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“Tranquil stay in Varkala” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Gateway Hotel Janardhanapuram Varkala

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The Gateway Hotel Janardhanapuram Varkala
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Near Government Guest House | Janardhanapuram, Varkala 695 141, India   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #8 of 40 Hotels in Varkala
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Tranquil stay in Varkala”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2012

We were very happy to stay at the Gateway hotel as our final destination in Kerala - Varkala was our last stop on our Southern India journey. It was the only resort we had stayed in during our 3 weeks, and took full advantage of the pool side and cozy room. Staff was extremely attentive and helpful, and our room was cleaned twice each day, with a fun towel art creation waiting for us upon our return each night. The bed offered an amazing sleep each night with a small private garden and terrace which we used as a shortcut to the pool. The pool was one of the highlights of the hotel itself, with a gorgeous view of the the ocean overlooking the palm trees and surrounding nature. Complimentary breakfast had mostly anything you might crave, with Indian options as well. The one thing which drove us away form the hotel each day was the price of the dining menu. It was triple (sometimes even more) the price of any restaurant we had dined at in India. Food quality was nothing spectacular, so we failed to see why the price was above average. Anywhere else in India, a bottle of water will cost you around 20 RP, while at the resort, it costs you 95 RP. Likewise for every other item on the menu. Thus we did not have lunch nor dinner at our hotel at any point during our stay. Instead we opted to take a 10 minute walk to the Cliff, where many other dining options are available, with shops and vendors as well, and a gorgeous view of the beach and ocean. There we found a nice restaurant (New Kerala Cafe) where we were able to pre-order our seafood request each evening for the following evening's dinner. A fresh butterfish cost us 500 RP and we couldn't be more pleased. They used a tandoori clay oven which produced fantastic pizza and naan bread, which was why we returned each night during our 4 night stay. Gateway Hotel is excellent value and offers a truly relaxing stay in Varkala, with very attentive staff, but could definitely use a makeover to its menu, the prices are quite pretentious.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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335 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (121)
Date | Rating
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English first
Seattle, Washington, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2012 via mobile

We loved the newly redesigned room and wonderful pool. The service was impeccable, mgmt and staff were always friendly and helpful. We hope to be back again sometime. We felt like part of their family.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Liverpool, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2012

We stayed for nine nights at the Gateway before taking a further six night tour of Kerala. Beautifully clean, comfortable hotel with wonderful views both from our sea view room and the reception area. Having arrived just before the season starts, the hotel was virtually empty for most of our stay - which pleased us greatly! Lovely airy bedroom and bathroom, fantistic staff, all in all a lovely experience.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brit in UK
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2012

A very nice hotel. Clean spacious room with a very comfortable bed giving an excellent night’s sleep. Modern bathroom with large shower room. Nice balcony with easy chairs. Large clean and warm pool. Although I didn’t experience the shortage of sun beds mentioned by other reviewers, I was travelling before the main season had started. I can see this will present difficulties when there are more guests staying at the hotel.

The site is built on the side of a hill with many steps up and down and therefore unsuitable for anyone with mobility problems. The restaurant was however the source of my main disappointment with this hotel. The food was mediocre and very overpriced (more than double the price of similar hotels I used in Kerala). I needed to send one meal back for further cooking as, despite asking for it to be very well cooked, blood was still running from the meat on serving. On the second evening I ordered fish and chips from the A la carte menu but had to request additional chips as the serving was so small.

On checkout I was charged for breakfasts taken, which I had thought were included in the package. On checking my booking paperwork I did find that the hotel was correct and that my booking had been on a room only basis. This was my mistake however this was the only one of six hotels I stayed at in Kerala that applied a room only tariff. Had my room number been checked against my tariff the breakfast staff could have pointed out that a charge was applicable. Alternatively had I been asked to sign the bill at breakfast it would have alerted me to the fact that I needed to pay extra. This would have prevented unnecessary embarrassment at check out for the reception staff and myself. Also had I known it wasn’t inclusive I would have taken breakfast at one of the many restaurants / other hotels at the Cliff top. This is only a short Tuk Tuk or car ride away. NB this area is well worth a visit if only to browse the Tibetan shops.

The number of waiting staff at meal times outnumbered guests and while well meaning their attentiveness became over intrusive at times. That said everyone was very courteous, helpful and eager to please. I would certainly recommend staying here but I would suggest guests be clear about the tariff they are staying on and consider eating elsewhere.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Jamshedpur, India
Top Contributor
113 reviews 113 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2012

What a find! Nestled just around an hour and half's drive from Trivandrum is Taj's gateway hotel at Varkala. Just thirty rooms and suites, a view to kill for and total peace. THE place to just go for a totally relaxed break.

It's Kerala, so God's own country and the views justify the description. Never saw so many varieties of tropical vegetation, birds, butterflies, etc.

The hotel, located beautifully on a wooded hillock overlooking the ocean has a nice slow,(non frenetic) ambience, though totally efficient. The General Manager Dennis D'costa (some of you will remember him as the hyper active, solver of all problems at the Fort Aguada beach resort, Goa) is always around with genuine concern fro his guests and very useful tips. Bijoy, the Sous Chef is a gem. Did some great food for us, including a"Sadhya" the traditional meal served on banana leaves.

The hotel has an adequate breakfast buffet with International as well as North and South Indian choices.

To work off the calories, there is a nice,decent sized pool (with a tot's section), badminton, tennis, table tennis, carrom and chess!

There is an Ayurvedic Spa on the premises, though we didn't try it. I would imagine it would be of equally hgh standards.

The housekeeping is flawless and the front office very helpful

Nearby is the North Cliff, a path right on the edge of a cliff bordering the ocean which, if I counted correctly had 27 eateries all of a good standard. All types of cuisines were on offer and of course, a sea foodie's delight.

The 2000 year old Janardhanswamy (Vishnu) temple is a walk away and has an amazing aura in and around it,

Visit Varkala before the invasion spoils it as it did Goa!

Room Tip: We chose a room on the first floor with a unobstructured view of the ocean...loved it.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Muscat
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2012

We stayed for one day. I thought the hotel will be in same level with Vivanta by Taj - Malabar because it has same brand ( Taj ). All the staff were helpful & friendly but we didn’t get great welcome like we got in (Vivanta by Taj - Malabar). The lobby was very nice with sea view which is 5 minutes by walk. The swimming pool was wonderful with the greenery gardening surrounding it. Our room was neat & tidy, but there was water stains & seepage in the wall inside our room. We didn’t sleep at night due to power problem. As staff said, there was problem with generator. The buffet was very small. The checkout was smooth.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Isle of Man
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2012

We - a family with an 8 year old girl - stayed here for 4 nights from 18 August. We booked (and got) a Deluxe Suite (Room 301). The hotel was quiet during our stay, which was very reasonably priced.

The best things about the hotel are its location (short walk from the beach, surrounded by palm trees) and its pool, which is one of the nicest we've had the pleasure of. Most of the time we had it to ourselves.

The room itself was very large, though a bit "80s" in style (could do with an update), with some odd tiling choices in the bathroom. It had a decent - shady - balcony. The cleaners made some wonderful towel and flower sculptures in the room.

The hotel is quite small, and echoey, with an open plan reception desk...unfortunately the reception desk phone could be heard very loudly in our bedroom.

The restaurant is uninspiring really: the food is good (though no better than the restaurants on the beach and about 4 times the money) but the place completely lacks any distinctive ambience - it just feels like a pokey little room with no distinct style. This really warrants a rethink. However this was compensated for by the staff, from the chefs to the waiters, who were attentive and considerate. On one occasion they arranged an impromptu cooking lesson, which was great!

I am not sure whether the other clients during our stay were representative. There was a party of indian males who spent quite some time sitting by the pool drinking, and were clearly having male fun which was sometimes a little intimidating/boisterous for a young family. I guess this happens everywhere and that we were more conscious of it because of the quietness of the hotel otherwise. It wasn't bad, exactly, it just seemed out of place in such a tranquil place and was not what a family would choose.

The attentiveness of the staff was also reflected in the hotel manager, who was very visible and chatty, unusual in our experience as such people are often aloof and too focused on admin and doing head office's bidding.This manager was a credit to his hotel. Overall, niggles aside, an excellent stay in a lovely place, to which I will happily return in future.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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 695 141, India
Location: India > Kerala > Varkala
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Varkala
#7 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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