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gateway refurbishmeent

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bigbum0204
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gateway refurbishmeent

just noticed someone posted that the gateway was going to be refurbished we are going there in April .if anybody know if it will be done by then or will we be going to a building site???

any news would be appreciated

Northumberland...
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1. Re: gateway refurbishmeent

Are you referring to the Gateway Varkala? I was there in December and I think all the rooms (except for the 2 suitesd which I stayed in) have already been refurbished. I could be wrong but I spoke to one of the other guests and she said her room had a brand new bathroom and had been refurbished.

The suite which I stayed in had obviously been very recently decorated and was still very good.

bigbum0204
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2. Re: gateway refurbishmeent

Thank you . Did you enjoy the hotel and varkala . What was the food and rooms like in hotel did you go on any trips any tips you could give us . Again thank you

Northumberland...
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3. Re: gateway refurbishmeent

Hi bigbum (feels rude calling you that!),

Yes we enjoyed the hotel - if you can upgrade to the suite you should go for it - it was so spacious with a separate dining and living room. we dined in the room one night and it was lovely. The views from the room/s were amazing too - as it was near the top of the hotel you had a view out over the pool and to the sea beyond - we saw some amazing sunsets from here.

The food in the hotel was always good - the local traditional Keralan dishes were the best.

As for Varkala - I suppose it's all relative. Of the 3 places we stayed Varkala was my least favourite, however nothing can compare to Kumarakom where we first stayed(IMHO)! Varkala does have a lot to offer though. We didn't do any trips as such from Varkala because we wanted to chill there - we had already done a 2 night backwater tour, it took 4.5 hours by road from Kumarakom to Varkala! Also we had a couple of trips in mind to do once we got to Kovalam.

There are literally dozens of restaurants dotted along the cliff-top. One was an Itallian (although with an Indian slant) which was very good - I think it was called something like Bella Donna - I'll check and get back if not correct. It was very good. One night we decided to watch the sunset from the Tree House - the view from the tree house was good - we ordered some food though and it wasn't the best, and whilst we didn't get 'Delhi-Belly' I felt quite sickly for a few days afterwards, so my advice is - if you have a head for heights - it's a great place to sit and watch the sunset and the world going by, but stick to drinks!

Away from the clifftop - if you go towards the water tank (locals will tell you) - out of the hotel and turn right and down the hill, there's a place where the locals eat called Sri Padman. It's NOT at all posh - plastic chairs - no cutlery (eat like the locals) but they serve amazing (vegetarian) thali dishes - as much as you can eat for 80 rupees including soft drinks!! Worth a try - don't let the look put you off!

If you want any more info please feel free to PM me.

Edited: 7:30 am, January 22, 2011
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4. Re: gateway refurbishmeent

Northumberland-lady glad you liked the hotel. I have stayed there three times and each time there was some sort of refurbishing going on. Lots of noise and disruption so never went back again. Glad it has now all been done and you enjoyed your stay. I am sure you will enjoy your stay bigbum.

Like yourself I have never taken trips from Varkala as visits to many parts of the State were done independently.

Bigbum - There are any amount of travel shops on the clifftop and on Beach Road that offer various trips. Call in when you are there to arange.

I think I know the place by the tank. Lots of Keralan visitors used to go there, particularly when there was a festival at the Temple just up the road. I have never been there but now will try it if I go to Varkala again.

Go and enjoy bigbum. (Can't you change your name?!!!) lol

bigbum0204
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5. Re: gateway refurbishmeent

thanks for your lovely reply .

looking forward to our trip in april

sorry about the name

Edited: 11:11 am, January 22, 2011
Northumberland...
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6. Re: gateway refurbishmeent

lol - bigbum indeed! Have a really great trip!

Igirl - I think they will still be renovating the 2 last rooms - the 2 at the very top above the suites. I had a look up - strange rooms with no balcony! If I stayed in Varkala again I think I would stay at the Gateway/Taj again - there was no noise whilst we were there. It's fair to say it's not your ususal Taj - in fact I don't think it's run by Taj any more as all the branding, coasters, signage etc. etc. had Gateway on, still nice enough though.

Northumberland
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7. Re: gateway refurbishmeent

Dear Northumberland-lady,

As I also live in N'land I thought I would ask for some general advice.

I intend booking a S India holiday for the end of Feb / beginning of March and am hesitating between the Gateway, Varkala through Mercury and the Heritage Village in S Goa thro' Olympic. Any advice / thoughts please? We have been to both Kerala and Goa before, but only to Kovalam in K and always to N Goa.

As much as I love sitting on a beach or beside a pool, we will want to explore as widely as possible in the given time, probably only a week, altho' 2 is a possibility. We did the backwaters tour, Cochin etc last time. Are there any other trips you would recommend?

I note that the package I am looking at for the Gateway is FB. Can you give me any idea as to the cost of drinks?

Lastly, did you opt to fly out of Newcastle?

Very many thanks in advance .... and to anyone else who may be able to help.

amf

Northumberland...
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8. Re: gateway refurbishmeent

Hi amf! Nice to hear from a fellow Northumbrian! (The REAL God's own country lol).

Yes we flew with Emirates from Newcastle.

When we stayed at the Gateway there was a lovely couple from Scotland who had booked through Mercury - they were also on FB. Personally in a place like India I wouldn't want to go FB as, as you will already know, there are so many places to eat out, however, what I can say is that when we did eat at the hotel - once in-room dining and a couple of times lunch by the pool, it was always fabulous!

AS for the Heritage in South Goa - I'm not familiar with this hotel, however a couple of years ago we did stay in South Goa - at the Intercontinental in Raj Bagga, Cannacona - and if I'm honest, much as it grieves me to say this, I would go back to South Goa in a heartbeat. I can't even tell you why I feel this way - there was just something ever so special about the place and the beaches there were far superior (IMHO).

However - it's a hard one if you're wanting to do trips - I'm not sure there. We went for a day to an Elephant Sanctuary, just past Neyyarr (sorry can't remember spelling)Damn - it was called Kappukadu. That was a breathtaking trip - the scenery was amazing and it was so lovely to pass through what was essentially jungle to get there, and see the people going about their days.

I'm not sure I've really been much help - please feel free to PM me if you need me to be more specific.

Happy holiday whatever you decide!

Northumberland
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9. Re: gateway refurbishmeent

Thank you forgetting back so quickly! I only thought of FB as it seemed such good value, & last time we stayed in Kerala the hotel was a very long way from any restaurants; wobbling along by torchlight was not ideal. Obviously this is not the case here. V useful to know.

Lovely to hear what you have said about S Goa; that option is approx 750 pwk as opposed to 900 (sorry, on French laptop with no pound sign!).

I'll let you know what I decide, as I am still gripped by indecision!

It will be nice to escape the UK (yes, even beautiful Northumberland....!) before more snow arrives.

amf

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10. Re: gateway refurbishmeent

We used to get a tuk-tuk to the are where all the restaurants are - too far in the dark!

WHAT! More snow?? I didn't know that - oh well - happy holiday and yes plese let me know what you decide.