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“One of our Favorite Hotels in Kerala”

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The Gateway Hotel Janardhanapuram Varkala
Ranked #3 of 52 Hotels in Varkala
Certificate of Excellence
Devizes, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“One of our Favorite Hotels in Kerala”
Reviewed 28 August 2011

The Taj Retreat at Varkala was the first Hotel in India we spent the night 2004), and has been in our consciousness ever since. Five visits in all.
However the prompt to write this review has been the recent refurbishment of the South wing rooms. They now have completely new En-Suites with showers, to a good standard. Other rooms refurbished include the Restuarant, small bar, and pool changing rooms. Finally the entrance lobby area has been made more welcoming, (the beautiful view of the sea is the same as ever).
Points to note this small resort/hotel used to be named a "Retreat" by the Taj group and that is still what it is, a beautiful, peaceful place to unwind and relax, within it`s beautiful setting.
Other plus points are: very long and famous beach, the many cliff top restaurants, a typical kerala small town a short autorickshaw ride away.
There have been assurances that the North Wing and Pool area are to be completed soon, this would indeed be the way to go, because the pool area could be beautiful. We shall keep tripadvisor readers updated.

Room Tip: Ask for the seaview and refurbished rooms
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Greeves
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Gurgaon
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 August 2011

Other than a Taj brand there is nothing worthwhile about this property. The biggest turn off for us was lack of hygiene- dirty towels, unswept corridors, and unclean pool. The place only has one restaurant and that too is damp and cold, and smells aweful. The spread in the restaurant is again limited. We were not also impressed with the staff- they appeared to be undertrained. Unfortunately, the location also is a let down- the beach is almost a 15 mnts walk and that too through a back alley which you would like to avoid if in swimwear or in dark.

You are better off getting a shack on the cliff-top. Cheap and with loads of option.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Shantanu_Lath
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UAE
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2011

I stayed 3 times in three years at Taj Varkala - purely for pilgrimage purpose.

Every time, my experience has been satisfactory...

Excellent location and rooms, good food, okay service and nice relaxing environment.

Only sad part is, every time i visited, I encountered new staff ... Staff retention policy seems to be pathetic! You simply cannoty find same staff after 1 year... this is quite surprising.

Room Tip: Ask for rooms with private garden
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank vinimanu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bangalore
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 August 2011

We stayed here for 3 nights in July on our visit to Varkala. The hotel rooms were very nice, but the overall upkeep of the property could have been better. There was water seepage & leaks on the roof just outside our room. Although the inside of the room was just fine, but it still was disturbing to see such basic lack of maintenance. But otherwise, the staff was quite helpful, and took care of our needs (although at times they had to be reminded a bit). One good thing is that this hotel does not charge for bottled water, which I think was quite a pleasant surprise. Food - like most hotels in the Taj/Vivanta/Gateway brand - is very very average. Nothing to write home about. Overall verdict - It was a nice & comfortable place to discover the beach & cliffs of Varkala.

Room Tip: As you enter the hotel, there are 2 wings on the left & the right. I felt the right wing was bet...
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank DM_2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gurugram (Gurgaon), India
Level 5 Contributor
90 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 July 2011

The hotel has been refurbished and is like any good 4 star properties. The rooms are comfortable and the hotel is well located. You can walk via the beach to the cliff areas or take auto (Rs 50). Staff were slow to react but eventually helpful. Overall you cannot go wrong by picking this hotel. Much nicer and quieter than anyplace in Kovalam

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank raop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Trivandrum
Level 6 Contributor
103 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 April 2011

The gateway varkala is a charming hotel which was recently renovated. the old hotel was getting a bit run down and in its new avatar, the rooms are much better and much more comfortable. The beach is a short walk away and the very popular cliff is quite close by too. The restaurants on the cliff top serve good affordable sea food also and provide for a wonderful evening dinner.
At the hotel do ask for Chef mathai -he can whip up some fabulous dishes!

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank GAGTVM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fairfax, California
Level 6 Contributor
43 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 April 2011

We stayed for 5 nights in January. The first night our room was not available, and they upgraded us to a suite with no additional cost. That was great service. We then got put in a renovated room, which was really good, and I highly recommend those rooms if you stay there. Very modern, comfy beds, excellent bathrooms. The older rooms are not nearly as nice, but still comfortable.

We really liked the pool, the restaurant, and the breakfast. The people that worked in the restaurant were very nice, as was the man that tended to the pool.

We only problem we had was with the front desk. As typical in India, many men stood around the front desk most of the time, but their communication/English skills were not great. There was only 1 manager that we felt confident speaking with. There were some slip ups, and miscommuications that caused some issues, including paying our bill. If the hotel were to improve apon this, they would get a 5 star from me.

The property was a nice 5 minute walk down to the local beach, which was very interesting, and nice. A 10 minute walk further down the beach brings you to the "tourist beach." Above the tourist beach is the Cliff area, with all of the fun shopping and restaurants. It was an easy 5 minute tuk-tuk drive home from the Cliff area, so we thought the location was good.

Would recommend if you are looking for someplace a little nicer, the price for the rooms was worth it.

Room Tip: Reserve a renovated room
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  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Deb37
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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