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“Amazing Hospitality and Property”

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The Gateway Hotel Janardhanapuram Varkala
Ranked #3 of 52 Hotels in Varkala
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 19 August 2009

This is one the best properties which I have come across.
The hospitality was really good and being an off season the rates will a steal.
The food was also very good.
Apart from this the number of activities that they have is really good - Lawn Tennis, Badminton, Table Tennis, Carrom, Swimming pool, other board games.
They also have some kind of show for the evening which is worth watching.
A must visit for everyone.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank nivan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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715 - 721 of 782 reviews

Reviewed 8 June 2009

I meant to write a small review of this hotel for a long time (almost a year!) as this is thanks to the comment I read on this website I selected that hotel in the first place.
As stated before, it is important not to expect to find a 5 star hotel even if it claims to be one. It should be an overall 3 star hotel. With that in mind, you will not be disapointed.
I have travelled a few times in India and unless you go to very expensive hotel you are never sure of what you will get and this is what selecting this hotel was all about, some piece of mind.

The rooms are spacious and clean. I started with a standard room and then requested a suit as one became available. The suits are just 2 standard rooms put together, one acts as a salon/diner room and the other one as your bedroom.

What I diskled about this hotel:
- Not much really
- The restaurant hasn't got much selection
- There isn't really a bar in the hotel, you do get a pool bar but this closes around 10pm (unless maybe there are still people swimming?)

What I liked about it:
- It is quiet
- It is close to the beach, but you still get this sense of privacy! (5 to 10 minutes walk)
- Rooms are clean, bed comfortable, nice bathroom
- Very good service by the pool with "Matthew" always smiling!
- The pool size is good

They do offer some backwater and elephant tours...
Backwater: interesting, but they do not take you "far enough" inland, you seem to only being taken around into the large lagoon and you see only the start of the backwaters.
Maybe you can ask for a different tour... still worth it though! especially when the sun goes down!!!

Elephant tour:
That was more of a disapointment... it was nice to be taken around on a huge elephant... but all you do is being "toured" on a road... I would have preferred to go into a jungle... and it lasts about 10 minutes...
not really worth it!

The fitness center is... well a joke... a tiny room boilling hot with 2 or 3 weigths and a running machine... but that's not really why I chose that resort so I was OK (you can always run on the beach!)

If you are getting maried, it is your anniversary, etc... and tell them, they will organise a cake for you (very nice!)

They do have broadband internet, it works... but you can get disconnected often... I managed to run skype no problem though!

To summerize, the hotel does indeed feel a bit rundown, but it is clean and you get a very good service. Varkala is a beautiful place and you have plenty of restaurant and bars at about 5 minutes drive (in a local auto/taxi for about 50 ruppees).

I highly recommend it for a nice romantic getaway, while still being close enough to night life!

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Rolda T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 June 2009

TAJ VARKALA :

the serene and lovely beach resort is wonderfull and can be reached from tiruvanathapuram airport by road and is a grat place to take a break from the city life. here the reaort is princely , with excellant gourmet offer, lovely pool and facing the varkala beach. the quiet natural surroundings makes this place very nice and relaxes the mind and Kerala gods own country can be experienced at this lovely resort. the facilities are excellant , the bar is very good. the conference facility is also good. the rooms are spacy, well furnished and are of international standards . the ambience reflects taj culture and hospitality and is to be experienced atleast once in a life time. so dont miss it, enjoy cool nature , take walk through the garden to the beach , enjoy swimming and the lovely dishes offered at the restaaurant.

enjoy and have a great times. pay visit to the local temple and the beach has traditional rituals taking place in the mornings.

Thank BALU7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 May 2009

We – my wife and me, who else – had been to Taj Garden Retreat recently renamed as the Gateway Hotel. I had driven from Thiruvananthapuram and it took around one and half hour pleasant drive from the airport. Take NH 47 and before Quilon, after Attingal you have to take a left turn. It is about 15 km from the National Highway. Ask for Varkala beach.
If you ask for the Gateway hotel, you may not get a good route. Ask for Taj Varkala. The hotel is a remodeled palace. I reported at 1200 hours and despite my request for early check in, since the hotel was full, I had to wait for about one hour. But the hotel staff made our stay comfortable by a welcome drink of coconut water followed by a filter coffee. They allowed us to have the lunch at the basement restaurant named Cape Camorin. The lunch was ethnic; though without a fancy menu without any fancy price tag also. I wanted an upgrade and they said the upgrade was available for three nights only. I settled for it and opted for room no 402. If you want a sea view, you ask for 401 or 402. If you want just a balcony (sit out) you can go for 301-304.

I got 402. The view was fabulous. This is not a beach hotel. You have to walk around some private properties to the beach and it is about 100 meters. You should go to the cliff for a fantastic swim in the sea. The Kerala Tourism hotel is nearby within walking distance. They had arranged some cultural show of folk dances. I went around with my wife but since it was so noisy and returned to the hotel again.
The Gateway hotel has hardly about 44 rooms, many of them in the first floor, second floor and the basement. The swimming pool is marvelous. You also have a children’s pool and they stock some good wines. I had a tiring session of swimming and the evening dinner I had at the poolside. Marvelous. You have to fall in love with the Kerala food to enjoy it. Also carry some antacids. Because most of their preparation is with ground coconut. The chef is a Bengali. Mr. Animesh Barua. He would dish out anything you order within minutes, s though it is a magic. And rely on Saji Mon the captain. He would show you a live fish and get it prepared the way you order it – grilled, roasted, curried or otherwise. Try the ‘meen pollichathu’. Steamed fish in banana leaves. Heavenly taste, forgive my Epicureanism.
Next day we took a long drive to Guruvayoor, retaining our room and the hotel staff helped me with road directions, road map and all the advice for darshan at temple. It was only in the following afternoon that we could return. I was worried that I had to go down to a lesser room and my wife was possessive of 402 on the top. Thank God and the hotel staff, they permitted me to retain 402 and throughout of the day and the following day, we willowed in the pool and the sea alternatively. Beware while walking down to the beach, especially in the evenings. You can encounter snakes. May be rat snakes. But when you cross a snake, whether it is a rat snake of a king cobra, your heart can skip a beat, for sure.
If you like the sun, beach, great pool scene, and countryside romance, Taj Varkala is for you. One promise – the traditional Taj welcome and hospitality and the courtesy and helping attitude of the Taj staff – Ask Vidya at the front office – will make a lasting impression in your mind.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled with family
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4  Thank krishnamrutam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 April 2009

Great hotel and perfect location. The hotel was really friendly, had a lovely pool and gorgeous terraced gardens leading down to a little path that took you to the beach. This part of Varkala was definitely more local than the other end of the beach and in my opinion the better for it ! Whilst the clifftop area is amusing and ok for trinket shopping it really is like any other traveller hangout which can seem a bit tired after a while. At the other end of the beach, where this hotel is located, there are two superb beach restaurants - especially the one right on the beach where the freshly caught fish was cooked to perfection every eve and the staff were great - and could even russle up a cold bottle of white wine if you wanted.

The hotel rooms all had great sea views, spacious balconies and blissful air con which when the temp is 26 plus outside can be a real luxury! Stay here, eat at the beach bars and shop at the great little Kashmiri gift shop at the bottom of beach road.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank jetqueen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 April 2009

Really helpful staff, wonderful accommodation and a great view across the trees to the ocean. The food was excellent. The swimming pool is really nice if you don’t want to keep plodding down to the beach for a bit of outdoor relaxing. Short walk to shops is fun (although bits of it are unlit at night). The Taj chain is never the cheapest but this one is small enough for you to feel you’re getting a really personal service for your money.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank DroverCymru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2009

We stayed in hotel in deluxe suite with winter getaway package on our Honeymoon. I must say for those looking for uncrowded honeymoon destination, this place is perfect. We selected the place based on trip advisor reviews. The hotel provides indica for airport drop and pick up. The hotel is 52 km from Trivendrum airport and Hotel cab took around 1.10 hr. The driver Sreedharan was nice. The hotel people including Dhanesh, Amrita, Vidya, Sobhish, Anoop, Vishal restaurant staff & House keeping staff were wonderful. The Service of the hotel is good. The view from the room was truly amazing. Just in front of room pool and thereafter vast blue sea with no ends. The room was also good. The location of the hotel is good. The varkala beach is at 10 min walk with hotel private access to the same. The hotel is at elevation so step wise garden is also good. The hotel is not too close from beach. Therefore, beach noise is avoided and at the same time not too far. The food at hotel is perfect. We tried almost every vegetarian south Indian dish. As other GATEWAY hotels this one is also not a 5 star but 3 star with decent facilities one can expect. The kappila back water lake is good and is around 7 kms from hotel. However, motor boat ride in the same was included in our package. The Janardana swami temple is at 5 min walk from hotel. One day when we were in restaurant for dinner, the house keeping staff decorated our bed with towel made swans and flowers along with cake. It was a surprise for us when we came back to our room. The hotel ayurvedic centre is also good. In all the stay was perfect. The hospitality of the hotel is perfect. must say that the Hotel is good value for money and gives lot of sweet memories.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank PILOT_005
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

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
#1 Family Hotel in Varkala
#4 Romantic Hotel in Varkala
Price Range: £101 - £293 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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The Gateway Hotel Janardhanapuram Varkala Kerala

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