, the most important thing is to insist on one of the 'new' rooms. We would consider staying here again...........but of course only in the nice rooms!! I suppose in a year's time it may be all up-graded. I assume the Taj Group owners are keen to keep there reputation for good hotels. They have a little work to do at the Gateway Varkala.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
10 Thank Thetruthgoblin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York, NY
Level 5 Contributor
74 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 February 2011

This hotel is located on a beautiful piece of property, with lovely water views from the higher floors. It is not right along the beach, but about a 10 minute walk will get you there. Service is high quality, room service is available, and the breakfast and dinner feature authentic Indian food and passable Western food.

We arrived at this hotel late at night and were given a ground floor room. It smelled horrendously strongly of mold - like a crypt. It was so strong as to be sickening. The room was otherwise clean, and the beds were comfortable, but the smell was overpowering. The television also did not work at all.

The following day we upgraded (for Rs 2000 a day) to a suite on the first floor with a water view. This room smelled less like mold, but the odor was still distinct in the living room area. However, it was something we could live with. Again, neither of the TVs in the room worked. Not a huge issue, but in a town with no nightlife, it would have been nice to have. The hotel is also not cheap for what it is.

The property is well-maintained and there is a spacious swimming pool area. The fitness center consists mainly of a treadmill. There is also the obligatory ayurvedic spa.

We loved Varkala, and absent the mold problem, would strongly recommend this hotel. However, something like that raises serious issues about cleanliness and attention to detail by the Taj chain itself. There may well be hotels along the beachfront that are closer to the beach and offer fewer amenities, but otherwise may be better.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank jlb3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bengaluru, India
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 January 2011

We stayed at Gateway Varkala for our anniversary trip. The hotel is quiet, near to the beach with great views all around. It blends the beauty, serenity and quietness of Varkala perfectly. Even if you are not in a mood to go around the place, just sit down near the pool and enjoy the spectacular views all around. Kudos to the property and the management of the property.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank RohanJalan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 5 Contributor
69 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 150 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 January 2011

I stayed at the Gateway Hotel for eight nights at the end of December. It should be noted that the hotel is in the middle of refurbishment, with about half the rooms currently having been updated along with the restaurant and bar. I understand that the remainder of the hotel will be refurbished, including the rest of the rooms and the pool area, starting in March 2011. The hotel is quietly located on a hill with views over the coconut palms to the sea beyond. A path leads from the pool area down to the tatty and rubbish strewn end of Varkala beach. The hotel is small and service should be a strong point as there seemed to be a high ratio of staff to guests, but service was very hit and miss, especially at breakfast where the staff couldn’t get their act together to replenish juice, offer tea and coffee etc. Staff at the hotel were friendly but pretty hopeless, never answering questions and failing to return phone calls. An indication of this sloppiness is the fact that we emailed the hotel with a simple question prior to arrival and it took them two months to respond. On a positive note Jesu, the pool attendant, took pride in his work, and was always cheerful and helpful. The beds were comfortable and the refurbished rooms are bright, modern and comfortable, the food was good but expensive. The pool area was pleasant to spend the day but it is in dire need of the refurbishment. A hotel of this size should be able to provide intimate slick service but it totally fails to deliver. When all the works are complete hopefully things will improve.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Davidob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Köln
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 January 2011

This is part of the taj group but not as luxurius as the vivanta taj series of hotels, but still worth 4 stars. The rooms in the middle are nice, to the right and left wing of the hotel they have no views at all. The service in the hotel is good, in the restaurant very bad- if you stay here dont eat here. The food on the menu, apart from the breakfast and buffets they offer, is overpriced and tasteless. the pool is very nice, but get up early to get one of the 8 sunbeds...if the hotel is full it is a bit overpopulated. It is 5 minutes walk from the beach. It is quite far though from Varkala's beach strip with restaurants etc- you will need a taxi.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank fwigger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Gateway Hotel Janardhanapuram Varkala

Property: The Gateway Hotel Janardhanapuram Varkala
Address: Near Government Guest House | Janardhanapuram, Varkala 695141, India
Phone Number:
Region: India > Kerala > Thiruvananthapuram District > Varkala
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Varkala
#2 Family Hotel in Varkala
#4 Romantic Hotel in Varkala
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — The Gateway Hotel Janardhanapuram Varkala 4*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
It is set amidst tall, swaying palms and is 60 ft high on a cliff, Varkala is located 55 kms (1 hr 15 m drive) from Thiruvananthapuram International Airport. The railway station is a 5 minute drive from the hotel. The hotel offers a choice of 30 elegant rooms including 2 suites. A multi-cuisine restaurant and 2 bars, meeting room, Ayurvedic center, WiFi and indoor/outdoor sports facilities makes the hotel an ideal getaway for the discerning leisure traveler. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Gateway Hotel Janardhanapuram Varkala Kerala

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