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“great staff shabby rooms” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Gateway Hotel Janardhanapuram Varkala

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The Gateway Hotel Janardhanapuram Varkala
Ranked #3 of 49 Hotels in Varkala
Certificate of Excellence
yorkshire
Level Contributor
73 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“great staff shabby rooms”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 February 2012

we stayed here in feb. The room (302) was above the reception area with excellent views of the pool . Unfortunately my partner fell ill with Delhi Belly the staff were fantastic organising a doctor to visit and were constantly asking how she was .
The room -a large bedroom with large lounge area was shabby and in desperate need of an upgrade -which was being carried out in parts of the hotel .
The pool was excellent although there were only sunbeds for 12 people so it was towels at dawn to save a sunbed !
The breakfasts were ok -not enough choice of fresh frits for my taste .
Varkala is a beautiful location but once you have walked allong the cliff path and looked in the shops -most of which sell the same tibetan type products there is not a lot to do .
The restaurants are cheap but the quality of food is poor (in comparison with Kochin for example .
Tips - In February Varkala is very warm and very humid
- watch out for water bottles on sale that have been filled with tap water -most genuine bottled water will have a date stamp on the sealed plastic top -we bought some that did not and suspected that they were tap water refills .
In summary staff brilliant hotel rooms shabby

Room Tip: ask for one of the refurbished rooms
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank traveller trevor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (211)
Date | Rating
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English first
Level Contributor
22 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 February 2012

We stayed here for two nights. We had a sea view room just to the left of reception (if looking towards the sea). The room was very spacious with a huge balcony and a good size bathroom. The hotel has a bit of a dated feel to it but has been modernized in places. It is clean and spacious. The pool is wonderful, overlooking the beach which is very beautiful and clean.

The breakfast is average for this grade of hotel. The buffet serves mainly South Indian dishes although you can have eggs to order - I personally recommend the masala omelette which the chef makes in front of you and is delicious. The waiting staff are very cheerful and helpful.

The wifi is expensive. It's better to go to any one of the cafes on the cliff, buy a very reasonably priced drink and connect to their intnernet as almost every cafe offers free wifi. The cliff is also where the action is - beautiful sea views, a short walk to the beach where the sea is wonderfully warm.

The only downside to the hotel is the type of people is appears to be attracting. On the one hand, it appears to be a conference style hotel whilst on the other it attracts package tourists who have little interest in venturing beyond the hotel. The package tour guests also compete with each other every morning to be the fastest to "reserve" the limited number of sunbeds by placing a towel and a book on each one before disappearing until later in the day. This territorial and selfish attitude is rather sad. I would suggest that management review how they deal with this.

Overall, a great hotel in a lovely part of Kerala. We would definitely return here.

Room Tip: Rooms to the left of reception (looking towards the sea) have bigger balconies.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank HotchickPatel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
Level Contributor
45 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 January 2012

The view from the pool and our room was wonderful. Our room was very large but it was need of being renovated, which apparently they are doing to the entire hotel. The food was good but very expensive for India. We often went down to the beach for our main meals where the food was equally as good, if not better and 1/4 the price. The staff was wonderful. We had a problem with our transportation, which they had arranged, upon our departure. We were really annoyed but they did everything to remedy the problem swiftly and offered us drinks while we waited. I was impressed with how they resolved things. Room service was very swift. We absolutely loved hang out at the pool where we were paid fabulous attention to. Our favorite part was probably hanging out at the pool because the service there was just amazing and the view spectacular. They had a nice New Year's event with a big buffet. All in all, it was a very enjoyable stay. We did experience a lot of late night noise that was bothersome because we were right above reception.

Room Tip: Ask for a view of the Sea and away from the lobby.
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank DCVagabonds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bettembourg, Luxembourg
Level Contributor
119 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 191 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 January 2012

We were assigned a newly renovated room with excellent view of the gardens, palm trees, the sea and nightly sunsets. We were very pleased with the design, decor and quailty of the hotel room. Our room attendant, Raul, was most pleasant and did a perfect job of maintaining our room each day.

The hotel drive entry is very pretty and gives one a feeling they are arriving at a luxury property. Then you enter the lobby. While the lobby is large, with lots of seating. It is old, drab and lacks the impact of the hotel exterior. Despite the great view from the lobby there is no lounge type facility in the lobby area to enjoy a drink and snack. It screams "renovate me please!".

However, making up for the lackluster lobby, the reception desk staff are bright, cheerful and welcoming! Afsal M tended to our check-in with much warmth and attention and provided us with his five star service consistently throughout our stay.

The pool is perfect in size and design. Nice loungers. We do not lay out in the sun so wish there were cabana facilities. Most hotels lack these so it is not a negative. The fitness center consists of one elliptical machine and one tredmill and is part of the ayurvedic spa. The spa room we saw was stark and plain. We opted not to book any treatments so cannot review the hotel spa services. The fitness machines are not accessible until 7am.

The restaurant is smallish with basic modern decor. There is covered outdoor seating were most guests choose to use. The hotel sets up tables on the lawn outside the restaurant for dinner. There is a buffet setup for breakfast and dinner. The spread is not extensive, but sufficient. We found that the hotels we stayed at had buffets with foods to cater to non Indians. We love Indian food so ordered our evening meals from the ala carte menu which tends to be more authentic and sppicer than the buffet offerings. We found this to also be the case at The Gateway. We enjoyed our meals very much... including our room service order which was delivered in a very timely fashion. The restaurant staff are young friendly guys. We enjoyed the attentive service proved by Atool and Ligin very much!

The town and beach are very near the hotel. Guests can walk down a pathway from the back of the hotel or feom the hotel driveway area. The pathway is only accessable feom 7am to 7pm. There is a gate at the top of the footpath which is locked after 7pm. As a Trip Advisor user it was an interesting experience uaing the foot path as one has to walk right up allng a few of the hotel properties we read about on the site. One was one of our other top choices. It was very different in reality and we were so pleased we booked The Gateway. Also, one can see The Hindustan Hotel from the Gateway. Nice beachfront location, but still, The Gateway is far superior.

The north cliff, the area with all the restaurants and shops, is just a bit far for convenient walking to and from the hotel. We simply hired a cheap auto rickshaw from "the helipad" back to the hotel.

The hotel charges for internet access (arrrgh, don't ya just hate that!). There is a cafe in the town very near the footpath that offers free internet. Made for a nice morning coffee. Not sure if they can provide a computer as we had a tablet that we carried with us.

Overall, we were completely happy with our choice to stay at The Gatway and highly recommend it for visitors to Varkala who want to be near but not in the midst of the north cliff acttion. The cliff is great for day visit and dinner but seems it would be too much of the same old thing day after day. The Gateway fills the niche very, very well. We would love to see the hotel once it is completely refurbished with a lobby that reflects its exterior and hearts of the staff!

TIPS:
Lotus Cafe: located on the south cliff is a must, must, must! Not the easiest place to find, but so well worth the lovely stroll. Easiest way is to take the stairs from across "the tank" to the right of the temple stairs, turn left at the top, turn right once at the back of the temple and keep walking. Real espresso, a view of the sea with eagles flying so close you can take a clear photo of them and warm service! Honestly, sitting at this cafe on the edge of the cliff with those eagles is now one of my top three favorite and amazing spots I have ever experienced.

Temple Elephant: One can see the temple elephant on the walk to the cafe. Not a pretty site as it is chained to a tree and exposed to the harsh sun. Sad to see, but if you have never been up close to an elephant here is your chance. Please stay out on the roadway and do not go anywhere near the elephant!

One can access the back of the temple area for some nice photo opportunites too! Please be respectful and do not go very far inside the temple courtyard area. It is not a site seeing spot, but an opportunity to see some of the temple.

Souvenirs: Wonderful hand made paintings using vegetables for coloring. Just before Maria's beauty salon. Tiny hole in the wall place. It is managed by the sons of the artist. Original and unique. Each piece is priced based on the time it took to make and they come is a variety of sizes.

Varkala vs Kovalam: Hands down Varkala!

Hotel: The Gateway is the top upscale option!

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Bette M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cheshire
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 December 2011

Thankyou to everbody at the Gateway Hotel. We had a truly amazing holiday.

Dont waste your time looking at the past reviews as the good ones and the bad ones all have valid points??? Thats the problem with Tripadvisor! The hotel is much like any hotel in the world. Its made of concrete and has a roof! The staff however are not found anywhere else. They are absolutely fantastic. Dennis is the best hotel manager I have ever had dealings with. Sajimon and Lujin, in the restaurant, were so friendly and polite but efficient as well. Indeed all the staff were polite and took time out to talk to you. The food in the A/C restaurant tasted fantastic and was presented beautifully.

Varkala was interesting. We walked down to the beach and then along to the cliffs every day to watch the sunset whilst sitting in one of the many bars enjoying a beer.

If you are trawling through a Mercury Direct brochure wondering where to go on your visit to Kerala then all I can say is CHOOSE THIS HOTEL. The Full Board package is great value for money.

A few tips: Normal European 2 pin plugs fit the sockets. Hairdryers are in all rooms along with Safes. Bottled water is provided in your room free of charge. Towels are provided around the pool.

We stayed for 20 relaxing nights in December 2011 and look forward to visiting again soon.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank It-only-rains-when-I-get-there
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BLR
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 December 2011

Nice peaceful resort. good food and location, close to the beach. The location is 55 kms from Trivandrum and about 30 kms from Kollam. good location to take day trips to Kanyakumari and Trivandrum.

There are some attractions around Varkala (none in Varkala though) and there is some degree of difficulty in locating places if you are on your own in your vehicle.

rooms are clean and spacious and the sea view rooms are a good choice.

It is ok to spend no more than 3-4 days there if you want to rest and do sight-seeing. if only sight-seeing, then no more than 3 days

Room Tip: Take the sea-view rooms
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DDBLR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kottayam, India
Level Contributor
43 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 December 2011

Horrible room service..you wont get the food even after waiting for hours..need to call every now and then.. forget about food ,.not even drinking water..they claim that it requires about 45 minutes to prepare the dish..you wait for one and a half hour call up again and ask..the response " sorry sir we missed the order..we will prepare it within 15 mins and give !!!"

Asked for some drinking water 1 hr before checking out..and that's a mystery!!
Indian guest FYI..you don't get a health faucet in bathrooms..a bucket and mug is available on request..

However the food in restaurant is good quality.. again the chef forgot a portion of the dish ..errrr

The room had a pungent smell!!

They decorated the room when we came back after an outing..was nice to see ..but if you miss the basics of hospitality whats the point..

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JG_Trotter
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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