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“Privacy and Beauty harking back to the days of the 'British Raj'”

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The Gateway Hotel Pasumalai Madurai
Ranked #1 of 54 Hotels in Madurai
Certificate of Excellence
Carhaix-Plouguer, France
Level 6 Contributor
102 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 146 helpful votes
“Privacy and Beauty harking back to the days of the 'British Raj'”
Reviewed 20 February 2014

We stayed here for three nights 30th January to 02nd February as part of a 3 week trip across South India.
The hotel/resort is set on and around a hilltop overlooking Madurai in expansive and idyllic grounds. One could spend a few days at this hotel without ever leaving the resort and enjoy long walks, beautiful gardens, wildlife, excellent food, relaxing by the pool being waited on by attentive and truly genial staff and enjoying a glass of wine or cocktails on the veranda of the old colonial mansion which comprises the main part of the hotel. However when one has the fascinating city of Madurai at the foot of the hill with all its treasures and life to experience, then the Gateway act’s as the perfect retreat after long hot hours spent on Madurai’s streets.

Although this resort does give one the impression of private seclusion it is actually close to all that Madurai has to offer. If guests/clients do not have their own car and driver, one can be arranged by the front of house staff. Alternatively they will call an ‘Auto-Rickshaw/Tuk Tuk’ for guests which will take you to the particular attraction in Madurai you require for little more than the equivalent of two or three British pounds.

Prior to our visit I contacted the management to inform them that one of my party was aged and so I required two adjacent rooms on ground floor level. Upon arrival I discovered this request had been fully actioned, assigning us rooms 16 as a single room and 17 as the double for my wife and I which are set in a separate small building of only three rooms with their own small patio area which has a spectacular view over Madurai. The rooms were only a thirty seconds walk away from the main reception but because of the setting felt like we had our own private area of the resort. I was informed by Mr Vinpugal, the ‘Front of House’ manager that these rooms had been allocated for us because of my request and was offered first to view the rooms and if not happy I could have other rooms inside the main building. The rooms assigned for us were ideal for our needs and I commend the management on their choice and also for offering an alternative choice if we were not happy.

Our rooms were spacious, airy and quite luxurious with an old colonial feel. The bathrooms were also large and well appointed. I have placed some photographs at the end of this review including photographs of our room interior.

We ate at the hotel restaurant for breakfast on the three mornings and for two of our nights there. We enjoyed the buffet breakfast with it’s many and varied choices and we ate from the ‘A La Carte’ on the evenings. All meals were excellent quality, served perfectly. I love to cook and attempt to create innovative food back home in my little French kitchen as a way of relaxing after a day spent working at my computer and on the phone, so I asked our the two waiters Saravanan and Rajesh Kumar, who had incredible memories for our likes/dislikes etc and always served with a smile, if I could speak to the chef and commend him on his cuisine. His name is Mr Nagappan and he was so pleased that we loved his food that he offered me a cooking session with him in his kitchens. Unfortunately, as much as I would have loved doing just that, there was not enough time; so I have promised myself a retrun visit and will ensure I make time for Mr Nagappan’s kind offer.My one small complaint about the restaurant was the lack of any real butter at breakfast; instead a rather dry tasting ‘spread’ was all that was available. Toast needs real butter!

The pool area of the resort is once again set in beautiful gardens with wild peacocks, which have become accustomed to guest, wandering around. The pool area is served by staff who attend to every need such as towels, ordering and delivering drinks and arranging sun beds for guests.

Just inside the main building and adjacent to the reception is the bar and lounge area, which has, for India, an extensive choice of alcoholic beverages, wines and spirits as well as cocktails and non alcoholic ‘mocktails’ to offer. One can sit inside the bar which comprises the main reception room of the old mansion, or have one’s drinks served out on the shaded veranda or the lawn area in front.

For those requiring interaction with the rest of the world when staying at the Gateway, there is a resort wide good strength WIFI internet service available. The cost for this service is high and I believe it churlish to make such a charge for what is fast becoming a necessity. After speaking to a manager I was informed that following a companywide review, a plan to provide free WIFI will be rolled out shortly at all Taj hotels.

The resort was until the 1950’s a Colonial Mansion which harked back to the days of the British Raj in India and much of the atmosphere from those days has been retained by sympathetically renovating and re-using much of the mansion.

All the staff we interacted with during our stay were exemplary and were excellent ambassador’s for the Gateway. Being part of the ‘Taj’ group of hotels the management at the Gateway promote a strong client/guest based culture amongst all the resort staff. There are obvious well structured training programmes and an ethos based more on the reward ‘carrot’ style of managing rather than the fear based ‘stick’ method of attaining the best from staff. These systems seem to me, to be working very well. All the staff I spoke with seemed happy to be there and were easily forthcoming with praise for their employers. This type of management will always engender loyalty in staff whom will then willingly and enthusiastically do their best for guests/clients. The number one asset any business has is it’s staff. Without staff loyalty all business’ will eventually fail. The Gateway has very loyal staff.

I wish to emphasise that every member of staff I interacted with gave professional and courteous service, many going far beyond there required remit, and I would wish to see all of them duly rewarded. There were a few members of staff whom are worth special mention because of their attention to detail and the extra special touches that made smile and caused me to wish to return to Gateway any time I am in Madurai.

One lady was cleaning the lawn and garden area around the sides and front of the original mansion area comprising the bar. I must apologise for not taking her name but maybe my excellent bar man Mr Moorthy will remember her name and pass this on to management when reading this short tale. I sat in the shade of the veranda out of the baking sun on a number of occasions admiring the beautiful gardens and green lawns and noticed the smiling lady tending to the cleanliness of the grounds happily working away with the traditional hand full of twigs being used as a sweeping brush. This lady worked for hours in the hot sun but whenever we passed her she always had a smile and a “Hello Sir/Madam, how are you today”? She was truly happy to be working for the Gateway and genuinely interested in our well being and happiness. I always like to reward exemplary service and I asked this lady if she would allow me to buy her a cool fruit juice and take a short break in the shade. She was of course reluctant because it is not really allowed but I insisted and informed the bar manager to pass on the fact that this request was totally at my behest and that I wished for the manager of this lady to understand that this was the wish of a guest/client who simply wished to show some small reward and praise for the exceptional enthusiasm that this individual staff member shows daily. The lady thanked me, she stayed for a few minutes whilst we chatted and then she gladly returned to her duties.

The second person I would wish recognised is a lady named “Tu Ponnu” whose remit was to keep the grounds around our room area tidy and clean. Again this lady was always smilling and very friendly to all three of us. On one occasion during her day she had found a long beautiful Peacock feather which she kept with her until she saw me and handed it to me saying “This is for Madam”. I gave it to my wife and we have it here at home with us still. On another occasion Tu Ponnu also brought to us, whilst we were having a coffee on our private patio, a small posy of flowers she had collected and put together. She did not look for any reward other than our smiles.

Our room attendant was a young chap named “Morgaa”, (I am uncertain of the spelling). His diligence and attention to detail was again exceptional. Each time we returned to our rooms after they were cleaned/serviced we found them spotless and very well cared for. There were also little individual touches that made so much difference. For example, the very careful arrangement of my wife’s many, many pairs of shoes, which she had clumsily left lying in a large heap. Morgaa had laid them out and in pairs on a sheet of cloth organised in style and colour order. He also on other occasions placed beautiful rose petals in a pattern on the bed and on the dresser and arranged towels to resemble swans.

I spoke to the House Keeping Executive manager Mr Nallamuthu at the time of our visit to commend him on his housekeeping and grounds staff and he did seem genuinely very proud of his staff, which reflects well on his own management practices and style.

I have already mentioned the excellent Bar Person "Mr Eswara Moorthy" but would now like to thank him for his unstinting efforts to ensure I was able to work away on my laptop in the bar area with a cool beer. He moved tables, arranged chairs, found me an electrical socket to work from and kept me well supplied with drinks and snacks. I felt almost as though I had my own personal ‘butler’ attending to my every need.

Although I had work to do and did not find time to use the pool, My wife and her mother wish to mention “Mr Bala” from the pool area who again in my wife’s words, “provided excellent service”, attending to every need they had and going that bit further to ensure they could relax without a care in the world.

I would recommend this hotel/resort to all types of visitors, be it a lone business man requiring comfort, peaceful surroundings to relax in following a day’s meetings and good reliable internet access, to romantic couples of all ages and families looking for a safe clean haven for them to enjoy a holiday with children. The Gateway has something for everyone. I will definitely be returning to the Gateway.

Room Tip: Room 17 is very private and is fantastic for enjoying an early morning coffee on your own private pa...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Micgwit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Devraj S, General Manager at The Gateway Hotel Pasumalai Madurai, responded to this review, 23 February 2014
Dear Sir,

Greetings from The Gateway Hotel Pasumalai Madurai !

It is our pleasure to recieve your extensive and valuable feedback full of compliments for the hotel and our associates. Entire team here joins me in thanking you for selecting us for your stay here in Madurai. We are happy to know that you thoroughly enjoyed your stay. All individuals mentioned by you are glad that their efforts could make a difference in your stay. Your words of appreciation are highly motivating for the team.

Chef will be eagerly waiting for the cooking session with you on your next visit.

Best regards,

Devraj Singh
General Manager
Devraj.singh@tajhotels.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Seattle, Washington
1 review
Reviewed 15 February 2014

We arrived one day early from Rameswaren since we had a bad experience with our accommodation and unprofessional employees in Rameswaren.
Neelesh at the Gateway Hotel Pasamulai Madurai went out of his way to find a suitable accommodation at another hotel.
All the staff were friendly, helpful, polite, and welcomed us with smile and tika on our forehead. They had time to talk to us and made suggestion likely places to visit which will mostly appeal to us.
Rooms were clean, gardens were well maintained.
The chef and other staff in the dinning room explained about different menu and conducted themselves in a professional manner.
In the garden the caretaker help us to feed the peacocks.
We would have loved to spend few more days in Madura and stay at the Gateway.
Rajendra and Subhashini Agrawaal, Seattle, USA.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Rajendra A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Devraj S, General Manager at The Gateway Hotel Pasumalai Madurai, responded to this review, 16 February 2014
Dear Mrs.& Mr.Agrawaal,

It is our pleasure to recieve your compliments for the hotel. Entire team is delighted to know that you enjoyed your stay at Gateway madurai and especially loved our clean rooms and helpfulness of our associates. Neelesh is an asset to our organisation and he will be duly recognised for his gesture.

Your words of appreciation are highly motivating for the team. We will eagerly look forward to your next visit.

Best regards,

Devraj Singh
General Manager
Devraj.singh@tajhotels.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 6 Contributor
123 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 February 2014

In January 2014 we planned and traveled 1 month throughout South India and selected hotels based upon Trip Advisor recommendations including the Gateway (Taj) Hotel. The hotel and restaurant had a wonderful view over Madurai. The hotel has 62 acres of landscaped garden and has wonderful colonial architecture. We always have success with Taj Hotels.

Room Tip: Look at the room before you move in. The hotel is lovely, but when we arrived they put us in a mise...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Rockcreekpark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Devraj S, General Manager at The Gateway Hotel Pasumalai Madurai, responded to this review, 15 February 2014
Dear Guest,

Greetings from The Gateway Hotel Pasumalai Madurai !

Entire team here joins me in thanking you for selecting us for your stay here in Madurai. We are happy to know that you enjoyed the view of the city from the hotel. We regret the inconvenience caused to you pertaining to the first room you were checked in. That was our standard base category room for which you were booked. We were glad to upgrade you to our executive room with the city view since you wanted a room with a better view.

It is the feedback from valued guests like you that enables us to keep improving and remain motivated to deliver services of the highest standards.

We look forward to having you return to Madurai and staying with us in the future as well.

Best regards,

Devraj Singh
General Manager
Devraj.singh@tajhotels.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 February 2014

The Hotel was the most elegant lodging of the 18 hotels we stayed in during our trip around Southern India. It is located on the outskirts of Madurai up on top of a hill with great views of the city and the famous temples. Our room was very spacious, beautifully appointed and with lots of toiletries, robes, etc. The dining room was a hike to get to but once there, the view of the city was spectacular. The wait staff were very personable and the food was very good. So, with all of these lovely and classy features, we could not understand why they insisted on charging extra to use wifi in our room, especially when much less expensive hotels did not go to this extreme. How tacky and penny-pinching is that, really??? And, to add insult to injury, the rates were geared to maximizing their income by something like 300 Rupees for an hour or 600 for 24 hours!! And this after paying top dollar/rupee for this otherwise wonderful hotel?

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank 1sma2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Devraj S, General Manager at The Gateway Hotel Pasumalai Madurai, responded to this review, 15 February 2014
Dear Guest,

Greetings from The Gateway Hotel Pasumalai Madurai !

We are delighted to receive your valuable feedback for the hotel. We thank you very much for staying with us and selecting The Gateway Hotel Madurai as the finest among all 18 properties where you stayed during your trip to south of India. Thankyou for appreciating the quality of food and our services at the restaurant. We regret the inconvenience caused to you because of the wifi charges. We are in the process of finalising a company wide free wifi access policy and the same will be offered in near future.

It is the feedback from valued guests like yourself that enables us to keep improving and remain motivated to deliver services of the highest standards.

We look forward to having you return to Madurai and staying with us in the future as well.

Best regards,

Devraj Singh
General Manager
Devraj.singh@tajhotels.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mexico City, Mexico
Level 6 Contributor
331 reviews
63 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 136 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 February 2014 via mobile

What I like most of all, is when a Hotel and their people forget that they're only a hotel.
I read somewhere, that at The Getaway, if you wanted to, the cheff can give you cooking indian cuisine classes.... And I thought, why not??
I spoke with the front desk, they called Chef Mathivanan, and we met before. There he asked me what I wanted to learn. I asked for a paneer massala ( cottage cheese with a delucious sauce), he agreed, but daud rhat he also wanted to teach me some South Indian dishes. We set the time, and off I went for my sightseeing.
When I arrived to my lesson, there he was, with a team! I had the pleasure to watch and learn from Smundernary, an expert lady cook, that has been in the BBC cooking program, and Mr. Murhupandi, helping in every way.

They explained everything. Patiently showing everything and answering my hundred doubts.
After each cooked dish, we ate it. Everything was delicious.
What a great experience! Im very thankfull with them, for sharing their knowledge and suoer smiles!
Loved it!!!

Stayed February 2014
Helpful?
Thank mimiMexico_df
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Devraj S, General Manager at The Gateway Hotel Pasumalai Madurai, responded to this review, 12 February 2014
Dear Guest,

It is indeed our pleasure to recieve such great compliments from you. Entire team is delighted to know that you enjoyed your stay at Gateway madurai and especially loved the cooking with chefs. Our kitchen associates Mathivanan, Samundeswary and Muthupandi are an asset to our organisation and they will be duly recognised for offering you a complete cooking experience with their expertise.

Your words of appreciation are highly motivating for the team. We will eagerly look forward to your next visit.

Best regards,

Devraj Singh
General Manager
Devraj.singh@tajhotels.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 February 2014

Lush gardens surround the old historic buildings. Our room was huge and very comfortable with stunning views over Madurai. Plenty of peacocks and cute squirrels. Very friendly and helpful staff. Good value food and very tasty.Amazing view of the Meenakshi temple from the room. I loved that it was up on the hill and felt like a retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. Loved Madurai and will go back and would definitely stay at the Gateway again.

Room Tip: Higher rooms in the new build facing the city are excellent for value,quality and view.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank angela059
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Devraj S, General Manager at The Gateway Hotel Pasumalai Madurai, responded to this review, 12 February 2014
Dear Guest,

Greetings from The Gateway Hotel Pasumalai Madurai !

Entire team here joins me in thanking you for selecting us for your stay here in Madurai. We are happy to know that you thoroughly enjoyed your stay and especially loved our quality of food, helfulness of our associates and the peaceful location of the hotel.

It is the feedback from valued guests like you that enables us to keep improving and remain motivated to deliver services of the highest standards.

We look forward to having you return to Madurai and staying with us in the future as well.

Best regards,

Devraj Singh
General Manager
Devraj.singh@tajhotels.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SOUTH AFRICA
Level 6 Contributor
218 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 February 2014

Wow what a beautiful hotel . the setting is amazing, lush gardens with peacock and squirrels.
The staff are friendly and helpful, Food is amazing , very tasty wholesome food.
Very peaceful away from hustle of the city

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lutchmee M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Devraj S, General Manager at The Gateway Hotel Pasumalai Madurai, responded to this review, 11 February 2014
Dear Guest,

We thank you very much for staying with us and for your feedback. Thank you for appreciating quality of our food , helpfulness of our associates and the peaceful location of he hotel.

It is the feedback from valued guests like you that enables us to keep improving and remain motivated to deliver services of the highest standards.

We look forward to having you dine with us in the future as well.

Best regards,

Devraj Singh
General Manager
Devraj.singh@tajhotels.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Gateway Hotel Pasumalai Madurai

Property: The Gateway Hotel Pasumalai Madurai
Address: No 40 T P K Road | Pasumalai Hill, Madurai 625004, India
Region: India > Tamil Nadu > Madurai District > Madurai
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:
Ranked #1 of 54 Hotels in Madurai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — The Gateway Hotel Pasumalai Madurai 4*
Number of rooms: 63
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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