High on a hill overlooking Madurai lies the Gateway Pasumalai. After a security check at the gate you drive up the side of the hill and arrive at a lovely entrance. Reception is quick and thorough and we were given a nice quiet room on the outskirts of the property next to a garden. The room was quite large with a big storage chest and large enough bathroom with new fixtures and plenty of hot water. The pool is down some steps near the reception building in a lovely landscaped area. The pool is large enough with plenty of chairs and umbrellas and the water is cool and refreshing. Resident peacocks come around looking for food scraps and they will eat out of your hand if you give them peanuts. The restaurant overlooks the city with the Meenakshi temple complex in the background. Buffet breakfast was pretty standard but good. Trying to stay away from Indian food for a change we ordered the pasta for lunch which was a mistake - a small portion of terrible tomato sauce and pasta served in what looked like a small soup bowl and no parmesan cheese to put on top. We should have ordered Indian but were desperate for a simple lunch. We ordered Biryani in the room for dinner which was very good. But the ultimate outrage? I ordered a glass of mediocre Indian merlot wine (not imported) which came to about 4-5 ounces of wine in a small glass and was charged 700 rupees for it. I was shocked. Everywhere else we had been in India didn't charge half that for one glass (and they gave me more wine in the glass). I complained at checkout and the manager offered a 10% discount on the bill (big deal...) with a comment that they would look into their pricing for this. I won't hold my breath. But this is typical big hotel chain thinking. Internet was expensive for 24 hours. Honestly in this day and age I don't know why they don't get with the program and make it free. They can build a minimal cost for it in the room and build some good PR that way. Instead one is left feeling nickel and dimed for every cost. C'mon guys...customers would appreciate it....
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The hundred year-old celebrated colonial property is perched atop the Pasumalai hill, amidst 63 acres of landscaped gardens, colonial buildings and natural bliss. The hotel offers a panoramic view of the famous MeenakshiTemple, Madurai City and the Kodai hills. It is a 15-minute drive from the famous Meenakshi temple and City center. Accessible by road, air (Madurai Airport – 15 km) and train (Madurai Jn - 5 km). ... more less
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